Manu Platt, associate professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory, honored as an Atlanta Business Chronicle 40 Under 40 awardee in 2016. This Atlanta area award honors 40 leaders under the age of 40 who have made significant career achievements and have demonstrated substantial involvement in community service.
Platt’s research covers HIV-mediated cardiovascular disease, early cancer detection technologies, and sickle cell disease where he investigates mechanisms to stop children with sickle cell disease from having strokes. These research areas are recognized as global problems, but are also health disparities in the United States. He trains a diverse cadre of students and postdocs to complete this work using biomedical engineering strategies to address them.
One of Platt’s mottos is “think globally, act locally, then act globally.” This has been enacted in his projects starting with HIV which have taken him to South Africa, which has the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the world. Platt established collaborations there to develop a blood test to determine if HIV positive patients were adhering to their antiretroviral medication regimen. Through another collaboration and extension of this work, his lab started projects in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, first on HIV related studies, then later assisting with the training of Ethiopian graduate students to process cancer samples and characterize differences between tumors. He assisted academic colleagues in Ethiopia with obtaining Ethiopian government grants to initiate training and research programs related to cancer tumors.
At Georgia Tech, Platt has been hosting and mentoring high school students working in his lab under the Project ENGAGES (Engaging the Next Generation At Georgia Tech in Engineering and Science) program—now in its fourth year. This is a high school research program started with professor emeritus Bob Nerem that has brought through 60 African-American students from the Atlanta Public School system.
The 40 Under 40 winners will be honored at an awards celebration held at American Spirit Works on Thursday, November 3, from 6-9 p.m. They will also be profiled in a special section to be published by the Atlanta Business Chronicle on November 4.
Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology