UTHSC-Graduate School of Medicine’s Alan Solomon inducted into the 2023 Hall of Fame, UTHSC’s Ramesh Narayanan named 2023 Innovator of the Year
At its annual Innovation Awards, the University of Tennessee Research Foundation celebrated 89 years of university innovation and impact. UTRF recognized 5 startups, 40 executed commercialization agreements, and 46 issued patents at the two celebrations — held at UT Knoxville and the UT Health Science Center.
UTRF reached new heights in 2023. We have achieved 160 disclosures systemwide – a remarkable milestone – and have negotiated 40 commercialization agreements,” said UTRF President Maha Krishnamurthy. “Our team is growing, and the UT System’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is stronger than ever.”
In Knoxville, UTRF inducted Dr. Alan Solomon, professor emeritus, into its Hall of Fame for his lifetime scientific contributions and active role in bettering his community. This award is UTRF’s highest honor, recognizing lifetime work of excellence in innovation and commercialization. Solomon spent nearly five decades practicing medicine and researching light chain amyloidosis, a rare, life-threatening disease.
Solomon’s work on AL amyloidosis led to the discovery of 11-1F4, a novel therapeutic for the disease. 11-1F4 received Orphan Drug Designation as a therapy for AL amyloidosis by the Federal Drug Administration and the European Commission.
Additionally, Solomon was one of the seven national American Cancer Society’s Clinical Research Professors. Solomon was the Principal Investigator on research grants from the American Cancer Society, the National Science Foundation, the FDA, and the National Cancer Institute. He authored or co-authored over 250 publications in medical and scientific journals.
It cannot be overstated how important Dr. Alan Solomon’s contributions to the university and greater scientific community have been,” said Kusum Rathore, UTRF Vice President, Multi-Campus Office. “UTRF is overjoyed to invite him into the Hall of Fame alongside other brilliant innovators who have spent the better part of their careers creating and advocating for lifesaving, life-changing technologies.”
In Memphis, UTRF named UTHSC’s Ramesh Narayanan the 2023 Innovator of the Year. Dr. Narayanan is a professor in the Department of Medicine, Eric Muirhead Professor of Pathology, and the Deputy Director of the UTHSC Cancer Center.
For over 25 years, Dr. Narayanan’s research has focused on molecular drug discovery, translational oncology, and the fundamental mechanisms of action for diseases, therapeutic targets, and new chemical entities. He has published 65 peer-reviewed publications, six book chapters, and co-authored over 100 patent applications.
Dr. Ramesh Narayanan is a prolific researcher and faculty member,” said Todd Ponzio, UTRF Vice President, Memphis. “His passion for drug discovery is an asset for UTHSC and future potential patients who will benefit from his work. UTRF is proud to award him 2023 Innovator of the Year.”
Next year, UTRF will celebrate 90 years of promoting the commercialization of UT intellectual property and encouraging an entrepreneurial culture.