March 28, 2011

BME prof wins Olympus Emerging Educational Leader Award

A Johns Hopkins biomedical engineering faculty member who helps students become medical device inventors and business leaders has been named one of the three 2011 winners in the Olympus Innovation Awards Program.

The Olympus Emerging Educational Leader Award was given to Soumyadipta Acharya, an assistant research professor and graduate program director for the Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design, affiliated with both the Whiting School of Engineering and the School of Medicine.

The award, one of three sponsored annually by Olympus Corporation of the Americas, in partnership with the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance, recognizes individuals who have fostered or demonstrated innovative thinking in education.

The other two Olympus awards were given to Amy Smith, director of D-Lab at MIT, and Ashok Gadgil, the Andrew and Virginia Rudd Family Foundation Professor of Safe Water and Sanitation at the University of California, Berkeley and a faculty senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

The honors were given out last week at the NCIIA’s 15th Annual Conference in Alexandria, Va.

Acharya, a physician and biomedical engineer, was recognized for his successful record in developing and implementing educational programs in health care innovation and entrepreneurship at Johns Hopkins’ Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design.

Technologies from CBID have resulted in several patents, grants, awards and student-driven start-up companies.

A notable success is the Ante-Natal screening kit, an inexpensive suite of diagnostic tests that CBID students have developed, with the aim of providing routine screening for some of the highest-risk conditions of pregnancy in developing countries. At a cost of one-third of a cent each, these tests can be easily administered and interpreted by community health workers in rural Africa and Asia, potentially helping to prevent many unnecessary deaths during pregnancy.

“The Olympus Innovation Award provides recognition for the quality and caliber of this program,” Acharya said, “and we are grateful that it recognizes that Johns Hopkins University is leading the way in innovation.”