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University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Publish Date: 12/18/12
Media Contact: AHC Public Relations, (513) 558-4553
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National Academy of Inventors Names 2 From UC Charter Fellows

Two University of Cincinnati (UC) faculty members have been named Charter Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).

Sandra Degen, PhD, associate chair for academic affairs in the College of Medicineís pediatrics department and interim chair of the molecular genetics, biochemistry and microbiology department, and Dharma Agrawal, DSc, Ohio Board of Regents (OBR) Distinguished Professor of Computing Sciences and Informatics in the College of Engineering and Applied Science, were awarded the distinction in an announcement today (Tuesday, Dec. 18) from NAI.

Degen and Agrawal are among 98 innovators elected to NAI Fellow status, representing 54 universities and nonprofit research institutes. They 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. Selection was by a 14-member committee comprising distinguished inventors, researchers and officials.

The charter class includes eight Nobel Laureates, two fellows of the Royal Society, 12 presidents of research universities and nonprofit research institutes and 29 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellows, including Degen and Agrawal.

Degen, who was instrumental in the formation of UCís NAI chapter, served as vice president for research for UC from September 2004 to June 2011 before stepping down to return to the faculty. Her scientific interests include the biological function of the blood coagulation agent prothrombin, as well as a protein identified in her lab that is involved in growth control. She holds three patents for her discoveries.

Agrawal has been an OBR Distinguished Professor at UC since August 1998. His research interests include resource allocation and security in wireless mesh and sensor networks, heterogeneous wireless networks and use of sensor networks in biomedical applications. He holds six patents, with an additional 24 invention disclosures.

The National Academy of Inventors is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 2010 to recognize investigators at universities and nonprofit research institutes who translate their research findings into inventions that may benefit society. It was founded at the University of South Florida, with UC as one of five charter members.

The NAI Charter Fellows will be inducted by the U.S. commissioner for patents, Margaret Focarino, during the second annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors Feb. 22, 2013, at the University of South Florida Research Park in Tampa. Fellows will be presented with a special trophy and rosette pin.

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