Northwestern University professors Guillermo A. Ameer and Sir Fraser Stoddart have been named 2019 fellows of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).
Election to NAI fellow status is the highest professional distinction accorded solely to academic inventors. The program highlights 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.
This year’s fellows will be inducted on April 10 at the NAI’s ninth annual meeting in Phoenix, Arizona.
Ameer and Stoddart are among 167 new fellows in the 2019 class, which represents 136 research universities and governmental and nonprofit research institutes worldwide. The 2019 fellow class collectively holds more than 3,500 U.S.-issued patents.
Ameer is the Daniel Hale Williams Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the McCormick School of Engineering, professor of surgery in the Feinberg School of Medicine and the founding director of the Center for Advanced Regenerative Engineering.
A pioneer in the emerging field of regenerative engineering, Ameer is known for his creative approach to designing biodegradable materials that promote tissue regeneration and prevent scarring. He has been widely recognized for pioneering the development and medical applications of antioxidant citrate-based biomaterials that can be used as a liquid or solid scaffold to regenerate new tissues.
Ameer has more than 50 issued or pending patents in nine countries, including a patent issued for a shape-conforming regenerative wound dressing to treat diabetic foot ulcers. He serves on the scientific advisory board of Acuitive Technologies, Inc., a company that is developing citrate-based biomaterials for orthopedic and sports medicine applications.
Ameer’s other interests include controlled drug, protein and gene delivery, patient-specific medical devices using 3D printing and stem cell engineering. He is a founding board member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ Regenerative Engineering Society, a board member for the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, an associate editor of Science Advances and an associate editor of Regenerative Engineering and Translational Medicine. He also is a member of Northwestern’s Simpson Querrey Institute, Chemistry of Life Processes Institute and the International Institute for Nanotechnology (IIN).
Stoddart is a Board of Trustees Professor of Chemistry in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and director of the Center for the Chemistry of Integrated Systems.
Stoddart received the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry “for the design and synthesis of molecular machines.” By introducing an additional type of bond (the mechanical bond) into chemical compounds, Stoddart is one of the few chemists to have opened up a new field of chemistry during the past 30 years. This new bond has led to the fabrication of artificial molecular switches and motors, which has put chemists at the forefront of the burgeoning field of molecular nanotechnology.
Most recently, Stoddart turned a laboratory discovery into a premium luxury skincare line, which launched earlier this fall. The product is based on organic molecular vessels (OMVs) that enable release of active ingredients into skin over time. Through his company PanaceaNano, Inc., he has plans to extend OMVs for applications such as tunable drug delivery, carbon dioxide sequestration, flexible batteries and solar cells.
Stoddart has nearly 100 issued or pending U.S. patents and 34 issued or pending foreign patents. He also is a member of IIN and the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.
The National Academy of Inventors was founded in 2010 at the University of South Florida 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 publishes the multidisciplinary journal, Technology & Innovation.