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Now Available: Innovators Under 35 2014 See The 2014 List »

Since 1999, the editors of Technology Review have honored the young innovators whose inventions and research we find most exciting; today that collection is the TR35, a list of technologists and scientists, all under the age of 35. Their work--spanning medicine, computing, communications, electronics, nanotechnology, and more--is changing our world.

View 2004 Winners by:

2004 Innovator of the Year: Scott Heiferman

2004 Humanitarian of the Year: Vikram Sheel Kumar

Jonathan Abrams

Created the Nets top social-networking site, where eight million people communicate with friends and friends of friends.

Guido Appenzeller

Started a Palo Alto, CA, firm to commercialize an encryption technology that uses a simple ID, such as an e-mail address, to ensure secure communications.

Alyssa Apsel

Adapts optical-communications technology to build receivers, transmitters, and interconnects that speed chip-to-chip communications within computers.

Vadim Backman

Found a way to spot colon cancer earlier than was previously possible

Anuj Batra

Leads one of the industrys top teams advancing ultrawideband wireless technology, which provides the high transmission speeds needed for streaming-media applications while consuming little power.

Serge Belongie

Created video software to analyze lab mice for adverse reactions to trial drugs.

Yaakov Benenson

He wants to replace physicians with molecular machines that diagnose and treat diseases with phenomenal precision.

Vance Bjorn

Partnered with fellow TR100 honoree Serge Belongie (see above) to found a Redwood City, CA, biometrics company that specializes in fingerprint recog-nition for computer access.

Marcel Bruchez

Cofounded Quantum Dot to market the new imaging tool to biologists and drug developers

David Brussin

Built a router that examines the content and source of messages passing through it.

Vladimir Bulovic

Uses organic and nanostructured semiconductors in devices such as light-emitting diodes, lasers, photodetectors, and chemical sensors.

Mayank Bulsara

Developer of strained silicon.

J. J. Cadiz

Invented a better approach to alleviating information overload.

Dustin Carr

Creates nanoscale silicon devices that can detect subatomic-scale movements.

Selena Chan

Designs nanotechnological tools to detect viruses, bacteria, and, for the first time, single molecules of DNA in medical samples.

Tianqaio Chen

Specializes in multiplayer fantasy and role-playing games.

Aref Chowdhury

Invented techniques at Bell Labs that enable higher-speed transmission of data over very long distances (up to 6,400 kilometers) within fiber-optic networks.

Raffaele Colombelli

Develops new types of quantum cascade microlasers with a variety of sensing and imaging applications.

Martin Colpepper

Builds the machines needed to make high-quality, low-cost nanofabrication a reality.

Adrian Colyer

Leads the effort to improve software quality and cut development costs.

Yi Cui

Demonstrated the possibility of building new structures using the basic ingredients of nanotech.

LÆtitia Delmau

Helped solve fundamental problems in nuclear-waste treatment

Rebekah Drezek

Develops photonic technologies that use targeted nanomaterials to detect, monitor, and treat breast and gynecologic cancers painlessly, and at a fraction of the cost of conventional approaches.

Robert Drost

Pioneered a wireless technology to eliminate the wired connections between closely spaced chips in computer systems.

Ryan Egeland

Slashed the cost of producing a DNA chip from hundreds of dollars to a few dollars by combining microfluidics, computer control, and novel electrochemistry.

Michael Elowitz

Combines existing genes to build artificial biological pathways, or "circuits," that operate inside cells.

Robert Frederick

Helping to lead Amazons transformation, with its own virtual vending machines.

Martha Gardner

Created statistical models and design software to make materials development more efficient.

Tim Gardner

Constructs computer models of cellular pathways in order to optimize bacteria for energy production and environmental remediation.

Verena Graf

Develops fuel cells that are practical for powering cars.

Dan Gruhl

Serves as chief architect for IBMs WebFountain system.

Ali Hajimiri

Developed an entire radar system, squeezed into a single chip

Yu Han

Synthesized nanoscale particles with tiny, precisely defined pores.

Stefan Hecht

Devised a new class of polymer nanotubes and other molecular building blocks. These novel materials have potential applications in the fabrication of nanosized electronic devices.

Scott Heiferman

Built a database and developed software that would help people organize themselves.

Michael Helmbrecht

Fabricates microscopic, deformable mirrors on computer chips that perform image correction for medical imaging, surveillance, and other applications.

Aaron Hertzmann

Combines machine learning and graphics to capture the motion of actors, dancers, and athletes -- and to generate realistic animations for films and video games.

Colin Hill

Aims to more than double human trials success rate by virtually prescreening drugs in computer models of human cells.

Kurt Huang

Launched a startup developing micropayments technology that allows artists, small businesses, and others to charge fees of as little as one cent for access to online content.

Darrell Irvine

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.

Rustem Ismagilov

Develops microfluidics technologies that use tiny droplets to characterize the function and structure of proteins and to model complex biochemical processes.

Albena Ivanisevic

Uses microscopic tips to deposit precise patterns of peptides directly onto tissues in the body.

Ari Juels

Improved the security and privacy of radio frequency identification tags, as well as cryptographic tools for authentication systems.

Ravi Kane

Created a highly potent anthrax treatment in which each drug molecule blocks multiple toxin molecules rather than just one.

Shana Kelley

Builds nanoscale electrochemical and electrical sensors to detect medically relevant gene sequences and proteins.

Richard Kent

Produces biomechanical data vital to the design of air bags and auto safety systems.

Kinneret Keren

Exploits biology-based self-assembly to build molecular electronics. She created a self-assembled molecular-electronic device -- a carbon nanotube transistor -- using a DNA template.

