Ohio University honored 78 faculty, staff and student inventors for work in areas ranging from drug development to environmental remediation technologies during an awards ceremony Feb. 10.
The Inventors Dinner recognized individuals who had received a patent, filed for a patent or disclosed a new invention through the university’s Technology Transfer Office, which is charged with protecting intellectual property and commercializing innovations developed by the faculty and research staff.
Ohio University has a successful track record in commercializing technologies. The university ranks first among Ohio higher education institutions for research licensing revenue, with faculty inventions generating $10.6 million during fiscal year 2014, according to a report from the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM).
“From developing transportation technologies that can improve roadways to making laboratory discoveries that may lead to new medical therapies, Ohio University faculty, staff and students are engaged in a wide variety of research projects that can have a positive impact on society,” said Joseph Shields, vice president for research and creative activity and dean of the Graduate College. “The university is dedicated to providing services and support that can help these inventors move their novel ideas and findings from campus to the marketplace.”
Ohio University received 11 patents for inventions in 2015. The patents and their inventors are:
Ohio University Executive Vice President and Provost Pamela Benoit, center, with inventors Shigeru Okada, left, and John Kopchick, right. Photo: Kaitlin Owens.
1) “Growth Hormone and Interferon-alpha 2 Glycoproteins Produced in Plants,” Marcia Kieliszewski (College of Arts and Sciences), John Kopchick and Shigeru Okada (Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine/Edison Biotechnology Institute). This innovation is related to making therapeutic proteins that are relatively short-acting in the body (once-a-day injections) into longer-acting therapeutic proteins (once-a-week injections).
Executive Vice President and Provost Pamela Benoit and inventor Tingyue Gu. Photo: Kaitlin Owens.
2) “Compositions and Methods for Treating Biofilms,” Tingyue Gu and Dake Xu (Russ College of Engineering and Technology). This patent addresses an improved approach to controlling corrosion from microorganisms in areas such as pipelines and water systems.
Executive Vice President and Provost Pamela Benoit and inventor Gerardine Botte, the recipient of two patents in 2015. Photo: Kaitlin Owens.
3) “Electrolytic Cells and Methods for the Production of Ammonia and Hydrogen,” Gerardine Botte (Russ College of Engineering and Technology). This invention is a method of producing hydrogen and ammonia, two important global commodities, from sources that are not directly from fossil fuels.
4) “Removal of Metals From Water,” Gerardine Botte (Russ College of Engineering and Technology). This invention is a method to remove metal ions from wastewater. Ammonia, urea and metals are commonly present in wastewater derived from industrial, farming/ranching, ships and electronics manufacturing sources, to name a few.
Executive Vice President and Provost Pamela Benoit and inventor Jianchao Zhu, the recipient of two patents in 2015. Photo: Kaitlin Owens.
5) “Motorized Drive System and Method for Articulating a Joint,” Jianchao Zhu (Russ College of Engineering and Technology). This invention is a motorized drive system that uses elastic cables to operate joints on devices such as robots or prosthetic limbs.
6) “Multi-Modal Vehicle,” Jianchao Zhu (Russ College of Engineering and Technology). A vehicle capable of operating in three different modes: an automobile, a boat and a vertical takeoff aircraft. Unique characteristics of this vehicle include folding canard and delta wing systems, ducted fans for lift and thrust, and an emergency escape pod for deployment in the air or on water.
Inventor Khairul Alam and Executive Vice President and Provost Pamela Benoit. Photo: Kaitlin Owens.
7) “Carbon Fiber Composite Discharge Electrode,” Khairul Alam (Russ College of Engineering and Technology). This invention is a new design for electrodes used in electrostatic precipitators, which are devices used to collect particles from gas streams, such as the streams from electric power plants burning coal.
Executive Vice President and Provost Pamela Benoit, center, with inventors Stephen Bergmeier, left, and Xiaozhuo Chen, right. Photo: Kaitlin Owens.
8) “Compositions and Methods for Glucose Transport Inhibition,” Stephen Bergmeier (College of Arts and Sciences) and Xiaozhuo Chen (Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine/Edison Biotechnology Institute). Disclosed in this patent are compounds of formula for the treatment of cancer. These compounds reduce and inhibit the uptake of glucose by a cancerous cell, which will initially result in the slowing of cell growth and eventual cancer cell death.
Executive Vice President and Provost Pamela Benoit and inventor Chang Liu. Photo: Kaitlin Owens.
9) “Motion-based Identity Authentication of an Individual with a Communications Device,” Chang Liu (Russ College of Engineering and Technology). This invention is an authentication technology for use on devices with touchscreen interfaces, such as smartphones, tablet computers, personal computers and ATMs. The software involved uses algorithms which analyze motion-based behavior to verify and differentiate between individual users.
10) “Nucleic Acid for Plant Expression of a Fusion Protein Comprising Hydroxyproline O-Glycosylation,” Marcia Kieliszewski (College of Arts and Sciences). This patent covers injectable pharmaceutical formulations comprising glycosylated human growth hormone.
11) “Exfiltration Apparatus,” Shad Sargand and Gayle Mitchell (Russ College of Engineering and Technology). This filtration system, which may be embedded along roadways or parking lots, was developed to remove pollutants from surface water runoff. The system is designed to be easy and inexpensive to maintain while still effectively removing pollutants such as oil, metallic traces, nutrients and organic compounds from runoff before it enters the waterways.
In addition, 57 faculty, students and staff filed for patents on their inventions in 2015, and 34 individuals disclosed new inventions to the university.
Invention disclosure is the first step in the technology commercialization process. Technology Transfer Office staff review these disclosures to determine if the intellectual property can be patented and licensed for commercial use. If so, the office files for patent protection with the federal government, and works with inventors to identify licensing opportunities that can develop the technologies into useful products for the marketplace.
In addition, the Technology Transfer Office works closely with the university’s high-tech business incubator, the Innovation Center, and its state Entrepreneurial Signature Program, TechGROWTH Ohio, to connect inventors to business coaches and sources of seed funding that can help them launch startup companies if appropriate.
For more information about the Ohio University Technology Transfer Office, visit www.ohio.edu/research/tto.