Texas A&M University biologist Dr. Richard H. Gomer has been named to the inaugural class of National Academy of Inventors (NAI) Senior Members in recognition of the achievement and contributions of academic inventors worldwide.
Gomer, a member of the Texas A&M Department of Biology since 2008 and holder of a Thomas W. Powell ’62 Chair in Science, is one of six Texas A&M faculty members among the 66 international recipients selected for the prestigious honor celebrating creativity within the academic ecosystem.
NAI Senior Members are active faculty, scientists and administrators from NAI member institutions with success in patents, licensing and commercialization. They have produced technologies that have brought, or aspire to bring, real impact on the welfare of society.
“Congratulations to our faculty members who have been elected to this first class of NAI Senior Members,” said Mark A. Barteau, Texas A&M Vice President for Research and an NAI Fellow. “This recognition pays tribute to their knowledge, skill and talent as well as to the role that Texas A&M plays in encouraging and nurturing research and innovations from start to finish. Together, these faculty members and Texas A&M are making the world a better place for all of us.”
The inaugural class of NAI Senior Members represents 37 research universities and research institutes across the world. Their names appear on more than 1,100 issued U.S. patents. A full list of NAI Senior Members is available on the NAI website.
“The election of the inaugural class of NAI Senior Members is a significant designation for a group of prolific inventors from NAI Member Institutions who are collectively a driving force in American innovation,” said Paul R. Sanberg, NAI President. “This is truly an accomplishment worth celebrating.”
Gomer and his fellow Texas A&M honorees — including mechanical engineer Dr. Jaime C. Grunlan, who holds a joint appointment in the Texas A&M Department of Chemistry — will be presented with commemorative awards and certificates at a Senior Member Breakfast during the Eighth NAI Annual Meeting, set for April 10-11 in Houston.
Gomer earned his Ph.D. in biology from the California Institute of Technology and was a professor of biochemistry and cell biology at Rice University for 21 years prior to coming to Texas A&M, where he conducts research in three primary areas of biomedicine: tissue size regulation, tissue cell composition and fibrosing diseases. A former Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, he has authored more than 200 high impact publications, earning previous recognition as a 2011 Texas Inventor of the Year by the State Bar of Texas, a 2013-2014 National Academies Education Fellow in the Life Sciences and a 2016 finalist for NPR’s Golden Mole Award for Accidental Brilliance after serendipitously identifying a protein in human blood — serum amyloid P (SAP) — that prevents the formation of scar tissue in fibrotic diseases like asthma and cirrhosis. To date, he holds 14 patents, with several more pending.
Gomer’s most recent awards include the Texas A&M Sigma Xi Chapter’s Outstanding Distinguished Scientist Award (2017), a Texas A&M Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award in Research (2016) and a Texas A&M System Technology Commercialization Excellence in Innovation Award (2016). A fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, he serves on the editorial boards of four journals.
In addition to fibrosing diseases, Gomer is known for his research on the single-celled amoebae Dictyostelium and as a co-author of a number of astrophysical research papers, courtesy of his undergraduate degree in physics at Pomona College and his lifelong love of astronomy.
“Richard Gomer is a prolific researcher and inventor with a strong track record of translating his research findings into the clinic,” said Dr. Thomas D. McKnight, professor and head of Texas A&M Biology. “He even co-founded a company, Promedior Inc., to facilitate this translation and to help bring life-saving therapies, treatments and hope to countless people afflicted with fibrosing diseases, which are associated with 45 percent of the deaths in the developed world. Our students and our faculty benefit greatly from Richard’s entrepreneurial perspective.”
For more information about the National Academy of Inventors and the Senior Member nominations and election process, visit http://www.academyofinventors.org.
Learn more about Gomer’s teaching, research and service.
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About the National Academy of Inventors: The National Academy of Inventors is a member organization comprising U.S. and international universities, and governmental and non-profit research institutes, with over 4,000 individual inventor members and Fellows spanning more than 250 institutions worldwide. It was founded in 2010 at the University of South Florida to recognize and encourage inventors with patents 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. The NAI publishes the multidisciplinary journal, Technology & Innovation. For more information, go to www.academyofinventors.org.
About Research at Texas A&M University: As one of the world’s leading research institutions, Texas A&M is at the forefront in making significant contributions to scholarship and discovery, including that of science and technology. Research conducted at Texas A&M represented annual expenditures of more than $922 million in fiscal year 2018. Texas A&M ranked in the top 20 of the National Science Foundation’s Higher Education Research and Development survey (2017), based on expenditures of more than $905.4 million in fiscal year 2017. Texas A&M’s research creates new knowledge that provides basic, fundamental and applied contributions resulting, in many cases, in economic benefits to the state, nation and world. To learn more, visit http://research.tamu.edu/.