Desai and Szoka named fellows of the National Academy of Inventors

Tejal Desai, PhD, and Francis Szoka, PhD, were named fellows of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) on December 3. Both are faculty members in the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, a joint department of the UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine. Desai is also the chair of the department.

Desai and Szoka have spent their careers working to improve therapies to treat disease. Szoka’s work has led to 26 patents, two of which have resulted in commercialized products. Desai specializes in advanced micro and nanotechnologies, most recently developing an implantable device to treat glaucoma and contributing to efforts to build an artificial pancreas to fight diabetes.

The NAI Fellows Program highlights academic inventors who have demonstrated a spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.

Desai and Szoka join faculty colleagues James Wells, PhD, William DeGrado, PhD, and Charles S. Craik, PhD, all in the School’s Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, as fellows of the NAI. The 2019 NAI Fellows will be inducted on April 10, 2020, as part of the Ninth Annual NAI Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona.


School of Pharmacy, Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, PharmD Degree Program

About the School: The UCSF School of Pharmacy aims to solve the most pressing health care problems and strives to ensure that each patient receives the safest, most effective treatments. Our discoveries seed the development of novel therapies, and our researchers consistently lead the nation in NIH funding. The School’s doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree program, with its unique emphasis on scientific thinking, prepares students to be critical thinkers and leaders in their field.