Auburn University recognizes innovation at sixth annual National Academy of Inventors luncheon

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The Auburn University chapter of the National Academy of Inventors, or NAI, will hold its sixth annual luncheon Wednesday, Oct. 12, beginning at 11:30 a.m. in ballroom A of The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center. Faculty, students and administrators meet annually to hear about the latest developments in innovation, inventorship and commercialization at Auburn University.

"It is important to recognize the value of truly innovative research and the corresponding opportunities for entrepreneurship that flow from it," said John Mason, Auburn University vice president for research and economic development. "Applying for and receiving patents are critical parts of that process. As we honor those who have been successful in this arena, we also encourage others to engage."

Featured speaker Dave Worley, professor emeritus of chemistry and biochemistry, will describe his experience working with a start-up company based on antimicrobial chemicals that he and his students produced. A past recipient of the Auburn University Excellence in Innovation Award and one of only three fellows of the National Academy of Inventors currently at Auburn University, Worley continues to conduct research on antimicrobial substances.

Auburn was one of the first institutional members of the NAI, formed in 2010 to promote inventorship, enhance visibility of academic technology and innovation, educate and mentor innovative students, and translate inventions to benefit society. NAI has grown rapidly over the past six years to a membership of over 200 of the most prestigious academic institutions in the U.S., as well as numerous international organizations.

Criteria for individual membership include being an inventor on an issued U.S. patent and having an affiliation with an NAI member institution. The Auburn chapter currently has 62 members. Those interested in attending the luncheon and/or becoming an individual member of the Auburn chapter should contact Jan Thornton, director of Innovation Advancement and Commercialization, at Affiliate membership is also open to non-university employees who are inventors on U.S. patents.

"We welcome interested persons to the luncheon and encourage qualified individuals to consider joining the Auburn chapter," said Christopher Easley, president of the Auburn Chapter and the Knowles Associate Professor of chemistry and biochemistry.

For more information on the local chapter, visit the website at

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.