The National Academy of Inventors (NAI) has named Steven Goldman, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, Division of Cardiology, and the C. Leonard Pfeiffer Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine at the Sarver Heart Center to its 2022 class of Senior Members. NAI Senior Members are widely regarded as the world’s top academic inventors.
NAI Senior Members are active faculty, scientists and administrators from NAI member institutions who have demonstrated remarkable innovation in producing technologies that have brought, or aspire to bring, real impact on the welfare of society. They also have growing success in patents, licensing and commercialization, while educating and mentoring the next generation of inventors.
“It is an honor for me to be recognized,” Dr. Goldman said, “but I have to give credit to the University of Arizona Health Sciences and the Tucson VA Medical Center for enabling me to get the work done that is the basis for being recognized as an NAI Senior Member.”
Dr. Goldman’s team created a bioengineered patch to implant on damaged hearts. The patch is embedded with human neonatal fibroblasts and seeded with human-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes. In vivo studies have shown that the patch creates new heart tissue, improves heart function, and increases blood flow.
“In pre-clinical studies in animal models of heart failure, this patch creates new heart tissue by stimulating growth of endogenous cardiomyocytes, improves left ventricular (LV) systolic/LV diastolic function, reverses adverse maladaptive LV remodeling, increases myocardial blood flow, and electrically enhances conduction in the native myocardium,” explained Dr. Goldman. “We are now in discussions with the Food and Drug Administration to plan a clinical trial in patients.”
Dr. Goldman worked with Tech Launch Arizona (TLA) to patent the technology on behalf of UArizona and launch a startup – Avery Therapeutics – in 2014 to commercialize the technology. He started the company with his previous mentee and UArizona alumnus, Jordan Lancaster, PhD, who is also a Senior Member of the NAI.
“It’s exciting to see UArizona faculty recognized by this honor each year,” said Doug Hockstad, assistant vice president of TLA, the office of the university that works with researchers to commercialize inventions stemming from UArizona innovation. “It’s a clear indicator that not only is UArizona a leader in cutting-edge research and innovation, but that we have a growing cultural and institutional focus on generating impact from those discoveries and achievements.”
As a Navy physician with the Marine Corps, Dr. Goldman served in Vietnam with the First Marine Division in 1970-71. Dr. Goldman came to UArizona in 1975 and was chief of cardiology at the Tucson VA for over 35 years. His laboratory studies cell-based therapies to treat heart failure.
In total, the 2022 class of NAI Senior Members hails from 41 research universities. They are named inventors on over 1,093 issued U.S. patents. NAI member institutions, including UArizona, are recognized as innovation powerhouses that continuously promote and foster the spirit of innovation.
In addition to Dr. Goldman, three other UArizona faculty researchers were among the 83-member 2022 class of Senior Members. UArizona Health Sciences’ Robin Polt, PhD, professor of chemistry and biochemistry in the College of Medicine – Tucson and the R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy; Stanley Pau, PhD, professor in the James C. Wyant College of Optical Sciences and the College of Engineering; and Judith Su, PhD, also a professor in the Wyant College. Drs. Goldman, Polt and Su are also members of the BIO5 Institute.
The 2022 new Senior Members will be inducted at the Senior Member ceremony at the 11th annual Meeting of the National Academy of Inventors June 14-15 in Phoenix.
A version of this story appeared on the Tech Launch Arizona website.