University of Georgia

Five professors named Senior Members of National Academy of Inventors

(L to R) Elizabeth Brisbois, David Crich, Jack Huang, Paul Raymer, Ralph Tripp
Five UGA professors were named NAI Senior Members, giving the university 16 in its history. Pictured (clockwise from left) are Elizabeth Brisbois, David Crich, Jack Huang, Ralph Tripp, and Paul Raymer.

The National Academy of Inventors (NAI) has selected five University of Georgia researchers as 2024 NAI Senior Members, the largest single induction for the university in its history. UGA now has 16 Senior Members overall.

NAI Senior Members recognize faculty, scientists, and administrators for their ability to innovate and commercialize new technologies. UGA’s 2024 inductees are Elizabeth Brisbois, David Crich, Qingguo “Jack” Huang, Paul Raymer, and Ralph Tripp.

“We’re thrilled to congratulate these five inventors and congratulate them on their election to the nation’s most prestigious organization for recognizing invention, impact-oriented research, and translation ambition,” said Karen Burg, vice president for research. “Their tireless effort in connecting the outcomes of their work into public benefit exemplifies the best of UGA and its land-grant research mission.”

Brisbois is an associate professor in the College of Engineering. Her research focuses on the design and development of novel therapeutics and medical device materials using molecules that exist in our bodies to enhance compatibility and reduce complications. This research is applied in various ways—for example, creating nitric oxide-releasing coatings for medical devices like catheters, which have high infections rates.

She is listed as an inventor on five patents, several of which are licensed to Nytricx, Inc., a biotech company she co-founded. Nytricx is pursuing preclinical development for deployment in various implanted medical devices to prevent infection and thrombosis. The company has obtained several million dollars in Phase 1 and 2 SBIR funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health.

Crich, Georgia Research Alliance and David Chu Eminent Scholar in Drug Design, is a professor in the College of Pharmacy. An international expert in carbohydrate chemistry and antimicrobial drug design, his research in carbohydrate chemistry has played a key role in advancing glycoscience.

An inventor on multiple patents, Crich is committed to translating his research to impact. Through Juvabis AG, a Swiss clinical stage biotech startup he co-founded, he is developing solutions to address antibiotic resistance. He has won numerous awards and will receive the 2024 American Chemical Society James Flack Norris Award for Physical Organic Chemistry.

Huang, a professor in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, is a leading researcher in environmental remediation and management, specifically in wastewater treatment and soil remediation. His research led to the development of the only patented method for degrading “forever chemicals” that has been successfully piloted at industrial scale.

Huang is the inventor of record for four U.S. patents and two Australian patents with several more global applications pending. At Tarazyme with Raymer, Huang works on developing enzyme products intended to dethatch turf. Tarazyme has secured pilot funding to expand manufacturing capacity and is currently collaborating with potential partners on product evaluation.

Raymer also is a professor of crop and soil sciences and turfgrass breeder in CAES. He is widely recognized as a leader in the field of seashore paspalum turfgrass breeding and research, and for his enhancement of multiple other crop types. Raymer has submitted 11 invention disclosures and is the inventor of record for four U.S. patents with several more in preparation.

One seashore paspalum cultivar developed by Raymer, SeaStar, has been patented and licensed to five U.S. companies. His newest, SeaBreeze, was recently licensed to two companies in the U.S. Raymer co-founded Tarazyme LLC with Huang and has raised capital to facilitate commercial product development and pilot testing for potential impact in turfgrass management.

Tripp is a professor in the Department of Infectious Diseases in the College of Veterinary Medicine. He is a Georgia Research Alliance Chair of Animal Health Vaccine Development and Eminent Scholar. A leading researcher in vaccines and immunology, specifically, Tripp develops translational disease interventions for respiratory viruses.

With over 75 invention disclosures, he is the inventor of record for 20 U.S. patents, including one with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, three issued to the CDC, and 16 issued to UGA. Through his research, Tripp founded TrippBio, a biotech company committed to the discovery, development, and commercialization of new antiviral treatments for influenza, coronavirus, and RSV.

NAI Senior Members will be formally inducted at the NAI annual meeting on June 16-18 in Raleigh, N.C. A full list of NAI Senior members is available on the website.