The research developments coming from the Single-Cell Lab of Navin Varadarajan, M.D. Anderson Professor in the William A. Brookshire Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, have been recognized again with his election to Senior Member status of the National Academy of Inventors.
Varadarajan was notified of the honor in early February. He said he was thankful to receive it, but he was quick to acknowledge the work of his students and collaborators when it came to the award.
“The honor is a reflection of the hard work, creativity, and dedication of the students and postdocs that work with me,” he said. “I am fortunate to have worked with amazing mentors, colleagues, and collaborators throughout my career.”
The Class of 2022 features “83 of the world's best emerging academic inventors,” according to a press release issued by the NAI. The new members will be inducted at the Senior Member Ceremony at the 11th Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Inventors, June 14 and 15 in Phoenix, Arizona.
“Today, these Senior Members, on their path of prolific discovery, join the NAI innovation community,” said Paul R. Sanberg FNAI, President of the NAI. “With the NAI Senior Member award distinction, we recognize and honor these innovators who are rising stars in their fields.”
Varadarajan joined the Cullen College of Engineering in 2010, after postdoctoral fellowships at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Texas in Austin, which is where he earned his doctorate in Chemistry. Varadarajan completed his M.S. in Organic Chemistry at the India Institute of Science, and his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Madras.
When asked to describe his research, Varadarajan said, “Our research is focused on harnessing the power of the immune system for treating cancers and for designing therapeutics and vaccines.”
In September 2021, iScience published a collaborative work between the research teams of Varadarajan and UH pharmaceutics professor Xinli Liu about the development of an intranasal vaccine that provides durable local immunity against inhaled pathogens. Varadarajan's most recent paper in Biotechnology Bioengineering examines the usage of salicylic acid as a biotechnological tool for nuclear localization.
In October 2017, he earned a Career Development Award from the Department of Defense Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program and in 2013 the Melanoma Research Alliance Stewart-Rahr Young Investigator Award. He has also won Cullen College of Engineering Teaching Excellence Awards in 2017-18 and 2012-13.
Hadi Ghasemi, of Mechanical Engineering, also received NAI status this week. You can read his story here. Thank you!