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DEAN KAMEN is an inventor, an entrepreneur, and a tireless advocate for science and technology. His roles as inventor and advocate are intertwined—his own passion for technology and its practical uses has driven his personal determination to spread the word about technology's virtues and by so doing to change the culture of the United States.
As an inventor, he holds more than 440 US and foreign patents, many of them for innovative medical devices that have expanded the frontiers of health care worldwide. These include the AutoSyringe infusion pump, the HomeChoiceTM peritoneal dialysis system, the iBOTTM mobility device, and the Segway® Human Transporter.
Kamen has received many awards for his efforts. Notably, Kamen was awarded the National Medal of Technology in 2000. Presented by President Clinton, this award was in recognition for inventions that have advanced medical care worldwide, and for innovative and imaginative leadership in awakening America to the excitement of science and technology. Kamen was also awarded the Lemelson-MIT Prize in 2002, and was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in May 2005. He has been a member of the National Academy of Engineering since 1997.
In addition to DEKA, one of Dean’s proudest accomplishments is founding FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an organization dedicated to motivating the next generation to understand, use, and enjoy science and technology. Founded in 1989, this year FIRST will serve more than 300,000 young people, ages 6 to 18, in more than 60 countries around the globe. High-school-aged participants are eligible to apply for more than $15 million in scholarships from leading colleges, universities, and corporations. Studies have shown that FIRST alumni are highly motivated to pursue careers in science and engineering, thus fulfilling Dean’s goal of inspiring the next generation of technological leaders.