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Four UArizona Researchers Named Senior Members of National Academy of Inventors

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

The National Academy of Inventors has named four University of Arizona innovators as senior members.

The designation honors active faculty, scientists and administrators from NAI member institutions who have demonstrated success with patenting, licensing and commercializing innovations designed to impact the welfare of society.

Senior members are selected biannually. The newest class, announced Feb. 11, includes a total of 32 academic inventors.

The University of Arizona honorees are:

  • Rajesh Khanna, PhD, professor of pharmacology, BIO5 Institute member and co-founder of Regulonix, a startup focusing on novel chronic pain therapeutics and innovative biomarker technology development. He holds four U.S. patents for innovations focused on pain treatment and has attracted numerous grants from organizations including the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Defense and the Children's Tumor Foundation.
  • Jordan Lancaster, PhD, assistant research scientist with the Sarver Heart Center and founder of Avery Therapeutics, which aims to advance tissue-engineered therapeutics to treat heart disease and muscle injuries. He holds three U.S. patents. Lancaster's technologies include MyCardia, which is designed to make new blood vessels and "re-muscularize" the heart, making it perform better.
  • James T. Schwiegerling, PhD, professor of optical sciences and co-founder of iCrx, a startup company developing a process of measuring a person's glasses or contact lens prescription without the need for verbal input from the patient. He holds seven U.S. patents, including one for an artificial diffractive trifocal lens designed to provide sharp vision for reading, intermediate vision for computer work, and distance vision, eliminating the need for additional lenses.
  • Joseph Valacich, PhD, professor of management information systems, and co-founder and chief science officer of Neuro-ID. The company provides technology designed to enhance data from online forms by revealing how a question was answered, not just what the answer was, measuring factors including hesitations, answer changes and mouse movements indicating uncertainty. He holds one U.S. patent, with four others pending.

"Throughout their careers, all of these innovators have kept the goal of making a better world through their work at the forefront," said Doug Hockstad, assistant vice president of Tech Launch Arizona, which works on behalf of University of Arizona faculty and staff to commercialize inventions stemming from research. "We're proud of their achievements and look forward to many more years of collaboration with each of them to bring their inventions to the world."

"NAI member institutions support some of the most elite inventors on the horizon. With the NAI Senior Member award distinction, we are recognizing innovators who are rising stars in their fields," said Paul R. Sanberg, NAI president. "This new class is joining a prolific group of academic visionaries already defining tomorrow."

A full list of NAI senior members is available on the NAI website.

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NOTE: Photos and logos available upon request.

About the University of Arizona Health Sciences
The University of Arizona Health Sciences is the statewide leader in biomedical research and health professions training. The UArizona Health Sciences includes the Colleges of Medicine (Tucson and Phoenix), Nursing, Pharmacy, and the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with main campus locations in Tucson and the growing Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix. From these vantage points, the Health Sciences reaches across the state of Arizona and the greater Southwest to provide cutting-edge health education, research and community outreach services. A major economic engine, the Health Sciences employs nearly 5,000 people, has approximately 900 faculty members and garners $200 million in research grants and contracts annually. For more information: uahs.arizona.edu (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn | Instagram).

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