Gloria Kolb

Devised a way to remove kidney stones more cost effectively and less invasively by taking advantage of the ureters tendency to dilate around foreign objects.

Andre Kulzer

Created a thermodynamic simulation that showed the feasibility of gasoline direct injection, which lowers auto fuel consumption and emissions and eliminates the electric starter.

Jörg Lahann

Designed an electrically switchable surface coating that can alternate between attracting and repelling water.

Eric C. Leuthardt

Showed that a patient could achieve real-time control of a computer via electrodes placed on the brains surface.

Golan Levin

Explores the artistic implications of information technology.

Jamie Link

Etched optical bar codes into micrometer-size pieces of silicon. She hopes to use the technology to detect pollutants in water or cancerous cells within the body.

David Liu

Applies evolutionary principles to synthetic molecules by linking starting materials to DNA strands.

Yueh-Lin (Lynn) Loo

Invented nano transfer printing

Frank Lyko

Aims to reprogram cancer cells to be more like normal cells by developing compounds that block the aberrant modification of DNA in cancer cells.

Massimo Marchiori

Develops more efficient ways of identifying, finding, and retrieving information on the Web.

Wojciech Matusik

Creates 3-D television and related 3-D photo and video systems that weave together images from multiple cameras.

Tyler McQuade

Creates catalysts to reduce the number of steps needed to synthesize drugs, diminishing environmentally hazardous by-products.

Lauren Meyers

Helped public-health officials control epidemics of walking pneumonia and SARS with sophisticated mathematical models that predict how a disease will spread through networks of human interactions.

Ananth Natarajan

Bridging the gap between research and patient care.

Vasilis Ntziachristos

Facilitated noninvasive optical imaging of proteins and other molecules in the body, which could lead to ultraprecise diagnosis of cancer and other diseases.

James OBrien

Invented algorithms for simulating natural phenomena such as splashing water and explosions, for use in movies, video games, and advanced training simulations.

Teri Odom

Patterned silicon to create minuscule "beakers" that hold only zeptoliters.

Leroy Ohlsen

Replaced fuel cells plastic membranes with porous silicon.

Nuria Oliver

Constructs more-intuitive human-computer interfaces.

Shayn Peirce

Models how individual cells in tissues migrate, multiply, and develop during processes such as blood vessel growth. The models should aid tissue engineering and drug development.

Maria Petrucci-Samija

Created materials that might soon make such integrated photonic circuits possible.

Ramesh Raskar

Built large computer display systems that seamlessly combine images from multiple projectors.

Jennifer Rexford

Created tools for monitoring and automatically managing Internet traffic on large networks.

Sokwoo Rhee

Designed extremely-low-power wireless-sensor networks.

Shad Roundy

Built tiny generators for wireless sensor networks that convert low-level background vibrations into electricity, eliminating the need for batteries.

Cristoph Schaffrath

Discovered an enzyme that could enable environmentally benign production of fluorine-containing compounds such as Teflon and Prozac, which are now made via noxious chemical processes.

Jesse Schell

Invents new forms of digital visualization.

Kees Schep

Helped develop blue-laser optical-disc storage systems with much greater capacity than todays DVDs. The discs are now being introduced commercially.

Erik Scher

Works on inorganic semiconductor nanomaterials.

Monisha Scott

Determined how small, natural proteins boost the immune response.

Chaitail Sengupta

Oversees the architecture of the communications chips used in advanced cellular systems now coming to market.

Vikram Sheel Kumar

Developed interactive software that motivates patients to manage chronic diseases such as diabetes and AIDS.

Pierre Sillard

Devised a software modeling tool that enabled him to design complex optical fibers now being manufactured for use in very-high-capacity communications systems.

Simeon Simeonov

Left software engineering to engineer startups.

Charlotte Skourup

Employed "augmented reality" technologies

Christina Smolke

Fine-tunes the activity of individual genes via an adaptable technology

Molly Stevens

Shown that she can control the behavior of gold nanoparticles.

Michael Strano

Arrived at a new understanding of carbon nanotube surface chemistry.

Kahp-Yang Suh

Came up with the first method that allows researchers to pattern proteins and cells directly onto glass or plastic surfaces or within microfluidic channels without complicated preparation.

William Taylor

Spearheads efforts to commercialize the "plasmatron," a pollution control device that converts diesel fuel to hydrogen, cutting nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 90 percent.

Ben Trott

Developed Movable Type.

Mena Trott

Mena developed a simpler user interface which allows bloggers to create links to other pages by clicking and dragging items on-screen.

Olga Troyanskaya

Devised sophisticated and accurate computer algorithms for analyzing data generated using DNA microarrays.

Srinidhi Varadarajan

Conceived and built the worlds third-fastest supercomputer

Smruti Vidwans

Development of drugs to assist in the battle against TB.

Lei Wang

Expanded the genetic code in order to allow living cells to incorporate new, unnatural building blocks into the proteins that they make.

Sandra Waugh Ruggles

Uses clever testing schemes to determine which protein- slicing enzymes make the cut as potential drugs.

Min Wu

Devised ways to hide digital watermarks in financial statements and other electronic documents to authenticate records, prevent fraud, and deter unauthorized distribution.

Tsuyoshi Yamamoto

Demonstrated the first-ever two-qubit logic gate in a solid-state device, an advance crucial to building an ultrafast quantum computer.

Shu Yang

Designs "smart" photonic devices for lightning-fast computers and communications networks.

Qian Zhang

Improved roaming between cellular networks

Yuankai Zheng

Simplified the production of magnetic RAM

Xiaowei Zhuang

She has filmed a single influenza virus infecting a cell.


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