The American Institute for Medical and Biomedical Engineering (AIMBE; Washington, DC) presented its highest honor, the 2016 Pierre Galletti Award, to Rebecca Richards-Kortum of Rice University (Houston, TX), whose bioimaging expertise is helping to develop solutions for point-of-care disease diagnostics.
Richards-Kortum, Rice's Malcolm Gillis University Professor, professor of bioengineering and professor of electrical and computer engineering, is the first woman to win the Galletti Award, which was presented at AIMBE's 25th annual meeting held April 3-4, 2016, in Washington, DC. She received the award for her "global leadership and exceptional innovation in creating the discipline of global-health engineering and pioneering engineering solutions to save countless maternal, newborn, and vulnerable lives in resource-limited settings."
Richards-Kortum directs both the Rice Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering and the Rice 360° Institute for Global Health, an award-winning global-health engineering program that incorporates problem-solving and hands-on learning activities. She also serves as special adviser to the provost on health-related research and educational initiatives.
Richards-Kortum’s laboratory in Rice's BioScience Research Collaborative specializes in translating research in nanotechnology, molecular imaging, and microfabrication to develop optical-imaging systems that are inexpensive, portable, and capable of providing point-of-care diagnoses for diseases ranging from cancer to malaria. Her research has led to the development of 31 patents, and she is the author of the textbook Biomedical Engineering for Global Health published by Cambridge University Press (2010), as well as more than 300 refereed research papers and 11 book chapters. She also is the youngest Rice faculty member elected to the National Academy of Engineering, a member of several industry societies, and has won many honors for her work.
The late Pierre Galletti, the award's namesake, was a pioneering researcher in the emerging field of biomedical engineering whose work impacted heart-lung bypass surgery, artificial organs, and tissue engineering. He was a founding member of AIMBE and served as the institute's second president.
For more information, please visit http://aimbe.org/awards/pierre-galletti.