Aydogan Ozcan, Chancellor’s Professor of Electrical Engineering and Bioengineering at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science and associate director of the UCLA California NanoSystems Institute, has been named a finalist for the Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists.

The awards, established by the Blavatnik Family Foundation and administered by the New York Academy of Sciences, recognize America’s top innovators, age 42 or younger, in the life sciences, physical sciences and engineering, and chemistry. The 31 finalists were selected from more than 300 nominees from the nation’s leading research institutions. The finalists compete for the three spots as 2016 Blavatnik National Laureates, an honor that comes with an unrestricted cash prize of $250,000.

Ozcan, 37, has developed photonics-based telemedicine technologies and built lens-free imaging devices for point-of-care diagnostics, sensing, and testing that may be integrated with cell phones.

Devices and techniques pioneered in Ozcan’s lab include computational on-chip microscopy platforms that can image single viruses and nanoparticles, and detect cancer and other abnormalities at the single-cell level; and lightweight, 3D-printed smartphone attachments that can diagnose diseases including malaria and HIV as well as pathogens such as giardia and E.coli in water samples. Portable and cost-effective, these mobile devices are practical for use in biomedicine as well as environmental monitoring in resource-poor areas.

In December of 2015, Ozcan was named the winner of the International Commission for Optics (ICO) Prize, given to groundbreaking researchers in optics who are under the age of 40.  In 2016 he received the Ernst Abbe Trophy from the Carl Zeiss Foundation for his seminal contributions to bio- and nano-photonics technologies, and was named a distinguished lecturer by the IEEE Photonics Society.

The full list of 2016 Blavatnik National Finalists can be found here.