UNM Rainforest Innovations

sav edit_202202_UNM_ Chemistry_JeremyEdwards_HyunjuBlemel-croppedDr. Jeremy S. Edwards has been chosen to receive the 2022 Rainforest Innovation Fellow Award in recognition of his achievements as a leading innovator at the University of New Mexico. Dr. Edwards is a Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Chemistry & Chemical Biology Department.

The UNM Rainforest Innovations Board of Directors presents this special award each year to a university faculty inventor whose body of technologies have made a significant social and economic impact on society and the marketplace. The award will be presented to Dr. Edwards at the UNMRI Innovation Awards on April 26, 2022. The annual event also recognizes UNM faculty, staff, and students who have received issued U.S. patents and registered U.S. copyrights/trademarks within the past year. This year’s event will also acknowledge Dr. David G. Whitten for his selection as a 2021 National Academy of Inventors (NAI) Fellow.

Harnessing his knowledge of biology, chemistry, and engineering, Dr. Edwards drives science forward through his research activity and innovative technologies. During his graduate work, he was the first person to take genome sequence information and develop predictive mathematical models of bacteria metabolism. Around this time, it cost approximately $1 million to sequence the genome of a bacteria and $1 billion to sequence a human genome. The work accomplished by Jeremy and others has substantially reduced the cost of sequencing a human genome down to just a few hundred dollars. DNA sequencing technology has the potential to significantly and substantially impact health care, both directly by providing diagnostic and prognostic markers for the clinical setting, and indirectly by accelerating the pace of basic and clinical biomedical research.

Dr. Edwards received his Ph.D. in bioengineering at the University of California, San Diego, and completed postdoctoral training in genetics and genomics at Harvard Medical School. In 2003, he accepted a tenure track position in chemical engineering at the University of Delaware where he served as an Endowed Outstanding Named Professor of Engineering. Born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, he returned in 2005 and has since been a member of the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center and is now a Distinguished Professor and Chair in the Chemistry & Chemical Biology Department.

Dr. Edwards holds awards for teaching and research; has authored 48 peer-reviewed articles and reviews with over 12,000 citations and an h-index of 39; and while at UNM he has disclosed 16 technologies, received 10 U.S. issued patents and has 4 pending patents. Dr. Edwards in an elected fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and has received two DuPont Research Awards.

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