The University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF) held part-two of its 2019 Innovation Awards ceremony in Memphis on December 5, celebrating the ground-breaking achievements of the University of Tennessee Health-Science Center (UTHSC) researchers over the past year.
The ceremony’s guest of honor was UTHSC College of Pharmacy’s Dr. Duane Miller, who recently received his 100th U.S. patent. Dr. Miller was inducted into the National Academy of Inventors in 2015 for his life-changing innovations using synthetic medicinal structures to attack diseases. His research helped discover the first new nonsteroidal selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs); more recently, he’s focused on discovery and development of new agents for unmet medical conditions including resistant prostate cancer, breast cancer, and advanced melanoma. The world-renowned expert in pharmaceutical sciences holds over 400 patents and patent applications, has authored more than 430 publications and 16 book chapters, and has presented at over 360 U.S. and international conferences.
“Earning 100 U.S. patents is a rare achievement even for the very best inventors, and Dr. Miller’s accomplishment marks his preeminence among academic researchers across the globe,” said Dr. Richard Magid, vice president of UTRF at UTHSC. “We’re proud to have helped Dr. Miller reach this extraordinary achievement through his research at UTHSC.”
The Memphis Innovation Awards also honored researchers who patented 13 new technologies; innovators who secured 8 licensing agreements; and two startups born from UTHSC technologies for their outstanding progress, SEAK Therapeutics, LLC and Azimuth Sleep Solutions, Inc. UTRF awarded four Technology Maturation Grants to UTHSC faculty and research teams to support further development of commercially-viable projects. Additionally, two spotlight presenters shared about their innovations in biomedical engineering and biomechanics. Throughout this year, UTRF received 168 invention disclosures and filed 108 new patent applications for UT innovations across the state.
“The enormous successes of 2019 show how the University of Tennessee significantly impacts our region throughout the lifeline of innovation with UTRF’s support,” said Dr. Stacey Patterson, University of Tennessee vice president for Research, Outreach and Economic Development and UTRF president.
For a complete list of award recipients, please see our awards program.