Wodicka wins Purdue commercialization award

October 25, 2010

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - George Wodicka, head of the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering and a professor of biomedical engineering and electrical and computer engineering, is the recipient of the 2010-2011 Outstanding Commercialization Award for Purdue University Faculty.

George Wodicka

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The award is given annually to a faculty member in recognition of outstanding contributions to, and success with, commercializing Purdue research discoveries. It was established with an endowment gift from the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership Foundation.

Under Wodicka's direction, the Weldon School has built upon a legacy of discovery and translational research to improve patient care through company partners such as Cook Inc. Licensed technologies are improving the practice of medicine in areas including wound care, surgery, cardiovascular and orthopaedic.

The Weldon School currently plays a key role in medical device development as part of the Indiana Clinical and Translational Science Institute with the Indiana University School of Medicine and supported by the National Institutes of Health. It also has been instrumental in creating the Purdue Imaging Center in partnership with Innervision and GE Healthcare, founded a graduate education partnership in bioengineering with the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez and collaborates closely with the Alfred E. Mann Institute for Biomedical Development at Purdue.

Wodicka co-founded Purdue's graduate program in biomedical entrepreneurship (Biomedship) with professors Tim Folta in the Krannert School of Management, Alyssa Panitch of the Weldon School and Keith March at the Indiana University School of Medicine. The program brings together teams of students with engineering and business expertise to assess clinical needs and form technological solutions with significant market potential. The program is supported by the Guidant and C.R. Bard foundations.

Wodicka conducts research in biomedical acoustics, the invention and application of sonic technologies to solve problems in clinical medicine. His current efforts include the design of acoustic guidance systems for clinical catheters and tubes and the development of acoustic biosensors to quantify airway obstructions and speech pathologies. Numerous government agencies, foundations and medical device corporations have supported his research program. He currently serves as a consultant to SonarMed Inc. of Indianapolis in its development of devices for respiratory care.

"Dr. Wodicka richly deserves this award," said Victor Lechtenberg, Purdue vice provost for engagement. "He could qualify solely on the basis of his research in biomedical acoustics. But beyond that, he has led his school into numerous ventures designed to turn vital discoveries into real-world applications."

Wodicka is the eighth recipient of the Outstanding Commercialization Award, which includes a $5,000 stipend.

A reception for Wodicka will be from 3:30-4 p.m. Nov. 4 in the Krannert Drawing Room. Wodicka will speak on "The Pulse of Miniature Sonar" at 4 p.m. in Krannert Auditorium in a lecture sponsored by Purdue's Office of Engagement. The event is open to the public, but those attending are asked to make a reservation with Cheryl Butz at cab@purdue.edu.

Wodicka also will be honored that evening along with 50 other Purdue researchers during the annual Inventors' Recognition Reception, sponsored by Purdue Research Foundation.

Writer: Judith Barra Austin, 765-494-2432, jbaustin@purdue.edu 

Sources:   Victor Lechtenberg, 765-494-9095, vll@purdue.edu

                   George Wodicka, 765-494-2998, wodicka@purdue.edu