Two VCU faculty named senior members of National Academy of Inventors
Srirama Rao, Everett Carpenter recognized for patents, inventions
Virginia Commonwealth University announced Tuesday that two faculty members have been named as senior members of the National Academy of Inventors, an organization for inventors in academia.
Srirama Rao, VCU’s vice president for research and innovation, and Everett Carpenter, a chemistry professor in the College of Humanities and Sciences, were two of 38 academic inventors who were named on the academy’s August 2020 list of senior members — and the only two from Virginia tapped this year by the National Academy of Inventors. Senior members are those who are active faculty, scientists and administrators from member institutions who have demonstrated innovation-producing technologies that have an impact on the welfare of society, according to the academy.
Rao (no relation to VCU President Michael Rao) heads VCU’s Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation and is a professor in the VCU School of Medicine’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology. He is the inventor for eight U.S. patents that are being commercialized by medical device company Mardill and cardiovascular drug development company Diakron Pharmaceuticals — both of which he founded.
Carpenter is the inventor on seven U.S. patents, and has pending applications and international filings. Some of his inventions were licensed to Nanofoundry LLC, a company he co-founded to develop low-cost permanent magnets that do not require the use of rare earth elements.
“We are very proud of the election of Vice President Srirama Rao and Dr. Everett Carpenter as senior members of the academy,” Ivelina Metcheva, VCU Innovation Gateway senior executive director, said in a statement. “Such an honor is bestowed on members of the academy who have demonstrated a drive to see their research translated into commercial products.”
Senior members are elected biannually by the National Academy of Inventors. This year, 24 research universities, government and nonprofit research institutes were represented.
“NAI member institutions support some of the most elite innovators on the horizon,” National Academy of Inventors President Paul R. Sanberg said in a statement. “With the NAI senior member award distinction, we are recognizing innovators who are rising stars in their fields and the innovative ecosystems that support their work. This new class is joining a prolific group of academic visionaries already defining tomorrow.”