Carnegie Mellon University
January 23, 2012

Press Release: Carnegie Mellon's Christopher Bettinger Receives National Academy of Sciences' Research Award

He's Honored For His Work To Improve Implanted Medical Devices

Contact: Chriss Swaney / 412-268-5776 /

Christopher BettingerPITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University's Christopher Bettinger is the recipient of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Award for Initiatives in Research for his innovative work on advanced materials for next-generation implanted medical devices.

Supported by Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs, the NAS Award for Initiatives in Research recognizes "innovative young scientists and encourages research likely to lead toward new capabilities for human benefit." Bettinger will receive the award, which comes with a $15,000 prize, April 30 at the NAS' 149th annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

"This is a wonderful honor as I continue to work to improve materials that will degrade benignly in the body, and ultimately, on materials that will sense their surroundings and respond deftly to help cure disease," said Bettinger, an assistant professor in the departments of Materials Science and Engineering and Biomedical Engineering.

Bettinger has worked at the interface of materials science and biomedical engineering for more than 10 years. He has conceived and produced a number of innovations that aim to better integrate medical devices with the human body. These technologies include new synthetic materials that mimic the natural properties of soft tissue and biodegradable electronics that could usher in a new era of electronically active implants. His work is designed to lead to broader advances in the field of medical devices to reduce the burden of human disease and improve quality of life.

The NAS Award is just one of many accolades for Bettinger. Last year, he was selected a member of the TR Class of 2011 by a panel of expert judges and the editorial staff of Technology Review for his pioneering work in materials science and biomedical engineering.

Pradeep K. Khosla, the Dowd University Professor and dean of Carnegie Mellon's College of Engineering, praised Bettinger for his innovative problem-solving research.

The NAS is a private, nonprofit institution that was established under a congressional charter signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It recognizes achievement in science by election to membership, and — with the National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine and National Research Council — provides science, technology, and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations.

More information about the NAS Award for Initiatives in Research, including a list of past recipients is located at