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Eszter Boros Named 2020 Moore Inventor Fellow

Invention paves the way for the application of scandium radioisotopes in the non-invasive, early diagnosis and targeted radiotherapy of cancers

Eszter Boros, assistant professor in the College of Arts and Sciences Department of Chemistry, was named a 2020 Moore Inventor Fellow by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The fellowship supports scientist-inventors who create new tools and technologies with a high potential to accelerate progress in the foundation’s areas of interest: scientific discovery, environmental conservation and patient care. Boros was nominated for the fellowship based on the commercial potential of her research, combining a radioactive targeted molecular probe and therapeutic that has the potential to provide pre-operative nuclear imaging and subsequent radiotherapeutic intervention for incurable prostate cancer.

Eszter Boros
Eszter Boros

Specifically, Boros is developing radioactive theranostics that can be injected into the human body and used both as a diagnostic, to detect and localize disease, and also as a therapeutic, to treat the disease. Her invention, which enables the highly selective capture of radioactive metal ions, such as those of the element scandium, paves the way for the application of scandium radioisotopes in the non-invasive, early diagnosis and targeted radiotherapy of cancers.

“I am so excited and pleased Eszter is selected as a Moore Inventor Fellow, Stony Brook’s first,” said Nicole S. Sampson, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and SUNY distinguished professor of Chemistry. “She is truly a Renaissance woman, combining fundamental inorganic chemistry and metal radiochemistry with modern imaging methods to provide personalized medical  treatments of cancer and microbial infections.”

While their backgrounds and fields of expert knowledge are varied, the fellows all share a common curiosity about our world and a passion for transformative ideas. 

“This is great news for Stony Brook University, wherein the Stony Brook University Chapter of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI-SBU) is promoting “Academic Inventions;” in fact, Eszter received the 2019 Young Academic Inventor Award from NAI-SBU, which recognizes some of the most promising young academic inventors,” said Iwao Ojima, SUNY distinguished professor of Chemistry, director of the Institute of Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery and president of the Stony Brook University Chapter of the National Academy of Inventors. “Eszter has demonstrated an outstanding entrepreneurial mindset during her academic career, thus, her recognition as a Moore Inventor Fellow further vindicates her outstanding potential and bright perspective as a leading academic inventor.”

Boros received her PhD from the University of British Columbia. Her research focuses on harnessing the rich structural diversity of metal complexes for the design of new metal-based molecular imaging probes and therapeutics for personalized medicine. An expert in PET imaging and MRI, Boros utilizes synthetic and inorganic chemistry to design new imaging agents for cancer and infectious disease. She is also a recipient of a 2020 NSF CAREER award. 

“Eszter is a true innovator in every sense of the word, building on the legacy of Nobel Laureate Paul Lauterbur, who made his pioneering discoveries in Magnetic Resonance Imaging as a chemistry faculty member at Stony Brook,” said Peter Tonge, SUNY distinguished professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry. “Fifty years ago, Paul Lauterbur’s daughters made trips to the local beach to dig up tiny clams for his imaging experiments, little knowing that in 2016, 39 million MRI scans would be performed in the US. Eszter’s research has the potential to make a similar impact on human health, and we are proud to have her in our department!”

This year, the Moore Foundation received nearly 200 nominations, from which five fellows were selected. Each fellow receives a total of $825,000 over three years to drive their invention forward, which includes $50,000 per year from their home institution as a commitment to these outstanding individuals.

Launched in 2016 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Moore’s Law, the revolutionary prediction that anticipated the exponential growth of computing power, the fellowship embraces the spirit of Gordon Moore’s passion for science and penchant for inventing. The foundation expects the Moore Inventor Fellows will enable breakthroughs that accelerate progress over the next 50 years. This marks the fifth cohort of fellows and the second completed cohort. The foundation plans to allocate a total of nearly $34 million through 2026 to support 50 Moore Inventor Fellows — five fellows per year for ten years, beginning in 2016. 

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation fosters path-breaking scientific discovery, environmental conservation, patient care improvements and preservation of the special character of the Bay Area. Visit Moore.org or follow @MooreFound. 

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