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Now Available: Innovators Under 35 2013 See The 2013 List »

Derek Hansford, 29

Materials

Ohio State University

Derek Hansford’s unobtrusive bearing is just what you’d expect from someone who designs ways to sneak drugs past the immune system. Hansford has been fabricating tiny polymer particles that can hold drugs and be injected into a patient’s bloodstream. Once there, they could hunt down tumors and release their drugs, without affecting healthy cells. Along the way, the particles would shield the drugs from degrading enzymes and would not elicit attacks from the immune system—a common problem for cancer drugs—because they do not attract immune cells. Although other bioengineers are making polymer drug-delivery devices, none has made large numbers of uniform particles small enough to travel in the blood-stream; each of Hansford’s particles is about the size of a red blood cell. The scientist has adapted a technique called soft lithography to make the particles, casting hundreds of millions of them in varied shapes out of reusable molds. Startup company iMedd plans to license his technology. Hansford will now try to make particles for inhalable drugs—an alternative to injections.

2002 TR35 Winners

Ewan Birney

Biotechnology

Fiona Brinkman

Biotechnology

Chris Burge

Biotechnology

Benjamin Cravatt

Biotechnology

Nathaniel David

Biotechnology

Susan Hagness

Medicine

Derek Hansford

Materials

J. Joseph Kim

Medicine

Steven Laken

Medicine

Kelvin Lee

Medicine

Milan Mrksich

Materials

Stephen OConnor

Biotechnology

Alexander Olek

Biotechnology

Vijay Pande

Biotechnology

Stephen Quake

Materials

David Sabatini

Biotechnology

John Santini

Medicine

David Schaffer

Medicine

Christoph Westphal

Biotechnology

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