Michael Keidar 2017 Recipient of the Ronald C. Davidson Award for Plasma Physics

Washington, D.C., October 17, 2017 - AIP Publishing has announced its selection of Michael Keidar, A. James Clark professor of engineering at the School of Engineering and Applied Science at George Washington University, as the winner of the 2017 Ronald C. Davidson Award for Plasma Physics. The annual award is presented in collaboration with the American Physical Society (APS) Division of Plasma Physics, to recognize outstanding plasma physics research by a Physics of Plasmas author.

Michael Keider

"AIP Publishing and Physics of Plasmas are delighted to announce Michael Keidar as the recipient of the 2017 Ronald C. Davidson Award for Plasmas Physics," said Jason Wilde, chief publishing officer at AIP Publishing. "Dr. Keidar was selected for his article on cold plasma application in cancer therapy and has been invited to speak at the 59th Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics in October. Now in its second year, this award is in honor of the late Ron Davidson, the founding Editor-in-Chief of Physics of Plasmas who served for 25 years. We congratulate Dr. Keidar on receiving the Ronald C. Davison Award."

As decided by the Physics of Plasmas Editorial Board, Michael Keidar was selected from among “the most highly cited and top downloaded articles from Physics of Plasmas during the past five years.” His paper, “Cold atmospheric plasma in cancer therapy,” Phys. Plasmas, 20, 057101 (2013), was co-authored with Alex Shashurin, Olga Volotskova, Mary Ann Stepp, Priya Srinivasan, Anthony Sandler and Barry Trink. Keidar and his colleagues demonstrated progress in the creation of cold plasmas and their applications to cancer therapy procedures.

Keidar, however, did not start out with the intention of influencing medicine with his research. “My initial plasma physics interest was associated with plasma propulsion, [the] ability of plasma-based engines to efficiently propel satellites in space,” Keidar said. "Professor Isak Beilis introduced me to the physics of vacuum arc discharge."

The late Ronald C. Davison's work on rigid-rotor equilibria helped guide Keidar's initial study. "His Physics of Fluids (1976) paper had significant impact on my own approach to this problem," he said.

Because atmospheric plasma jets are highly non-equilibrium with ion temperature close to room temperature, Keidar and his team began testing the response of living cells to the plasma treatment. “We were able to see several effects without damage to the tissue and one of these effects was decrease of cells migration,” Keidar said. “This triggered our interest as potential way to affect cancer metastasis using a gentle plasma treatment.”

Keidar was recently acknowledged by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), receiving the AIAA 2017 Engineer of the Year Award. He was recognized for his contributions to the applications of electric propulsion, specifically micro-propulsion of small satellites. He was also awarded AIAA’s National Capital Section Engineer of the Year, in May 2016, for his engineering of space propulsion systems using micro-cathode arc thrusters. “I’m deeply humbled by being selected as a recipient of the Davidson Award," Keidar said. "I can only hope that my contribution to plasma physics and specifically to the plasma medicine is worthy of Ron Davidson’s great plasma physics legacy."

The award, which includes a cash prize of $5,000, will be presented to Michael Keidar Monday, Oct. 23, 2017, during the Physics of Plasmas reception in honor of the invited, tutorial, and review speakers by Bridget D’Amelio, Director of Publishing Development at AIP Publishing.

About the Ronald C. Davidson Award for Plasma Physics

The award is provided by AIP Publishing in honor of Ronald Davidson’s exceptional contributions as Editor-in-Chief of Physics of Plasmas for 25 years. The annual award of $5,000 is presented in collaboration with the American Physical Society's Division of Plasma Physics and recognizes outstanding plasma physics research by a Physics of Plasmas author.

About AIP Publishing

AIP Publishing is a wholly owned not-for-profit subsidiary of the American Institute of Physics (AIP). AIP Publishing’s mission is to support the charitable, scientific and educational purposes of AIP through scholarly publishing activities in the fields of the physical and related sciences on its own behalf and on behalf of our publishing partners to help them proactively advance their missions.

About the American Institute of Physics

American Institute of Physics (AIP) is a federation of ten scientific societies in the physical sciences (for a full list of Member Societies, see: https://www.aip.org/member-societies). As a charitable organization (a 501(c)(3) under the US tax code), AIP offers authoritative information, services, and expertise in physics education and student programs, science communication, government relations, career services for science and engineering professionals, statistical research in physics employment and education, industrial outreach, and history of the physical sciences. AIP publishes Physics Today, the most closely followed magazine of the physical sciences community. See aip.org

For more information, contact: 
Bridget D'Amelio
Director of Publishing Development
Tel. +1 516-576-2397
bdamelio@aip.org