Two GUMC Researchers Named National Academy of Inventors Fellows

Posted in GUMC Stories

DEC. 15, 2015 — The National Academy of Inventors (NAI)  has awarded two GUMC faculty members with the distinction of NAI Fellow.

NAI is a nonprofit organization composed of more than 200 U.S. and international universities and nonprofit research institutes.

Milton L. Brown, MD, PhD (new window), the Edwin H. Richard And Elisabeth Richard Von Matsch Endowed Chair In Experimental Therapeutics and Usha N. Kasid, PhD (new window), professor of radiation medicine in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology, were both recognized for their prestige as academic inventors. To qualify as an NAI Fellow, inventors must 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.”

All NAI Fellows are named inventors on U.S. patents and were nominated by their peers for their outstanding contributions. Brown, Kasid and the 166 other new NAI Fellows members of the 2015 class account for more than 5,300 issued U.S. patents, according to the NAI.

Previous Georgetown inductees include: Spiros S. Dimolitsas, PhD, Anatoly Dritschilo, MD, Ophir Frieder, PhD and Richard Schlegel, MD, PhD.

Milton Brown  

Brown, director of the Center for Drug Discovery at GUMC, leads a staff of over 20 researchers in finding and evaluating new drugs and testing them against molecular targets. The Center for Drug Discovery bridges the gap between basic and clinical research. Under Brown’s guidance, scientists from a range of disciplines collaborate to move therapeutic discoveries from their initial concepts to preclinical studies, all the way to the hospital itself.  

“I am so honored to be inducted into the National Academy of Inventors and to continue to make new innovations in the discovery of new medicines.” said Brown, who came to GUMC in 2006.

The NAI is not the only organization that has recognized Brown for his achievements this year. This fall, he also received the prestigious Percy L. Julian Award from the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Engineers.

“One of my biggest passions is developing new compounds that can be translated into better treatments for patients, whether they have cancer or other diseases,” said Brown.

Brown has 16 issued patents for work at Georgetown and the University of Virginia related to novel compositions for the treatment of human diseases such as cancer and drug addiction, in addition to neuroprotective agents.  

Usha Kasid

Kasid’s research is centered on the signal transduction mechanisms of tumor growth, metastasis and resistance to radiation and chemotherapies. Her work has led to the  development and application of cancer gene silencing nanoparticles in clinical trials. Kasid has discovered promising prognostic and therapeutic molecular targets, specifically in breast and prostate cancers. In addition, her team is developing target-specific nanoparticles as tumor radiation and chemosensitizers.

“Discoveries of new cancer molecules and delivery systems of cancer-targeted drugs have the potential to diagnose and treat cancer in new ways,” she said.

Kasid is first-inventor on ten U.S. patents on cancer causing genes and molecular targeted delivery systems.

“It is a privilege and honor for me to join this prestigious group of highly innovative scientists dedicated to advancing clinical care and improving human health,” Kasid said.

Leigh Ann Renzulli
GUMC Communications