January 23, 2020
Ann Arbor, MI JANUARY 23, 2020—Aaron Morris, MS, PhD—a 2018 recipient of a Precision Health Scholars Award and a research fellow in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan—has been selected as a TED Fellow. Chosen for his work on tissue-engineered diagnostic sites, Morris joins a class of 20 change-makers from around the world to deliver a talk on the TED stage this April in Vancouver.
“The Precision Health Scholars Award provided the opportunity to pursue exciting new lines of research in the lab,” said Morris. “Our current work focuses on entirely new diagnostic paradigms, and I decided to apply for the TED fellowship to bring attention to some of these unconventional ideas.”
Morris’s Precision Health–funded research initially focused on multiple sclerosis (MS), but has evolved to include other autoimmune diseases. He develops diagnostic/prognostic devices that can be implanted under the skin and enable safe and easy biopsies, serving as a synthetic diagnostic site. The devices interact with the immune system and contain molecular information related to diseased sites within the body. These devices are able to monitor onset and treatment responsiveness in metastatic cancer and autoimmune diseases.
“I’m very excited to present my TED talk in April and meet and interact with everyone at TED,” Morris said. “I think it will help bring attention to the work and identify possible collaborators to move the work forward. For a long time, I’ve been involved in scientific outreach, and it is harder to think of a bigger platform for communicating science in a tangible way than the TED stage.”
“TED Fellows are an incredibly diverse group, but they all have at least one thing in common: they are tackling extremely important problems in a unique and brilliant way. This year’s class is no exception,” said TED Fellows director Shoham Arad.
Founded in 2009, the TED Fellows program now has 492 Fellows from 99 countries: a powerful, far-reaching network made up of scientists, doctors, activists, artists, entrepreneurs, inventors, journalists, and beyond. The program brings together young innovators from around the world and across disciplines, who display both outstanding achievement and exemplary character, to raise international awareness of their work and maximize their impact. Go to ted.com/fellows to view a complete list of all new 2020 TED Fellows and TED Senior Fellows.
Applications for the 2021 TED Fellows class will be open later this year. Interested applicants should visit the TED Fellows program website for information and updates about the fellowship here.
- By: Clarissa Piatek, Communications Manager, University of Michigan Precision Health