NAI-SBU Inducts New Members, Honors Inaugural Young Academic Inventor’s Award Winners

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The Stony Brook University Chapter of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI-SBU) held its Annual Meeting at the Charles B. Wang Center on May 1 and inducted 16 new members and 2 honorary members to the Academy. The newly inducted inventors hold patents issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. With these 16 new members, NAI-SBU now has 50 NAI members, including 6 NAI fellows.

Thirteen of the 16 new members attended the meeting with SBU-NAI President Iwao Ojima (seated, center), Executive Director Peter Donnelly (seated, far right) and Board Members (seated from left: Jahangir Rastegar, Benjamin Hsiao and Esther Takeuchi).

Thirteen of the 16 new members attended the meeting with SBU-NAI President Iwao Ojima (seated, center), Executive Director Peter Donnelly (seated, far right) and Board Members (seated from left: Jahangir Rastegar, Benjamin Hsiao and Esther Takeuchi).

SBU-NAI New Members
Gregory Belenky, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Jeronimo Cello, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Fu-Pen Chiang, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Vitaly Citovsky, Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Dufei Fang, Department of Chemistry
Mikhail Gouzman, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Simon Halegoua, Department of Neurobiology and Behavior
John Haley, Department of Pathology
Patrick Hearing, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Tadashi Honda, Department of Chemistry
Roger Johnson, Department of Physiology and Biophysics
Hongyang Ma, Department of Chemistry
Aniko Paul, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Leon Shterengas, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Ilan Spector, Department of Physiology and Biophysics
Wei Zhao, Department of Biomedical Engineering

Honorary Members
Adam DeRosa, Scully Scott Murphy & Presser PC
Diane Fabel, Center for Biotechnology

Young Academic Inventor’s Award WInners
NAI-SBU Executive Director Peter Donnelly, Director of Technology Licensing and Industry Relations in Stony Brook’s Research Office, introduced the three inaugural Young Academic Inventor’s Award winners who were also honored at the meeting, each receiving an award certificate and a $1,000 check. They include:

Winners of the Young Inventor's Award, from left: Martin Kaczocha, Luisa Escobar-Hoyos and Joseph Marino

Winners of the Young Inventor’s Award, from left: Martin Kaczocha, Luisa Escobar-Hoyos and Joseph Marino

  • Luisa Escobar-Hoyos, Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology, for her discovery and inventions onKeratin 17 as a prognostic and predictive marker of cancer and cancer treatment”
  • Martin Kaczocha, Assistant Professor, Departments of Anesthesiology and Biochemistry and Cell Biology, for his discovery and inventions onFatty acid binding proteins as drug targets for pain control through modulation of endocannabinoid metabolism”
  • Joseph Marino, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Computer Science and Chief Technology Officer, Zortag Inc., for his inventions on System and method for improving diagnostics in medical imaging applications through the use of novel and enhanced visualization techniques”

The Annual Meeting
In his opening remarks, NAI-SBU President Iwao Ojima, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, emphasized that SUNY is ranked 30th in the world for the number of US Utility Patents in 2015, and Stony Brook’s share is more than 90%. He also conveyed a message from NAI President Dr. Paul Sanberg. “On behalf of the Board of Directors of the National Academy of Inventors, congratulations on another productive year of outstanding contributions to academic innovation! Welcome to all returning Stony Brook Chapter of the NAI members and congratulations to the 16 new members and 2 honorary members being inducted today. The NAI is proud to have Stony Brook University, a true innovation powerhouse, as part of our membership.” He certified the inductions and concluded by saying, “Congratulations, and we are honored to have you as members of the NAI and celebrate your accomplishments. It is wonderful to see the Stony Brook University Chapter of the NAI grow, and we look forward to learning of your continued success.”

Following the induction ceremony, NAI Fellow Esther Takeuchi, Distinguished Professor of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering, delivered the keynote lecture, “Innovation: Confluence of Science, Engineering and Application.” She described her highly successful and innovative research endeavor on the development of high-efficiency small butteries with long life for the pacemaker implant and its huge impact on society. This success was based on the confluence of science and engineering, but with clear and meaningful applications in mind. With her experience in industry, she is now leading innovative academic research on new-generation batteries and energy storage. She also pointed out the need for strongly encouraging women in science and engineering to be engaged in inventions since currently only 5% of all inventions are made by women.

“The Stony Brook University chapter of the National Academy of Inventors has a critical role at the University bolstering the importance of our scientist-inventors and cultivating next-generation scientists who have new inventions in mind,” said Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. “Invention and scholarship are at the core of the University’s mission as one of the top research universities in the world…every day, across the planet, and even beyond, Stony Brook researchers are making discoveries that increase our understanding of science and improve our lives.”

“On the occasion of Stony Brook’s Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Inventors, let me offer my congratulations to all of our researchers and innovators who are being honored tonight,” said Richard Reeder, Interim Vice President for Research at Stony Brook. “These new members being inducted into the National Academy of Inventors have demonstrated the creativity and dedication that drives innovation for the betterment of our society. I especially applaud the recipients of the Young Inventor’s Award, who have shown such a talent at an early stage in their careers. The success of Stony Brook’s inventors reflects the spirit of discovery that exemplifies the University’s research focus.”

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  1. Lakisha Bennett- MSW on

    Congratulations to the award winners. I was listening to Science Friday last Friday. There were so many interesting little facts such as knowledge about the ocean. They discussed radiology in microwave quite interesting. CUNY sponsored them and they have also included SUNY from time to time. I spoke to a professor and was able to make some connections. They might go to Chinatown in NYC. Sony Museum in Manhattan have lots of interesting inventions that’s science in technology. Have a good Sunday.

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