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Young Academic Inventor's Award Recipients


al Dr. Andy LaBella, (Ph.D. 2020, Biomedical Engineering, Stony Brook University).   “For his invention of a state-of-the-art PET detector module”.  Dr. Labella is currently an Imaging Physics Resident at Boston Children’s Hospital and a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Radiology at Stony Brook University School of Medicine. Dr. LaBella is working on the development and fabrication of medical imaging detectors for positron emission tomography (PET) in the Novel Medical Imaging Technologies (NMIT) lab under Dr. Amir Goldan. He received his B.Eng. in biomedical engineering and physics from Stony Brook University in 2016 and M.S. in biomedical engineering in 2018 and Ph.D. in biomedical engineering with a specialty in medical physics in 2020 from Stony Brook University.  Dr. LaBella developed Prism-PET, a cost-effective, high resolution PET detector module aimed at bringing organ-specific and total-body PET imaging to the clinical environment. 

af Dr. Andrew Fesler,  (Ph.D. 2018, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Stony Brook University Renaissance School of Medicine).   "For his invention of microRNA based cancer medicine platform technology".  Dr. Fesler is a Senior Scientist at Curamir Therapeutics Inc. He received his B.S. in biology from Manhattan College in 2011. He received his Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Stony Brook University in 2018, working in the lab of Dr. Jingfang Ju in the Pathology Department. His research is focused on understanding the role of miRNA in cancer as well as the potential of miRNAs as therapeutics. Working with Dr. Ju, he developed a 5-FU modified miRNA with enhanced therapeutic effects. This modification is a platform technology that can be applied to various different miRNAs in several cancer types. Curamir Therapeutics licensed this technology in 2019 and Dr. Fesler joined the company in 2020 to continue working on the development of these modified miRNA therapeutics. 

sr Dr. Sina Rashidian, (Ph.D. 2020, Computer Science, Stony Brook University). “For his inventions of software for gaze tracking and geocoding healthcare data”.  Dr. Rashidian is currently a Data Scientist at Verily Life Sciences. He received his B.Sc in computer engineering from Sharif University of Technology, Teheran, Iran in 2015 and Ph.D in computer science from Stony Brook University in 2020. He joined Harvard Medical School/Mass General Hospital after graduation as a researcher. Dr. Rashidian’s passion is to advance artificial intelligence in healthcare using cutting-edge technology. His efforts led to designing a novel eye gaze-based application running on the iOS operating system which helps patients with severe physical conditions communicate and improves their quality of lives. He also developed a new data-driven approach to geocode healthcare data compatible with HIPAA regulations.


  • A fhdrian F. Howansky,  (Ph.D. 2019, Biomedical Engineering, Stony Brook University). “For his invention of new flat panel imagers involving multiple X-ray conversion materials” . Dr. Howansky is currently a medical physics resident in the Department of Radiology at Stony Borok University Renaissance School of Medicine. He received numerous prestigious awards in medical imaging during his academic research career as Ph.D. candidate under the supervision of Dr. Wei Zhao.  His research paper published in SPIE Medical Imaging 2017 won him the 1st prize for Robert F. Wagner best student paper award for all conferences, and the 1st prize for the Physics of Medical Imaging conference. This is the most prestigious, and highly competitive award given to a graduate student by the SPIE Medical Imaging conference. The Department of Radiology made an early offer to Dr. Howansky to become a junior faculty in March 2020. He will be the key member of the inventor team to realize the “Hybrid Active Matrix Flat panel Imager”, which is included in an options agreement with Analogic Canada, and presented as part of their future product roadmap for interventional radiology imaging suite.

  pm Peter Milder, (Ph.D. 2010, Carnegie Mellon University, Postdoctoral Researcher 2010-2012 in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University). “ For his inventions of optimized hardware designs for efficient signal processing and machine learning . Dr. Milder is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Dr. Milder studies Automatic hardware generation and optimization tools; Domain-specific languages for hardware; Field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs); Hardware for signal processing, communication systems, computer vision, and other areas. His research combines aspects of hardware design, FPGAs, compilers, and CAD, and focuses on applications in machine learning, DSP, and networking. Dr. Milder has created and maintained the  Spiral DFT/FFT IP Core Generator, an online tool to generate flexible hardware implementations of the discrete Fourier transform suitable for implementation as ASIC or FPGA.  Dr. Milder is an accomplished educator. He has developed three new graduate course (Hardware Architectures for Deep Learning, Advanced Digital system Design and Generation, and VLSI System Testing), all with excellent feedback from students. In 2019, he was awarded the CEAS Excellence in Teaching Award.

