Physics and mathematics alum Rebecca Richards-Kortum has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. She is currently Rice University’s Stanley C. Moore Professor of Bioengineering and professor of electrical and computer engineering. She was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2008, making her only the second Department of Physics alum to be elected to both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, joining Nobel Laureate Alan Heeger (B.S. 1957). Fewer than 5 percent of National Academy members have dual membership in multiple academies.
“It is such an honor to be recognized and be part of a group like this,” said Richards-Kortum, who also serves as director of Rice 360°: Institute for Global Health Technologies and director of the Rice Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering. “I’d especially like to acknowledge and recognize the contributions of all my students. It has really been my privilege to work with such a wonderful team.”
Her laboratory focuses on translating research in nanotechnology, molecular imaging and microfabrication to develop optical imaging systems that are inexpensive, portable and provide point-of-care diagnoses for diseases ranging from cancer to malaria.
Her research has produced:
- 29 patents
- more than 230 research papers
- 11 book chapters
- the textbook Biomedical Engineering for Global Health
Richards-Kortum is a fellow of:
- the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
- the Optical Society of America
- the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering
- the American Association for the Advancement of Science
- the Biomedical Engineering Society
- the National Academy of Inventors
She also is an inaugural member of the National Advisory Council for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering for the National Institutes of Health.
Among her previous honors are:
- the 2013 Lemelson-MIT Award for Global Innovation,
- the 2014 Michael S. Feld Biophotonics Award from the Optical Society of America
- the 2007 Chester F. Carlson Award from the American Society for Engineering Education