College of Engineering News Room
Yogi Goswami and Molekule Awarded BioFlorida’s Inaugural COVID-19 Innovation Award
By Ryan Wakefield
BioFlorida is an organization that connects a network of emerging and established life science companies, universities, research institutions, hospitals, medical centers, and more. This year, BioFlorida announced an award titled the COVID-19 Innovation Award and recognizes a Florida company that has made significant advances in the fight against COVID-19. The first winner of this inaugural award is none other than Distinguished University Professor and director of the USF Clean Energy Research Center, Dr. Yogi Goswami and his company Molekule.
Dr. Goswami’s Molekule air purification device uses patented photo electrochemical oxidation (PECO) technology to break down a wide range of pollutants such as bacteria, chemicals, mold, allergens, and viruses at a molecular level. By using nanotechnology, PECO can not only filter but also destroy pollutants 1000 times smaller than the standard filters can filter out.
According to Dr. Goswami, one of Molekule’s devices was recently cleared by the FDA as a possible solution to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. “The Molekule Air Pro RX was tested and is now a medical grade air purifier with FDA 510(k) class II medical device clearance for the destruction of viruses and bacteria in healthcare settings. Testing was conducted with an RNA virus MS2 Bacteriophage, a proxy virus to SARS-CoV-2, and proved that the air filtration device successfully removed more than 99.99% of virus particles from the air. Other Molekule devices have also been tested against MS2 with successful results, but they haven’t been submitted to the FDA for clearance yet,” said Dr. Goswami. “It’s not a cure for COVID-19, but it undeniably reduces the risk of infection from the airborne virus.”
David Conrad, Director of Technology Transfer at the University of South Florida, introduced Yogi at the 2020 BioFlorida Conference and had high praise for the Distinguished Professor. “Yogi’s driving focus was to bring his technology to those who need it most. For example, several years ago, when wildfires devastated northern California, and smoke inhalation problems became endemic, he donated his invention to fire stations and schools. When extreme flooding devastated Houston and caused extensive air quality problems due to mold, he donated his invention to the city’s poorest neighborhoods. And when COVID-19 struck earlier this year, he donated his invention to hospitals and medical centers across Florida in desperate need of ways to keep their health professionals and patients safe. In many cases, these donations were personally delivered by the inventor himself, members of his family, or staff from the company he founded,” said David.
Dr. Goswami commented, “I feel very honored and humbled to be recognized by so many of my life science peers connected with BioFlorida. I’d like to thank all of them for giving me the honor of being the first recipient of the COVID-19 Innovation Award.”
The USF College of Engineering would also like to congratulate Dr. Goswami and Molekule for receiving this prestigious award. Innovation has been and always will be extremely important during difficult times. Dr. Goswami and Molekule will no doubt save lives during this pandemic with the use of their air filtration technology.