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Internationally Recognized Engineer to Join WWHI

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Active ImageThe West Wireless Health Institute (WWHI), one of the world's first medical research organizations dedicated to advancing health and well-being through the use of wireless technologies, today announced renowned engineer Mehran Mehregany will join the Institute as its executive vice president of engineering and chief of engineering research. Mehregany will be responsible for planning and implementing the Institute's engineering research and academic initiatives and will begin November 2nd.

Mehregany is considered one of the preeminent minds in microsystems technology and is an entrepreneur who has founded, financed and managed a number of technology startups. He joins WWHI from Case Western Reserve University, where he has been a faculty member in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science since 1990. While at Case Western, he also served as the director of the MEMS Research Center for seven years and spent three years as chairman of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department. He has held the Goodrich Professor of Engineering Innovation endowed chair since 2000, before which he held the George S. Dively Professor of Engineering endowed chair.

"My career thus far has centered on developing innovative microsystems, and I can't think of a more exciting place to continue my passion than in the emerging field of wireless health," said Mehregany. "Microsystems technology will help drive individualized medicine by enabling noninvasive, miniature sensors that can be placed on or in a patient's body. The opportunities are unlimited when you consider these small devices managing all types of diagnostics and therapy remotely through a cellular or body area network connection."

WWHI, launched on March 30, 2009, was founded with a $45 million gift from the Gary and Mary West Foundation. In addition to founding the Institute, Gary West is chairman of the board of directors. He is joined on the board by Dr. Eric J. Topol, chief academic officer at Scripps Health and holder of the Gary and Mary West Chair of Innovative Medicine, and Donald Jones, vice president of Health and Life Sciences at Qualcomm. The nonprofit Institute is headquartered in San Diego, California, the global hub for wireless life science research and development.

"We couldn't ask for a more respected leader to build a world-class engineering team for our organization," said West. "In addition to contributing his notable research expertise, Mehran will recruit exceptional post-docs from around the world to help develop ingenious sensors and devices that will change medicine. The collaboration between engineers and clinical teams in our classrooms and labs will be groundbreaking. Mehran will work hand in hand with Dr. Topol and our medical experts to help execute this vision."

Mehregany added, "The opportunity to accelerate technology that can save lives and reduce health care costs will be tremendously rewarding, as is the prospect for training postdoctoral fellows and developing educational resources for the field. I look forward to being a part of the West Wireless Health Institute and joining Gary West, Dr. Eric Topol and Don Jones as a catalyst for this game-changing industry."

Mehregany received his M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1986 and 1990, respectively. From 1986 to 1990, he was a consultant to the Robotic Systems Research Department at AT&T Bell Laboratories, where he was a key contributor to groundbreaking
microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) research. Mehregany has more than 300 publications describing his work, holds 18 U.S. patents, is the recipient of a number of awards and is an editor for the Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems. He previously served as the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering and assistant-to-the-president of the Transducers Research Foundation, where he currently serves as a trustee and its treasurer.

The West Wireless Health Institute (www.westwirelesshealth.org) is one of the first medical research organizations in the world supporting the exploration and application of wireless technologies to advance human health and well-being. The nonprofit Institute is fostering an unprecedented convergence of science, medicine, engineering and technology to change the way health care is delivered. Scripps Health is the Institute's primary health care affiliate and Qualcomm is its first technology sponsor. The West Wireless Health Institute is based in San Diego, California.

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