Engineering Diversity

Rebecca Richards-Kortum, PhD

Rebecca Richards-Kortum is the Malcolm Gillis University Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Rice University. Guided by the belief that all of the world’s people deserve access to health innovation, Richards-Kortum’s research and teaching focus is on the development of low-cost, high-performance technologies for remote and low-resource settings. She is known for providing vulnerable populations with access to life-saving health technologies that address diseases and conditions that cause high morbidity and mortality, such as cervical and oral cancer, premature birth, sickle cell disease and malaria. Richards-Kortum’s research and engineering design efforts have led to the development of 40 patents. She is author of the textbook Biomedical Engineering for Global Health published by Cambridge University Press (2010), more than 315 refereed research papers and 13 book chapters. In July 2017, the MacArthur Foundation named an international team of collaborators led by Richards-Kortum a finalist for its 100&Change $100 million grant competition for its plan to end preventable newborn deaths in Africa within 10 years. As part of this plan, Richards-Kortum and her team are developing and implementing Newborn Essential Solutions and Technologies, or NEST 360°, which is an integrated group of 17 lifesaving neonatal technologies that could prevent half of the newborn deaths in Africa.