Bioengineering Seminar Series

Primary tabs

"Design and Translation of New Technologies to Solve Patient-Driven Problems: Examples from Newborn Health, Women’s Health and COVID-19"

Rebecca Richards-Kortum, Ph.D.
Professor of Bioengineering
Director, Rice 360° Institute for Global Health
Founder, Beyond Traditional Borders Undergraduate Global Health Program
Rice University


This talk will examine the challenges of designing and translating new biophotonics technologies to solve real clinical needs, drawing from examples to improve early detection of cervical cancer for women in Texas and Latin America, to improve point-of-care diagnosis of COVID-19, and to improve newborn survival in African hospitals. The talk will summarize lessons learned to increase the impact and sustainability of the resulting innovations.

Guided by the belief that all of the world’s people deserve access to health innovation, Professor Rebecca Richards-Kortum’s research and teaching focus on developing low-cost, high-performance technology for low-resource settings. She is known for providing vulnerable populations in the developing world access to life-saving health technology, focusing on diseases and conditions that cause high morbidity and mortality, such as cervical and oral cancer, premature birth, and malaria. Richards-Kortum is also leading a multi-institutional team to develop a package of 17 life-saving neonatal technologies, designed for low-resource settings while providing the same efficacy a related technologies used in North America, but at a fraction of the cost.

Current technologies are being tested and applied through multidisciplinary collaborations with clinicians and researchers at Rice, the UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine, UT Health Science Center-Houston, the British Columbia Cancer Agency. Over the past few years, Richards-Kortum and collaborators have translated these technologies from North America to both low- and medium-resource developing countries (Malawi, China, Botswana, El Salvador, and Brazil).

The Bioengineering Seminar Series is co-hosted by the Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience, and the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University.




  • No categories were selected.


  • No keywords were submitted.

Target Audience