David Mooney elected Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors

Harvard Bioengineer recognized as a distinguished American inventor whose technologies benefit society

CAMBRIDGE – December 13, 2016 – David Mooney, the Robert P. Pinkas Family Professor of Bioengineering at the Harvard John A. Paulson School for Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and a Core Faculty Member at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard, has been elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).  

Mooney is recognized by the NAI for having demonstrated “a highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on the quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society.”

Mooney has authored more than 350 scientific papers and is an inventor on more than 28 issued U.S. patents.

“I am honored to be elected to an institution that celebrates American ingenuity and the translation of discoveries to practical use, and this is really a testimony to the brilliant students, fellows and co-workers with whom I’ve been able to work and invent over the years,” said Mooney.

Mooney has developed numerous technologies advancing tissue engineering, immunotherapy, and mechanotherapy. Most recently he and his team have developed a microfluidic-based method for encapsulating single cells within hydrogels, which could improve stem cell-based therapies and even enable precision tissue engineering using cell-by-cell construction. He has also recently developed a method for predicting how a tumor tissue’s physical properties affect the efficacy of chemotherapy drugs and also demonstrated that direct physical stimulation of injured skeletal muscles impacts biological processes and improves muscle regeneration.

Translating out of the lab and into the clinic, an implantable cancer vaccine for treating melanoma developed by Mooney and his team is now undergoing a Phase I clinical trial in partnership with the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. The implant comprises drugs and patient specific components delivered within a biodegradable scaffold, and beyond treating melanoma, could also potentially be used to treat other cancers, infectious diseases, and auto-immune disorders.

Mooney will be inducted on April 6, 2017, during the Fellows Induction Ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum in Boston. U.S. Commissioner for Patents Andrew Hirshfeld will provide the keynote address for the ceremony.

Mooney joins SEAS faculty members David Edwards, Jennifer Lewis, Richard McCullough and Donald Ingber among the 582 current NAI Fellows worldwide spanning 190 institutions. NAI Fellows collectively have nearly 21,000 issued U.S. patents.

Topics: Bioengineering, Awards

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