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USF faculty members recognized with Excellence in Innovation Awards

Three University of South Florida professors who have developed new technologies for stroke identification, blood flow monitoring and neural implants have been named recipients of the university’s Excellence in Innovation Awards. The faculty members, who will be recognized at the USF Research Innovation Luncheon on September 10, 2024 in Discovery Hall, are: W. Scott Burgin, professor and Cerebrovascular Division Chief in the Neurology Department at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine; Ashwin Parthasarathy, associate professor of electrical engineering in the College of Engineering; and Stephen Saddow, professor of electrical engineering in the College of Engineering.

“The recipients of the University of South Florida’s Excellence in Innovation Award are at the forefront of new discoveries, and this year’s honorees reflect our university’s focus on solving global challenges in rapidly evolving fields such as artificial intelligence and biomedical sciences,” said USF President Rhea Law. “We are proud to celebrate these talented researchers for their exceptional achievements, and we thank them for all they do to transform lives and create a healthier future.”

W. Scott Burgin, MD

Professor and Cerebrovascular Division Chief, Department of Neurology, USF Morsani College of Medicine and Director, Comprehensive Stroke Center, Tampa General Hospital

Scott Burgin

In 2022-23, Dr. Burgin significantly advanced medical AI. His AI communication assistant, seeded by a $25K Florida High Tech Corridor Grant, empowers stroke patients with coherent, personalized dialogue through sophisticated natural language processing, leading to a provisional patent (#63447514) and the creation of iNur Technologies LLC along with two USF collaborators and a community business partner for commercialization. Dr. Burgin co-devised an AI system for stroke identification (Patent PCT Pub.#: W02022/046612). He co-founded Electron Transport Biotech LLC, formulating new small molecules for various medical issues with a USF colleague and a USF-CONNECT collaborator.

Under an entrepreneurial collaborative translational research agreement and with a strong working relationship, he worked with VuEssence Inc. to guide a Corridor-supported pre-clinical molecular biomarker to the clinical trial phase, which was presented at the 2023 International Stroke Conference. These efforts, exemplifying his commitment to translational research and entrepreneurial drive, mirror USF's vision and establish him as a healthcare innovation leader with additional patents pending.

Ashwin Parthasarathy, PhD

Associate Professor, Electrical Engineering, College of Engineering

Ashwin Parthasarathy

Dr. Parthasarathy’s research focuses on the development and clinical translation of biomedical optical devices for the evaluation, diagnosis and/or treatment of various diseases related to neurology and neurosurgery. Dr. Parthasarathy’s work helps doctors accurately and quantitatively measure tissue blood flow at a patient’s point-of-care, a feature that is currently unavailable in any commercial medical instrument. Over the last year, Dr. Parthasarathy’s innovative work has resulted in two US patents and two patent applications.

Three of the technologies he developed during the fiscal year have been licensed by a startup company, and he has demonstrated the technology and clinical translation of this work in peer-reviewed journal articles. Specifically, these innovations are directed toward making bedside blood perfusion monitors accessible and easily usable in the clinic; they address important barriers to clinical and commercial adoption by reducing device cost and making the devices wearable. This innovative research has been recognized with a 2023 NSF CAREER award.

Stephen Saddow, PhD

Professor, Electrical Engineering, College of Engineering

Stephen Saddow

Within the 2023 fiscal year, Dr Saddow’s technology disclosures have formed the basis of agreements and joint patent application filings with Biologic Input Output Systems, Inc. (BIOS), under a Master Sponsored Research Agreement, and Global ETS (GETS), under a collaboration agreement. Negotiations are in effect on license agreements with BIOS and GETS.

License discussions are also underway with Chordata Ltd. with respect to three granted US Patents based on Dr Saddow’s research: 1. Electronic Component Authenticity Identification System and Related Methods; 2. System and Method for Testing Integrated Circuits Independent of Chip Package Configuration; and 3. Neural Electrode and Related Methods.

Each year, the Excellence in Innovation Award recognizes faculty for their efforts in taking inventions to market through the creation of new startups; commercialization of their new technologies; and advancing the research and development process through publishing their work in prestigious journals and securing competitive grants to support their projects. Each awardee receives $2,000.

USF is recognized as a global leader in invention and innovation, ranking among the top 15 U.S. public universities and top 35 universities worldwide in generating new U.S. patents, according to the National Academy of Inventors.

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

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