Dr. John T. McDevitt Named Chairman, Department of Biomaterials and Biomimetics, NYU College of Dentistry

Posted on February 18, 2015

Dr. John T. McDevitt, a pioneer in the development of “programmable bio-nano-chip” technologies, has been named chairman of the Department of Biomaterials and Biomimetics at New York University College of Dentistry. Dr. McDevitt’s expertise is in translating essential bioscience discoveries into real-world clinical practice. 


Dr. McDevitt is the scientific founder of several companies specializing in areas related to medical microdevice technologies, including SensoDx, which features a universal platform sensor technology with the capacity to digitize biological signatures for a broad range of key health conditions. 


Over the past decade, Dr. McDevitt and his team have been awarded more than $25M in federal and foundation support. His research has been funded by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the United Kingdom’s Home Office Scientific Development Branch. 


Dr. McDevitt and his team have written more than 180 peer-reviewed scientific articles and have contributed to more than 100 patents and patent applications. Their work has been recognized with the “Best of What's New Award” in the Medical Device Category of 2008 sponsored by Popular Science and the “Best Scientific Advances Award” of 1998 presented by the Science Coalition. 


Dr. McDevitt’s individual honors include the Presidential Young Investigator Award, the 2010 California Polytechnic Distinguished Alumnus Award, and the Exxon Education Award. Over the past five years Dr. McDevitt has served as the principal investigator for six major clinical trials and two clinical pilot studies, all involving the programmable bio-nano-chip. Through these clinical efforts, mini-sensor ensembles are being developed for major diseases in the areas of oral cancer, cardiac heart disease, trauma, drugs of abuse, ovarian cancer, and prostate cancer. 


Prior to joining NYUCD, Dr. McDevitt had served since 2009 as the Brown-Weiss Professor of Bioengineering and Chemistry and as Director of the Lab-on-a-Chip Sensor Technology Laboratory, both at Rice University. He also served as adjunct professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Texas, Austin. In 2006, he was named Director of the Texas-Kentucky Salivary Diagnostics Consortium at the NIH, and in 2009 he was named Director of the Oral Cancer Center at the NIDCR. In 2010, Dr. McDevitt became founding director of the Gulf Coast Consortium Cluster, an early disease detection network comprising more than 100 clinical researchers. 


Dr. McDevitt received a PhD in physical materials/chemistry from Stanford University and did postdoctoral training in analytical materials/chemistry at the University of North Carolina.


According to Dr. Charles N. Bertolami, Dean of the NYU College of Dentistry, “Dr. McDevitt’s research expertise, coupled with his entrepreneurial approach, make him uniquely well-qualified to lead the Department of Biomaterials and Biomimetics in developing interdisciplinary, synergistic partnerships among investigators and educators at NYUCD, the College of Nursing, and NYU’s Polytechnic Bioengineering Institute, all of which are housed in the newly opened, interprofessional facility at 433 First Avenue.”

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