The nominating institution Nanyang Technological University on the breakthrough:

Significant progress has been made in developing bioinspired sensors and actuators based on synthetic materials, although there remains a critical need to incorporate cost-effective and ecofriendly materials. Naturally abundant pollen grains were used as a material template to produce a paper-like actuator that can serve as the basis for self-propelled robots, flexible electronics, and multifunctional devices. These pollen-based material innovations can potentially replace plastics.

Nam-Joon Cho

Nanyang Technological University

Dr. Cho is a graduate of Stanford University where he earned an M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering, and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering. During his doctoral studies, Dr. Cho first gained an interest in research at the interface of molecular virology and biomaterials. Dr. Cho then continued his postdoctoral training in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He applied these engineering technologies to combat the Hepatitis C virus (HCV), which affects over 150 million people worldwide. His work has led to significant advances for treating HCV, including new drugs currently in preclinical or clinical trials. In addition, Dr. Cho has pioneered a novel approach to liver tissue engineering that has enabled an improved artificial organ system for studying liver disease.

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