2014 Innovators Under 35

MIT Technology Review recently announced the 35 Innovators Under 35 for 2014. According to the introduction and full list, the Innovators were nominated by the public or by MIT Technology Review’s editors from roughly 500 nominees and judged on “the originality and impact, or potential impact, of their work.”

Each innovator is also classified in one of five categories: inventors, visionaries, humanitarians, pioneers, and entrepreneurs. Three of the 35 Innovators are Tau Bates. They are:

Innovator Miles C. Barr, Ph.D. – (TN B ’06) is CEO and co-founder of Ubiquitous Energy that develops solar cell technology. The focus of his biographical article is on solar panels on tablets and other devices that are see-through. His panels are not on the market yet, but he is already demonstrating future use of the panels on window glass to help regulate room temperature by generating power to cool it.

Barr earned his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from Vanderbilt University where he also served for one year as President of the TN Beta Chapter of Tau Beta Pi.

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Pioneer Megan L. McCain, Ph.D. – (MO G ’06) is developing a “heart on a chip” that will allow for the use of a patient’s own cells to test his or her response to a cardiac drug before it is administered. This paves the way for personalized cardiac medicines. Currently, Dr. McCain is an assistant professor at the University of Southern California where her research group “leverages techniques in tissue engineering to understand the mechanisms of development and disease on the cell and tissue level.”

Click here to read her biographical article for more information on her heart on a chip technology. She graduated from Washington University (MO) with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering and spent a year as President of the Missouri Gamma Chapter of Tau Beta Pi.

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Pioneer Kathryn A. Whitehead, Ph.D. – (DE A ’02) analyzes nanoparticles and siRNA to test for various treatments, including some that target lymphoma tumors. The small interfering RNA (siRNA), which can be used to target and shut off gene expression “have enormous potential for treating cancers and genetic disorders.” Read her biographical article

Her next challenges as an assistant professor of engineering at Carnegie Mellon University (PA) is to improve the delivery of the siRNA to the appropriate cells. While completing her Ph.D. at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Dr. Whitehead “created small experimental patches that, when swallowed, adhere to the intestine to deliver insulin.” A promising alternative to the frequent and painful insulin shots needed for those with diabetes. Her undergraduate degree is from the University of Delaware where she was a two-year President of the DE Alpha Chapter of Tau Beta Pi.

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