​Whitacre one of two new Fellows of National Academy of Inventors

Ohio State’s VP for Research and Katrina Cornish receive honors

By: Jeff Grabmeier

Published on December 16, 2015

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Caroline Whitacre, vice president for research at The Ohio State University, was this week awarded the rank of Fellow by the National Academy of Inventors.

Whitacre is one of two inductees from Ohio State this year. The other is Katrina Cornish, Endowed Chair and Ohio Research Scholar, Bioemergent Materials, in the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, and the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering.

NAI Fellows are nominated by their peers for outstanding contributions to innovation.

Caroline Whitacre

“We at Ohio State are extremely proud of the accomplishments of Drs. Whitacre and Cornish. Their contributions to innovation are superb examples of the positive impact that the university has on society,” said Bruce McPheron, interim executive vice president and provost.

Katrina Cornish

Whitacre was honored both for her own research advances and for her leadership in promoting innovation as vice president. Whitacre holds a patent for a peptide that she developed that offers significant promise for treatment of autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis. She was also honored for creating an environment at Ohio State that fosters innovation and the translation of inventions for the benefit of others.

Since joining Ohio State in 2010, Cornish has submitted 26 invention disclosures, 15 with student co-inventors, and 12 of the pending patents have been licensed to private industry. She has had tremendous impact on the development of alternate natural rubber sources and applications. Her issued and pending patents span a range of fields, including transgenic enabling technologies, plant utility patents, process engineering, value-added materials, sustainable fillers, and medical products and devices.

Whitacre and Cornish will be inducted on April 15, 2016, as part of the Fifth Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). In honor of their outstanding accomplishments, they will be presented with a special trophy, medal and rosette pin.

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