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UTSA dean to receive Palmaz Award
September 9, 2010

San Antonio Express-News - By David Hendricks

Mauli Agrawal, a San Antonio biomedical engineer, entrepreneur and educator, has been chosen by BioMed SA to receive the organization's Julio Palmaz Award for 2010.

Agrawal, dean of the University of Texas at San Antonio College of Engineering, will receive the award at BioMed SA's fifth annual award dinner Sept. 16.

The award is named after San Antonian Julio Palmaz, who invented the Palmaz stent used for heart patients.

“I am truly humbled by this recognition, especially given that past recipients include giants such as Julio Palmaz and Dean Kamen, whose work has touched millions of lives,” Agrawal said. Kamen of New Hampshire invented the Segway.

Agrawal's research has resulted in more than a dozen patents, with others pending. The patents span the development of orthopedic implants, regenerative medicine devices, diabetic foot products and drug-delivery stents.

He helped form three biomedical startup companies in San Antonio and served as CEO of Xilas Medical, now Diabetica Solutions, one of the first companies to receive funding from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund, created by the Texas Legislature in 2005.

Through Diabetica Solutions, Agrawal helped develop TempTouch, an infrared temperature-monitoring device used by diabetic patients who have lost feeling in their feet to take temperatures on the bottom of both feet in different spots. Higher temperatures can indicate possible ulcers, and early detection can prevent amputation.

Agrawal also has developed a shoe insole licensed to an international company and marketed over the counter to diabetics, athletes and others to prevent blisters.

San Antonio-based OsteoBiologics Inc. has commercialized tissue-engineering scaffolds developed by Agrawal and his associates. Recently, Agrawal helped found GenOsteo Inc., a UTSA spinoff company focused on regenerating long sections of bone to benefit wounded warriors.

“Mauli Agrawal perfectly embodies the qualities of innovation and leadership that the Palmaz Award is designed to celebrate,” said former San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros, founding chairman of BioMed SA. “His passion for building things, whether it be new products, companies or educational programs, inspires us all and is helping San Antonio advance to the next level as a city of science and health.”

Agrawal become the UTSA engineering dean in 2005.

“Our selection committee was struck by Dr. Agrawal's overall track record of innovation and entrepreneurship in terms of patents, publications, product development and company start-ups,” added BioMed SA President Ann Stevens.

Stevens also cited Agrawal's establishment of a joint graduate program in biomedical engineering with the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.

“His research in bioengineering has improved the lives of many, and demonstrates great passion for students to make certain they achieve their greatest potential,” said UTSA President Ricardo Romo.

BioMed SA is a nonprofit membership organization supported partially by the city of San Antonio and Bexar County.

 

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