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Two UT Researchers Named Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors

Category: Research

KNOXVILLE – Two University of Tennessee faculty members have been named fellows of the National Academy of Inventors.

Duane Miller, Van Vleet Professor and chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the UT Health Science Center, and Mark Dean, Fisher Distinguished Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at UT Knoxville, were announced as fellows of the academy on Tuesday. Both fellows have been working through the UT Research Foundation to protect and promote their discoveries.

Miller, who has designed new drugs covering disease areas from oncology to ophthalmology, has founded two startup companies, been a senior part of the R&D team in a third and licensed compounds to three others. He holds 54 issued U.S. patents and more than 100 international patents, with more than 100 U.S. and international applications still pending.

Dean holds three of IBM’s original nine patents for personal computers, including one for the technology that allows multiple devices to be plugged into a computer at the same time. With colleague Doug Birdwell, Dean is working on a new computing platform technology that can mimic the human brain. UTRF filed five patent applications earlier this year to protect this invention. For more information about Dean’s selection as a fellow, visit

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.

Those named today bring the total number of NAI Fellows to 414, representing more than 150 prestigious research universities and governmental and non-profit research institutions.

The NAI Fellows will be inducted by the deputy U.S. commissioner for patent operations from the United States Patent and Trademark Office in March.

The academic inventors and innovators elected to the rank of NAI Fellow are named inventors on U.S. patents and 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. For more information about the NAI, visit

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Category: Research