Research Communications

National Academy of Inventors names two Ohio University fellows 

ATHENS, Ohio (Dec. 18, 2012)—John Kopchick and Gerardine Botte of Ohio University have been named charter fellows of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).

Fellows 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. The 98 innovators elected to NAI Fellow status this year represent 54 universities and non-profit research institutes. Botte and Kopchick are the first charter fellows from Ohio University.

Botte, Russ Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, has become nationally and internationally recognized as a leader in the development of innovative solutions to alternative energy and environmental issues. She has developed technologies that harness commercial and residential waste products such as ammonia and urea and turn them into sustainable sources of energy. Botte has received millions of dollars in private and government research support—and millions pending—to develop this work for the marketplace. She has nine U.S. patents and 27 patent applications pending, and has launched her own company, E3 Clean Technologies, Inc., to commercialize her inventions.

Gerardine Botte (Photo courtesy of Mark Dawson)

“The path to bring innovation from the lab to the market is challenging but exciting. A supportive ecosystem at universities makes a significant difference. For that, I am grateful for Ohio University, an institution that supports innovation, faculty inventors and entrepreneurs to create for good, to impact the welfare of society, and to contribute to economic growth and development,” said Botte, a faculty member in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology.

Kopchick, Goll Ohio Professor of Molecular Biology, has developed intellectual property in the field of biotechnology that has made a significant impact on human health. The 1987 discovery of a growth hormone antagonist by Kopchick and graduate student Wen Chen led to the development of the Pfizer drug SOMAVERT® (pegvisomant for injection). SOMAVERT® has provided treatment for thousands of individuals living with acromegaly, a form of gigantism marked by excessive levels of growth hormone that result in enlargement of the hands and feet, facial disfiguration, and multiple organ disorders, which can lead to premature death. The license for the technology has generated more than $73 million in royalty income for the university and its inventors to date. Kopchick holds 16 U.S. patents, one foreign patent and has seven patents pending.
John Kopchick (Photo courtesy of Kopchick)

“It’s a great honor to be recognized by the National Academy of Inventors, both for me personally and for Ohio University. I also must recognize the many colleagues who have contributed to the research that resulted in our discoveries and inventions. Without them, our work would not have progressed so nicely,” said Kopchick, a faculty member at the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine and a senior scientist at the Edison Biotechnology Institute.
Botte and Kopchick will be inducted as fellows by the U.S. Commissioner for Patents, Margaret Focarino, during the 2nd Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors, on Feb. 22, in Tampa, Fla. Fellows will be presented with a special trophy and a rosette pin.  

The National Academy of Inventors is a non-profit organization comprised of more than 45 U.S. and international universities and non-profit research institutes. It was founded in 2010 to recognize and encourage inventors with a patent issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, enhance the visibility of academic technology and innovation, encourage the disclosure of intellectual property, educate and mentor innovative students and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society.

Contact: Andrea Gibson, director of research communications, (740) 597-2166,