An Inventor Seeks An Investor

The classical method used to understand the growth or shrinkage of cancerous tumors in laboratory animals is being turned into history by scientist Cem Girit’s invention. Dr. Girit needs a source of 3 million dollars to mass produce his invention.
Dr. Girit, ready to start something new in the world of medicine with this invention, is known for his work in the field of nuclear physics.
Dr. Cem Girit at Princeton, where did research for five years.

Dr. Girit can measure the exact growth or shrinkage of a tumor after the use of medication by taking three-dimensional pictures of the cancerous cells with his last invention, called “3-D Laser Technology.”
It is used to derive statistics in an electronic environment. The price of each device is projected to be as much as 140 thousand dollars.

The life story of Girit, who was born in Ankara, starts in Iskenderun, where he went to primary, middle and high school. After graduating from high school with the best degree, and graduating from Hacettepe Physics Engineering afterwards, he continued his physics education in Brighton, at the University of Sussex, very close to London.
Dr. Girit says that the major world powers found nuclear physics very important due to the impact of the cold war years and says: “Nuclear physics was very fashionable in the 1960s.”

He got an offer to work at the nuclear physics laboratory in Oak Ridge in Nashville, Tennessee. He became the head of the group, working on the ‘nuclear structure study’ which was executed by six private universities in 1986, in Oak Ridge, one of the two cities, along with Los Alamos, where the atomic bomb was created. Dr. Girit and his team, who were assigned to build an experimental device for the research study, worked on the project for four years. As the study was winding down, it became clear that the laboratory was in danger of being shut down due to financial difficulties. In the meantime Dr. Girit, accepting an offer from Princeton University, started working on basic physics studies at the most prestigious university in the world.

After working as an assistant professor at Princeton for five years, he had to leave after the nuclear physics department was closed down in 1994. During the period he was working at the university, Girit worked on a project with funding of 4.3 million dollars and he had the chance to work with the physicists and academicians who had won the Nobel Prize. He says: “I used to hear that the person who sat in the room across the hall got a Nobel Prize on the radio in the morning, and had the chance to go and congratulate him in the afternoon.”

The things that he saw at the drug company IPA where he worked later on caused him to bring an invention to the world of science. When he was working at IPA, during pre-clinic cancerous research, he witnessed how the effect of cancerous cells is measured in animals.

Dr. Girit says the device the doctors used, which looked like a monkey wrench, to measure the width, height and the volume of the tumor did not give an accurate result and also harmed the animals. “With that old device you can get an average result. By carrying this measurement procedure to an electronic environment I thought it would be possible to gather statistics and observe the measurement in real time,” says Dr. Girit. He wanted to improve this project at IPA, but he had to leave before completing the project after four years of employment. “I decided to leave, because they couldn’t see the future of this work” he says.

After leaving the company, he started working at a company established by one of his professor friends, and started to work on developing high speed fiber optic devices. Dr. Girit, who became the head of the laboratory at the project that had a budget of 14.5 million dollars, built the fiber optic system which can transfer data 10 times faster than it did before up to 65 kilometers away on the internet. But this attempt couldn’t be completed because of the hard times the telecommunication firms had in the U.S.A. The companies which were funding the project withdrew their support.

From Oak Ridge to Princeton, from the pharmaceutical sector to telecommunication, Dr. Girit made a decision after all the experiences he’s had: “Neither academy nor the private corporations, I am going to try myself.” He got on the road to improve the ‘tumor measurement study’ which the company he worked for started. He completed the project he worked on for two years. But now he needs a source of 3 million dollars to mass produce the device. After introducing this improved technology to the doctors and scientists who work in the laboratory environment, he attracted a great deal of attention from them. Dr. Girit, who combined laser technology with the system that allows operating on the vision, can get three-dimensional pictures of the tumors on the test subjects. Dr. Girit draws attention to the fact that the old technology has a bigger chance of faulty results and can never be very accurate, with an error ratio of 27%.

Dr. Girit says that this new technology has a potentially enormous big market in drug and biotech companies, research institutions, universities, and private research foundations. Dr. Girit, who implies that they can give the person or the corporation that provides 3 million dollars in funding a share of stock, plus chairmanship of the future company, says:

“We are planning to have 50 million dollars in sales in 2009 according to our work plan. It looks like the half of this will go to pay taxes, and the rest is profit. If we can get permission from the Food and Drug Administration to use this device on human beings, then we can expand the usage area.” Dr. Girit, who points out that 8 million biopsies are done every year, says that this device could reduce the need for biopsies by 75%.

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(July 2005, 17th Issue)
Last modified onSaturday, 06 May 2017 10:07