Visiting Professor Mark E. Brezinski of the Research Laboratory of Electronics has won a five-year, $500,000 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. He was nominated for the award (the highest honor given by the US government to outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their independent research careers) by the NIH for his involvement in creating a new imaging technology called optical coherence tomography (OCT). The technique was originally developed to image the transparent tissues of the eye; Dr. Brezinski, a cardiologist and researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital, collaborated with Professor James Fujimoto of electrical engineering and computer science to adapt OCT for imaging of nontransparent tissues.
Dean L. Kamen, a lecturer in mechanical engineering and founder and president of DEKA Research and Development Corp., has received the $250,000 Heinz Award in the category of Technology, the Economy and Employment for his leadership in "awakening America to the excitement of technology." An inventor and entrepreneur, he developed the first wearable infusion pump for medical use, and in 1989 he founded FIRST (Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), which sponsors the annual National Robotics Championship (MIT Tech Talk, April 15, 1998). The Heinz Awards were established by Theresa Heinz in 1993 in honor of her husband, the late Sen. John Heinz, to recognize leaders in areas in which he was most active.
A version of this article appeared in the March 3, 1999 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 43, Number 21).