Thirty-five University of Iowa faculty and staff invited to join chapter membership for their significant contributions to innovation and economic development on the UI campus and in the region
Monday, May 20, 2024

An institutional member of the prestigious National Academy of Inventors (NAI), the University of Iowa has formed a new local chapter of the organization. 

“The University of Iowa Research Foundation created this institutional chapter with encouragement from the NAI to recognize local inventors and further foster a culture of innovation in our university community,” said Aliasger Salem, associate vice president for research and president for the UI Chapter of the NAI.

The chapter expands access to NAI’s educational materials for inventors and entrepreneurs and provides a platform to recognize and celebrate a wide range of the university’s inventors. The new chapter members will be recognized at a reception in September 2024.

The UI Chapter of NAI includes the university’s four recipients of the prestigious NAI Fellowship, which is the highest professional distinction accorded solely to academic inventors. Iowa’s NAI Fellows are: 

  • Matthew Howard, professor, Department of Neurosurgery, John C. VanGilder Chair in Neurosurgery (Elected Class of 2018)
  • John Engelhardt, professor, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology (Elected Class of 2019)
  • Milan Sonka, professor of electrical and computer engineering and Lowell G. Battershell Chair in Biomedical Engineering (Elected Class of 2021)
  • Aliasger Salem, associate vice president for research and Bighley Chair and Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Experimental Therapeutics (Elected Class of 2023)

The 35 new chapter members of the UI Chapter of NAI include 20 faculty inventors who have made significant contributions to the University of Iowa, and 15 honorary members who facilitate innovation and economic development. 


Aliasger SalemPharmaceutical Sciences and Experimental Therapeutics
Andrean BurnettRadiation Oncology  
C. Allan GuymonChemical and Biochemical Engineering 
Chris AhernMolecular Physiology and Biophysics
Christopher SalesOphthalmology and Visual Sciences
David CwiertnyCivil and Environmental Engineering
Donna SantillanObstetrics and Gynecology 
Evgeny ArshavaCardiothoracic Surgery
Fatima ToorElectrical and Computer Engineering  
John PrineasPhysics and Astronomy
Karim Abdel-MalekBiomedical Engineering 
Mark SantillanObstetrics and Gynecology 
Matthew HowardNeurology 
Michael WelshInternal Medicine  
Ned BowdenChemistry 
Paul McCrayPediatrics 
Sarah VigmostadBiomedical Engineering  
Thomas SchnellIndustrial and Systems Engineering 
Ziying YanAnatomy and Cell Biology
Milan SonkaElectrical and Computer Engineering  


Honorary Members

Abbey SchnellUniversity of Iowa Research Foundation 
Chris ParkerUI Ventures
Hozhabr MozafariUniversity of Iowa Research Foundation 
Jolene GriffithUniversity of Iowa Research Foundation 
Jon DarseeUI Ventures
Jordan KaufmannUI Ventures
Katie LarsonUniversity of Iowa Research Foundation
Kellen SensorUniversity of Iowa Research Foundation 
Marie KerbeshianUniversity of Iowa Research Foundation 
Marty ScholtzVice President for Research
Mihaela BojinUniversity of Iowa Research Foundation 
Sarah SapouckeyUniversity of Iowa Research Foundation 
Sherry McClellenUniversity of Iowa Research Foundation 
Tyann PoreppUniversity of Iowa Research Foundation 
Katherine LarsonUniversity of Iowa Research Foundation


The UI chapter joins more than 50 chapters nationwide with over 2,600 members that together create a network dedicated to facilitating innovation and celebrating local and regional inventors.

The University of Iowa Research Foundation and the Office of the Vice President for Research sponsor the UI Chapter of NAI.