2015-2016 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.

George Newkome

George R. Newkome, Ph.D., Vice President

the University of akron

George R. Newkome, Ph.D., received his B.S. and Ph.D. in Chemistry from Kent State University. After a post doctorate at Princeton University, he joined Louisiana State University (LSU) where he became a full professor in 1978, and then LSU Distinguished Research Master in 1982. In 1986, he went to USF as their vice president for research and professor of chemistry and then in 1992 was named Distinguished Research Professor. In 2001, he went to The University of Akron as their Vice President for Research, Dean of the Graduate School and professor in Polymer Science and Chemistry. Currently, he is also President and CEO of the Northeast Ohio Student Venture Fund and on the board of directors or science advisor for 14 organizations. He has published over 500 scientific papers, has 55 patents, and edited/written over 20 scientific books/monographs. He is a fellow of the AAAS, the Ohio Academy of Science, Royal Society of Chemistry, and 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.

Nasser Arshadi

Nasser Arshadi, Ph.D., Secretary

Professor of Finance
University of Missouri-St. Louis

Nasser Arshadi, Ph.D., is professor of finance at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He received his Ph.D. in financial economics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He has published extensively in top economics and finance journals on capital markets and the microeconomics of corporations with an emphasis on assessing and managing risk. He has published two books on financial intermediation (Prentice Hall) and insider trading (Kluwar Academic Publishing). He currently serves on the editorial boards of three journals. He has served as an economist and policy analyst at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, as a consultant to the American Bankers Association, and Treasury Management Association in Washington, D.C.; Securities Industry Automation Corporation in New York City; Deutsche Financial Services, and Commerce Bancshares in St. Louis. He serves on several boards.

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.

Karen J.L. Burg, Ph.D

Karen J.L. Burg, Ph.D


Karen J.L. Burg, Ph.D., is Professor and the Harbor Lights Endowed Chair in the Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery at the University of Georgia. Prior to joining UGA, she served as vice president for research and a professor of chemical engineering at Kansas State University from 2014 to 2016. Honors include a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, 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, a U.S. Department of Defense Era of Hope Scholar, and an American Association for the Advancement of Science-Lemelson Invention Ambassador. She has seven patents issued, thirteen disclosures and/or provisional patent applications recorded, with one patent serving as the basis for a diagnostics startup company. She has given over 200 invited presentations and authored over 140 peer reviewed publications on the subject of engineered tissues. 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. She is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

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.

Arthur Molella

Arthur Molella, Ph.D.

Smithsonian Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention & Innovation

Arthur Molella, Ph.D., is Director Emeritus of the Smithsonian Institution's Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the National Museum of American History. He was the Center's founding director. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. in the history of science from Cornell University and was awarded a Doctor of Science, honoris causa, from Westminster University, U.K. At the National Museum of American History, he has served as curator of electricity, chairman of the Department of History of Science and Technology, and assistant director for History. He is also senior lecturer in the Department History of Science and Technology, Johns Hopkins University. He was head curator of the Smithsonian's Science in American Life exhibition, co-curator of the international exhibition, Nobel Voices, and curator Making a Modern Museum: celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the National Museum of American History. With colleagues at Westminster and Johns Hopkins Universities, he is co-sponsor of the International Eco-city Initiative. He has published and lectured widely on the history of science, invention, technology, and modern technological culture. His recent publications include such books as Inventing for the Environment (MIT, 2003), Cultures of Innovation (Comparative Technology Transfer and Society, special vol. 5, 2007), Invented Edens: Techno-Cities of the 20th Century (MIT, 2008), Places of Invention (Smithsonian, 2015). In addition to the National Academy of Inventors, he serves on the boards of the National Inventors Hall of Fame and the MIT Museum.

Vinit Nijhawan

Vinit Nijhawan


Vinit Nijhawan is managing the former director, Office of Technology Development, and lecturer at the Graduate School of Management at Boston University (BU). He is an entrepreneur and venture capitalist with has over 30 years’ experience building five startups: as CEO of three, five were acquired. He was Venture Partner at Key Venture Partners and over two years sourced over 200 deals and made one investment that was acquired for $430M. Vinit is an advisor and board member to several technology startups and was a Mass High Tech All-Star in 2005. He has participated in over 240 panel discussions and paper presentations, and is a board member of Mass Ventures, an early stage, quasi-public Massachusetts venture capital firm, a co-founder of EdTech Accelerator/Incubator LearnLaunch, president of Massachusetts Association of Technology Transfer Offices and on the Advisory Board of Patent Properties (OTC QB: PPRO). He earned a B.A.Sc in electrical engineering from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.

Thomas N. Parks, Ph.D

Thomas N. Parks, Ph.D


Thomas N. Parks, Ph.D., is vice president for research and president of the Research Foundation at the University of Utah, where he has been on the neurobiology & anatomy faculty since 1978, the year he received a Ph.D. from Yale University. He holds four U.S. patents and was a co-founder and long-term board member of NPS Pharmaceuticals Inc., which developed several marketed pharmaceuticals, including three first-in-class products, before it was sold to Shire Plc in 2015. He has served as a board member or scientific advisor for several private technology companies and as a trustee or director for several non-profit organizations. He is a Charter Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

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.