AUSTIN, TexasAdam Heller, an acclaimed chemical engineering research professor and professor emeritus at The University of Texas at Austin, has been elected a fellow into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (AAAS), along with Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nelson Mandela, actor James Earl Jones, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and singer/ humanitarian Bono.
"Dr. Heller is an outstanding scientist who translates his discoveries into technology that helps people," said Gregory L. Fenves, dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering. "His election as an AAAS fellow is richly deserved."
As a child, Heller was detained in a concentration camp, but survived the Holocaust and earned degrees from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He immigrated to the United States in 1962. After postdoctoral work at the University of California, Berkeley and Bell Laboratories, he joined GTE Laboratories in 1964, where he developed the first inorganic liquid lasers and non-rechargeable lithium batteries. On his return to Bell Laboratories in 1975, he built efficient electrochemical solar cells and managed research on high-density chip interconnection technology.
In 1988 he joined The University of Texas at Austin as the Ernest Cockrell Sr. Chair in Engineering, designing photocatalysts applied in self-cleaning windows. At the university he also addressed his career's most important challenge: integrating electronics with biology to improve the lives of people with illnesses. He and members of his team were issued the core patents on electrical wiring of enzymes. These patents formed the basis of the continuous glucose monitor for diabetes management known as FreeStyle Navigator of TheraSense, a company founded by Heller's son, Ephraim.
With Ephraim, Ben Feldman, and others of TheraSense, Heller also developed a technology of coulometrically testing glucose levels using blood samples so small that they could be painlessly obtained. People suffe
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University of Texas at Austin