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"Design & Translation of New Technologies to Solve Patient-Driven Problems"

“Design and Translation of New Technologies to Solve Patient-Driven Problems: Examples from Newborn Health, Women’s Health and COVID-19” by Rebecca Richards-Kortum, Ph.D.

Innovation Grand Rounds Bleeding Edge with Rebecca Richards-Kortum PhD | July 31, 2020

This talk examines the challenges of designing and translating new technologies to solve real clinical needs, drawing from examples to improve newborn survival in African hospitals, to improve early detection of cervical cancer for women in Texas and Latin America, and to improve point-of-care diagnosis of COVID-19. The talk summarizes lessons learned to increase the diversity of innovation teams, and to increase the impact and sustainability of the resulting innovations. Rebecca Richards-Kortum, Ph.D. is the Rice University Malcolm Gillis University Professor of Bioengineering, the Director of Rice 360°: Institute for Global Health, and serves as the special advisor to the Provost on health-related research and educational initiatives. Her research has been instrumental in improving early detection of cancers and other diseases, especially in low-resources settings. She is currently working with colleagues and undergraduate students to develop a Nursery of the Future to provide technologies necessary to reduce neonatal death in sub-Saharan Africa to rates equivalent to the United States. Richards-Kortum’s research has led to the development of 40 patents. She is author of the textbook Biomedical Engineering for Global Health (Cambridge University Press, 2010), more than 230 refereed research papers and 11 book chapters. Her teaching programs, research and collaborations have been supported by generous grants from the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health (with more NIH grants than any other Rice professor), National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Defense, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Whitaker Foundation, and the Virginia and L.E. Simmons Family Foundation. She is a member of numerous academic associations including the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. As a member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, she has the rare distinction of dual membership in the National Academies. In 2016, The American Institute for Medical and Biomedical Engineering (AIMBE) presented its highest honor, the Pierre Galletti Award to Dr. Richards-Kortum. In 2008, she was named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor and subsequently received a grant for the undergraduate global health program at Rice. This program won the Science Prize for Inquiry-Based Instruction from Science magazine and the Lemelson-MIT Award for Global Innovation.


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