|I thought we here at Mass High Tech
had our hands full trying to pick slightly more than a dozen All
Stars from New England each year. |
The folks over at MIT’s
Technology Review magazine got us beat, hands-down. This week
they’re announcing their fourth class of the TR100, Technology
Review’s list of the 100 top innovators under 35. Worldwide.
Editor-at-large Robert Buderi says the process takes all
year, dozens of experts and judges, and this year attracted more
than 700 nominees from around the globe.
“I’m always amazed
at the breadth of incredible talent that’s out there,” Buderi told
Mass High Tech. “You can’t look at these people and not feel a surge
of hope. They’re tackling just about every problem you read about in
The awards originated in 1999, when the
magazine was marking its 100th anniversary, Buderi said. And he’s
seen changes along the way.
For example, there are fewer
millionaires on the list nowadays as opposed to the bubble heyday.
“In some sense the TR100 as a body is less sexy than three
years ago,” he said. “But this could be more of the real
Just like the economy in general.
are some surprises too.
“The Internet (category) was still
really strong, and there’s a lot happening there. When dust cleared
from the hype, people said ‘Guess what? This is a revolution.’
Nanotechnology has grown as well.
the process: From the 700 nominees, about 50 are tossed right off
the bat. Researchers then investigate the remaining 650 or so, with
two researchers for each nominee. The list is whittled to 240, and
ranked 1-10, at which time it’s sent to the judges.
the same thing: two-on-one scrutiny, ranking, and pruning until
there’s about 110 left. From there the editors take over, and the
final 100 are picked.
This year’s awards will be the
highlight of a two-day Emerging Technologies Conference Sept. 28-29.
Speakers will include Tim Berners-Lee, Vinod Khosla, Craig Venter,
Steve Wozniak, and Rick Wagoner, chairman of General
This year’s list includes 17 names from the Boston
Tim Gardner, 31, assistant professor, Boston
University, who co-founded Cellicon Biotechnologies in Boston.
Shana Kelley, 34, assistant professor, Boston College, who
co-founded San Diego’s GeneOhm Sciences.
Gloria Kolb, 32,
Founder and president, Fossa Medical. Her Boston-based company has
two devices on the market.
Vikram Sheel Kumar, 28, co-founder
and CEO, Dimagi, which makes interactive software that motivates
patients to manage chronic diseases such as diabetes and AIDS.
David Liu, 31, associate professor, Harvard University, who
is applying evolutionary principles to synthetic molecules by
linking starting materials to DNA strands.
Ntziachristos, 34, assistant professor, Harvard University. He
facilitated noninvasive optical imaging of proteins and other
molecules in the body — which could lead to ultraprecise diagnosis
of cancer and other diseases — through his theories, software, and
Xiaowei Zhuang, 32, assistant professor, Harvard
University. Peering into a microscope, she has filmed a single
influenza virus infecting a cell. Eventually, this in-depth
understanding of how viruses work will help researchers find
entirely new ways of blocking viral infection.
Ari Juels, 34,
principal research scientist, RSA Security, devised techniques at
the Bedford firm to improve the security and privacy of radio
frequency identification tags.
Wojciech Matusik, 31, visiting
research scientist, Mitsubishi Electric, who creates 3-D television
and related 3-D photo and video systems that weave together images
from multiple cameras.
Ramesh Raskar, 34, visiting research
scientist, Mitsubishi Electric, who built large computer display
systems that seamlessly combine images from multiple projectors.
Sokwoo Rhee, 34, founder and chief technology officer,
Millennial Net, has designed extremely low power wireless-sensor
Simeon Simeonov, 31, principal, Polaris Venture
Partners, has left software engineering to engineer
Vladimir Bulovic, 34, associate professor, MIT.
Bulovic uses organic and nanostructured semiconductors in devices
such as light-emitting diodes, lasers, photodetectors, and chemical
sensors. Startup companies have licensed many of his 30 U.S.
Mayank Bulsara, 32, co-founder and chief technology
officer, AmberWave Systems, developers of strained silicon.
Martin Culpepper, 32, assistant professor, MIT. His
nanomanipulators are more flexible and offer higher performance than
existing versions — at one-twentieth the cost.
Irvine, 31, assistant professor, MIT, crafts nanoparticles that
would release chemicals inside the body to “program” immune cells to
combat viral infections like HIV, to tolerate transplants, or even
to destroy malignant tumors.