  ps Priyanka Sharma, (Ph.D. 2014, CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory, Pune India. Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Chemistry, Stony Brook University)   “For her inventions leading to the development of nitro-oxidation method to extract nanocellulose from raw biomass, which drastically decreases the consumption of energy, chemicals and water". Dr. Sharma is currently a research scientist in the Department of Chemistry working in the laboratory group of Professor Benjamin Hsiao. Her work is focused on extraction of nanocellulose from various plant biomass. Dr. Sharma is a polymer chemist making breakthroughs in the use of untreated biomass (cellulose) – the most abundant natural polymer on earth - to sustainably develop carboxy-cellulose nanofibers. Dr. Sharma has developed a novel, efficient, single step Nitro-oxidation process that no longer requires pretreatment of the biomass (weeds, grass, and agricultural waste) in the synthesis of the nanofibers and the byproducts of this nitro oxidation process are useful and can be converted into plant fertilizers. These nanofibers have been shown to be quite effective in water purification. They can remove heavy metal ions, dyes impurities from water and have maximum adsorption capacities that rival the best-reported adsorbents currently available. Other potential applications include drug delivery, the development of fuel cell membranes and gas barrier films. Dr. Sharma has an exceptionally strong background in cellulose chemistry and applies it to develop sustainable technologies for water purification and energy storage-related applications.

mf  Michael Ferdman, (Ph.D 2012, Carnegie Mellon University, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Research Assistant 2008-2012, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland). "For his inventions on the hardware accelerators for deep learning and the system design for servers and memories". Dr. Ferdman is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science.  I He is the Co-Director of the  Computer Architecture Stony Brook (COMPAS). Dr. Ferdman’s research interests are in the area of computer architecture, with emphasis on the design of server systems. He works on the entire computing stack, from server software and operating systems, to networks and processor microarchitecture. His current research projects include FPGA accelerator integration into server environments (e.g., Intel HARP, Microsoft Catapult, and Amazon F1), FPGA programmability (e.g., virtual memory and high-level synthesis), accelerators for machine learning (e.g., convolutional neural networks), efficient network processing and software-defined networking, speculative performance and energy-enhancing techniques for high-performance processors, and programming models and mechanisms for emerging memory technologies (e.g., HBM and 3D XPoint).  Dr. Ferdman is a rising star in the computer architecture community with an extraordinary publication record. Many of his papers appeared in top computer science conferences such as ISCA, Micro, HPCA, ASPLOS, and received multiple best paper awards and other similar recognitions.

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ebEszter Boros, (Ph.D. 2011, Chemistry, University of British Columbia, Canada. Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Radiology, 2011-2015 and Instructor in Radiology, 2015-2017, Harvard Medical School/ Massachusetts General Hospital).    For her inventions of triazamacrocycle-derived chelators for the coordination   of imaging and therapy metal ions.  Dr. Boros is currently an Assistant Professor, Department of  Chemistry at Stony Brook University.    She joined the Department in 2017.    Dr. Boros' research program in "Medicinal Inorganic Chemistry" harnesses the rich structural diversity of metal complexes paired with their versatile luminescent and radioactive properties for the design of new metal-based molecular imaging probes and therapeutics for personalized medicine. She is currently developing probes for the following applications: (i) Imaging and treatment of bacterial infections with siderophores; (ii) Metal-based probes for the multimodal imaging of cancer; (iii) Immuno-PET probes for the imaging of pulmonary fibrosis.

clCristina Lazzarini, (Ph.D. 2014, Medical Mycology, University of Milan, Italy). For her innovative development of novel antifungal compounds.   Dr. Lazzarini is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology working in the laboratory group of Professor Maurizio Del Poeta, Stony Brook University School of Medicine.   Dr. Lazzarini's area of expertise is in infectious diseases with particular focus on mycological diseases. Currently, she is working on the role on fungal lipids in pathobiology of Cryptococcus neoformans.   Also, she is working on developing a new drug that can affect the fungal lipids pathway. Finding a new drug is very important since the last drug put on the market against fungi was approved 20 years ago. She is working on finding new methods that help detecte particular strains of Candida, epidemiological studies on patient’s  population, detection of resistant strains through laboratory accredited techniques and developing of new antifungal drugs.

  khKrupanandan Haranahalli,   (Ph.D. 2016, Chemistry, Stony Brook University).  F or her invention of a new class of highly potent antifungal compounds.  Dr. Haranahalli is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Chemistry and ICB&DD in the laboratory group of Professor Iwao Ojima at Stony Brook University. Dr. Haranahalli is an organic chemist with an area of expertise in medicinal chemistry.  She has extensive experience in design, synthesis and  characterization of novel small molecules, polymer-assisted solution phase combinatorial library syntheses, SAR studies to identify hit to lead compounds.  She is currently working on the design and synthesis of a novel acylhydrazones as inhibitors of fungal sphingolipid synthesis.  


