Inventor and Innovator of the Year Announced -- 2014

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The Inventor and Innovator of the Year awards were created to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of UIC faculty who have worked tirelessly to make an impact on society through their research. It is with great honor and pleasure that Innovate@UIC and the Office of Technology Management announces:

The new Innovator of the Year 2014 to be Dr. Mark Rasenick; and

The new Inventor of the Year 2014 to be Dr. Constantine Megaridis.

These prestigious awards are given only to those who have made an outstanding commitment to transferring their research findings from the lab bench into the hands of society.  An Innovator of the Year is someone who has advanced their invention towards commercialization through participation in the licensing process or through entrepreneurial efforts in a startup company based on their invention.  An Inventor of the year is someone who has developed intellectual property that has the potential to make a significant impact for society.

Please take a moment to view this year’s winners and their inventions.  We’d also like to thank everyone who submitted nominations for these awards.  We had an outstanding set of faculty members to choose from, which is a testament to the world-class research that goes on at UIC today. 

About the Winners:

Dr. Mark Rasenick is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics in the College of Medicine.  Through his research, he has developed a blood test to diagnose depression and ascertain whether a patient’s current treatment is working. These test results can be obtained within a week, instead of taking 2-3 months — which is the current timeframe required to determine a treatment’s effectiveness. Allowing physcians to quickly diagnose depression and to switch out an ineffective treatment has the potential to save lives, reduce healthcare costs, and shorten the time needed during drug development. In 2008, Dr. Rasenick went the extra step to found Pax Neurosocience, a startup devoted to bringing this blood test to the marketplace.

Dr. Constantine Megaridis is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering in the College of Engineering.  He is able to apply special chemical coatings to everyday materials to create surfaces and tracks that attract and repel water.  The applications for this invention are versatile.  Of special interest is the ability to create portable laboratories, allowing anyone in the field to quickly identify harmful substances and dangerous pathogens on the spot, instead of needing to bring back the specimens to a well-equipped laboratory.