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UNM Inventor Elected 2020 Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors

sklar-smDr. Larry Sklar, Emeritus Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology at the University of New Mexico, has been named a 2020 Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). The NAI announced that it has chosen a cohort of 175 inventors from around the world for election as 2020 NAI Fellows.

Election to NAI Fellow status is a high professional distinction accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society.

With the election of the 2020 class, there are now 1,228 NAI Fellows. The 2020 class represents 115 research universities and governmental and non-profit research institutes. The 2020 Fellows are named inventors on nearly 4,700 issued U.S. patents, bringing the collective patents held by all NAI Fellows to more than 42,700 issued U.S. patents, which have generated over 13,000 licensed technologies and companies and created more than 36 million jobs and $2.2 trillion in revenue from NAI Fellow inventions.

The UNM Rainforest Innovations Board of Directors (UNM RI) nominated Dr. Sklar for the national honor. UNM Rainforest Innovations (formerly STC.UNM) is the technology-transfer and economic-development organization for the University of New Mexico. On behalf of the UNM RI Board, Chair Sandra Begay stated:

“Dr. Sklar was chosen as the UNM Rainforest Innovation Fellow in 2011 based on his research endeavors and achievements in signal transduction, cell adhesion, leukocyte biology and high-throughput flow-cytometry technologies for molecular assembly and drug discovery. He has built multiple teams of inventors and innovators along the way that are reflected in his patent portfolio and commercialization activity. The UNM RI Board believed that this distinguished faculty inventor’s accomplishments made him an outstanding candidate for selection as a 2020 NAI Fellow and nominated him. We are absolutely delighted that he was chosen.”

UNM Rainforest Innovations’ CEO and Chief Economic Development Office Lisa Kuuttila added:

“Dr. Sklar’s HyperCyt and drug-discovery inventions at UNM have made a substantial impact on the public welfare and the global economy. I want to praise the ingenuity and dedication of Dr. Sklar who continues to expand the vision of drug discovery to save lives. He was a stellar candidate for selection as a 2020 NAI Fellow and we are pleased that he was selected.”

In 2011 Dr. Sklar was chosen as a Rainforest Innovation Fellow based on his achievements in creating new technologies, receiving issued patents, and licensing the technologies to start-up and established companies that have generated substantial income. His inventions represent a significant part of the UNM Health Sciences Center IP portfolio. Dr. Sklar received the 2016 Presidential Award of Distinction. The award is one of the most prestigious recognitions bestowed by the UNM President, honoring and recognizing outstanding career achievement, scholarly excellence, leadership in a profession, noteworthy public service and humanitarian endeavors by individuals within and outside the UNM community.

For over thirty years, Dr. Sklar has dedicated himself as an inventor to making high-throughput flow cytometry the benchmark for flow cytometry technology. For nearly as long as director of the Center for Molecular Discovery, he has made New Mexico internationally known as a hub for flow cytometry research and technologies. He has given a tool to researchers everywhere to discover more effective ways to understand and treat cancers, infectious diseases and many other biological applications, and built multiple teams of inventors and innovators along the way that are reflected in his patent portfolio and commercialization activity.

His research areas are in signal transduction, cell adhesion, leukocyte biology and high-throughput flow-cytometry technologies for molecular assembly and drug discovery. His interest in flow cytometry as a tool for drug discovery led to the development of high-throughput flow cytometry technologies, creating a new field called High Throughput Flow Cytometry and a start-up company he co-founded, IntelliCyt, that is being used to discover, repurpose and develop new drugs for cancer, infectious diseases, and other disorders. Applications in precision medicine, immuno-ncology, and antibody discovery are literally changing the world. Dr. Sklar’s patents follow a pattern of technological innovation, molecular discoveries, clinical translation and commercialization.

The 2020 Fellows will be inducted on June 8, 2021 in Tampa, Florida, as part of the Tenth Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Inventors. In honor of their outstanding accomplishments, Fellows will be presented with a special trophy, medal, and rosette pin.

See also the NAI press release and list of 2020 Fellows at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/national-academy-of-inventors-announces-2020-fellows-301187629.html.

See also Michael Haederle’s article, “Ingenuity Rewarded,” posted on the UNM Health Sciences Newsroom at https://hsc.unm.edu/news/2020/12/larry-sklar-national-academy-inventors.html.