McCormick Prof. John Rogers named 2021 Lincoln Laureate

A close-up photo of John Rogers smiling and wearing a brown shirt.

Photo courtesy of Northwestern.

John Rogers. The McCormick Prof. received the 2021 Order of Lincoln for his bioengineering work.

Jorja Siemons, Assistant City Editor

McCormick Prof. John Rogers is one of eight Lincoln Laureates to receive the 2021 Order of Lincoln, Illinois’ highest honor for professional and public service achievements.

Rogers, director of the Querrey Simpson Institute for Bioelectronics, has developed multiple wearable electronics to monitor babies’ health. 

His technologies, which are designed to bend with the human body, include an implant that supplies electrical stimulation to premature babies’ nerves and a skin-like sticker that monitors babies’ vital signs in neonatal intensive care units. In partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Rogers’ team deployed thousands of these devices to hospitals in Ghana, India, Kenya and Zambia.

Rogers said he is honored to represent Northwestern with the award in a University news release.

“As a Texan who has now spent most of his adult life in Illinois, I have developed a profound appreciation for the unique culture and talented people of the state, political home of one of our nation’s greatest presidents,” Rogers said in the release. 

One of few researchers in all three national academies — the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Science — Rogers has been nationally recognized for his work. He is ​​the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Grant, a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Benjamin Franklin Medal.

Rogers’ fellow Lincoln Laureates include former NASA astronaut Captain Scott Altman and Special Olympics medalist Tommy Shimoda. Recipient Dr. Joanne Smith, the former president and CEO of the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, passed away on Sept. 6 but will still be honored. 

“Hard work, innovation and determination have long been the foundation of our communities,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said about Rogers and his colleagues in the release. “The eight recipients of the Order of Lincoln have exhibited all that and more.” 

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Twitter: @JorjaSiemons 

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