Two GUMC Researchers Named National Academy of Inventors Fellows

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WASHINGTON (Dec. 15, 2015) – The National Academy of Inventors (new window) (NAI) has named two Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) professors to its 2015 class of Fellows — Milton L. Brown, MD, PhD, and Usha N. Kasid, PhD.

Kasid is a professor of radiation medicine in GUMC’s Department of Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology and is a member of the molecular oncology program at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. 

Brown, the Edwin H. Richard And Elisabeth Richard Von Matsch Endowed Chair In Experimental Therapeutics at Georgetown Lombardi, is director of Center for Drug Discovery at GUMC.

Election to NAI Fellow status “is a 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,” states the NAI.

Milton Brown
“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,” says Brown.

Since joining Georgetown 10 years ago, Brown has led a staff of over 20 researchers in finding and evaluating new drugs and testing them against molecular targets. The Center for Drug Discovery seeks to take translational research to the next level, bridging 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 and clinical trials.

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.

Earlier this year, Brown received the highest honor from the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Engineers for distinguished contributions in pure or applied research in science or engineering.

Usha Kasid
“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 says.

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, in particular, in breast and prostate cancers. In addition, her team is developing target-specific nanoparticles as tumor radiation and chemotherapy sensitizers.

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

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

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. Brown and Kasid and the 166 other members of the 2015 class account for more than 5,300 issued U.S. patents, according to the NAI. 

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

The 2015 NAI Fellows will be inducted April 15, 2016, at Fifth Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors.

About Georgetown University Medical Center
Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) is an internationally recognized academic medical center with a three-part mission of research, teaching and patient care (through MedStar Health). GUMC’s mission is carried out with a strong emphasis on public service and a dedication to the Catholic, Jesuit principle of cura personalis — or “care of the whole person.” The Medical Center includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing & Health Studies, both nationally ranked; Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, designated as a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute; and the Biomedical Graduate Research Organization, which accounts for the majority of externally funded research at GUMC including a Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Institutes of Health.