USF Research News

USF’s Paul Sanberg Named National Invention Ambassador

June 26, 2014
President of National Academy of Inventors selected by AAAS and Lemelson Foundation as one of seven ambassadors in inaugural class

By Judy Lowry
USF Research News

TAMPA, Fla. – Paul R. Sanberg, senior vice president for research and innovation at the University of South Florida and founder and president of the National Academy of Inventors, has been named a national Invention Ambassador by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Lemelson Foundation.

“I am honored to be included in this distinguished inaugural group,” said Sanberg, “and look forward to traveling around the country this year in support of the AAAS and Lemelson mission of recognizing inventions and inventors who understand the role of invention in improving quality of life, creating products, building businesses, and fostering innovation.”

The seven AAAS-Lemelson Invention Ambassadors, who will serve for one year, were selected from academia and private industry. The ambassadors collectively hold approximately 150 patents and have demonstrated a high regard for the role of invention, an invention track record, an accomplished professional career, and a commitment to invention’s role in impacting environmental sustainability, according to the AAAS-Lemelson announcement (

Sanberg, who is also Distinguished University Professor of Neuroscience, Biomedical Engineering, and Business at USF, is a highly prolific inventor with over 30 licensed health-related U.S. patents. He is a Fellow of the AAAS and a Charter Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, among other honors and awards, and serves on the nomination evaluation committee of the United States National Medal of Technology and Innovation for the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Sanberg’s work has been instrumental in translating novel pharmaceutical and cellular therapeutics to clinical trials for Tourette syndrome, depression, stroke, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, Alzheimer's disease, and overactive bladder. He has worked with a number of startup companies involved in cell therapy for degenerative disorders. Sanberg has published more than 600 scientific articles and 13 books and is considered a highly-cited scientist.

The other ambassadors are Karen Burg, director, Institute for Biological Interfaces of Engineering and vice president for research and professor of chemical engineering at Kansas State University; Rory Cooper, endowed chair and professor of rehabilitation science and technology and professor of Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University; Sorin Grama, co-founder and CEO of Promethean Power Systems (USA and India); Steven Sasson, inventor of the digital camera; Paul Stamets, founder of Fungi Perfecti and Host Defense Organic Mushrooms; and Vinod Veedu, director of strategic initiatives at Oceanit.

Each ambassador will share the story of his or her journey as an inventor at the “Celebrate Invention” kick-off event showcasing the ambassadors, to be held next week on July 1 at the AAAS Headquarters in Washington, DC.

AAAS (, founded in 1848, promotes the development of science and engineering at the national level and represents the interests of all its disciplines. The Lemelson Foundation ( was founded by Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson and supports invention and inventors, science and technology education in the US, and technological innovation in the developing world.

The AAAS-Lemelson Ambassadors Program is led by a team that includes AAAS and Lemelson Foundation staff and representatives from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Small Business Administration, and National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Judy Lowry can be reached at