Election to NAI fellow status is a high professional distinction accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated prolific innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.
The academy, a nonprofit organization that recognizes inventors with U.S. patents, will induct the 2016 NAI Fellows on April 6, 2017, as part of the Sixth Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, Mass.
Mallapragada, who also has appointments with materials science and engineering and the Ames Laboratory, has worked for about two decades to invent bio-materials and bio-inspired materials with the goal of improving human health.
“This is really a huge honor,” Mallapragada said of being named an academy fellow. “The credit goes to all of my students – all of our research enterprise is fueled by them. This is a testament to their efforts, and not just my own.”
Mallapragada’s research group has six patents, with more in the pipeline. In addition to patents for bio-materials and bio-inspired materials, others are related to the development of biodegradable polymer substrates that help nerves to bridge gaps and regenerate.
Mallapragada’s group is currently doing a lot of work developing materials for nanovaccines as part of Iowa State’s Nanovaccine Initiative.
Pat Halbur, professor and chair of veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine and the executive director of the ISU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, was also named fellow. (Read more about his work)
With the election of the 2016 class, there are now 757 NAI fellows, representing 229 research universities and governmental and nonprofit research institutes. The 2016 fellows are named inventors on 5,437 issued U.S. patents, bringing the collective patents held by all NAI Fellows to more than 26,000.