2016-2017 Board of Directors and Officers

Paul Sanberg

Paul R. Sanberg, Ph.D., D.Sc., President

senior Vice President for Research, Innovation & Economic Development
Executive Director, Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair
Distinguished University Professor
University of South Florida

Paul R. Sanberg, Ph.D., D.Sc., is founder and president of the National Academy of Inventors, senior vice president for research, innovation and economic development, Distinguished University Professor of medicine, engineering, and business, and executive director of the Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair at the University of South Florida. He trained at York University, University of British Columbia, Australian National University, and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine with faculty appointments at Ohio University, University of Cincinnati, and Brown University, among others. He is an inventor on 111 patents. His work has been instrumental in translating new pharmaceutical and cellular therapeutics to clinical trials and commercialization for Tourette syndrome, stroke, ALS, Alzheimer's, Huntington's, and Parkinson's disease and he has significant biotech and pharmaceutical industry experience in these areas. He is the author of over 600 scientific publications and considered a highly cited scientist, with more than 23,000 citations to his published work. He has served on editorial boards for over 30 scientific journals, is editor-in-chief of NAI’s journal Technology and Innovation, and has received numerous scientific awards. He is a fellow of AAAS and AIMBE, AAAS-Lemelson Invention Ambassador, Florida Academy of Sciences Medalist, Florida Inventors Hall of Fame inductee and serves on the National Medal of Technology and Innovation nomination evaluation committee, Smithsonian Innovation Festival selection committee, and APLU Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness, and Economic Prosperity advisory board. He is a Charter Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

Howard J. Federoff

Howard J. Federoff, M.D., Ph.D., Vice President


Howard J. Federoff, M.D., Ph.D., received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. Following clinical training in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology/Metabolism and a post-doctoral fellowship in molecular neurobiology at Harvard Medical School's Massachusetts General Hospital he joined the faculty of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. In 1995 he joined the University of Rochester faculty. During his tenure at Rochester, he founded the Division of Molecular Medicine and Gene Therapy, the Center for Aging and Development and also served as Senior Associate Dean for Basic Research. In 2007 he joined the Georgetown University Medical Centers as Executive Vice President of Health Sciences and Executive Dean for the School of Medicine. His research is on novel treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. He serves on four editorial boards, two foundation boards, has chaired NIH Study Sections, was a member of the Board of Scientific Counselors of National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, was a member of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) Scientific Advisory Committee, Co-Chaired the NINDS strategic planning process, and was Chair of the NIH Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee. He has published numerous papers, chapters and editorials and received a number of awards including the Arthur Kornberg Research Award, Society for Neuroscience Grass Lectureship, Abreu Memorial Lectureship, induction into Alpha Omega Alpha, Bernard Sandberg Award, and election to the AAAS. He has co-founded two biotechnology start-up companies and has been awarded numerous patents. He and his wife Wendy Solovay, an immigration attorney, reside in Irvine California. Their two daughters, Allison and Monica, are pursuing careers in law and medicine, respectively. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

Sudeep Sarkar

Sudeep Sarkar, Ph.D., Treasurer

associate vice president for research & innovation
professor for computer science and engineering
University of South Florida

Sudeep Sarkar, Ph.D., is a professor of computer science and engineering and is the associate vice president for research & innovation at the University of South Florida in Tampa. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering, on a University Presidential Fellowship, from The Ohio State University. He is the recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER award in 1994, USF Teaching Incentive Program Award for Undergraduate Teaching Excellence in 1997, Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award in 1998, and Theodore and Venette Askounes-Ashford Distinguished Scholar Award in 2004. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and International Association for Pattern Recognition (IAPR), and a charter member of the National Academy of Inventors. He has 25 year expertise in computer vision and pattern recognition algorithms and systems, and holds three U.S. patents and has published high-impact journal and conference papers.

Kurt Becker

Kurt H. Becker, Ph.D.


Kurt H. Becker, Ph.D., is the Vice Dean for Research, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering. As a researcher, he is known for his work investigating the properties of atmospheric-pressure microplasmas and their use in environmental, biological, and biomedical applications. He holds 7 U.S. patents on stable atmospheric-pressure plasmas and their application and was involved in their commercialization. Kurt Becker earned a Diplom in Physik (MS) and Dr. rer. nat. (PhD) from the Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrücken, Germany in 1978 and 1981, respectively. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, the recipient of the Dr. Eduard-Martin Prize for Excellence in Research from the Freunde der Universität des Saarlandes, the Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award, and the SASP Erwin Schrödinger Medal and he holds an honorary professorship from the Leopold Franzens Universität Innsbruck, Austria. His is currently principal investigator of a Cleantech Proof-of-Concept Center funded by NYSERDA (the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority) and a co-principal investigator of the NSF-funded NYC Regional I-Corps Node.

