Edlich-Henderson Innovator of the Year Award

Celebrating impact through innovation

The highest honor bestowed on University of Virginia innovators, the Edlich-Henderson Innovator of the Year award recognizes an individual or team each year whose research discovery is making a major impact.

Named for UVA Professor Emeritus Dr. Richard F. Edlich and Christopher J. ("Goose") Henderson, a 25-year veteran of privately owned financial services businesses, the award is a tribute to their enduring support of and commitment to the University and its innovators.

In 2012, the award title and criteria were modified to be more inclusive of University innovators pursuing a variety of different paths to achieve impact for their discoveries. Eligible nominees are current University of Virginia faculty, staff or students whose research discoveries are making a major impact. Prior to 2012, the award was known as the Edlich-Henderson Inventor of the Year award. Award winners receive a $10,000 cash prize and formal recognition at a special awards reception.

Past honorees:

John A. Hossack, Ph.D
N. Scott Barker, Ph.D.

Arthur W. Lichtenberger, Ph.D.

Robert M. Weikle II, Ph.D.

Benton H. Calhoun, Ph.D.

James A. Smith, Ph.D.

J. Randall Moorman, M.D.

Marcia A. Invernizzi, Ph.D.

Robin A. Felder, Ph.D.

Boris P. Kovatchev, Ph.D.

Kevin R. Lynch, Ph.D.

Timothy L. Macdonald, Ph.D.

John P. Mugler, Ph.D.

James R. Brookeman, Ph.D.

George T. Rodeheaver, Ph.D.

Wladek Minor, Ph.D.

George T. Gillies, Ph.D.

Benjamin M. Gaston, M.D.
John F. Hunt, Ph.D.

Haydn N.G. Wadley, Ph.D.

William A. Petri Jr., M.D., Ph.D.
Barbara J. Mann, Ph.D.

Joel M. Linden, Ph.D.

Doris Kuhlmann-Wilsdorf, Ph.D.

Ronald P. Taylor, Ph.D.

John C. Herr, Ph.D.

Richard L. Guerrant, M.D.
Timothy L. Macdonald, Ph.D.

Jessica J. Brand
Patrice G. Guyenet, Ph.D.
Richard D. Pearson, M.D.
Janine C. Jagger, Ph.D.

Donald F. Hunt, Ph.D.
Jeffrey Shabanowitz, Ph.D.
George C. Stafford Jr., Ph.D

Gerald L. Mandell, M.D.
Gail W. Sullivan

Joseph Larner, M.D., Ph.D.

Robert M. Berne, M.D.
Luiz Belardinelli, M.D.
Rafael Rubio, Ph.D.

2016 Edlich-Henderson Innovator of the Year

John A. Hossack, Ph.D. 

Hossack, a professor of biomedical engineering, has focused his research on the use of ultrasound and microbubbles in imaging and drug delivery. His innovative discoveries played a role in three successful startup companies headquartered in Charlottesville. 

Hossack uses ultrasound technology – similar to a highly scaled-down version of sonar – for cardiac imaging, bone-surface imaging and molecular imaging. He frequently uses microbubbles – tiny gas-filled bubbles in the range of 1 to 4 microns in diameter – in combination with focused ultrasound to allow for localized drug delivery.

“Ultrasound is particularly good for imaging the heart, because it’s capable of fast acquisition, and it’s inexpensive, portable and easy to operate,” Hossack said. “One of the key observations we obtain from ultrasound is the changing geometry of organs or vessels, so that we obtain measures of organ function, and in the case of the heart, of how well the heart is operating as a pump for the blood circulatory system.” Read more.

2016 Edlich-Henderson Innovators of the Year

N. Scott Barker, Ph.D.; Arthur W. Lichtenberger, Ph.D.; Robert M. Weikle II, Ph.D.

Barker and  Weikle, professors of electrical and computer engineering, and Lichtenberger, research professor of electrical and computer engineering, respectively, have spent years working on materials, devices, circuits and systems for the measurement and detection of terahertz radiation, or THz.
Terahertz radiation refers to frequencies on the electromagnetic spectrum that are invisible to the naked eye and that fall in between microwave and infrared wavelengths. Until recently, the means to detect the tiny wavelengths of THz did not exist.

Their work has practical applications in fields like radio astronomy and compact radar surveillance. The team developed
a unique THz wafer probe to measure the electromagnetic characteristics of electronic devices and circuits. Their small probe eliminates much of the cost and error associated with traditional methods of THz measurement and allows users to measure higher frequencies. Read more.