amirAmirhossein Goldan,  (Ph.D. 2011, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Waterloo, Canada; Postdoctoral Research, Natural Sciences and Eng. Research Council of Canada, 2014-2016).   For his innovative development and fabrication of medical imaging detectors for positron emission tomography (PET) and digital mammography.   Dr. Amirhossein Goldanis currently a Research Assistant Professor of Radiology at Stony Brook University School of Medicine. Dr. Goldan  is working on the development and fabrication of medical imaging detectors for positron emission tomography (PET) and digital mammography. He received his. B.A.S.(2005) and M.A.S.(2007) degree in electrical engineering from Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC, Canada, Ph.D. (2011) in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Waterloo, Canada. Dr. Goldan has extensive experience in amorphous selenium (a-Se) devices and has co-invented, developed and fabricated a number of different direct and indirect detector technologies. He has successfully built the first a-Se UTD detector using the patented field-shaping multi-well technology and demonstrated more than two orders-of-magnitude improvement in temporal performance.  

   ming Ming-Yu Ngai, (Ph.D. 2008, Chemistry, Univ. of Texas, Austin; Postdoctoral Research, Stanford Univ. 2009-2011; Harvard Univ. 2011-2013)   For his inventions of highly efficient synthetic methods for pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals, as well as radiopharmaceuticals for PET imaging .   Dr. Ngai is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry.  Dr. Ngai’s research focuses on developing novel and practical synthetic methodologies to address unmet challenges in organic synthesis and medicinal chemistry, and (ii) identifying and developing new radiotracers for Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging to elucidate disease mechanisms, identify drug targets, assess treatment efficacy, and accelerate drug discovery and development. Dr. Ngai’s research interests are multidisciplinary, covering organic and organometallic chemistry, photochemistry, radiochemistry, and biomedical imaging. Dr. Ngai received his Ph.D. (2008) in Chemistry from University of Texas, Austin.  He was awarded a Croucher Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at Stanford University and worked in the laboratory of Professor Barry M. Trost (2009-2011).  He also performed postdoctoral research at Harvard University in the laboratory of Professor Tobias Ritter (2011-2013).  Dr. Ngai has an exceptionally strong background in chemical synthesis and applies it to molecular imaging for diagnosis and therapy.

  dmyDmytro Gudkov,  (Ph.D. 2013, Electrical Engineering, Stony Brook University.)   For his innovative design and development of ultra-sensitive single and multi-channel fluorescent detectors for application in the field of life sciences.   Dr. Dmytro Gudkov is a Research Scientist in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Stony Brook University.  He received his B.S. (2004) in electrical engineering from the Kharkov National University of Radio Electronics in Kharkov, Ukraine, M.S. (2011) and Ph.D. (2013) in electrical engineering from Stony Brook University. Dr. Gudkov developed a novel circuit for detecting single photons with high efficiency. His innovative design and development concerns with the development of ultra-sensitive single and multi-channel fluorescent detectors for application in the field of life sciences.



  luisaDr. Luisa Escobar-Hoyos,   (Ph.D. 2015, Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, Stony Brook Univ.; Postdoctoral Research, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center)  For her discovery and Inventions on “Keratin 17 as a prognostic and  predictive marker of cancer and cancer Treatment”.   Dr.  Escobar-Hoyos  is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology, Stony Brook School of Medicine.  She received her B.Sc. (2007) in biology from Pontifica Universidad Javeriana, Bogota, Colombia and M.Sc. (2010) in biomedical sciences from Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia and  Ph.D. (2015), in Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology from Stony Brook University. She performed postdoctoral research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Escobar-Hoyos received the Stony Brook University President’s Award for Distinguished Doctoral Student. She was named the 2017 recipient of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network AACR Pathway to Leadership Award.  


  MartinDr. Martin Kaczocha,  (Ph.D. 2009 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Stony Brook Univ.; Postdoctoral Research, Stony Brook University).  For his discovery and inventions on “Fatty acid binding proteins as drug  targets for pain control through modulation of endocannabinoid  metabolism”.   Dr. Martin Kaczocha is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Anesthesiology; Biochemistry and Cell Biology at Stony Brook University School of Medicine. He received his B.Sc. (2004) in pharmacology (with honors) and Ph.D. (2009) in biochemistry and molecular biology from Stony Brook University. He performed postdoctoral research in Biochemistry at Stony Brook University. He is currently the recipient of two principal investigator awards from The National Institute of Drug Abuse. (2013-2018 and 2014-2018).


   joeDr. Joseph Marino,   (Ph.D. 2012, Department of Computer Science, Stony Brook University).   For his inventions on “System and method for improving diagnostics in  medical imaging applications through the use of novel and enhanced  visualization techniques”.   Dr. Joseph Marino is a Postdoctoral Research Associate under the mentorship of Dr. Arie Kaufman in the Department of Computer Science at Stony Brook University.  He is also the Chief Technology Officer of Zortag, Inc. in Great Neck, New York. He received his B.Sc. (2006) in computer sciences and applied mathematics and statistics (with honors) and Ph.D. (2012) in computer sciences from Stony Brook University. Dr. Marino is the Long Island Technology Hall of Fame Patent Award Winner of 2016.