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National Academy of Engineering and Ohio University award 2019 Russ Prize

Marissa McDaid and Colleen Carow | Feb 21, 2019
2019 Russ Prize Gala
NAE President C.D. Mote, Jr.; Russ Prize recipients John B. Simpson, Leonard Pinchuck, Richard A. Schatz, and Paul G. Yock; and Ohio University President M. Duane NellisPhotos by: R.L. Stevens Photography

National Academy of Engineering and Ohio University award 2019 Russ Prize

Marissa McDaid and Colleen Carow | Feb 21, 2019
NAE President C.D. Mote, Jr.; Russ Prize recipients John B. Simpson, Leonard Pinchuck, Richard A. Schatz, and Paul G. Yock; and Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis
NAE President C.D. Mote, Jr.; Russ Prize recipients John B. Simpson, Leonard Pinchuck, Richard A. Schatz, and Paul G. Yock; and Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis Photos by: R.L. Stevens Photography

ATHENS, Ohio (Feb. 21, 2019) - The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) welcomed Ohio University Wednesday evening to present the 2019 Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize, the world’s top bioengineering award, to five recipients at a gala held at the NAE in Washington, D.C.

OHIO President M. Duane Nellis and NAE President C.D. Mote, Jr., honored the creators of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI,) the non-surgical procedure formerly known as angioplasty with a stent: Julio C. Palmaz of Napa, California, Leonard Pinchuk of Miami, Richard A. Schatz of La Jolla, California, John B. Simpson of Woodside, California, and Paul G. Yock of Stanford, California.

The biennial Russ Prize recognizes an international bioengineering achievement that has vastly improved the human condition. Established in 1999 at Ohio University by alumnus and esteemed engineer Fritz Russ, BSEE ’42, HON ’75, and his wife, Dolores, the prize was modeled after the Nobel Prize, and carries medals for all recipients and a $500,000 cash award. Past recipients have been honored for inventing kidney dialysis, the automated DNA sequencer and the mass production of antibiotics; and the technology that enabled the cochlear implant, and LASIK and PRK eye surgery, to name a few.

“Ohio University is proud to partner with the National Academy of Engineering to recognize internationally these five individuals who are true pioneers in the advancement of modern medicine and bioengineering,” said Ohio University President, M. Duane Nellis. “We are proud to honor these engineers for their invention, which has saved the lives of millions.” 

PCI is a minimally-invasive procedure that can replace or significantly delay the need for open heart coronary bypass surgery. The procedure increases blood flow, alleviating heart-related chest pain and increasing a patient comfort, ultimately enabling tens of millions of patients across the world to lead more active lives.

"One of the purposes of the Russ Prize is to help the public understand the great benefit of bioengineering to their everyday lives,” said Dennis Irwin, dean of OHIO’s Russ College of Engineering and Technology. “Hardly even a small city in the U.S. lacks this technology, and hardly a family has been unaffected by it."

In addition to Nellis and Irwin, Executive Vice President and Provost Chaden Djalali, Vice President for Advancement Nico Karagosian and other OHIO personnel joined Mildred “Midge” Crum – sister of Fritz Russ – Russ family, and engineers and innovators from across the world to celebrate the Russ legacy and OHIO’s partnership with the NAE.

The recipients will be invited to present lectures at OHIO’s main campus in Athens, Ohio.

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Contact: Colleen Carow, senior director of communications for the Russ College of Engineering and Technology, at carow@ohio.edu, or 740-593-1488; or Samantha Pelham, media relations specialist, at pelham@ohio.edu, or 740-597-1939.