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Professor Named One of World's Most Brilliant Innovators by Popular Science

By Matthew Chin

Popular Science magazine has named Aydogan Ozcan, an associate professor of electrical engineering and bioengineering at UCLA, one of the world's "Brilliant 10" scientists in its October 2012 issue.

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Aydogan Ozcan

The magazine, which calls its annual list "a celebration of young researchers whose innovations will change the world," recognized Ozcan for his groundbreaking imaging technology that turns everyday smart phones into powerful microscopes for use in medical diagnostics.

These compact, lightweight diagnostic tools have the potential to bring better health care and disease monitoring to impoverished and underserved areas of the globe.

"In many parts of the world, ailments are never even diagnosed," the magazine noted. "Ozcan's medical devices could fix that."

Ozcan has also developed a Google Maps interface to geographically plot test results obtained by his cell-phone microscopes, an advance that could be used to track the spread of various infectious diseases throughout the globe, the magazine said.

Ozcan's research group at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science has developed a number of lens-less computational imaging technologies for use in a variety of applications, particularly in the field of telemedicine.

Ozcan, who joined UCLA's faculty in 2007, has received several distinguished honors for his research, including a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE); a National Science Foundation CAREER Award; Early Career Achievement awards from the SPIE and the IEEE Photonics Society: Young Investigator awards from the Army Research Office and the Office of Naval Research; a National Geographic Emerging Explorer Award; and a National Institutes of Health Director's New Innovator Award.

He is also a member of the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA.

Past UCLA recipients of this prestigious international recognition from Popular Science include Terence Tao (mathematics) and Deborah Estrin (computer science).