University of South Florida

USF Research & Innovation

USFRI Newsroom

Five USF faculty elected Senior Members of the National Academy of Inventors

Five USF faculty members have been named by the National Academy of Inventors to its new class of 2023 Senior Members.

Five USF faculty members have been named by the National Academy of Inventors to its new class of 2023 Senior Members.

NAI Senior Members are active faculty, scientists and administrators from NAI member institutions who have demonstrated remarkable innovation producing technologies that have brought, or aspire to bring, real impact on the welfare of society. They also have growing success in patents, licensing and commercialization, while educating and mentoring the next generation of inventors.

This latest class of NAI Senior Members, the largest to date, demonstrates a shared commitment to celebrate the diversity of the academic ecosystem, with 48 outstanding female and/or minority academic inventors included. Hailing from 50 NAI member institutions and research universities across the nation, the 95 members of this impressive class are named inventors on more than 1,200 U.S. patents with many of those being licensed and commercialized. 

“This is outstanding recognition for these five faculty members who are working on the frontiers of medicine, energy, and electronics, and whose work is having global impact in saving lives, protecting our planet, and providing extraordinary learning experiences for USF students,” said Sylvia Thomas, interim vice president for research and innovation at USF.

The five new USF NAI Senior Members are listed below, with links to their faculty profile page.

Burt Anderson

Burt Anderson, professor in the Department of Molecular Medicine and associate dean in the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine

His research focuses on virulent and infectious bacterial pathogens using unique molecular approaches for their identification and detection. His work has uncovered unique characteristics of these pathogens and he has developed innovative and patented diagnostics, several of which have been licensed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as private industry.

Burt Anderson profile

Svitlana N. Garbuzova-Davis

Svitlana N. Garbuzova-Davis, professor in the Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair, USF Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair, USF Health Morsani College of Medicine

Her research concentrates on the frontier of neurosurgery/neuroscience, especially on developments in stem cell therapies for neurodegenerative diseases, such as Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)—also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease—fatal degenerative disease affecting motor neurons in the spinal cord, brainstem and cortex.

Svitlana N. Garbuzova-Davis profile

John N. Kuhn

John N. Kuhn, professor in the Department of Chemical, Biological, and Materials Engineering, College of Engineering

His research has advanced an area of critical concern, globally and nationally—the urgent need for renewable fuels, especially bioenergy technology. He holds nine patents, three of which are licensed, and he founded two startup companies making national news for their development and implementation of his patented processes.

John N. Kuhn profile

Ashok Kumar

Ashok Kumar, professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, and affiliated faculty member of the USF Clean Energy Research Center and USF Nanomedicine Research Center

His research is focused on the development of nanotechnology-based novel materials for multifunctional applications, especially in advanced thin films/coatings for microelectronic and MEMS applications, superhard nanocrystalline coatings for mechanical and tribological applications, and specific coatings for biomedical applications.

Ashok Kumar profile

Sarath Witanachchi

Sarath Witanachchi, professor and chair, Department of Physics, College of Arts and Sciences

His research has pioneered the advanced materials and processes to increase the efficiencies of solar energy power production, to make photovoltaics a global and accessible source of energy, as well as hybrid technologies. His work also encompasses technologies and methods to improve digital images, particularly digital camera technologies, resulting in, for example, improved images in low-light situations. 

Sarath Witanachchi profile

The 2023 class of Senior Members will be celebrated at NAI’s Annual Meeting June 25-27 in Washington, D.C. See NAI Annual Meeting for more information on the event and how to register.

A full list of NAI Senior Members is available on the NAI website.

About the University of South Florida

The University of South Florida, a high-impact global research university dedicated to student success, generates an annual economic impact of more than $6 billion. Over the past 10 years, no other public university in the country has risen faster in U.S. News and World Report’s national university rankings than USF. Serving more than 50,000 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee, USF is designated as a Preeminent State Research University by the Florida Board of Governors, placing it in the most elite category among the state’s 12 public universities. USF has earned widespread national recognition for its success graduating under-represented minority and limited-income students at rates equal to or higher than white and higher income students. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference. Learn more at

About the National Academy of Inventors

The National Academy of Inventors is a member organization comprising 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. It was founded in 2010 to recognize and encourage inventors with patents issued from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), 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. The NAI has a close partnership with the USPTO and is one of three honorific organizations, along with the National Medals and National Inventors Hall of Fame, working closely with the USPTO on many discovery and innovation support initiatives. The NAI publishes the multidisciplinary journal, Technology and Innovation. 

Return to article listing


Learn more about USF research by viewing articles from past years (2010-2019).

USFRI Social Media

To keep up to date on USFRI news, see our official social media accounts. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.