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3 Case Western Reserve University faculty elected as 2022 Senior Members of National Academy of Inventors

These three include Susan Brady-Kalnay, Paul Tesar and Satish Viswanath, Case Western Reserve University officials announced Friday morning.

CLEVELAND — A trio of faculty members at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland are being recognized among “the world’s best emerging academic inventors” as they’ve been elected to the 2022 class of Senior Members in the National Academy of Inventors.

These three include Susan Brady-Kalnay, Paul Tesar and Satish Viswanath, Case officials announced Friday morning.

The National Academy of Inventors says senior members are elected for “their success in patents, licensing and commercialization” and for producing “technologies that have brought, or aspire to bring, real impact on the welfare of society.

“I’m excited that these individuals’ respective nominations were reviewed, selected and supported by our peer group of existing CWRU NAI members,” said Joe Jankowski, Case Western Reserve’s chief innovation officer. “The new members now join them, not only as inductees, but as an active voice and valued support for all campus faculty and student innovators.”

Here’s more on each of these three faculty members as provided by Case Western Reserve University:

Susan Brady-Kalnay

Credit: Case Western Reserve University
Susan Brady-Kalnay.

Brady-Kalnay, Distinguished Faculty Researcher in the Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology at the School of Medicine, discovered the biomarker and developed imaging agents that tag tumor cells to guide surgeons to a more precise and complete surgical removal of tumors.

Specific tumor detection is critical in cancer imaging to avoid unnecessary biopsies, allow treatment at earlier stages of the disease and evaluate therapeutic efficacy. She is the founder of NeoIndicate, a company developing advanced tools for improved tumor detection, imaging and treatment.

“Amazingly,” Jankowski said, “this imaging technology is just one of the six major disciplines or themes of work represented in her patent portfolio.”

Brady-Kalnay is recognized for cross-disciplinary collaboration with engineers, physicists, radiologists and surgeons to advance patient-focused research ideas, and as an advisor and mentor for high school students, undergraduates, medical students, PhD students, postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty.

Paul Tesar

Credit: Case Western Reserve University
Paul Tesar.

Tesar, the Dr. Donald and Ruth Weber Goodman Professor of Innovative Therapeutics in the department of Genetics and Genome Sciences at the School of Medicine, has pioneered new regenerative approaches to treat nervous system disorders including multiple sclerosis, neuromyelitis optica, pediatric leukodystrophies, cerebral palsy and brain cancer.

He is co-founder of Convelo Therapeutics Inc., a company now partnered with Genentech Inc. developing medicines to unlock the regenerative capacity of the central nervous system, such as therapies for patients suffering from multiple sclerosis and other neurological disorders.

Among other honors, Tesar has received the International Society for Stem Cell Research Outstanding Young Investigator Award, the New York Stem Foundation–Robertson Stem Cell Prize, the National Institutes of Health Landis Award for Outstanding Mentorship and the Diekhoff Award for Graduate Student Mentoring, among many other accolades.

Satish Viswanath

Credit: Case Western Reserve University
Satish Viswanath.

Viswanath is an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the School of Medicine and Case School of Engineering. His multi-disciplinary research focuses on new computational imaging and artificial intelligence techniques to predict responses to therapy for cancer and other conditions.

He has broken new ground in precision medicine, helping to identify which patients should receive which type of intervention while ensuring maximum benefit—especially gastrointestinal disorders, such as colorectal cancers and digestive diseases.

Viswanath has received many awards for research, including the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) Early Career Award, the CDMRP Idea Award, as well as a number of technical awards. Among other honors, he was named one of Crain’s Cleveland Business “40 under 40” bright young leaders in 2020.

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Editor's note: Video in the player above was originally published in an unrelated article on Jan. 19, 2022.