Turkish engineer, inventor at UCLA receives Koç University’s Medal of Science

Turkish engineer, inventor at UCLA receives Koç University’s Medal of Science

Turkish engineer, inventor at UCLA receives Koç University’s Medal of Science

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UCLA professor Aydoğan Özcan has been granted the Koç University Rahmi M. Koç Medal of Science for his work on telemedicine technology that focuses on creating advanced devices that will provide remote and complex services in the field of health. 

Dubbed “the scientist who carried his lab to smart phones,” Özcan is the first recipient of the award, which was launched this year by Koç University to encourage young scientists. 

Özcan, the chancellor of UCLA’s Electrical Engineering Department and a professor at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), and whose primary area of work is physical and wave Electronics, has set up a research group in UCLA that “through innovation, aims to create photonics-based telemedicine technologies toward next generation smart global health systems.”

He holds 33 issued patents and more than 20 pending patent applications for his inventions in the field of telemedicine, mobile health, nanoscopy, wide-field imaging, lensless imaging, nonlinear optics, fiber optics and optical coherence tomography. 

Some of Özcan and his team’s inventions include cellphone-based mobile microscopes that can detect even single viruses and single DNA molecules, flow-cytometers, rapid diagnostic test readers, personalized allergen detectors, bacteria/pathogen sensors, blood analyzers for complete blood count, urinary albumin detectors for monitoring of chronic patients and heavy metal detectors.

“Many of these inventions have already been licensed and commercialized with products currently in use. Özcan’s leading scholarly contributions are internationally recognized. He has given more than 35 plenary/keynote talks and over 300 invited talks and is the author of one book. He is also the co-author of more than 450 peer-reviewed publications in major scientific journals and conferences,” Koç University wrote of Özcan.

The chairman of Koç University’s Board of Trustees and Koç Holding Chairman Ömer Koç recalled that the university’s seed was planted with the principle that “you can find capital, you can buy machines, you can transfer technology but if there is no well-educated human power, it is hard to get results.” 

Koç said they were moving forward with the idea of contributing to Turkey and humanity by graduating “creative, independent, and objective-minded” people and supporting scientific researchers.