Fred C. Davison Early Career Scholar Award 2019
Hitesh Handa, assistant professor in the School of Chemical, Materials and Biomedical Engineering, focuses on developing new biocompatible coating materials for medical implant applications. He strives to transform medical device research from a largely trial-and-error process to one guided by theoretical and experimental understanding of reaction pathways at the molecular level. His multidisciplinary work combines basic chemical sciences, materials chemistry and bioengineering with biology and animal models. Handa aims to develop coating materials that mimic the human body’s production of nitric oxide, which has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties and can prevent thrombosis on medical devices, making them safer for patients. Handa’s work has been funded by NIH, CDC, U.S. Army, Veteran Affairs, Geneva Foundation, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and various medical device companies. His research group has generated 10 patent disclosures in a three-year period, reflecting his desire to translate these technologies to clinical practice through his startup inNOveta Biomedical LLC.