VCU’s first NAI fellow

“Even more rewarding than an issued patent is seeing the ideas they represent result in technologies that make people’s lives better.”

Barbara D. Boyan, Ph.D.
College of Engineering

She has 23 issued U.S. patents to her name, is co-founder of four companies, has served on the boards of both publicly traded and venture-funded companies, and currently sits on the boards of three others. Barbara D. Boyan, Ph.D., Alice T. and William H. Goodwin Chair and dean of the VCU College of Engineering is no stranger to pioneering her way through the world of innovation.

Boyan’s latest achievement, becoming VCU’s first fellow in the National Academy of Inventors, draws our university into the spotlight as well. This honor adds to her list of fellowships in organizations that include the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and World Congress of Biomaterials, as well as being elected to the National Academy of Engineering. Boyan was inducted as an NAI fellow in April 2017 at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston.

“One of the reasons I came to VCU was the personalized approach used by the Innovation Gateway team to foster development of VCU’s technology,” Boyan says. “Under the directorship of Dr. Ivelina Metcheva, the office works with inventors to ensure that their intellectual property is protected and that it is moved toward commercialization. This is a win-win for faculty, staff and student inventors and for the university.”

Recognized internationally by peers with over 480 peer-reviewed publications, Boyan’s efforts are focused on treating musculoskeletal defects by using the body’s own healing power of regeneration. Her inventions include a micronanoscale surface technology for dental and spine implants, as well as a biodegradable technology for regenerating bone and cartilage.

National Academy of Inventions President Paul R. Sanberg says, “Boyan has demonstrated a highly 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 NAI spans more than 240 institutions and is growing rapidly. It was founded in 2010 to recognize and encourage inventors with patents issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to enhance the visibility of academic technology and innovation, encourage the disclosure of intellectual property, educate and mentor innovative students and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society.