Global EngagementUC HomeAbout UCUC AcademicsUC AdmissionsUC AthleticsUC GlobalUC HealthUC LibrariesUC ResearchNews


UC President, Engineering Professor Named to National Academy of Inventors

The National Academy of Inventors has tapped two UC scientists for induction into its ranks.

Date: 12/10/2013 10:00:00 AM
By: Marianne Kunnen-Jones
Phone: (513) 556-2019
Other Contact: Tom Curtis
Other Contact Phone: (513) 556-1169

UC ingot   University of Cincinnati President Santa J. Ono and Professor Jason Heikenfeld have been named Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).

Election to NAI Fellow status is a high professional distinction accorded to 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.
Photo of President Ono
President Ono

Santa J. Ono currently serves as UC’s 28th president and a professor of pediatrics in the College of Medicine and professor of biology in the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Ono’s research focuses on Ono’s research focuses on the pathogenesis of allergic inflammation in the eye and the role of the immune response in age-related macular degeneration.  He is chief scientific officer of iCo Therapeutics Inc., of Vancouver, Canada, a company he co-founded, and which holds exclusive worldwide rights to three products related to diabetic macular edema and other sight-threatening and infectious diseases. The company is  listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. He has served as a consultant to GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Johnson & Johnson, Oxagen and Santen Pharmaceuticals and currently works with Ohio Governor John Kasich on his biopharmaceutical initiative. Dr. Ono has published over 110 articles and book chapters and has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Immunology, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Immunology and the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology. Ono’s prior awards as a researcher include: Helen Hay Whitney Fellow at Harvard University, the American Diabetes Association Career Development Award, the Arthritis Foundation Investigator Award, the Roche Award and the Pharmacia International Award in Allergy Research.  He holds one U.S. patent and one provisional patent. He also is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Royal Societies of Medicine & Chemistry and the American Academy of Allergy & Immunology.

Photo of Jason Heikenfeld
Professor Heikenfeld

Jason Heikenfeld currently serves as a professor of electrical engineering and computing systems in UC’s College of Engineering and Applied Science. He is a global academic leader in both electrowetting technology and in electronic paper displays. His fundamental research activities have produced nearly three-dozen corporate partnerships spanning the past seven years. He is the recipient of numerous national awards including the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) Young Investigator awards. UC has honored him with the Sigma Xi Young Investigator Award, the Emerging Entrepreneurial Achievement Award, the Established Entrepreneurial Achievement Award, and as a Master Educator. A holder of 10 U.S. patents, most of which have been licensed to industry with an equal number of patent applications pending, he is a founder of two startup companies in display technology. He is currently launching a third in biotechnology and has approximately 100 journal publications that have earned 2,500 citations. Heikenfeld has served as an associate and contributing editor for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Journal of Display Technology (IEEE JDT) and Information Display Magazine. He also is a senior member of IEEE, Society for Information Display (SID), and a life member of SPIE — the international society for optics and photonics.

The 143 innovators elected to NAI Fellow status represent 94 universities and governmental and non-profit research institutes.  Together, they hold more than 5,600 U.S. patents.  

Included in the 2013 class are 26 presidents and senior leadership of research universities and non-profit research institutes, 69 members of the National Academies (IOM, NAS, NAE), five inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation, two recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Science and nine Nobel Laureates, among other major awards and distinctions.

The NAI Fellows will be inducted by Deputy U.S. Commissioner for Patents Andy Faile, from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, during the Third Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors, on March 7, 2014, in Alexandria, Va., at the headquarters of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Fellows will be presented with a special trophy and a rosette pin.  

The NAI Fellows will also be recognized in a full page advertisement in The Chronicle of Higher Education and in a future issue of Technology and Innovation – Proceedings of the National Academy of Inventors.

Academic inventors and innovators elected to the rank of NAI 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.

The NAI Fellows Selection Committee is comprised of 13 Members including NAI Charter Fellows, recipients of U.S. National Medals, National Inventors Hall of Fame inductees, members of the National Academies and senior officials from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association of University Technology Managers, and the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

The University of Cincinnati is a top 25 public research university with its highest enrollment in history – more than 42,500 students. U.S. News & World Report ranks 34 of UC’s programs in the top 50 in the nation. UC also is the founder of the world’s first cooperative education program.

* * *

The National Academy of Inventors® is a 501(c)(3) non-profit member organization comprised of U.S. and international universities, and governmental and non-profit research institutions, with over 3,000 individual inventor members and Fellows spanning more than 200 institutions, and growing rapidly. It was founded in 2010 to recognize and encourage inventors with patents issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, 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 edits the multidisciplinary journal, Technology and Innovation – Proceedings of the National Academy of Inventors, published by Cognizant Communication Corporation (NY).