Two Ohio State medical scientists elected to the National Academy of Inventors
Krystof Bankiewicz, Michael Tweedle join class of 2023 Fellows
The National Academy of Inventors (NAI) has elected two professors in The Ohio State University College of Medicine to its 2023 class of Fellows.
Krystof Bankiewicz, MD, PhD, professor in the Department of Neurological Surgery, and Michael Tweedle, PhD, professor emeritus in the Department of Radiology, are among the 162 academic inventors named NAI Fellows this year. They are the 17th and 18th Ohio State inventors selected for this prestigious honor over the years. Election as an Academy Fellow is the highest professional distinction awarded solely to inventors.
The 2023 class of Fellows represents 35 U.S. states and 10 countries.
“Members of this year’s class of NAI Fellows are making significant contributions to both science and society through their work,” said Paul R. Sanberg, president of the NAI. “This new class, in conjunction with our existing Fellows, are creating innovations that drive crucial advancements across a variety of disciplines and stimulate the global and national economy in immeasurable ways as they move these technologies from lab to marketplace.”
He became the chief scientific officer of Ohio State’s Gene Therapy Institute when it launched in 2022. His research focuses on developing translational approaches to drug, gene and cell replacement therapies.
“I’m proud of the advances we’ve made to treat Parkinson’s disease and a rare genetic disorder called AADC deficiency, which causes severe physical and developmental disabilities in children, but more work still needs to be done. We want to cure every child in the world with this disease,” Bankiewicz said.
In addition to his work at Ohio State, Bankiewicz is the co-founder of MedGenesis Therapeutix Inc., Voyager Therapeutics and Brain Neurotherapy Bio, Inc.
He is a professor emeritus at the University of California, San Francisco, and he served as the former chief of molecular therapeutics at the National Institutes of Health. Additionally, he is the director of the Interventional Neuro Centers at Brodno Hospital in Warsaw, Poland.
Throughout his career, Bankiewicz has authored more than 230 peer-reviewed articles appearing in prestigious journals such as PNAS, Science, Nature, Nature Medicine and Nature Communications. He has developed several gene therapy-related patents, surgical devices and more. Bankiewicz is leading two ongoing gene therapy clinical trials in Parkinson’s disease, multiple system atrophy and pediatric neurotransmitter deficiency.
He’s a member of several editorial boards and scientific organizations.
“I am so honored to join the National Academy of Inventors as a Fellow and look forward to inventing new and improved gene therapies for a wide variety of brain disorders including Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s disease and alcohol use disorders” Bankiewicz said.
Tweedle joined Ohio State’s medical faculty in 2009 as a professor of radiology and director of the Imaging Agents Laboratory in the Wright Center for Innovation and Biomedical Imaging, and is one of the world’s most prominent and innovative researchers in diagnostic imaging and contrast media.
He held the Stefanie Spielman Chair in Cancer Imaging (2009-2023) and is a member of the Translational Therapeutics Program at Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James), where his research focuses on creating molecularly targeted therapies visualized in vivo (in the body) through diagnostic imaging technologies like positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
"I have always believed that if cancer can be imaged early enough, it can be cured,” Tweedle said. “That premise has underpinned all of my work to create new imaging agents."
Tweedle holds or co-holds 39 U.S. patents. He developed ProHance, a type of MRI agent that has been used in more than 20 million patients. In addition, he invented the first catalysts for producing technetium (a chemical element) radiopharmaceutical kits for the heart, and he created some of the earliest targeted molecular-imaging agents from monoclonal antibodies.
More recently, he was the co-inventor of first-in-class targeted imaging/therapeutic peptides for prostate, breast, and head and neck cancers, and a first-in-class angiogenesis (blood vessel formation) receptor-targeted agent. Most of his projects seek targeted imaging agents that are biochemically associated with treatment, so that patients’ therapy can be personalized to their biologically unique cancer.
Tweedle has co-authored more than 100 articles appearing in well-respected publications, including Journal of Nuclear Medicine, Molecular Imaging and Biology and The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. He has also shared his research in hundreds of presentations at international events.
"I love research, but inventing, creating and driving new ideas to real-world practice is my passion,” Tweedle said. “So I am deeply moved by the election to Fellow in the NAI."