National Academy of Inventors Ranks Texas Tech University System Among Top 100 in Patents for Second Consecutive Year

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One year after making its first appearance at number 75 on the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) list of Top 100 U.S. Universities Granted Utility Patents for 2022, the Texas Tech University System (TTU System), including the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) and TTUHSC El Paso, ranked 74th on the same list for 2023. 

NAI, which has published the Top 100 Worldwide Universities list annually since 2013, created the Top 100 U.S. Universities Granted Utility Patents list to highlight and celebrate American innovation and to showcase the universities which play a large role in advancing the innovation ecosystem within the U.S. and beyond.

TTUHSC is a relatively new NAI member, having joined in 2023. One patent recently granted to TTUHSC includes repurposing pimavanserin to treat various types of cancer, while a second focuses on the development of a novel blood-based biomarker for the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease. 

Two other patents focus on infertility issues and improving reproduction — a specimen collection cup that creates a more favorable environment for the sperm and a new method for selecting viable embryos based upon chemical composition and fluid content and without any direct sampling or risk to the embryo.

A fifth TTUHSC patent involves developing novel nanoparticles known as nanoantibiotics that target bacterial infections, especially those resistant to treatment with known antibiotics.

Lance R. McMahon, Ph.D., TTUHSC senior vice president for research and innovation, said these latest rankings demonstrate the commitment of both TTU System health sciences centers to translating their discoveries into health care innovations. 

“Patent activity at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center continues to grow,” McMahon said. “This includes intellectual property disclosures, provisional and issued patents and licensing activity. In addition to being recognized in the Top 100 ranking, TTUHSC joined the NAI as a university member last year.” 

McMahon credited the increased metrics and Top 100 ranking to the faculty inventors, the support of their department chairs and school deans and the enabling efforts of the TTUHSC Office of Research and Innovation.

TTUHSC El Paso faculty are named as inventors on two patents granted to the TTU System in 2023. One of those focuses on improving methods to use nanoparticles to introduce DNA into cells, which could be useful for genetic therapies to treat or cure inherited genetic disorders, cancer and other conditions.

The second TTUHSC El Paso invention is focused on creating noninfectious, virus-like particles to be used in vaccines for viral diseases such as chikungunya, which is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito.

“We’re extremely excited to receive the recognition by the prestigious National Academy of Inventors for our biomedical researchers’ work in the fields of gene therapy and infectious diseases, and acknowledgment of the groundbreaking and transformative research conducted in El Paso showcases the talent our young university possesses,” TTUHSC El Paso Vice President for Research Deborah Clegg, Ph.D., said. “We’re proud to be contributing valuable research which will lead to treatments and cures for diseases and conditions affecting our Borderplex and beyond.”

NAI compiles its calendar-year Top 100 lists using data provided by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Top 100 placement includes all named assignees listed on the patent. This newest list is meant to provide a more focused view of the national innovation landscape and the contributions made by U.S. academic institutions. NAI also plans to track other, more focused areas of the innovation landscape.

To view the entire list of NAI’s Top U.S. Universities Granted Utility Patents in 2023, visit here

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