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Ozcan named 2014 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor

02 July 2014

SPIE Fellow Aydogan Ozcan, Chancellor's Professor of electrical engineering and bioengineering at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, has been named a 2014 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor.

photo of Aydogan Ozcan

Ozcan was recognized for his breakthrough research on portable photonics tools for microscopy, sensing, and diagnosis and for his innovative approach to undergraduate education.

He is one of 15 researchers from the USA named a 2014 HHMI Professor. Awardees receive a $1 million grant to be used over five years to pursue high-impact, interdisciplinary research and effectively integrate their work with creative approaches to undergraduate education.

Ozcan says he intends to use the HHMI grant to launch a biophotonics program in which undergrad researchers will form interdisciplinary teams to design, build, and test novel technologies for telemedicine and global health applications.

Devices invented in his lab, including lightweight smartphone attachments to detect the presence of mercury in water, malaria in blood cells, and allergens in food, are designed for point-of-care use and are adaptable to rural and resource-poor areas.

Ozcan, who is also associate director of the California NanoSystems Institute and founder of Holomic, holds 22 issued patents (all of which are licensed) and more than 15 pending patent applications. He is also the author of one book and co-author of more than 350 peer-reviewed research articles in major scientific journals and conferences, including the SPIE Journal of Biomedical Optics.

Among his many awards are the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the inaugural SPIE Biophotonics Technology Innovator Award in 2013, the SPIE Early Career Achievement Award in 2011, and MIT's TR35 Award for his seminal contributions to near-field and on-chip imaging and telemedicine-based diagnostics.

Ozcan is a co-chair for a new conference at BiOS, part of SPIE Photonics West 2015, "Optics and Biophotonics in Low-Resource Settings."