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Emory researchers recognized for their spirit of innovation
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Brian Katzowitz
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Emory researchers selected as Fellows by the National Academy of Inventors

Two Emory University academic and research leaders, Ray Dingledine (left) and George Painter, have been named 2022 fellows of the National Academy of Inventors, the highest professional distinction accorded to academic inventors.

Two Emory University academic and research leaders, Ray Dingledine and George Painter, have been selected as 2022 Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). 

The NAI Fellows Program recognizes academic inventors who have created or facilitated inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society. To date, NAI Fellows hold more than 58,000 issued U.S. patents, which have generated more than 13,000 licensed technologies and companies, and created more than one million jobs. NAI fellow status is the highest professional distinction awarded to academic inventors.

Dingledine and Painter are among 169 new fellows representing 110 research universities and government and non-profit research institutes worldwide. The 2022 fellow class collectively holds more than 5,000 U.S. government-issued patents.

“Each of these individuals have made significant impact through their work and are highly-regarded in their respective fields,” said Dr. Paul Sanberg, FNAI, President of the NAI. “The breadth and scope of their inventions is truly staggering. I am excited to see their creativity continue to define a new era of science and technology in the global innovation ecosystem.”

This year’s class of fellows will be inducted in June 2023 at NAI’s 12th anniversary meeting in Washington, DC. 

Ray Dingledine

Ray Dingledine, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology at Emory University School of Medicine, a department he chaired for 25 years. He also served as Executive Associate Dean of Research in the School of Medicine for 11 years. He has co-authored more than 240 peer-reviewed papers and is co-inventor on ten awarded patents. Dingledine’s research over the past decade has focused on the consequences of inflammation in the brain. He and his colleagues have drawn on multiple disciplines (high throughput pharmacology, electrophysiology, immunology, molecular biology, behavior and medicinal chemistry) to create a suite of novel anti-inflammatory drugs that are potent, selective, brain permeant and orally available. 

“I am so proud to be inducted into the same NAI class as George Painter, a member of our department who is a true giant in academic drug development,” Dingledine says. “The high throughput screening center I and colleagues created in 2003 has morphed into the Emory Chemical Biology Discovery Center, which has been instrumental in our success and that of many other laboratories at Emory.”

George Painter

George Painter, PhD, is a professor Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology at Emory University School of Medicine, CEO of Drug Innovation Ventures at Emory, and Executive Director of the Emory Institute for Drug Development. With an extensive background in the discovery and development of pharmaceutical agents during stints at Burroughs Welcome, Triangle Pharmaceuticals and Chimerix Inc, Painter is a co-inventor of more than 45 patents, six of which have led to approved commercially available drugs or combinations of drugs for the treatment of HIV and hepatitis B. Most recently, Painter received international acclaim for his life-saving work in developing molnupiravir, which is now approved globally for the treatment of COVID-19. Painter received his B.S., M.S. and PhD from Emory’s Department of Chemistry.


About the National Academy of Inventors 

The National Academy of Inventors is a member organization comprising U.S. and international universities, and governmental and non-profit research institutes, with more than 4,000 individual inventor members and Fellows spanning more than 250 institutions worldwide. It was founded in 2010 to recognize and encourage inventors with patents issued from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), enhance the visibility of academic technology and innovation, encourage the disclosure of intellectual property, educate, and mentor innovative students, and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society. The NAI has a close partnership with the USPTO and is one of three honorific organizations, along with the National Medals and National Inventors Hall of Fame, working closely with the USPTO on many discovery and innovation support initiatives.

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