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.

About the School: The UCSF School of Pharmacy is a premier graduate-level academic organization dedicated to improving health through precise therapeutics. It succeeds through innovative research, by educating PharmD health professional and PhD science students, and by caring for the therapeutics needs of patients while exploring innovative new models of patient care. The School was founded in 1872 as the first pharmacy school in the American West. It is an integral part of UC San Francisco, a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide.