Michael Fanous named 2019 McGinnis Fellow


Susan McKenna

Michael Fanous, Ph.D. student in Bioengineering, was named the 2019 recipient of the McGinnis Medical Innovation Graduate Student Fellowship at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The award provides support for a two-year fellowship to a Bioengineering Ph.D. student who is conducting research targeting the development of novel biomedical instrumentation.

Fanous's research focuses on combining optical microscopy, interferometry and phase imaging to revolutionize the understanding of myelin production and provide an ultrasensitive, specific assay for testing drug treatments for diseases such as multiple sclerosis.

Fanous is a graduate research assistant in the Neurotechnology for Memory and Cognition group at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at Illinois, where he works with Gabriel Popescu, professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

The fellowship is supported by a gift from alumnus Gerald E. “Jerry” McGinnis, who earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Illinois in 1958, and his wife Audrey L. McGinnis. Jerry McGinnis is an international business leader, inventor and the founder and chairman of the board of Respironics, a worldwide leader in the medical device industry. Among Respironics' innovations is the first continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea.