Inventor of the Year 2022
Naola Ferguson-Noel studies ways to manage avian mycoplasmosis. Employing surveillance techniques, diagnostics and new vaccines, her work has led to new approaches to combatting mycoplasma strains including Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG) and Mycoplasma synoviae (MS) in chickens and turkeys. Five invention disclosures from her research have resulted in two issued U.S. patents and an array of foreign patents for protecting poultry domestically and abroad. A MG Live vaccine developed with retired UGA professor Stanley Kleven is licensed worldwide and has earned more than $1.2 million in royalties for UGA since 2009. Ferguson-Noel was the investigator for UGA’s first Industry Express-sponsored research partnership with ECO Animal Health, with the goal of producing an MG vaccine. She also developed an MS vaccine that is undergoing clinical testing. Ferguson-Noel received her D.V.M. from the University of the West Indies, and her master’s in avian medicine and Ph.D. in medical microbiology from UGA.