Karen J.L. Burg, Ph.D

Karen J.L. Burg, Ph.D


Karen J.L. Burg, Ph.D., is Professor and Harbor Lights Endowed Chair in the Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery at the University of Georgia (UGA). Prior to joining UGA, she served as vice president for research and professor of chemical engineering at Kansas State University. Honors to Karen include the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the inaugural Swiss AO Research Prize, recognition as a Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s TR100 Young Innovator, an American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering Fellow, an American Council on Education Fellow, an International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering Fellow, a Biomedical Engineering Society Fellow, a U.S. Department of Defense Era of Hope Scholar, and an American Association for the Advancement of Science-Lemelson Invention Ambassador. Karen has given over 200 invited presentations and authored over 140 peer reviewed publications on the subject of engineered tissues. She has seven patents issued, fifteen disclosures and/or provisional patent applications recorded, with one patent serving as the basis for a diagnostics company. A Burg invention was one of ten technologies featured in the inaugural Avon Foundation for Women - National Institutes of Health - Center for Advancing Innovation Breast Cancer Start-Up Challenge. Karen served as the principal investigator for the 2015 National Science Foundation Innovation-Corps L (NSF I-Corps L) Team Flipped Research Mentoring and is a member of the 2016 NSF I-Corps L teaching team.

Arthur Daemmrich

Arthur Daemmrich, Ph.D.


Arthur Daemmrich, Ph.D., is director of the Smithsonian's Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation. Daemmrich's research explores relationships between regulation and innovation through historical and comparative studies of the pharmaceutical industry, chemicals sector, and healthcare systems. He is the author of Pharmacopolitics: Drug Regulation in the United States and Germany and has published over 25 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters in science and technology studies, the history of science, technology and medicine, and health and business policy, as well as numerous teaching cases and notes. Previously, he was associate professor at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, assistant professor at Harvard Business School, visiting professor at the China Europe International Business School, and director of the Center for Contemporary History and Policy at the Chemical Heritage Foundation. Daemmrich holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University in science and technology studies and a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in the history and sociology of science.

Robert V. Duncan, Ph.D

Robert V. Duncan, Ph.D


Robert V. Duncan, Ph.D., is vice president for research and a professor of physics at Texas Tech University (TTU). He formerly served as vice chancellor for research at the University of Missouri (MU). He was the Gordon and Betty Moore Distinguished Scholar in the Division of Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy at Caltech in 2004–2005. He has published extensively in low-temperature physics, and he chaired a panel of the National Academy of Sciences on the Future of Fundamental Physics in Space in 2011. He holds 10 U.S. patents with multiple international filings. In 2004, Duncan co-invented a less-invasive type of percutaneous and intravascular cryosurgery that is currently in human clinical trials and which is based upon a genuinely new cryogenic technology. As an administrator, Duncan has supported innovation broadly within academia, and has started new student entrepreneurial programs at both TTU and MU. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

Eric R. Fossum

Eric R. Fossum, Ph.D.


Eric R. Fossum, Ph.D., is professor at the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth and director of the Ph.D. Innovation Program. While at Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Caltech, he invented the CMOS image sensor used in billions of camera phones, webcams, DSLRs, swallowable pill cameras, dental x-ray sensors, and many other applications. He co-founded and led Photobit to further develop and commercialize the technology which was eventually acquired by Micron. He holds over 150 U.S. patents and was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame and the Space Technology Hall of Fame. He has published over 270 papers, is a Member of the National Academy of Engineering, an IEEE Fellow, and received the IEEE Andrew Grove Award and the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal. He is a founder and past-president of the International Image Sensor Society, serves on several boards, and is a trustee of Trinity College. He is a Charter Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

Arlene A. Garrison

Arlene A. Garrison, Ph.D.

Vice President for University Partnerships
Oak Ridge Associated Universities

Arlene Garrison, Ph.D., is vice president of university partnerships at Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU), responsible for enhancing ORAU's scientific research opportunities and expanding partnerships with universities, national laboratories and private industry. Garrison brings more than 35 years of experience in science and education to ORAU's university partnership and research programs. Prior to joining ORAU, she served as a program director for the National Science Foundation. Garrison has a doctorate in analytical chemistry and a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Tennessee. Active in community and scientific organizations, she currently serves on the National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for the Small Business Innovation Research program, the board of the Southern Appalachian Science and Engineering Fair, and is a member of the American Chemical Society. In recognition of her volunteer work in science outreach to pre-college students, she was selected as a torch bearer for the 1996 Olympic Games.

Sethuraman Panchanathan

Sethuraman Panchanathan, Ph.D.


Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan, Ph.D., leads Knowledge Enterprise Development at Arizona State University, which advances research, innovation, strategic partnerships, entrepreneurship, and international and economic development at ASU. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), the Canadian Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). In 2014, Panchanathan was appointed by President Barack Obama to the U.S. National Science Board (NSB) and has been appointed to the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE). He is currently serving as the chair-elect in the Council on Research (CoR) within the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). At ASU his achievements include founding the Center for Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing (CUbiC) and serving as the founding director of the School of Computing and Informatics. His research interests include human-centered multimedia computing, haptic user interfaces, technologies for individuals with disabilities and machine learning for multimedia applications.

Elizabeth Dougherty

Elizabeth Lea Dougherty, J.D., Ex Officio

Director of Inventor Education, Outreach, and Recognition
Office of Innovation Development
United States Patent and Trademark Office

Elizabeth Dougherty is the Director of Inventor Education, Outreach, and Recognition in the Office of Innovation Development at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). In this capacity, she develops, implements and supervises programs that support the independent inventor community, small businesses, entrepreneurs and the intellectual property interests of colleges and universities; she supervises the development of outreach programs to women, minority and other underserved communities; she also builds and maintains relationships with state and local governments to promote local programs that support invention and innovation in the United States. Ms. Dougherty has spearheaded a number of special projects with such organizations and oversees a portfolio of ongoing and future initiatives designed to assist independent inventors, entrepreneurs, and minorities.

Past NAI Board of Directors Members