USF Research News

Florida Inventors Hall of Fame announces 2014 Inductees

July 8, 2014

Thomas Edison and the inventors of Gatorade and air conditioning among innovators elected as part of the inaugural class

TAMPA, Fla. – Thomas Edison, Gatorade inventor Robert Cade and John Gorrie, the air conditioning pioneer whose statue represents Florida in the U.S. Capitol Building, were among the six inventors announced today as the first inductees of the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame.

Also announced as part of the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame inaugural class were the inventor of the high definition camera for NASA, William Glenn; next generation liquid crystal display inventor Shin-Tson Wu; and Shyam Mohapatra, whose nano-HIV detection kit provides a diagnosis in just 20 seconds. All will be inducted at the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame inaugural Induction Ceremony & Gala on Sep. 10, 2014, in Tampa.

"We are thrilled to be announcing this charter class of outstanding inventors whose work has had such an impact on the lives of Floridians and the world," said Paul R. Sanberg, chair of the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame Advisory Board and senior vice president for research and innovation at the University of South Florida, where the Hall of Fame is located.

"Our hope is that the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame will encourage individuals of all ages and backgrounds to strive toward the betterment of Florida and society through continuous, groundbreaking innovation," said Sanberg.

The newly established Florida Inventors Hall of Fame, one of only seven state inventors' halls of fame throughout the US, was recognized last April with a resolution passed by the Florida Senate to honor outstanding Florida inventors. The resolution, adopted at the request of Senator Jeff Brandes (22nd District), recognized the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame "for its commitment to honoring inventors and celebrating innovation, discovery, and excellence."

Nominees, who must have at least one U.S. patent, were nominated through an open nomination process and elected by a selection committee comprised of distinguished leaders in research and innovation throughout Florida.

"Florida has become a national leader in research and innovation, and each of these inventors is an outstanding example of the creative thinking that has distinguished Florida both in the past and today," said Randy Berridge, president of the Florida High Tech Corridor Council and Hall of Fame Advisory Board member.

"Every new generation of scientists and inventors generates discoveries, economic growth and opportunity, not only for Floridians but for our nation and the world," said Berridge.

The 2014 Inductees of the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame:

Thomas Edison (1847-1931) is the most prolific inventor in U.S. history with 1,093 patents. No other inventor improved the standard of living of Americans in the 20th century as much as Edison. His inventions span diverse fields: electric lighting and power systems, batteries, recorded sound, and film. Edison contributed to both chemistry and botany with a project at his home and laboratory in Fort Myers, Florida, to find a natural source of rubber to be grown in the U.S. during a national emergency. Credited for creating the first modern industrial research laboratory, Edison followed an empirical approach to scientific research and helped set the standard for how to invent. As the man of the millennium, Edison's research and business practices created the model for today's research laboratories, product development and invention processes.

Robert Cade, M.D. (1927-2007), developed Gatorade while a professor at the University of Florida. Gatorade has protected countless amateur and professional athletes from heat-related injuries and has treated millions of people with dehydration diseases worldwide. Now owned by PepsiCo, Gatorade is listed by Forbes magazine as one of the world's 40 most powerful sports brands and has annual sales of more than $4 billion. For the University of Florida and the citizens of Florida, the success of Gatorade has translated into more resources to support research. Since 1973, Gatorade has brought more than $200 million to the university, enabling the University of Florida to invest in countless research projects.

William Glenn, Ph.D. (1926 – 2013), a professor at Florida Atlantic University, had a lifetime of innovations, achievements and contributions in the fields of high resolution imaging technology, electronic/ optical physics and electrical engineering. A past VP/Director of Research at CBS Laboratories and Director of the NASA Imaging Technology Space Center, he developed high-definition digital imaging technology that had utility in military, aerospace, surveillance and consumer applications (Panavision). Glenn developed the High Definition Maximum Value (HDMAX) complementary metal-oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) camera, which exceeded the resolution and performance capabilities of all existing high definition television cameras. The camera was used by NASA at the international space station and versions of the HDMAX CMOS camera were developed for U.S. military use in coastline security and surveillance and by NASA for space-flight scientific observation, inspection and medical informatics.

John Gorrie, M.D. (1803-1855), invented the ice-making machine and is considered the father of air conditioning and refrigeration. Gorrie's invention began with an attempt to cure Yellow Fever during an outbreak in Apalachicola in 1841. Convinced that cold was a healer, he advocated the use of ice to cool sickrooms and reduce fever. Ice was shipped by boat from northern lakes until Gorrie's successful experimentations with the rapid expansion of gases to create refrigeration. The state of Florida honored Gorrie as a notable person in Florida's history by donating the statue of John Gorrie to the National Statuary Hall collection located in the United States Capitol Building, and naming a museum and Florida state park in his honor.

Shyam Mohapatra, Ph.D. (1955- ), is recognized for his many inventions in the field of nanoscale biomedical diagnostics and therapeutics in cancers, asthma, viral infections, and traumatic brain injury. His inventions led to several customized cell-targeted nanoparticles with diverse drug payloads and a nano-HIV detection kit. Mohapatra cofounded TransGenex Nanobiotech Inc., which specializes in manufacturing these nanoscale products and is also commercializing products for 3D cancer cell culture technology and services for anti-cancer drug discovery and personalized cancer treatment. A Distinguished USF Health Professor at the University of South Florida, and research career scientist at the Haley VA Hospital in Tampa, his research has brought USF over $20 million in extramural funds and includes inventions that have spun out companies. Mohapatra is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

Shin-Tson Wu, Ph.D. (1953- ). Wu's contributions to liquid crystal research and the resulting patent portfolio for next-generation liquid crystal displays, adaptive optics, laser beam steering, biophotonics, and new photonic materials, have had a major impact on display technology worldwide. His most significant development to date is the mixed-mode twisted nematic LC cell, which is an integral part of high-resolution, high-contrast reflective and transflective LCDs, including direct-view, projection and wearable displays. His technologies have enabled new types of optical beam control devices and have impacted many who have ever used an LCD product, such as a smart phone, computer screen and television. Wu is a professor in the College of Optics and Photonics at the University of Central Florida and a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

For more information the 2014 inductees, the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame, and the 2014 Induction Ceremony & Gala on Sep. 10, visit or contact


The Florida Inventors Hall of Fame (FIHF) recognizes and commends Florida inventors whose achievements have advanced the quality of life for Floridians, the state and the nation. Founded in 2013 and housed at the University of South Florida in Tampa, FIHF was recognized by Florida Senate Resolution 1756 in April of 2014. FIHF encourages individuals of all ages and backgrounds to strive toward the betterment of Florida and society through continuous, groundbreaking innovation, and, by commending the incredible scientific work being accomplished in the state, to further the growth of Florida's innovation sector. 


Source: Florida Inventors Hall of Fame

Media Contact: Judy Lowry, 813-974-3181,