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Thursday, September 21, 2023

Academics & Research

UH faculty member named fellow by National Academy of Inventors

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File Photo/The Cougar

The associate provost for Faculty Development and Faculty Affairs Mark Clarke has been named a fellow by the National Academy of Inventors.

Clarke is scheduled to be inducted as a fellow, along with 174 others, at the 10th annual NAI national meeting on June 8 in Tampa, Florida.

In total, the NAI has 4,000 individual inventor members spanning over 250 universities and government and non-profit research institutes around the world.

“Being elected as a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors is a great honor and I am very proud to join the ranks of such a distinguished group of colleagues,” Clarke said.

“I am humbled that the NAI has chosen to recognize my career as an individual faculty inventor and innovator by electing me as a fellow,” Clarke added. 

The NAI intends to recognize and encourage inventors with patents issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Clarke holds 13 U.S. patents, seven technology innovation awards from NASA and launched two life science startups to introduce his technologies to market.

“Election as a NAI fellow is the highest professional distinction accorded solely to academic inventors,” Clarke said.

Nominees must demonstrate a spirit of innovation in the creation and facilitation of inventions that impact quality of life, societal welfare and economic development, Clarke said.

During his time at UH, Clarke has supported and trained faculty, post-doctoral fellows and students in how to commercialize new technologies. These efforts have been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Clarke’s research at the University has focused on how inactivity impacts bone remodeling and bone loss. He’s also explored how cholesterol content affects skeletal muscle responses to stimulation from insulin and exercise.

Clarke began his research career as a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard Medical School before moving to Houston to serve as a National Research Council fellow at NASA Johnson Space Center.

“NAI senior members are recognized for fostering a spirit of innovation within their institutions while educating and mentoring the next generation of inventors,” Clarke said.

“My election as a senior member of NAI was primarily a reflection of my work in promoting and supporting innovation and entrepreneurship at the University of Houston, and at the national level through the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities.”   

But Clarke said that his election as an NAI fellow goes beyond recognition of his individual accomplishments.

“I am also pleased and excited that this award in part reflects the tremendous progress the University of Houston has made over the last 5 to 10 years in creating a thriving, nationally recognized innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem serving the Greater Houston region,” Clarke said. 

Clarke said being named a fellow with the NAI has strengthened his interest and commitment in providing support and training for faculty members, post-doctoral fellows and students interested in commercializing new technologies.

“In being elected as a NAI fellow, I was truly honored that the National Academy recognized my career as a faculty inventor and innovator as being worthy of receiving such a prestigious national and international award,” Clarke said. 

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