Rice bioengineer named to Technology Review's TR100

09/21/04

Rebekah Drezek honored for cutting-edge research in nanotechnology, biophotonics

HOUSTON, Sept. 21, 2003 –Rice University today announced that bioengineer Rebekah Drezek has been named to the 2004 list of the world's 100 Top Young Innovators by Technology Review, MIT's Magazine of Innovation.

The annual TR100 list recognizes individuals under age 35 whose innovative research in technology has a profound impact on today's world. Nominees are recognized for their contributions in transforming the nature of technology and business in industries such as biotechnology and medicine, computing, and nanotechnology.

"In two short years at Rice, Rebekah Drezek has established a reputation among both faculty and students as an outstanding scholar and teacher," said Rice President David Leebron. "Her application of nanotechnology toward the non-invasive detection and diagnosis of diseases such as breast cancer holds great promise for improving prevention and treatment."

Drezek, the Stanley C. Moore Assistant Professor of Bioengineering and assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, conducts translational research at the interface of two emerging areas in biomedical engineering: nanobiotechnology and biophotonics. Her laboratory's projects emphasize developing new technologies to improve women's health care with a current focus on detection, diagnosis, and monitoring therapy of breast, ovarian, and endometrial cancer.

In the area of nanotechnology, she works in collaboration with 2003 TR100 winner Jennifer West, Rice's Isabel C. Cameron Professor of Bioengineering and professor of chemical engineering, and Naomi Halas, Rice's Stanley C. Moore Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering and professor of chemistry. Drezek's nanotech research focuses on medical applications of a tunable class of nanoparticles called metal nanoshells that were invented by Halas. Drezek's team is designing, fabricating, and validating molecular-specific optical imaging agents based on nanoshell bioconjugates. The agents are part of a comprehensive nanoshell-based technology that Rice is developing to both diagnose and treat cancer.

In biophotonics, Drezek works with clinicians at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center to develop novel optical technologies for real-time, point-of-care imaging. These technologies allow detection of cancer at a much earlier stage than conventional imaging methods by probing early molecular signals of disease. Her laboratory also creates the computational tools and mathematical algorithms that doctors need in order to make a diagnosis based on optical imaging data.

TR100 award winners are chosen by Technology Review's editors and a panel of independent judges. This year's panel includes representatives from Boston University, Caltech, Cambridge University, CombinatoRx, Concept2Company, Cornell University, General Electric, Geekcorps, Georgia Tech, Harvard Medical School, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intellectual Ventures, Microsoft, MIT, Northwestern University, PureTech Ventures, Singapore Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, TIAX, Wharton, Xerox, and YankeeTek Ventures.

"In the five years since we began naming our annual selection of the world's top innovators under age 35, inclusion among the TR100 has become one of the most prestigious awards for young innovators around the world," said David Rotman, executive editor of Technology Review. "This year's winners are all pioneering fascinating innovations in the fields of biomedicine, computing and nanotechnology, and were chosen after a rigorous selection and judging process. The result is an elite group whose visions and inventions will shape the future of technology."

Drezek will be honored September 29 - 30 at Technology Review's Emerging Technologies Conference at MIT. The event features keynotes, panels and breakout discussions on the transformative technological innovations that have the potential to fuel new economic growth and dramatically change the future. Keynote speakers include Vinod Khosla, founding CEO of Sun Microsystems and General Partner at Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers; Ray Kurzweil, renowned inventor, author and founder of Kurzweil Technologies; and Rick Wagoner, chairman of General Motors. More information on ETC2004 can be found at www.tretc.com.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.

 

 

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
-- Albert Einstein