best in class

6 Houston-area inventors named fellows in prestigious program

Six Houston inventors have been recognized with the highest professional distinction for inventors within academia. Photo via Pexels

The National Academy of Inventors has announced its annual set of NAI Fellows — and six Houstonians make the list of the 164 honorees from 116 research institutions worldwide.

The NAI Fellows Program honors academic inventors "who have demonstrated a spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on the quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society," according to a news release. The appointment is the highest professional distinction for inventors within academia.

The six Houstonians on the list join a group that hold more than 48,000 U.S. patents, which have generated over 13,000 licensed technologies and companies, and created more than one million jobs, per the release. Additionally, $3 trillion in revenue has been generated based on NAI Fellow discoveries.

These are the scientists from Houston organizations:

    • Zhiqiang An, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston: An is the director of the Texas Therapeutics Institute, a drug discovery program operated by the John P. and Kathrine G. McGovern Medical School at Houston. He's also a professor of molecular medicine and holder of the Robert A. Welch Distinguished University Chair in Chemistry at UTHealth.
    • Alex Ignatiev, University of Houston: Ignatiev served as director of two NASA-supported research and technology development centers at the University of Houston and as Lillie Cranz and Hugh Roy Cullen Professor of Physics, Chemistry, and Electrical and Computer Engineering.
    • David Jaffray, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center: Jaffray was appointed MD Anderson's first-ever chief technology and digital officer in 2019. He oversees MD Anderson’s Information Services division and Information Security department and is a professor of Radiation Physics with a joint appointment in Imaging Physics.
    • Pei-Yong Shi,The University of Texas Medical Branch: Pei-Yong Shi is a professor and John Sealy Distinguished Chair in Innovations in Molecular Biology Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology;. He's also the Vice Chair for Innovation and Commercialization.
    • Ganesh Thakur, University of Houston: Thakur is a pioneer in carbon capture, utilization and storage and has a patent on forecasting performance of water injection and enhanced oil recovery. His team is continuing to push the research envelope for CCUS employing world-class lab research, simulation, machine learning and artificial intelligence.
    • Darren Woodside, Texas Heart Institute: Woodside is the Vice President for Research and Director of the Flow Cytometry and Imaging Core at the Texas Heart Institute. His research centers around the role that cell adhesion plays in cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases, and the development of novel means to identify and treat these diseases.
    Ten other Texas-based innovators made the list, including:
    • Sanjay Banerjee, The University of Texas at Austin
    • Thomas Boland, The University of Texas at El Paso
    • Joan Brennecke, The University of Texas at Austin
    • Gerard Cote, Texas A&M University
    • Ananth Dodabalapur, The University of Texas at Austin
    • Holloway (Holly) H. Frost Jr., The University of Texas at Arlington
    • James E. Hubbard, Texas A&M University
    • Yi Lu, University of Texas at Austin
    • Samuel Prien, Texas Tech University
    • Earl E. Swartzlander Jr., The University of Texas at Austin
    This year's class will be inducted at the Fellows Induction Ceremony at the 11th Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Inventors in June in Phoenix, Arizona.

    "The caliber of this year's class of NAI Fellows is outstanding. Each of these individuals are highly-regarded in their respective fields," says Paul R. Sanberg, president of NAI's board of directors, in the release. "The breadth and scope of their discovery is truly staggering. I'm excited not only see their work continue, but also to see their knowledge influence a new era of science, technology, and innovation worldwide."

    Trending News

    Building Houston

     
     

    These Houston-area entrepreneurs have something to celebrate this week. Photos courtesy of EY

    Four entrepreneurs whose companies are in or near the Houston metro area have been named winners in Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur Of The Year regional competition and now will head to the national competition.

    Local winners of the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2022 Central South Award are:

    • Elliott Bouillion, founder and executive chairman of Bellaire-based Resource Environmental Solutions. The company helps clients with environmental mitigation, stormwater management and water quality, and climate adaptation and flood resilience.
    • Blake Brannon, founder and president of Brenham-based Brannon Industrial Group. The company buys and recycles scrap metal, provides waste and recycling services, rents out portable toilets, and offers sustainable printing services.
    • Dr. Juliet Breeze, founder and CEO of Houston-based Next Level Medical, which operates membership-model urgent care clinics.
    • Jamie Welch, president, CEO, and chief financial officer of Houston-based Kinetic Holdings, a midstream oil and natural gas operator in the Delaware Basin of West Texas and northern New Mexico.

    Among the criteria used to select the regional winners were purpose, growth, impact, and entrepreneurial spirit.

    “Each of these entrepreneurs has exhibited curiosity, ingenuity, and courage, and we are proud to celebrate this outstanding group of leaders and welcome them as valuable members of our Entrepreneur Of The Year community,” says Anna Tallent, co-director of the awards’ Central South program.

    As regional award winners, these entrepreneurs will be considered for the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2022 national awards, which will be presented in November. The overall Entrepreneur Of The Year winner at the national level then will move on to the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year program, which will name its top winner in June 2023.

    In a news release, Breeze says she’s honored to be given such a prestigious award.

    “This award is further validation that at Next Level, we are really on to something. Healthcare needs to be available to patients when and where they need it,” Breeze says.

    Aside from the Houston-area winners, here are the other recipients of this year’s Entrepreneur Of The Year Central South Award:

    • CEO Amanda Baldwin and founder and Chairwoman Holly Thaggard of San Antonio-based Supergoop! The company makes and sells sunscreen-based skincare products.
    • Cory Brymer, founder and CEO of Hutto-based BryComm, a provider of technology and security infrastructure services.
    • William Chan, co-founder and CEO of Austin-based Iodine Software, a provider of AI-powered software for the healthcare industry.
    • Todd Dipaola, founder and CEO of Austin-based InMarket, which operates a platform for localized advertising.
    • Dr. David Ferguson, co-founder, president, and CEO of San Antonio-based Celebrate Dental & Braces, which has offices in five states.
    • Mark Floreani, co-founder and CEO of Austin-based FloSports, a streaming service for sporting events.
    • James Garvey, founder and CEO of Austin-based Self Financial, which offers credit-building loans.
    • Tim Heyl, founder and CEO of Austin-based Homeward, whose loans help buyers make all-cash offers for homes.
    • Joel Kocher, co-founder and CEO of Austin- based HumanN, a provider of superfood products.
    • JeVon McCormick, president and CEO of Austin-based book publisher Scribe Media.
    • Thomas Thill, CEO of San Antonio-based AmeriVet Veterinary Partners, an owner and operator of veterinary practices.

    Trending News