Vadim Backman is director of the Biophotonics Center at Northwestern University. He co-founded two biomedical device companies: American BioOptics LLC, which develops fiber-optic technology to identify patients at high risk for colorectal cancer, and Nanocytomics, which develops nanocytology technology for early cancer detection.
Larry Birnbaum is co-founder and chief scientific adviser of Narrative Science, a company that extracts insights from pools of data, turning it into actionable stories and insights. His research focus has been in natural language processing, intelligent information systems, and human-computer interaction.
Alok Choudhary is Henry and Isabel Dever Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and a professor of at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He is the founding director of the Center for Ultra-scale Computing and Information Security (CUCIS), which involves several schools, National Labs and universities. Professor Choudhary is a fellow of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), fellow of the ACM (Association of Computing Machinery) and a fellow of the AAAS (American Academy of Advancement of Science).
Colgate is an expert in robotics, cobots, human-machine interaction, and haptic interface. Along with Michael Peshkin, he founded Tanvas, a company that brings haptic technology to touchscreens; Kinea Design, a leader in human/robotic collaboration technology that specializes in medical robotics; and Cobotics, Inc., a provider of intelligent assist devices to industry.
Mahvi is co-founder of Medical Engineering Innovations, a company that commercializes new technologies to fight liver cancer with more effective tools. Regarded as a leader in the development of new biomedical devices, Mahvi sits on the steering committee for Northwestern’s Center for Device Development and is a mentor to BriteSeed, a medical startup founded in the NUvention: Medical Innovation course.
Tobin Marks is the Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor of Chemistry, the Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and the Vladimir N. Ipatieff Professor of Catalyic Chemistry at Northwestern University. Tobin has received numerous awards for his work, including the distinguished 2017 Priestly Medal. Tobin currently runs the Tobin Marks group, a team of nearly 40 researchers working in four laboratories on catalysis and (in)organic electronic-themed research.
McCarthy is the executive director of the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute and a distinguished clinician and researcher in the field of cardiac surgery. He is also the chief of the division of Surgery-Cardiac Surgery at the Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine and the first Heller-Sacks Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery. McCarthy has authored or co-authored over 450 publications and has developed three valve repair rings in wide commercial use.
Dr. Phillip Messersmith is the Class of 1941 Professor in the Departments of Bioengineering and Materials Science and Engineering at UC Berkeley. He earned his B.S. degree in Life Sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana, M.S degree in Bioengineering from Clemson University, and his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering in 1993 from the University of Illinois at Urbana. Previously, Dr. Messersmith was a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University (1993-1994) and a faculty member at the University of Illinois at Chicago (1994-1997) and Northwestern University (1997- 2014). Messersmith currently leads the Messersmith Research Group which seeks to utilize biologically inspired strategies to develop new biomaterials for the repair, replacement, or augmentation of human tissue.
Nanotechnology expert Chad Mirkin has co-founded four startups, including Nanosphere Inc., a diagnostic equipment maker that uses nanotechnology principles to test for medical conditions, and AuraSense Therapeutics, a biotechnology company that commercializes spherical nucleic acid (SNA™) constructs as gene regulation and modulation agents for diseases. He is George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry, Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Medicine.
Moskal is founder and chief scientific officer of Naurex, an Evanston-based drug discovery company that develops therapies for difficult-to-treat depression and other central nervous system diseases. Its therapeutics include two rapid-acting antidepressants currently in clinical development.
Mrksich’s research combines synthetic chemistry with materials science to study important problems in cell biology. He is a co-founder of Arsenal Medical Inc., a medical devices company that has a stent product in clinical trials, and more recently co-founded SAMDI Tech, an early-stage technology company based on his new platform for analyzing biochemical reactions. Technology Review magazine named Mrksich as a "100 Top Young Innovators" in 2002.
Olson is a leader and pioneer in the field of computational materials design. In 1996, he co-founded QuesTek Innovations, a new-materials design company and global leader in integrated computational materials engineering. In 2005, QuesTek was named on Fortune magazine’s list of 25 breakthrough companies.
Peshkin has founded four startups to commercialize his technologies in robotics and human-machine interaction: Tangible Haptics, a company that “lets you feel what you see” on touchscreens; Kinea Design, a developer of robotic and mechatronic assist devices for physical therapy; Cobotics, Inc., commercializing collaborative robots; and Mako Surgical, in image-guided surgery.