Rebecca Richards-Kortum

In this Sept. 21, 2016 photo, Rebecca Richards-Kortum, a Rice University bioengineering professor pose for a photo in Houston. Babies were dying in the Malawi hospital and there was little Rebecca Richards-Kortum could do about it. (Marie D. De Jesus/Houston Chronicle via AP)Marie D. De Jesus—Houston Chronicle/AP
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  • Affiliation
    Rice University

Richards-Kortum and the Rice 360° Institute for Global Health were recently named semifinalists for a $100 million MacArthur grant. It’s not hard to see why. Richards-Kortum is a health pioneer and bioengineering prodigy who has brought groundbreaking yet affordable medical technology to some of the world’s poorest communities. From light-based therapies for jaundice in newborns to high-­resolution “microendoscopes” for cancer screenings, her innovations have improved care for thousands of underserved women and children.