National Academy of Inventors and FAU Announce Professor Herbert Weissbach as Charter Fellow
BOCA RATON, Fla. (December 19, 2012) – Herbert Weissbach, Ph.D., director and distinguished research professor in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science’s Center for Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at Florida Atlantic University has been named a charter fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).
"I am indeed honored to be elected a charter fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, a group of very distinguished scientists,” said Weissbach. “Our research here at FAU has concentrated on the role of oxidative damage in aging, especially with regard to how cells protect against this damage and the differences between normal and cancer cells. We hope that this basic research can be translated into new therapies for age related diseases and novel approaches to develop drugs that will specifically kill cancer cells, but not normal cells.”
Weissbach has had a prominent career in biochemistry and molecular biology, receiving a number of awards and honors including the American Chemical Society Enzyme Award. He also was listed as one of the top 300 most cited authors (1961-1976), the Townsend Harris Medal from City College of New York and the George Washington University Distinguished Alumni Award. He has more than 460 publications and has served in the past as an editor for the Journal of Biological Chemistry and Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics. He also is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.
“I cannot think of a better individual to be elected as a charter fellow to the NAI,” said Gary W. Perry, Ph.D, dean of FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. “Professor Weissbach has a distinguished career as a biochemist, an acute awareness of potential intellectual property and licensing issues regarding drug discovery. He holds several patents on his inventions at FAU and we are proud of him serving in this capacity.”
Election to NAI fellow status is a high-professional distinction accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a highly 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. The 98 innovators elected to NAI fellow status represent 54 universities and nonprofit research institutes. Together, they hold more than 3,200 U.S. patents.
Academic inventors and innovators elected to the rank of NAI charter fellow were nominated by their peers for outstanding contributions to innovation in areas such as patents and licensing, innovative discovery and technology, significant impact on society, and support and enhancement of innovation.
Included in the Charter class are eight nobel laureates, two fellows of the Royal Society, 12 presidents of research universities and nonprofit research institutes, 50 members of the National Academies (National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine), 11 inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, three recipients of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, four recipients of the National Medal of Science, and 29 AAAS Fellows, among other awards and distinctions.
The NAI charter fellows will be inducted by the U.S. Commissioner for Patents, Margaret A. Focarino, from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, during the second annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors, on Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, in Tampa at the Embassy Suites Hotel in the USF Research Park. Fellows will be presented with a special trophy and a rosette pin.
-FAU-Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of three signature themes – marine and coastal issues, biotechnology and contemporary societal challenges – which provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit www.fau.edu.