- Carrie L. Byington and Leif B. Andersson have been recognized by the NAI for their “prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions.”
- Byington and Andersson are the sixth and seventh Texas A&M faculty-researchers to be selected since the NAI named its charter fellows in 2012.
The National Academy of Inventors (NAI) named two Texas A&M University faculty-researchers – Carrie L. Byington and Leif B. Andersson – among its 155 NAI Fellows for 2017. Induction ceremonies are set for April 5, 2018, during the Seventh Annual NAI Conference in Washington, D.C.
Election to NAI Fellow status is the highest professional accolade bestowed solely to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and welfare of society.
Carrie L. Byington
Byington serves as dean of the Texas A&M College of Medicine, senior vice president of the Texas A&M University Health Science Center and vice chancellor for health services at The Texas A&M University System. Ann investigator with continuous, federally-funded support as principal or co-investigator totaling about $80 million since 1998, Byington conducts research that spans the translational spectrum from basic laboratory science to health services research. Working with a group of laboratory scientists and engineers, Byington helped develop a diagnostic system called FilmArray with BioFire Diagnostics in Salt Lake City, Utah, to determine the cause of fever.
FilmArray, with panels that can be used to identify almost 100 different pathogens, is now used in thousands of hospitals in North America and all over the world to diagnose causes of fever, respiratory or gastrointestinal illnesses, and even meningitis or sepsis. Byington has had numerous career accomplishments including election into the National Academy of Medicine and awards from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health.
She currently serves as chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases, which prepares all policies related to pediatric infectious diseases and vaccines and produces the Red Book—a resource used by pediatricians around the world in the treatment of childhood infectious diseases. She also served as chair of the Infectious Diseases Advisory Group to the U.S. Olympic Committee and was tasked with protecting Team USA athletes and staff during the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Leif B. Andersson
Andersson is a professor in the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences and a professor in functional genomics at Uppsala University, Sweden. Among the world’s most renowned scholars in the genomic and molecular study of domestic animals, Andersson has carved a scientific niche by approaching farm animals as model organisms, analyzing interbreeding among species of farm animals, such as between wild boars and domestic pigs, to identify the genes and mutations that affect specific traits. He investigates how the mutations may alter the function and regulation of the genes. Andersson and his research team compare genomes from many species of domestic animals to discover the molecular mechanisms and underlying traits that are important to human and veterinary medicine. They study the genetic background of phenotypic traits, such as gaits in horses as well as disorders such as cancer, metabolic syndrome and inflammatory diseases. Their discoveries provide insights in genetics, animal breeding, evolution and biomedical research. A member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (Foreign Associate), the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, Andersson has received the Thureus Prize in Natural History and Medicine from the Royal Society of Sciences; the Linneus Prize in Zoology from the Royal Physiographic Society of Lund, Sweden; the Hilda and Alfred Eriksson’s Prize in Medicine from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences; and the Olof Rudbeck Prize from Uppsala Medical Society. He was a 2013-14 Faculty Fellow in Texas A&M’s Hagler Institute for Advanced Study. In 2014, he received the Wolf Prize in Agriculture to honor his use of cutting-edge genomic technologies in animal research.
Byington and Andersson are the sixth and seventh Texas A&M faculty-researchers to be selected since the NAI named its charter fellows in 2012. The previous selections are R. Bowen Loftin, former president of Texas A&M; B. Don Russell, University Distinguished Professor and holder of the Harry E. Bovay, Jr. Chair in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering; Marlan Scully, University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, College of Science; the late Christodoulos A. Floudas, formerly the director of the Texas A&M Energy Institute and holder of the Erle Nye ’59 Chair for Engineering Excellence in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering; and John L. Junkins, founding director of Texas A&M University’s Hagler Institute for Advanced Study as well as a University Distinguished Professor, a Regents Professor, and holder of the Royce E. Wisenbaker Chair in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, College of Engineering, and director of the Land, Air and Space Robotics Laboratory and the Center for Mechanics and Control, both at Texas A&M.
Today’s announcement brings the total number of NAI Fellows to 912, representing more than 250 research universities and governmental and non-profit research institutes. The 2017 Fellows are named inventors on nearly 6,000 issued U.S. patents, bringing the collective patents held by all NAI Fellows to more than 32,000. Election to NAI Fellow status is accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific 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.
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