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Özcan, Aydoğan

Özcan, Aydoğan (b. 1978, Istanbul), scientist. In 2016, he received the Rahmi Koç Medal of Science from Koç University in recognition for his “outstanding fundamental scientific contribution to computational imaging, microscopy and photonics, and the development of innovative technologies for telemedicine, medical sensing and diagnostic applications."

Özcan graduated from Istanbul Atatürk High School of Science in 1996 and completed a bachelor’s degree at Bilkent University Electrical and Electronics Engineering Department in 2000. In 2005, he received a doctorate from the Department of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, USA, staying on briefly as a postdoctoral fellow. In 2006, he became a researcher and lecturer at the Harvard Medical School Wellman Center for Photomedicine. In the following year, he was appointed assistant professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles, (UCLA) where he is still working at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He is also director of the Bio- and Nano-Photonic Laboratory connected to the Engineering Faculty and associate director at the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA. Professor Özcan holds more than 30 patents in the fields of telemedicine, medical sensing, nanoscopy and wide-angle and lenseless imaging, along with 20 patent applications pending approval. In addition to publishing over 450 articles, he also published the book, Non-destructive Optical Characterization Tools, in 2008. 

Professor Özcan’s most popular invention is an application that transforms a mobile phone into a microscope that can be used for blood testing, enabling the results to be sent to a medical center with one click and providing a cheap and quick method of patient diagnosis. Due to this invention, in October 2012, the American magazine, Popular Science, named him “one of the ten most brilliant scientists in the world”.

Professor Özcan is an elected member of several professional organizations, including the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE), the Optical Society of America and the Biomedical Engineering Society. He is a founder and member of the board of Holomic/Cellmic LLC, which was named a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum in 2015. He received the United States Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2011 and the Rahmi M. Koç Award for Science. His outstanding contribution to the fields of computational imaging, sensing and diagnosis earned him other awards from numerous prestigious organizations, including the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Photonics Society, the International Commission for Optics, the National Academy of Engineering Grainger Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Science Foundation, SPIE, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Okinawa Foundation. 

Abadan Unat, Nermin

Political scientist who received the Vehbi Koç Award for education in 2012.