Public Release: 

USF faculty members elected as Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors

Prestigious NAI Fellow designation awarded for 'prolific spirit of innovation'

University of South Florida (USF Innovation)

TAMPA, Fla. (Dec. 16, 2015) - University of South Florida professors Selim A. Chacour, David M. Eddy, Dean F. Martin, and G. Douglas Letson have been named 2015 Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors. Chacour and Eddy are in the Institute for Advanced Discovery & Innovation, Martin is in the College of Arts and Sciences and Letson holds appointments at both Moffitt Cancer Center and USF.

Election to NAI Fellow status is a high professional distinction accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.

"It is my privilege to welcome the 2015 class of outstanding academic inventors to the Academy as Fellows," said Dr. Paul R. Sanberg, USF senior vice president for research, innovation and economic development and president of the NAI. "These inspiring individuals have made remarkable contributions to society through their work in research and discovery as well as in patents, licensing and commercialization. They encourage a culture where invention and innovation is brought to the forefront and it is an honor to recognize their tremendous accomplishments with NAI Fellow status." USF was the founding institution of the National Academy of Inventors.

This year's class of 168 newly named Fellows brings the total number of NAI Fellows to 582, representing more than 190 prestigious research universities and governmental and non-profit research institutions. The 2015 Fellows account for more than 5,300 issued U.S. patents, bringing the collective patents held by all NAI Fellows to more than 20,000.

Included among all NAI Fellows are more than 80 presidents and senior leaders of research universities and non-profit research institutes, 310 members of the other National Academies (NAS, NAE, NAM), 27 inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, 32 recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation and U.S. National Medal of Science, 27 Nobel Laureates, 14 Lemelson-MIT prize recipients, 170 AAAS Fellows and 98 IEEE Fellows, among other awards and distinctions.

Chacour, Eddy, Martin and Letson will be inducted on April 15, 2016, as part of the Fifth Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in Alexandria, Va. USPTO Commissioner for Patents Andrew Hirshfeld will provide the keynote address for the induction ceremony. Fellows will be presented with a special trophy, medal, and rosette pin in honor of their outstanding accomplishments.

The 2015 NAI Fellows will be recognized with a full page announcement in The Chronicle of Higher Education Jan. 22, 2016 issue.

2015 Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors

Selim A. Chacour is professor in the USF Institute for Advanced Discovery & Innovation and was the principal founder of American Hydro Corporation, which, under his leadership, became an industry leader in hydro turbine upgrades. He is known as the foremost designer of hydraulic turbines, has over 40 years of experience in the industry and revolutionized the design of runners (the component that propels the generator) throughout the hydro turbine industry. His turbine runner designs have been used in such iconic structures as the Aswan High Dam in Egypt and Hoover Dam in the U.S. Additionally, his designs have generated concrete improvements in efficiency, resulting in gains in power generation and reductions in costs and environmental impact. Lauded as a visionary, Mr. Chacour was elected as a member of the National Academy of Engineering "for pioneering three-dimensional finite element computations in mechanical and hydraulic design, leadership in hydro turbine research and development, and business stewardship," highlighting his status as an innovator and as a business leader. Chacour is also the recipient of the National Hydropower Association's Henwood Award, the industry's highest honor, and holds eight U.S. patents for his work.

David M. Eddy, M.D., Ph.D., is professor in the USF Institute for Advanced Discovery & Innovation and a physician, mathematician, and health care analyst who has done seminal work in mathematical modeling of diseases, clinical practice guidelines, and evidence-based medicine. In summarizing his career, the National Academy of Medicine (of which he is a member) emphasized his innovative thinking and practices, noting that "more than 25 years ago, Eddy wrote the seminal paper on the role of guidelines in medical decision-making, the first Markov model applied to clinical problems, and the original criteria for coverage decisions; he was the first to use and publish the term 'evidence-based'." Eddy was a professor at Stanford University and the J. Alexander McMahon Professor at Duke University before he left academia to become an independent researcher and entrepreneur. He founded Archimedes Inc., a health care modeling company, and was chief medical officer until he retired in 2013. The author of five books and more than 100 first-authored papers, including a series of 28 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, his writings span from technical mathematical theories to broad health policy topics. He has received 10 national and international awards in several fields, including applied mathematics, health technology assessment, health care quality, environmental sciences, and outcomes research, as well as awards from five organizations for lifetime achievement. In 2012, he was ranked the 13th most innovative person in health care by "Health Future 100." He holds two U.S. patents.

