Three other UGA professors elected to the NAI


UGA now has 12 professors to receive the honor of the National Academy of Inventors

University of Georgia professors Anumantha Kanthasamy, S. Edward Law and Scott NeSmith were elected Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors. Including these three new scholarship holders, 12 UGA professors have received this honor, all since 2013.

NAI Fellows should be involved in the creation or facilitation of inventions that have a tangible impact on the quality of life, economic development and the well-being of society. Becoming an NAI Fellow is the highest professional honor bestowed only on academic inventors. According to the organization, $ 3 trillion in revenue has been generated based on the findings of NAI Fellow. The research and entrepreneurship of NAI Fellows has resulted in more than 42,700 US patents issued, 13,000 licensed technologies and 3,200 new companies, not to mention more than one million jobs created, according to NAI.

“As Director and Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), I am delighted to welcome our newly elected members to the NAI,” said Karen Burg, UGA vice president of research.

“Scott NeSmith, Ed Law and Anumantha Kanthasamy represent the breadth of applications that exist in the UGA research enterprise,” said Burg. Dr. Kanthasamy’s research has tremendous potential to bring new treatments and hope to people with Parkinson’s disease; Dr. NeSmith’s work in developing new varieties of blueberries has helped establish Georgia as one of the leading US states in blueberry production; and Dr. Law’s development of electrostatic spraying technologies boosted Georgian agriculture before being applied in other economic sectors, including disinfecting surfaces during the Covid-19 pandemic Congratulations to Anumantha, Scott and Ed for this well-deserved recognition of their research and invention efforts.

Scott Ne Smith

Do smith is a professor of horticulture at the UGA Griffin campus and has led the UGA Blueberry Breeding Program since 1998. With NeSmith at the helm, the program has released 31 commercial varieties and nine ornamental varieties.

“It takes 10 to 12 years to produce a new variety of blueberries,” said NeSmith. “UGA has one of the oldest blueberry breeding programs in the country, and our team has worked hard to build on that foundation. We were able to select early maturing southern highbush varieties suitable for the growing environment of Georgia.

Southern highbush blueberries are a hybrid between northern highbush blueberries and a type of southern blueberry called rabbit eye blueberry. These hybrids produce high-quality fruit, but don’t require the cold temperatures that northern highbush plants require. Through the efforts of the program, NeSmith and his team brought to market varieties that ripened earlier than older varieties and offered an alternative crop for Georgian farmers looking to diversify.

Today, blueberries are the # 1 fruit produced in the state. Georgia farmers cultivate more than 18,000 acres, which produces 39 million pounds of blueberries valued at over $ 120 million.

Anumantha Kanthasamy

Kanthasamy is an internationally renowned researcher in Parkinson’s disease and associated neurodegenerative disorders. As the inaugural John H. “Johnny” Isakson Chair and the Georgia Research Alliance’s distinguished researcher in Parkinson’s disease, his work ranges from neurological science to the identification of biomarkers for the early detection of disease. Parkinson disease. Kanthasamy founded two startups, PK Biosciences and Probiome Therapeutics, to facilitate the commercialization of drug candidates and biomarkers resulting from his research.

“I am truly honored with this special recognition for our innovative translational research in neurodegenerative diseases,” said Kanthasamy. “It’s quite humbling to be allied with the cadre of amazing innovators and inventors elected to the NAI.”

Prior to joining UGA, Kanthasamy was director of the Iowa Center for Advanced Neurotoxicology, where he and his research team study the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in neuronal degeneration caused by Parkinson’s disease and other diseases. .

S. Edward Law

Law is DW Brooks Emeritus Professor Emeritus at UGA College of Engineering and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1996. He began researching the effect of static charges on chemicals, or electrostats, at the North Carolina State University under Henry Bowen in the 1960s. Inspired by Rachel Carson’s classic ecology book, “Silent Spring,” Law began to study how to apply an electrical charge to pesticides when they were sprayed. on crops to reduce the amount of chemicals needed.

“I give Henry major credit for starting the idea,” Law said. “He was working on a way to reduce the impact of chemicals that were necessary but so harmful to the environment. After studying with him, I was fortunate to work with people like Ken Giles, Steve Cooper, and Brett Therman, who all had a significant impact on electrostatics.

Law’s research led to better electrostatic spray technology that has been applied in a wide range of functions because of its ability to make chemicals stick to things. Tractor spray nozzles which allow herbicides to adhere to plants and reduce runoff have been marketed and used in the cotton industry. This technology has also been applied to spray paints, spray tanning machines and a range of disinfectant sprayers that were essential in the fight against the pandemic.

Kanthasamy, Law and NeSmith, along with 161 other new NAI members, will be inducted at the NAI Annual Meeting on June 13, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. Drew Hirshfeld, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, will deliver the keynote address for the event.

The election of the most recent UGA National Academy of Inventors Fellow comes at a time when the university Innovation district The initiative accelerates the commercialization of research, increases opportunities for experiential learning, and expands university-industry collaboration. The university recently dedicated its Delta Innovation Hub, which hosts several innovation and entrepreneurship programs.

“Having three faculty members elected to the National Academy of Inventors in a single year highlights the extraordinary impact of the University of Georgia’s growing research and innovation ecosystem,” said S. Jack Hu, Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs of the University and Dean. “As an institution, we are committed to harnessing the expertise of our talented and dedicated faculty for the benefit of society. “


Comments are closed.