DISTINGUISHED RESEARCH PROFESSOR
Chong H. Ahn
College of Engineering and Applied Science
Chong Ahn, PhD, doesn’t have a medical background, but his devices are helping critically ill patients around the world.
Ahn, the Mitchell P. Kartalia Chair Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, has spent his career at UC’s College of Engineering and Applied Science working with chemists and doctors to design “labs on a chip,” tiny portable sensors that can help doctors diagnose and treat disease. He is director of the Ohio Center for Microfluidic Innovation at UC, where he develops point-of-care medical devices.
“UC is very good at collaboration. My success is all due to our multidisciplinary approach,” Ahn said.
A fellow of the Institute of Physics and the UC Graduate School, he holds 10 U.S. patents and his research has been recognized with more than $20 million in grant funding. He is an entrepreneur who recently sold his immunoassay business. Ahn has advised groups such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and serves on the editorial board of several prestigious journals.
In his nomination letter, CEAS Dean Paul Orkwis said Ahn’s work has been hugely influential and transformative in his field. “Chong has established a highly visible and sustainable research program that is impacting (the college’s) and UC’s research capabilities,” Orkwis said.
Ahn credits his success to his late mother, who raised him and his brother on their farm in South Korea. She taught him faith and the value of hard work and perseverance, lessons he imparts to his students, including the 30 PhD candidates and 25 master’s students he has advised.
“Have passion in your work. Do your best. And if you fail, never give up. Stand up and go,” he said.