Daeyeon Lee (left), Oren Friedman (center) and Sergei Vinogradov (right)

NEMO Prize 2023

Daeyeon Lee, PhD
Russel Pearce and Elizabeth Crimian Heuer Professor in Chemical
and Biomolecular Engineering

Oren Friedman, MD
Associate Professor of Clinical Otorhinolaryngology,
Perelman School of Medicine

Sergei Vinogradov, PhD
Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, 
Perelman School of Medicine;
Professor in the Department of Chemistry,
School of Arts & Sciences

The NEMO Prize Goes to Research Improving Soft-Tissue Transplant Surgeries

photo of Riccardo Gottardi and John Germiller

NEMO Prize 2022

Riccardo Gottardi, PhD
Assistant Professor,
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

John Germiller, MD, PhD
Director of Clinical Research, Division of Otorhinolaryngology,
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Paul Gehret
PhD Candidate in Bioengineering

Professors Hughes, Bugaj, and Tsourkas

NEMO Prize 2021

Alex Hughes, PhD
Assistant Professor of Bioengineering;
Assistant Professor in Cell and Developmental Biology,
Perelman School of Medicine

Lukasz Bugaj, PhD
Assistant Professor of Bioengineering

Andrew Tsourkas, PhD
Professor of Bioengineering.
Co-Director, Center for Targeted Therapeutics and
Translational Nanomedicine (CT3N)

Single-cell Cancer Detection Project Wins 2021 NEMO Prize

Cesar de la Fuente

NEMO Prize 2020

Cesar de la Fuente, PhD, Presidential Assistant Professor

César de la Fuente Wins Inaugural NEMO Prize, Will Develop Rapid COVID Virus Breath Tests


  • All faculty in Penn Engineering, Penn Medicine, and CHOP are eligible for the NEMO Prize.  

  • At least one, and up to three, faculty may submit a single award nomination. (Self-nomination is preferred.) 

  • The prize is intended to support early-stage ideas at the intersection of engineering and medicine that do not yet qualify for support by federal agencies and are not yet mature enough for private investment. 

  • Both new and ongoing collaborative teams of up to three faculty are encouraged to submit a nomination 

Nomination Materials

Nominations require two components:  

  1. A one-page summary of the concept that will be supported by the award, including the scientific/clinical significance, general approach, and its potential impact on health/medicine. 

  2. A Biosketch for each nominee. NSF-style or NIH-style are permitted.

How to Submit Nominations

Nomination materials should be submitted as a single PDF, entitled: NEMO_nomination_lastnameX. Nomination materials must be submitted to NEMO@seas.upenn.edu, where the subject line should include “NEMO nomination lastnameX”. The lastnameX includes the complete list of faculty for a nomination in order to facilitate processing of the nomination. 


All nominations received will be reviewed by a senior advisory committee composed of faculty from Penn Engineering and Penn Medicine. Up to five (5) nominations will be selected as finalists. If selected as a finalist, nominee(s) will be asked to present their concept to an advisory panel mid-September. Selection and announcement of the awardee will occur in October 2024. 


Check back periodically for more information. For all other questions, please contact NEMO@seas.upenn.edu.

  1. What is the criteria that the review committee will use to review submissions? Nominations and Submissions will be evaluated based on: (1) the impact of the proposed innovation and (2) the team composition 

  2. Does the review committee prefer submissions from the investigator(s) with no prior collaborative work or from ongoing collaborative teams? Both new and existing collaborations are acceptable.

  3. Is eligibility restricted to Faculty? Yes. Faculty in Penn Engineering, Penn Medicine, and CHOP are eligible for the NEMO Prize.

  4. Can graduate students apply? No. At this time, only faculty nominations will be accepted.

  5. Can the nominee team comprise of Penn faculty, Penn graduate students, and non-Penn researchers? The team can include trainees as well as people outside of Penn.

  6. What are the contractual obligations of the nominees once the nominations are accepted? The award is expected to support the research costs for the proposed breakthrough idea. The awardee(s) is(are) provided the authority to spend the funds as they deem appropriate.