Two UF professors elected to National Academy of Inventors

Two members of the UF community were named as Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), the highest professional distinction accorded solely to academic inventors. 

Emeritus professor of anesthesiology Richard Melker and professor of obstetrics and gynecology Gregory Schultz were recognized for their spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.

Richard Melker, who co-founded the medical technology company Xhale® Inc. in Gainesville in 2005, was chosen for his prolific biomedical inventions. Those include his first and most successful – the Melker Emergency Cricothyrotomy Catheter Set for emergency airway access licensed in 1985 by Cook Medical, which continues to be used frequently today worldwide – and numerous devices to improve patient monitoring. He has more than 70 issued U.S. patents to his name.

Gregory Schultz has over a dozen patents in the area of wound healing that serve as the intellectual property foundation for two biotech companies he helped launch. He is a Principle Investigator or Co-Investigator on research grants totaling over $30 million from the National Institutes of Health and pharmaceutical companies, and he is a consultant for multiple biotechnology companies. He was recognized as an Innovation Leader by TIME magazine in 2006. 

To date, NAI Fellows hold more than 42,700 issued U.S. patents, which have generated over 13,000 licensed technologies and companies, and created more than 36 million jobs. In addition, over $2.2 trillion in revenue has been generated based on NAI Fellow discoveries.

The 2020 Fellow class represents 115 research universities and governmental and non-profit research institutes worldwide. They collectively hold over 4,700 issued U.S. patents. Among the 2020 Fellows are 24 recipients of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, six recipients of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and two Nobel Laureates, as well as other honors and distinctions. 

Emily Cardinali January 8, 2021