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

John Santini, 29

Medicine

Microchips

John Santini knows all about managing chronic illnesses; he was diagnosed with lupus at age 12 and has been taking daily medication since. Small wonder he chose to pursue drug delivery technology. Today Santini is chief scientific officer of MicroChips, which he cofounded in 1999 to make pills and injections obsolete. The Cambridge, MA, company is developing an implantable chip that stores drugs and releases them at a programmed rate. Santini devised the technology as an MIT grad student. A dime-sized, surgically replaceable chip can hold several hundred single-dose drug reservoirs. Patients could control the chip’s microprocessor remotely—a benefit for, say, patients taking pain medications. MicroChips recently began testing the chip with an undisclosed drug. Santini’s technology could be ideal for delivering new protein drugs. Most proteins must be injected into the bloodstream because they are too fragile to survive the digestive system. But an implanted chip could replace such injections. And with the sequencing of the human genome, Santini says, “There’s going to be an explosion in protein compounds in the next five to 10 years.”

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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