Manu Prakash is an assistant professor of bioengineering at Stanford University and physicist working at the molecular scale to try and understand no less than how the world really works. As he told BusinessWeek in 2010, he is humbled and inspired by nature’s own solutions to the world’s biggest problems. “I build and design tools to uncover how and why biological systems so often outsmart us. I believe one day we will be able to understand the physical design principles of life on Earth, leading to a new way to look at the world we live in.”
Born in Meerut, India, Prakash earned a BTech in computer science and engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur before moving to the United States. He did his master’s and PhD in applied physics at MIT before founding the Prakash Lab at Stanford.
Prakash’s ultra-low-cost, “print-and-fold” paper microscope won a $100,000 grant from the Gates Foundaton in 2012.
The LA Times, Manu Prakash, newly minted MacArthur ‘genius,’ builds water computers and origami microscopes
National Geographic, Manu Prakash, Biophysicist and MacArthur Fellow
The New Yorker, Through the Looking Glass
MIT Technology Review, Imaginative inventions liberate science from the ivory tower.