Athanasiou, Hammock, Islam elected to inventors academy

Mugshots (3): Kyriacos A. Athanasiou, Bruce D. Hammock and M. Saif Islam
UC Davis' new NAI fellows, from left: Athanasiou, Hammock and Islam

Kyriacos A. Athanasiou makes biodegradable scaffolds to aid in the regeneration of human cartilage.

Bruce D. Hammock’s lab developed green insecticides, and pioneered immunodiagnostics for environmental analysis and biosensor development.

M. Saif Islam discovered a way to mass-produce the sharp edges of silicon and subsequently co-founded a company that is gearing up to manufacture blades for surgery and shaving.

The three professors are UC Davis’ newest additions to the relatively new National Academy of Inventors. UC Davis has two other members: Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi (electrical engineer), elected in the academy’s inaugural class of fellows, 2012; and Jerry Woodall, distinguished professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, elected in 2013.

Today (Dec. 16) the academy announced its 2014 class, bringing the total number of fellows to 414. All are academic inventors who have “demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society,” according to a news release.

The induction ceremony for the new fellows is scheduled for March 20 during the academy’s fourth annual conference, being held at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

More about UC Davis’ newest fellows:

Kyriacos A. AthanasiouDepartment chair and distinguished professor of biomedical engineering, and the Child Family Professor of Engineering, who also has an appointment in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. He studies the healing processes of cartilage, and works to augment them via the application of tissue engineering principles. “Our approach entails the use of biodegradable scaffolds designed to incorporate suitable bioactive agents and signals to regenerate cartilage,” his website states. He’s the recipient of the Marshal Urist Award for Excellence in Tissue Regeneration Research, the Thomas A. Edison Patent Award and a number of innovation awards.

Bruce D. Hammock Distinguished professor of entomology who also has an appointment at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. Most recently, his laboratory found potent enzyme inhibitors that dramatically reduce inflammation, inflammatory pain and neuropathic pain. Compounds are now being tested in two ways: in clinical trials for companion animals, and in the Food and Drug Administration’s Pre-Investigational New Drug Application Consultation Program, for the treatment of neuropathic pain in people with diabetes. He’s a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the Entomological Society of America.

M. Saif Islam Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and co-director of the Center for Nano and Micro Manufacturing, or CNM2. His research focuses on ultrafast optoelectric devices, molecular electronics, and the integration of semiconductor nanostructures in devices for imaging, sensing, computing and energy conversion. He holds 37 U.S. patents. He’s the co-founder of Atocera, a start-up that plans to bring its silicon surgical and razor blades to market as a less expensive alternative to ceramic and diamond blades. Atocera is housed in the College of Engineering’s incubator — officially known as the Engineering Translational Technology Center.

Academic Affairs maintains an online listing of selected national and international honors bestowed on UC Davis faculty.

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