Two University of Oklahoma professors—Paul L. DeAngelis and Jeffrey Harwell—have been named Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors, a high professional distinction awarded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.
DeAngelis, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the OU Health Sciences Center College of Medicine, is the co-founder of four spin-out companies and holds a total of 92 patents in 20 countries. In 2000, Hyalose was formed to commercialize unique recombinant technologies. Two sister companies, Choncept and Heparinex, are based on DeAngelis’s inventions to offer related recombinant technologies for biopolymers, which are important to healthcare, cosmetics and biomedical research.
Most recently, Caisson Biotech was formed as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Heparinex to develop a novel heparosan-based drug delivery system called HEPtuneTM. This delivery platform has broad applications for a variety of therapeutic areas and has recently been licensed to Novo Nordisk to engineer and develop compounds within undisclosed therapeutic areas. The delivery platform also is being evaluated by several other pharma companies for various therapeutics.
Jeffrey Harwell, who holds the Asahi Glass Chair and former associate dean of the OU College of Engineering, has 30 patents in 12 countries and has launched and collaborated with start-up companies in the areas of enhanced oil recovery, ground water remediation and carbon nanotubes. These companies, based wholly or partially on his inventions, employ more than 30 people in Oklahoma. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies around the world to invent and improve surfactants, nanoparticles and colloids for better product performance, greater cost efficiency and reduced environmental impact in areas, such as nanotechnology, consumer products, environmental remediation and polymer composites.
Harwell’s creative pursuit of inventive concepts, determination to reduce them to novel practices and his ability to apply them in the world have yielded tangible impact on society through the creation of jobs, a cleaner environment and a generation of students prepared to emulate his leadership.
National Academy of Inventors Fellows will be inducted by Deputy U.S. Commissioner for Patents Andy Faile, from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, during the Third Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors on March 7, 2014 in Alexandria, Va. at the headquarters of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Fellows will be presented with a special trophy and a rosette pin. Fellows also will be honored in a full-page advertisement in The Chronicle of Higher Education and in a future issue of Technology and Innovation—Proceedings of the National Academy of Inventors.