Researcher’s invention named one of the year’s most groundbreaking products

A biotechnology invention born in a GW laboratory earned a top nod Wednesday in the R&D 100 Awards, described as the “Oscars of Innovation.”

A GW research group led by chemistry professor Akos Vertes created the LAESI-DP 1000 Direct Ionization System, which enhances how scientists can see molecules, before it was licensed to technology developer Protea Biosciences in 2008.

Chemistry professor Akos Vertes led the GW research group that invented the LAESI-DP 1000 Direct Ionization System. | Photo courtesy of the Office of Media Relations

R&D Magazine named the invention one of the top 100 technology and science innovations introduced into the market in the past year.

Protea Biosciences sold the first product last year, helping researchers get a better 2D and 3D image of cell tissues to improve studies like cancer research.

“It is humbling to see our technology listed in the company of these transformative inventions,” Vertes said in a release. “LAESI fills a gap in the increasingly sophisticated instrumentation for life sciences by reporting on biomolecules produced during the actual functioning of an organism, organ, tissue or cell.”

LAESI-DP 100 Direct Ionization System has also earned three other technology awards. The Scientist research journal named it one of the top 10 inventions of 2011 in March.

The innovation is one of the most recent success stories in GW’s technology research. While the University has looked to grow its research portfolio in recent years, commercializing that research is also starting to take off.

The two-year-old Office of Technology Transfer has redoubled efforts this year to license and patent inventions by GW researchers – striking deals with some technology companies to develop and sell the products in exchange for a cut of the revenue.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.