Foreign Scientists and U.S. Policy Makers Seek Ways Around Visa Stalemate

Foreign Scientists and U.S. Policy Makers Seek Ways Around Visa Stalemate 1

Andy Manis for The Chronicle

Ankit Agarwal (left) and a fellow researcher work in a lab at the U. of Wisconsin at Madison, where as a graduate student Mr. Agarwal helped develop an infection-resistant type of artificial skin. He now leads a company that produces the material.

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close Foreign Scientists and U.S. Policy Makers Seek Ways Around Visa Stalemate 1

Andy Manis for The Chronicle

Ankit Agarwal (left) and a fellow researcher work in a lab at the U. of Wisconsin at Madison, where as a graduate student Mr. Agarwal helped develop an infection-resistant type of artificial skin. He now leads a company that produces the material.

While Ankit Agarwal was a chemical-engineering postdoc at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, he came up with an idea that could save thousands of lives.

An expert in nanotechnology, Mr. Agarwal helped devise a way of embedding tiny amounts of silver, a known antibacterial agent, into skin grafts. That, he says, could prevent most of the 100,000 deaths each year in the United States attributed to infections of the grafts, which are used on patients recovering from burns, ulcers,