2015-2016 Board of Directors and Officers

Paul Sanberg

Paul R. Sanberg, 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 charter fellow of the NAI, 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.

George Newkome

George R. Newkome, Vice President

the University of akron

Professor George R. Newkome received his B.S. and Ph.D. in Chemistry from Kent State University. After a post doctorate at Princeton University, he joined 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, 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, Howard 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 Howard 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 NIDCR, was a member of the SMA 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. Howard has received a number of awards including the Arthur Kornberg Research Award, the Society for Neuroscience Grass Lectureship, the Abreu Memorial Lectureship, induction into Alpha Omega Alpha, the Bernard Sandberg Award and election to the AAAS. Dr. Federoff 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.

Nasser Arshadi

Nasser Arshadi, Secretary

Vice Provost for Research
Professor of Finance
University of Missouri-St. Louis

Nasser Arshadi is vice provost for research and 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 in Washington, DC, and as a consultant to the American Bankers Association (Washington, DC), Treasury Management Association (Washington, DC), Securities Industry Automation Corporation (NYC), Deutsche Financial Services (St. Louis), and Commerce Bancshares (St. Louis). He serves on several boards.

Sudeep Sarkar

Sudeep Sarkar, Treasurer

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

Sudeep Sarkar is a professor of Computer Science and Engineering and 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, the USF Teaching Incentive Program Award for Undergraduate Teaching Excellence in 1997, the Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award in 1998, and the 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 and member of the Board of Directors of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). He has 25 year expertise in computer vision and pattern recognition algorithms and systems, 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

NAI Fellow

Karen J.L. Burg, Ph.D., is Vice President for Research at Kansas State University. Honors to Karen include a 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, 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. Karen 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.

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. Duncan 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

Professor of Engineering
National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductee
National Academy of Engineering
Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth

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 JPL/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 NAI Fellow, 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.

Arlene A. Garrison

Arlene A. Garrison

Vice President for University Partnerships
Oak Ridge Associated Universities

Dr. Arlene Garrison is vice president, university partnerships at Oak Ridge Associated Universities, 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, Garrison 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, Dr. Garrison was selected as a torch bearer for the 1996 Olympic Games.

Arthur Molella

Arthur Molella

Smithsonian Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention & Innovation

Dr. Arthur Molella 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 Dept. History of Science and Technology, and Assistant Director for History. He is also Senior Lecturer in the Dept. 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, Dr. Molella serves on the boards of the National Inventors Hall of Fame and the MIT Museum.

Vinit Nijhawan

Vinit Nijhawan

Managing Director, Office of Technology Development
Boston University

Vinit Nijhawan is Managing Director, Office of Technology Development, and Lecturer Graduate School of Management at Boston University. Vinit teaches MBA courses on Entrepreneurship at BU, over 300 students have taken his courses. Vinit has over 30 years experience building five startups: as CEO of three, five were acquired. Vinit 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. Vinit 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). Vinit is also on the board of the National Academy of Inventors. Vinit 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

Vice President for Research
Professor, Neurobiology & Anatomy
The University of Utah
NAI Fellow

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.