AUBURN UNIVERSITY – The National Academy of Inventors has named Vitaly Vodyanoy, a professor of physiology and director of the biosensor laboratory in Auburn’s College of Veterinary Medicine, as one of the association’s 2013 fellows. Representing 94 research universities and governmental and nonprofit research institutions, the 143 new fellows collectively hold more than 5,600 U.S. patents.
Vodyanoy is probably best known for his creation of an advanced illumination system that greatly enhances the resolution power of the light microscope. Licensed to CytoViva Inc., microscopes with his illumination system are being sold worldwide and have found a niche in nanomedicine research where they can visualize nanoparticles that cannot be seen with a typical light microscope. The technology won the prestigious R&D Magazine 100 Awards in 2006 and 2007, the Nano 50 Award in 2007 and currently is enabling researchers in biomedical and other fields to advance their science and find solutions to health, environmental and other problems.
“I have had the pleasure of working with Dr. Vodyanoy and found him to be an intellectually gifted scholar and gentleman,” said John Weete, Auburn’s assistant vice president for technology transfer and commercialization. “His ability to recognize and creatively overcome technical obstacles to research is remarkable. ”
As a biophysicist, Vodyanoy’s work deals with biomembrane phenomena such as sensory receptors, biosensors, transport models, ion channels and olfactory receptor neurons, as well as other areas including cell preservation, symbiotic and probiotic bacteria, proteons from blood and pleomorphism of small DNA particles. He holds 22 U.S. and 37 international patents based on his research. His inventions include a biopolymer for preserving cells, tissue, blood and macromolecules; a mechanism for remote monitoring and recording of olfactory sniff events as detector dogs sample a wide area; and a passive oil collection system.
“Selection as an NAI Fellow is a high honor,” said Anne Chasser, former U.S. Commissioner for Trademarks at the USPTO and chair of the NAI Fellows Selection Committee. “The fellows have made outstanding contributions to innovation and discovery in ways that have had a significant impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.”
A member of the Auburn University Chapter of the National Academy of Inventors, Vodyanoy joined Auburn’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1989. He received his M.S. in Physics from Moscow Physical Engineering Institute and his Ph.D. in biophysics from Agrophysical Research Institute, Leningrad, USSR.
“The criteria for fellow recognition are rightfully rigorous,” said Calvin Johnson, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. “Dr. Vodyanoy is truly a remarkable and creative individual, an outstanding citizen of our university and deserving of the recognition and honor of being named NAI Fellow.”
Included in the 2013 class are nine Nobel laureates, 69 members of the National Academies, 23 fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 23 fellows of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, five inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation and two recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Science.