Dean F. Martin, Ph.D., is Distinguished University Professor Emeritus in the USF Department of Chemistry. He has greatly impacted society through his significant contributions to science, education, and innovation. He has spent over 40 years researching and mentoring young scientists. He is one of the founding members of the USF Chapter of the NAI and has supported the NAI journal, Technology and Innovation, by authoring, co-authoring, and peer reviewing multiple articles, and by providing educational advice and insight. His research interests are based on the coordination chemistry of natural water systems and his work in the search for allelopathic organisms has led to noteworthy advances in the effort to alleviate the effects of red tide in Florida coastal waters. He is the recipient of the F.J. Zimmerman Award in Environmental Science from the American Chemical Society and is a medalist of the Florida Academy of Sciences. He holds two U.S. patents, is the author and co-author of over 450 publications, including six books, and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

G. Douglas Letson, M.D., is executive vice president of clinical affairs, physician-in-chief and chair of education at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer & Research Institute, as well as prior chair of the Sarcoma Department, and professor of surgery, radiology and orthopedics and director of the USF Residency Program in the Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine for USF Health. His research and clinical interests include matrix metalloproteinases; novel therapeutic agents to treat sarcoma; limb salvage for bone and soft tissue tumors; as well as sentimental prosthesis, new hinge designs and soft tissue attachment for metallic prosthesis. He has a keen interest in new techniques and design of instrumentation for minimal invasive reconstructive surgery. He collaborated with Stanmore Corporation in England to develop a non-invasive leg lengthening implant, and he is the only physician in the U.S. to implant and lengthen the limbs of several children successfully. He is an internationally renowned speaker with multiple national and international presentations. He holds five U.S. patents and is working with several companies to commercialize his medical products. He has presented over 200 lectures around the world on his developments in multiple oncology systems for skeletal reconstruction and surgical techniques in limb salvage surgery.

The academic inventors and innovators elected to the rank of NAI Fellow are named inventors on U.S. patents and were nominated by their peers for outstanding contributions to innovation in areas such as patents and licensing, innovative discovery and technology, significant impact on society, and support and enhancement of innovation.

The 2015 NAI Fellows Selection Committee included 17 members, comprising NAI Fellows, recipients of U.S. National Medals, National Inventors Hall of Fame inductees, members of the National Academies and senior officials from the USPTO, Association of American Universities, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Association of University Technology Managers, and National Inventors Hall of Fame.

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The University of South Florida is a high-impact, global research university dedicated to student success. USF is a Top 50 research university among both public and private institutions nationwide in total research expenditures, according to the National Science Foundation. Serving nearly 48,000 students, the USF System has an annual budget of $1.5 billion and an annual economic impact of $4.4 billion. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference. http://www.usf.edu

The National Academy of Inventors® is a 501(c)(3) non-profit member organization comprised of U.S. and international universities, and governmental and non-profit research institutions, with over 3,000 individual inventor members and Fellows spanning more than 200 institutions, and growing rapidly. It was founded in 2010 to recognize and encourage inventors with patents issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, enhance the visibility of academic technology and innovation, encourage the disclosure of intellectual property, educate and mentor innovative students, and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society. The NAI edits the multidisciplinary journal, Technology and Innovation, published by Cognizant Communication Corporation (NY). http://www.academyofinventors.org

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