Manu Prakash is on a mission to bring radical new technology to global health.

Why you should listen

An assistant professor of bioengineering at Stanford University, Manu Prakash is a physicist working at the molecular scale to try and understand no less than how the world really works. As he told BusinessWeek in 2010, he is humbled and inspired by nature’s own solutions to the world's biggest problems. "I build and design tools to uncover how and why biological systems so often outsmart us. 

I believe one day we will be able to understand the physical design principles of life on Earth, leading to a new way to look at the world we live in."

Born in Meerut, India, Prakash earned a BTech in computer science and engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur before moving to the United States. He did his master’s and PhD in applied physics at MIT before founding the Prakash Lab at Stanford.

Prakash's ultra-low-cost, "print-and-fold" paper microscope won a $100,000 grant from the Gates Foundaton in 2012.

Manu Prakash’s TED talk

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Live from TED

The music of sign language, a computer of water drops: 21 TED Fellows share ideas that swim against the tide

August 28, 2015

Tides are strong. They move swiftly, sweeping all toward the shore. But TED Fellows refuse to simply drift with the water. They are innovators, advocates and artists who challenge the status quo and work in the spaces between disciplines. At the second TED Fellows Retreat — held from August 25-28, 2015, and themed “Swimming Against the Tide” — about […]

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