Hat trick: Katrina Cornish receives 3 Innovator of the Year Awards

mhuson Faculty Awards, General, Innovation

Institute for Materials Research faculty member Katrina Cornish received in quick succession three accolades for her impact in innovative research at The Ohio State University.


Cornish, an Ohio Research Scholar and Endowed Chair in Bio-based Emergent Materials at the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), received three Innovator of the Year awards between late April and mid May.


Cornish is an internationally recognized expert on alternative natural rubber production and natural rubber biosynthesis. She serves as technical director of Ohio State’s Program of Excellence in Natural Rubber Alternatives.


Most recently, Cornish was named Innovator of the Year at 2019 OSU Materials Week, hosted by the Institute for Materials Research (IMR). At the event, Karen Dannemiller, an assistant professor in Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering and the Environmental Health Sciences in the College of Public Health, received the IMR Early Career Innovator of the Year Award.


Cornish received Ohio State’s Innovator of the Year last month at the university’s Research and Innovation Showcase event, held by the Office of Research and the Corporate Engagement Office.


Three IMR faculty members were 2019 Ohio State Innovator Finalists:


  • Karen Dannemiller, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering, College of Engineering
  • Katelyn Swindle-Reilly, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering
  • Yi Zhao, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering


Just two days prior, Cornish received the CFAES Innovator of the Year Award at the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences’ Annual Research Conference.


Early this year, Cornish and her team were highlighted by both Ohio State News and university’s student newspaper, The Lantern.


Her team created the first medical glove that meets federal guidelines and blocks radiation while not triggering allergic reactions. The federal guideline mandating medical professionals to protect themselves from bloodborne pathogens and radiation forces some to wear two sets of gloves, while others settle on wearing just one. The former option restricts hand mobility, the latter is risky.


Cornish’s team answered with the development of a radiation attenuation medical glove created with guayule natural rubber. The glove was developed with partner EnergyEne Inc., a Cornish-led startup company in Wooster, Ohio.


Cornish was also featured in the docuseries “This Giant Beast That is the Global Economy.“ The series on Amazon explores varying facets of the global economy with host Kal Penn. Cornish appears in Season 1, Episode 3, “The Rubber Episode.” Learn more here.


Video published by the Office of Research


Article by Mike Huson, IMR Public Relations Coordinator

Contact: huson.4@osu.edu

Follow: @OhioStateIMR