About USFRI

Senior Vice President

Dr. Paul Sanberg

Paul R. Sanberg
Senior Vice President for Research, Innovation & Knowledge Enterprise
President, USF Research Foundation
Executive Director of the Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair
Distinguished University Professor of Medicine, Engineering, and Business
University of South Florida

Dr. Paul R. Sanberg is Senior Vice President for Research, Innovation & Knowledge Enterprise, President of the USF Research Foundation, Distinguished University Professor of Medicine, Engineering, and Business, and Executive Director of the Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair at the University of South Florida, and President of the National Academy of Inventors.

A Florida native, Dr. Sanberg trained at York University, University of British Columbia, Australian National University and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and held faculty appointments at the University of Cincinnati and Brown University, among others. Prior to his current position, he served USF as Associate Dean in the Morsani College of Medicine, Associate Vice President for USF Health, Senior Associate Vice President for Research & Innovation and Special Assistant to the President.

As a researcher, his early work was pioneering in understanding why brain cells die in neurological disorders and in drug abuse research. His recent research has focused on discovering innovative ways to repair the damaged brain, and has helped lead the team that demonstrated that bone marrow and umbilical cord blood derived stem cells can be transformed to neural cells that may be useful in stroke, spinal cord injury and ALS. His work has been instrumental in translating new pharmaceutical and cellular therapeutics to clinical trials for Tourette syndrome, depression, stroke, Huntington's disease and Parkinson's disease.

He is an inventor on 164 U.S. and foreign patents. He is the author of more than 680 articles and 14 books, with more than 32,800 citations to his published work. He has served on editorial boards for more than 30 scientific journals and is Editor-in-chief of Technology and Innovation: Journal of the National Academy of Inventors. Dr. Sanberg was a long-term member of the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health and has served on numerous scientific advisory boards for health-related foundations and companies. He has significant industry experience as a founder or director of a number of companies involved in cell therapy for degenerative disorders and biopharmaceutical development.

Dr. Sanberg is the founder, President, and a Charter Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), established in 2010 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. Today, the NAI comprises 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. Dr. Sanberg has also served as president of a number of professional societies, including the American Society for Neural Transplantation and Repair, Cell Transplant Society, and International Behavioral Neuroscience Society. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE); Royal Societies of Chemistry, Public Health, and Medicine; American Psychological Association; International Behavioral Neuroscience Society; American Society for Neural Therapy and Repair, and New York Academy of Sciences, among others. Dr. Sanberg is widely recognized for his scientific and academic achievements. Most recently, he received the 2019 AIMBE Fellow Advocate Award for his “leadership communicating the importance of innovation and invention to policy makers around the nation as well as the general public.” In 2018, he received the York University (Canada) Bryden Alumni Award for Outstanding Achievement, and he was named a 2018 Fulbright Specialist to Australia, where he was also appointed Wilsmore Professor for the University of Melbourne. Dr. Sanberg’s additional awards and honors include the Community Champion Award from TiE Tampa Bay, Medalist of the Florida Academy of Sciences, the John P. McGovern Science and Society Award from Sigma Xi—The Scientific Research Honor Society, IEEE Senior Member, Florida Inventors Hall of Fame inductee, inaugural AAAS-Lemelson Invention Ambassador, Alumnus of the Year for Research and Academics by the Australian National University, and the Everfront Award for Stem Cells and Cancer Research, among many others. 

Dr. Sanberg’s leadership extends to national service on the nomination evaluation committee of the United States National Medal of Technology and Innovation with the U.S. Department of Commerce; advisory board of the APLU Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness, and Economic Prosperity; board member of the Council on Competitiveness’ Technology Leadership & Strategy Initiative; selection committee for the University Innovation & Entrepreneurship Showcase hosted by the APLU and AAU; selection committee for the USPTO Innovation Expo at the Smithsonian Institution; external advisory board for New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering Institute for Invention, Innovation & Entrepreneurship; and inaugural board of directors for the Academy of Science, Engineering & Medicine of Florida; as well as scientific advisory boards for companies including Johnson & Johnson, Tourette Association of America, and government agencies including the National Institutes of Health and National Institute on Aging. He has also founded six companies and organizations.

USF Research & Innovation (USFRI) coordinates and facilitates institutional research initiatives and provides support for university-wide research programs and infrastructure development. USFRI provides administrative direction and oversight of research policies and procedures, assurances, budgetary matters, and central services for its departments. As Senior Vice President of USFRI, Dr. Sanberg's vision and initiatives have established USFRI as a mission-critical central hub for the university's research enterprise, in support of the university's strategic plan. USFRI promotes and supports the research and scholarship activities of faculty, staff, and students, and strives to make USF a leading national research university.

View Dr. Sanberg's CV (PDF) 

Video Profile of Dr. Paul R. Sanberg (2015) 

2019 Synapse Summit Interview with Dr. Paul R. Sanberg, Tampa Florida (2019)

Paul R. Sanberg’s keynote address on advancing the global knowledge economy. Presentation to VESKI-Victorian Endowment for Science, Knowledge & Innovation, Australia (2018)

Bryden Alumni Award Profile of Dr. Paul R. Sanberg, York University, Canada (2018)

One Question, One Minute with USF’s Paul Sanberg, Tampa Bay Business Journal (2015)

Video Interview with Dr. Paul R. Sanberg: The Thing with Feathers (Produced by USF Honors College students in 2012 as part of a course series exploring the importance of academic research.)

Contact: Eddie Aikins, Executive Administrative Specialist