SEAM Millenium Award 2000



Professor Kalle Levon is awarded the SEAM Millenium Award
This is the first time this has been awarded

Kalle Levon, born May 18th 1951, is a professor of polymer chemistry at Polytechnic Institute of New York University. Professor Levon recieved his BSc and MSc degrees in Organic Chemistry at Helsinki University in 1976 and 1981, respectively. He concluded his education receiving his doctoral degree at the prestigious Tokyo University in 1986. He started his teaching career at Polytechnic University in 1989 after a postdoctoral position with professor Frank Karazs at University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Dr Levon soon was promoted to full professorship and departmental leadership in 1995. He led the combined department of chemistry, materials science and chemical engineering for seven years and pioneered the departmental transition from chemistry to the field of biological sciences and engineering with successful fundraising of more than $5M for departmental development. The department climbed from the bottom position to largest in doctoral studies and research at Polytechnic University. During his leadership period, he initiated degree programs in Biomedical Engineering, Biomedical Sciences (premed), and Bioinformatics. At the same, he acted as the Director of Polymer Research Institute (1997-2003) and organized various symposia in the intergating fields of polymer research and biotechnology, and served as the Chairman of a conference for Gene Delivery Systems (1999), Biochips (2001), Nanomedicine (2004) and Macromolecules for Sustainable, Safe and Healthy Life (2007). Nobel lauretes Pierre de Gennes, Alan McDiarmid and Alan Heeger, were among the invited speakers.

His further administrative period at the Dean of Research and Intellectual Property focused on building the University patent portfolio and the number of patents rouse above 40 applications in the short time. In parallel, he initiated and founded the BEST incubator center – Brooklyn Enterprise for Science and Technology.

The pioneered transition has brought the University closer the health sciences and engineering with the initiation of undergraduate premed program, and graduate programs in biomedical engineering and bioinformatics.  Dr Levon has been the leading forerunner by taking the lead of teaching new courses: Biosensors, Tissue Engineering, Sequence Analysis and Protein Structure/Property Relationship. His research funding with more than $5M in the past ten years has led to novel discoveries in the health diagnostics including bacteria, virus, protein and DNA detection. The engineering approach using organic electronics for the diagnostics with the discovery of cancer markers at an early stage, a very important form of change detection revealing early alerts before the symptoms appear. Dr. Levon continues his focused efforts on the early detection of diseases for optimal preventive care opportunities and to assist medical doctors for their point-of-care diagnostics.

Dr Levon has conducted research in the field of organic electronics/conducting polymers since 1981 focusing mostly of chemical modification and structural analysis of the electroactive polymers. In the end of 90’s, he shifted his research direction towards medical diagnostics, still using his expertise in organic electronics. He has received over $6M in funding for his research for the conducting polymers, largest individual grant being the DARPA grant in 1999 for $2.8M. Presently he has published papers in early cancer detection, DNA hybridization and other immunoassay-type approaches.

Kalle Levon is  a member of National Institute of Health’s (NIH) study group called Biointerfaces and Biomaterials. This group meets three times a year to review over 100 proposal applications in the fields of biosensors, diagnostic devices, and tissue engineering scaffolds, as examples. Levon is also on the board of Journal of Nanomedicine and is in the governing board of Nanomedicine and Drug Delivery Systems, an international symposium organizing community.













Design made by Vishwan Aranha.