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November 16, 2018 - Meet the newest inventors at the University of South Alabama

Inventors 2018.jpgBack Row: Reggie Taylor, Dr. Andrew E. Byrd, Dr. Victor Solodushko; Middle Row: Dr. Kuang-Ting Hsiao, Anna Buford, Dr. Brian Fouty; Front Row: Dr. Gary A. Piazza, Dr. Sanjeev Srivastava, Dr. Ajay Singh, and Dr. Seema Singh.


MOBILE, Alabama -- The University of South Alabama Office of Commercialization and Industry Collaboration held its 2018 Inventor Recognition Luncheon on October 31 at the USA Faculty Club. The Inventor Recognition Luncheon is an opportunity for the OCIC to acknowledge and thank the university’s inventors for their dedication to innovative research that results in valuable intellectual property. At the event, special recognition awards are formally presented to inventors named on recently issued patents in the U.S.

This year the OCIC presented six awards to the following inventors listed on five U.S. patents issued between October 2016 and October 2018: Dr. Brian Fouty, Dr. Victor Solodushko, Dr. Seema Singh, Dr. Ajay Singh, Dr. Sanjeev Srivastava, Dr. Gary Piazza, and Dr. Kuang-Ting Hsiao. In addition, the university awarded an inventor of its first licensed trade, Mrs. Anna Buford.

"Internationally, universities are increasingly recognized as critical economic drivers," said Lynne Chronister, vice president of Research and Economic Development. "South faculty have doubled the number of invention disclosures in the past two years and by doing so are creating a strong innovation ecosystem on campus and in our region."

Among the inventors recognized:

Dr. Brian Fouty, M.D., and Dr. Victor Solodushko are co-inventors on a patent issued on December 12, 2017. Dr. Fouty holds a dual appointment as an associate professor at the College of Medicine and doctor of Internal Medicine specializing in Pulmonary Diseases and Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Solodushko is an assistant professor at the College of Medicine’s Department of Pharmacology. The patent describes a gene delivery system that utilizes genetic elements of the piggyBac family transposon system, and methods of introducing nucleic acid into target cells. This technology consolidates plasmids into a single delivery vector, while also dramatically reducing incorporation of non-essential DNA into the target genome, thereby reducing or eliminating potential side effects associated with more traditional transposition systems.

Drs. Ajay and Seema Singh are co-inventors on two issued U.S. patents. Both are researchers in oncology at the Mitchell Cancer Institute. One of the patents, which issued on October 4, 2016, included an additional co-inventor, Dr. Sanjeev Srivastava, who is also a researcher from the Mitchell Cancer Institute. The subject of this patent was the identification of relevant functions of Myb in prostate cancer. The second patent issued on November 28, 2017, describes a method to alleviate Gemcitabine (chemotherapeutic) associated resistance in pancreatic cancer.

Dr. Gary A. Piazza is an inventor on a patent issued on August 7, 2018. Dr. Piazza holds the titles of leader, Cancer Chemoprevention and Experimental Therapeutics Programs, professor of Oncologic Sciences and Pharmacology, and chair of the Drug Discovery Research Center at the Mitchell Cancer Institute. Recently, Dr. Piazza earned the distinction of being inducted into the National Academy of Inventors. The issued patent covers both diagnostic tools and therapeutics for the treatment of cancer based on phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibition. This assay is an opportunity to repurpose known inhibitors of PDE toward a cancer therapeutic indication as well as identify novel compounds as PDE specific inhibitors.

Dr. Kuang-Ting Hsiao is an inventor on a patent issued on September 4, 2018. Dr. Hsiao is a professor in Mechanical Engineering, specializing in composite materials, at the USA School of Engineering and Computing. This subject of this issued patent is a transformative method of manufacturing composite materials that enhances a fiber-reinforced polymer’s level of performance, while mitigating weaknesses and enabling multi-functionality.

Mrs. Anna Buford is the sole inventor of a trade secret formula that resulted in execution of the university’s first trade secret licensing agreement in 2018. This trade secret formulation of a specialty cell culture media allows primary cells isolated from animals to remain viable longer and survive a greater number of passages than standard cell culture media. This can significantly reduce the cost associated with in vitro studies that require primary cells from a myriad of animal models


The USA Office of Commercialization and Industry Collaboration (OCIC) is responsible for managing the intellectual property assets of the University and serves as a point of contact for research-related industry collaboration. We orchestrate the cooperation between university, industry and government stakeholders to develop faculty inventions into products on the market. Although patentable inventions constitute the majority of OCIC’s licensing activities, we also manage certain copyrights, Tangible Research Property, Material Transfer Agreements, and Confidential Disclosure Agreements. 


About Mitchell Cancer Institute

As the region's only academic cancer center, USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute combines NIH-funded scientific research with comprehensive cancer care serving communities across southern Alabama, southeast Mississippi and portions of northwest Florida. With three locations, more than 50 clinical trials, and five support groups, the Mitchell Cancer Institute guides patients and their families from the moment of diagnosis through survivorship.

About USA Health

With more than 3,800 employees, USA Health is unlike any other health care organization on the Alabama Gulf Coast. It includes USA Health University Hospital, USA Health Children’s & Women’s Hospital, USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute, USA Health Physicians Group and USA Health College of Medicine. At least one-third of local physicians, some 2,500, received their training at University Hospital. More than 10,400 nurses and 5,600 allied health professionals received training at USA hospitals.


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