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Zhenan Bao is awarded the VinFuture Prize for female innovators

The chair of the School of Engineering’s Department of Chemical Engineering received the award for her innovations in bio-interfacing wearable health monitoring devices.
Zhenan Bao, the K. K. Lee Professor in the School of Engineering and chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering | Photo by Kathleen Hinkel

The inaugural VinFuture Prize has selected Zhenan Bao, the K. K. Lee Professor in the School of Engineering and chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering, the winner of its Female Innovator award, a $500,000 prize dedicated to an outstanding female researcher or innovator.

Bao was awarded this prize for scientific advancements from her pioneering work on the development of skin-inspired electronics and their applications to a range of medical and energy applications. She has developed a wide range of novel molecular design concepts for organic electronic materials and fabrication methods.

Her creation of novel organic materials with skin-like functions, such as stretchability, self-healing and biodegradability, is changing ways human will interact with electronics. They allow electronics to seamlessly interface with human body. Bao invented the skin-like “BodyNet,” a soft, integrated, wireless tag that include sensors, screens and smart devices that can be attached or implanted into the human body. These include intracranial pressure monitors, blood flow monitors and the means to track body movements.

Prize winners were announced at the inaugural VinFuture Prize Award Ceremony on Jan. 20 in Hanoi, Vietnam. The international event honored outstanding scientific achievements and promoted innovations for humanity in 2021 with the participation of world-leading scientists, policy makers, leaders of technology corporations and prize winners.

The VinFuture Prize is supported by the VinFuture Foundation, an independent nonprofit established by Phạm Nhật Vượng, founder and chairman of Vingroup Corporate, and his wife, Phạm Thu Hương, to create meaningful change in the everyday lives of millions by recognizing and rewarding transformative innovation in sci-tech.

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