MANHATTAN, KANSAS -- The National Academy of Inventors is honoring Karen Burg, Kansas State University's vice president for research, for her leadership and innovation in bioengineering research.
Burg is one of 170 academic innovators and inventors named as the newest fellows of the National Academy of Inventors. The 414 total fellows represent more than 150 prestigious research universities and governmental and nonprofit research institutions.
"I am excited to be associated with this outstanding group of innovators," Burg said. "It is rewarding to work collaboratively to solve complex problems that affect people."
Fellows are nominated by their peers and chosen for their efforts creating or facilitating outstanding inventions and innovations that have improved quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.
"We congratulate Dr. Burg on this distinction and we are proud of her achievements," said Kirk Schulz, university president. "Burg's own bioengineering research is an example of true innovation, and her leadership as our vice president for research is helping Kansas State University become a Top 50 public research university by 2025."
The deputy U.S. commissioner for patent operations, from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, will induct the fellows during the National Academy of Inventors annual conference in March 2015 at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Fellows will receive a special trophy, medal and rosette pin.
Burg became Kansas State University's vice president for research in August 2014. She is highly recognized for her own bioengineering research, which centers on absorbable polymers, biofabrication and tissue engineering. One of her inventions was among the 10 technologies featured in the inaugural Avon Foundation for Women-National Institutes of Health-Center for Advancing Innovation Breast Cancer Start-Up Challenge.
She earned recognition as an early career researcher, receiving a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2002 and a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Award in 2001.
This year, Burg was named one of seven new American Association for the Advancement of Science-Lemelson Invention Ambassadors. The association is the world's largest and most prestigious scientific society. As an ambassador, Burg is tasked with cultivating a new and diverse generation of inventors as well as increasing the global importance of research, discovery and invention education.
Burg has co-edited three books, published more than 30 book and encyclopedia chapters, authored more than 140 peer-reviewed publications and given more than 200 invited presentations. Her research has been sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Defense and NASA.
Burg earned a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from North Carolina State University, followed by a master's and a doctorate in bioengineering from Clemson. Her postdoctoral fellowship at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, focused on tissue engineering.