About the National Academy of Inventors

The National Academy of Inventors (NAI) is a member organization comprising of U.S. and international universities; governmental agencies; and non-profit research institutes. Currently there are over 4,600 individual members including Fellows, Senior Members, and Chapter Members, affiliated with more than 300 institutions worldwide.

The mission and goal of the NAI is to recognize and encourage inventors with U.S. patents, enhance the visibility of academic technology transfer and innovation, encourage disclosure of intellectual property, and educate and mentor innovative students. The NAI also works to create a wider public understanding of how its members' inventions benefit society. 


The University of Iowa, sponsored by UIRF, is a member of the NAI, and as such, UI faculty, staff and students have access to a number of different educational materials dedicated to enhancing innovation and entrepreneurship. 

UIRF recommends starting with the Intellectual Property course offered by the NAI. The curriculum is free and there are no fees or charges associated with it. At your own pace, take the online IP course consisting of 12 video modules and 38 lessons. After completing the course, there is a final exam consisting of 40 questions. If you answer 30 of the questions correctly, you will receive an Innovation Development Certificate from the National Academy of Inventors.

University of Iowa Chapter of the National Academy of Inventors

The University of Iowa Chapter of the NAI recognizes and promotes innovation carried out by our faculty, staff and student researchers. The Chapter, sponsored by UIRF and led by Dr. Aliasger Salem, Associate Vice President for Research, exists to help foster a community of local inventors, innovators and researchers. 

The Chapter is composed of inventor members, honorary members, and student members. Chapter members are invited based on their inventive contribution to the University or, in the case of honorary members, their support in facilitating innovation and economic development. New members are added annually and recognized at the Chapter yearly annual reception. 

Chapter Leadership

Aliasger Salem headshot


Aliasger Salem, PhD

Lyle and Sharon Bighley Endowed Chair & Professor and Associate Vice President for Research

Chris Parker headshot

Vice President

Christopher Parker, PharmD

Associate Director, UI Ventures

Sarah Sapouckey Headshot

Chapter Secretary

Sarah Sapoucky, PhD

Licensing Associate, University of Iowa Research Foundation 

ned bowden in the lab

Advisory Committee

Ned Bowden, PhD

Professor, Department of Chemistry

Fatima Toor headshot 2

Advisory Commitee

Fatima Toor, PhD

Associate Professor, Department Electrical and Computer Engineering 

Evgeny Arshava Headshot

Advisory Committee

Evgeny Arshava, MD

Clinical Associate Professor, Department Cardiothoracic Surgery

2024 Chapter Members

Inventor Members

Aliasger Salem*Pharmaceutical Sciences and Experimental Therapeutics
Andrean BurnettRadiation Oncology  
C. Allan GuymonChemical and Biochemical Engineering 
Chris AhernMolecular Physiology and Biophysics
Christopher SalesOpthamology and Visual Sciences
David CwiertnyCivil and Enviormental 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 Howard*Neurology 
Michael WelshInternal Medicine  
Ned BowdenChemistry 
Paul McCrayPediatrics 
Sarah VigmostadBiomedical Engineering  
Thomas SchnellIndustrial and Systems Engineering 
Ziying YanAnatomy and Cell Biology
Milan Sonka*Electrical and Computer Engineering  

 * Designates NAI Elected Fellow. Election to NAI Fellow status is the highest professional distinction accorded solely to academic inventors



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 
Lynn AllendorfJohn Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center
Marie KerbeshianUniversity of Iowa Research Foundation 
Marty ScholtzVice President for Research
Mihaela BojinUniversity of Iowa Research Foundation 
Sarah SapouckeyUniversity of Iowa Research Foundation 
Shannon HendersonJohn Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center
Sherry McClellenUniversity of Iowa Research Foundation 
Tyann PoreppUniversity of Iowa Research Foundation 
Katherine LarsonUniversity of Iowa Research Foundation

University of Iowa NAI Fellows

The NAI Fellows Program was established to highlight 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. The University of Iowa currently has three inventors who have been elected as Fellows:

Matthew Howard headshot

Matthew Howard, MD

Professor, Department of Neurosurgery Chair and DEO, John C. VanGilder Chair in Neurosurgery
Elected Class of 2018
Aliasger Salem headshot

Aliasger Salem, PhD

Associate Vice President for Research and Bighley Chair and Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Experimental Therapeutics
Elected Class of 2023
Milan Sonka

Milan Sonka , PhD

Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering, College of Engineering and Lowell G. Battershell Chair in Biomedical Engineering
Elected Class of 2021