Dean Kamen is an inventor, an entrepreneur and a tireless advocate for science and technology. His passion for technology and its practical uses has driven his personal determination to spread the word about technology’s virtues and by so doing to change the culture of the United States.
As an inventor, he holds more than 440 U.S. and foreign patents, many of them for innovative medical devices that have expanded the frontiers of health care worldwide. In 1976, he founded his first medical device company, AutoSyringe, Inc., to manufacture and market infusion the pumps and later sold that company to Baxter Healthcare Corporation.
Following the sale of AutoSyringe, Inc., he founded DEKA Research & Development Corporation to develop internally generated inventions and to provide research and development for major corporate clients. Kamen has led DEKA’s development on many projects including: HomeChoice™ peritoneal dialysis system for Baxter International Inc.; technology to improve slide preparation for the CYTYC (now Hologic Inc.) ThinPrep® Pap Test; critical components of the UVAR™ XTS™ System for treatment of T-Cell lymphoma; an advanced prosthetic arm in development for DARPA that will advance the quality of life for returning injured soldiers; the Hydroflex™ surgical irrigation pump for C.R. Bard; the Crown™ stent; the iBOT™ mobility device, and the Segway® Human Transporter.
Kamen has received many awards – notably, the National Medal of Technology in 2000. Presented by President Clinton, this award was in recognition for inventions that have advanced medical care worldwide, and for innovative and imaginative leadership in awakening America to the excitement of science and technology. Kamen was also awarded the Lemelson-MIT Prize in 2002, and was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in May 2005. He is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical & Biological Engineering, and has been a member of the National Academy of Engineering since 1997.
One of Dean’s proudest accomplishments is founding FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an organization dedicated to motivating the next generation to understand, use and enjoy science and technology. Founded in 1989, this year FIRST will serve more than 400,000 young people, ages 6 to 18, in more than 80 countries around the globe.