Rutgers Chemistry Professors Kohn and Uhrich Named Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors
Both renowned polymer scientists, they have been awarded numerous patents in biomedical materials and drug delivery through their scientific advances.
NAI is a non-profit membership organization comprised of U.S. and international universities, and governmental and non-profit research institutions, with over 3,000 individual inventor members and Fellows spanning more than 200 institutions. Election to NAI Fellow status is a high professional distinction accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a highly 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.
“We congratulate Professors Kohn and Uhrich on this very special honor,” said Professor Roger A. Jones, Rutgers CCB Chairman. “Joachim and Kathryn have been awarded numerous patents in biomedical materials and drug delivery through their scientific advances. They are not only outstanding researchers with an excellent history of translating their discoveries into products, but exceptional mentors for Rutgers students.”
Kohn is the founder and director of the New Jersey Center for Biomaterials at Rutgers. He is a leader in biomaterials science and his laboratory is widely known for the development of tyrosine-derived, resorbable polymers, which are now used in several FDA-approved medical devices. His research focuses on new ways to develop biomaterials for specific applications, particularly tissue engineering, regenerative medicine and drug delivery, using combinatorial and computational methods.
Kohn led a team of scientists who discovered a polymer optimized for fully degradable cardiovascular stents, which are being tested in clinical trials. His approach also was used for the development of optimized polymers by Lux Biosciences for ophthalmic applications and by Trident Biomedical for orthopedic applications. Kohn holds 58 U.S. patents and has received about $100 million in research support from U.S. federal agencies and other sources since 1997. He is the Chair of the International College of Fellows of Biomaterials Science and Engineering, and the recipient of the Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award for best patent in medical technology in New Jersey in 1999 and 2006.
Uhrich holds over 50 U.S. and international patents with over 20 applications pending worldwide. She is the scientific founder of Polymerix Corporation, a specialty pharmaceutical company that developed products based on therapeutic polymer technology. Uhrich is involved in several start-ups that use her technology: Bioabsorbable Therapeutics, Xenogenics, Polymer Therapeutics and two others in process.
Uhrich leads The Uhrich Group, a laboratory that designs biocompatible and biodegradable polymers for medical, dental and personal care applications. She has trained over 160 junior and senior scientists in polymer chemistry and generated nearly $30 million in federal and corporate funding. Her honors include the Common Pathways Award from the New Jersey Association for Biomedical Research, the American Chemical Society’s Buck-Whitney Award, Dow’s Turner Alfrey Visiting Professorship and the Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award from the R&D Council of New Jersey. Uhrich is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and a Fellow of the American Chemical Society’s Polymer Division.
About Rutgers University Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology
The Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department (CCB) at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is a national leader in undergraduate and graduate education and scientific research. Among all U.S. universities, the department is first in federal research dollars garnered and school spending, over $38 million annually, according to the most recent Chemical & Engineering News report. Chemistry faculty members have obtained more than 250 patents and $170 million in venture capital over the past 12 years. Rutgers will soon break ground on a new building for CCB, designed to be a signature science facility for the Busch campus. For more information, please visit http://chem.rutgers.edu/
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