Optical Pioneer Jerome Mertz Is BU’s 2020 Innovator of the Year

The BME professor is a prolific inventor whose innovations have made leaps and bounds in microscopy.

By Kat J. McAlpine, The Brink

Professor Jerome Mertz

Jerome Mertz, a Boston University College of Engineering professor of biomedical engineering and of electrical and computer engineering and a BU College of Arts & Sciences professor of physics, holds six issued patents for technologies that have greatly advanced microscopic imaging quality and capabilities. Some of his inventions—he’s disclosed 22 new ones during his time so far at BU—have made it easier and faster to get better images of thick breast, heart, and brain tissue, more clearly illuminating for clinicians what is happening inside the human body. Other technologies invented by Mertz have sped up microscopic imaging processes of tissues or other materials by up to 16 or 20 times faster. For his pioneering work, he’s been named BU’s 2020 Innovator of the Year, an honor bestowed annually by BU’s Office of Technology Development. The Brink reached out to Mertz to learn more about his passion for microscopy and how he gets ideas for his inventions.

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