SBU science runs wild among 2018 NAI inductees

Move over: The 2017 inductees into the National Academy of Inventors' Stony Brook University Chapter -- including chapter President Iwao Ojima (front row, center) -- will make room Tuesday night for the chapter's fresh 2018 slate.

Innovation abounds among the 15 Stony Brook University faculty members being welcomed today into the National Academy of Inventors.

The national academy’s SBU chapter, which debuted in 2016 with an intellectually staggering 30-member opening class, was scheduled to induct 15 new members Tuesday evening during its annual meeting at the university’s Charles B. Wang Center.

The latest inductees span a wide range of scientific disciplines, from Dennis Galanakis – an SBU pathology professor and medical director of the Stony Brook Medicine Blood Bank – to Imin Kao, a professor in SBU’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and executive director of SUNY Korea, a 2012 partnership between the state university system, SBU and the South Korean government.

The new NAI members include biochemistry and cell biology professor Dale Deutsch, oral biology and pathology assistant research professor Hsi-Ming Lee, Distinguished Professor of Pharmacological Sciences Arthur Grollman and John Brittelli, a clinical assistant professor in Stony Brook Medicine’s Respiratory Care Program.

Also earning prestigious NAI memberships are Craig Lehman, dean of SBU’s School of Health Technology and Management and a professor in the Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, and Devinder Mahajan, a professor in the Department of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering and director of the department’s Graduate Program.

Honored as new members also are chemistry professor Robert Grubbs, computer sciences professor Klaus Mueller, pathology professor Jingfang Ju, electrical computer engineering professor Thomas Robertazzi, biomedical engineering associate professor Balaji Sitharaman, associate chemistry research professor Arnold Wishnia and Satya Sharma, a visiting professor in SBU’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and executive director of the university’s Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology.

Iwao Ojima: Stony Brook inventors are all over the map.

The Stony Brook chapter – led by NAI Fellow and Distinguished Professor of Chemistry Iwao Ojima – now boasts 65 total members, each meeting rigorous selection criteria including proof of invention, possession of U.S. patents and ongoing licensing activity.

The breadth of their scientific exploits shows that SBU was well worthy of the chapter he helped christen in 2016 – and the 2018 inductees spotlight a faculty that “continues to excel in invention and innovation across disciplines,” according to Ojima

“The inventions of new members span from new medical devices and potential medicines to new solutions for energy and creative computer algorithms that have multiple uses in research,” Ojima, the chapter president, told Innovate LI Tuesday. “We are recognizing their achievements at this NAI-SBU induction ceremony.”

Ojima – who himself became an NAI member in 2014 – is one of eight nationally and internationally recognized NAI Fellows on the SBU faculty. An NAI Fellowship is ranked among the highest honors for U.S. inventors.

Stony Brook’s impressive list of NAI Fellows also includes freshly minted fellows Arie Kaufman, distinguished professor of computer science, and Clinton Rubin, distinguished professor of biomedical engineering, both named fellows in 2017.

The university’s current NAI fellows also include leading periodontist Lorne Golub – who holds more than 150 U.S. and international patents and is a driving scientific force behind biotech startup Traverse Biosciences – and Esther Sans Takeuchi, a distinguished SBU professor of three disciplines (chemistry, materials science and chemical engineering) and chief scientist of Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Energy & Photon Sciences Directorate.

The two-year-old SBU chapter supports the overall mission of the NAI, which was founded in 2010 primarily to recognize and encourage inventors holding U.S. Patent and Trademark Office distinctions – but also to actively promote academic innovation and intellectual-property development and to support mentorship and commercialization efforts.



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