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Two receive Innovator of Year award

Dimitry Burdjalov / Lantern photographer

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Ohio State innovators are fighting cancer treatment’s side effects and improving stress tests for diagnosing cardiovascular disease.

Researchers gathered Wednesday morning at the Inaugural State of Research Address in the Ohio Union for the announcement of the 2010 Innovator of the Year award.

The award recognizes researchers who are working to commercialize the university’s intellectual property.

Fifteen researchers were nominated by the college deans to receive the award. A selection committee composed of both internal and external members narrowed down the list of nominees.

Ching-Shih Chen received the first Innovator of the Year award for his cancer research.

Chen has been working with anti-cancer agents which can target molecule defects in cancer cells. New drugs could target those defects and minimize side-effects of treatments.

“One of the major problems with current chemotherapy are the side-effects,” Chen said. “Many patients end up giving up therapy because of these side-effects.”

Chen and his team are working to design a new type of therapy to minimize side-effects and make treatment more effective.

Caroline Whitacre, vice president for research, and Christine Poon, dean of the Fisher College of Business, presented Chen with the award.

Monica Giusti, assistant professor for the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Science, agreed research at OSU is beginning to take on real applications in the world.

“We have come to the point where research isn’t staying in the lab and the scientific area but is really being communicated to the society,” Giusti said. “We are in a period of real innovation and growth.”

Dr. Subha Raman received the Early Career Innovator of the Year award for her work diagnosing cardiovascular disease through stress testing. Raman and her team are working to commercialize a treadmill that will be used to perform such tests.

“We’re looking at arteries that are prone to plaque buildup and developing noninvasive ways to pick up early changes that can be treated,” Raman said. “The goal is to make more accurate diagnoses so people can get the right treatment and improve their cardiovascular health.”

After receiving the award, Raman said, “It is humbling to be recognized in this fashion, and I hope to do more towards improving cardiovascular health.”

Chen and Raman will be featured at the Tech Columbus Innovation Showcase in February for their work.  

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