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UM Engineering Dean Named to National Academy of Inventors

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Organization recognizes academic technology and innovation

David A. Puleo, dean of the School of Engineering and professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Mississippi, has been elected a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

Puleo was among 115 inventors named a 2020 fellow by the NAI, which recognizes and encourages inventors with patents issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is one of 11 chosen from the Southeastern Conference.

The organization’s mission is to enhance the visibility of academic technology and innovation and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society.

“This is a tremendous honor that greatly reflects on the efforts of my students and collaborators,” Puleo said. “I am pleased to receive this recognition of past accomplishments and now look forward to facilitating more opportunities for Ole Miss engineering students and faculty.”

Election to NAI fellow status is the highest professional distinction 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.

The 2020 NAI class, which has made a notable impact in a variety of fields, represents 125 research universities and governmental and nonprofit research institutes worldwide. The inductees are named inventors on nearly 4,000 issued U.S. patents.

More than 1,000 NAI fellows have generated over 11,000 licensed technologies and companies, created more than 1.4 million jobs and generated some $190 billion in revenue.

The 2020 NAI fellows will be inducted in June 2021 as part of the 10th NAI Annual Meeting in Tampa, Florida.

Puleo’s time in higher education includes 27 years at the University of Kentucky before assuming his administrative position at UM in 2018. He is a renowned biomedical engineer with research expertise focused on using biomaterials for tissue regeneration in dentistry and orthopedic surgery.

He is a fellow of the International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering, the Biomedical Engineering Society and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. A member of the Omicron Delta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies, Puleo received UK’s Excellence in Teaching for Biomedical Engineering in 2011, 2013 and 2015 and the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research in 2013.

A prolific author, Puleo has written more than 130 refereed journal articles, co-authored two books and been published in several other books and numerous conference proceedings. He also has been an invited presenter at many conferences, workshops, and annual meetings.

As a researcher in the area of regenerative biomaterials, Puleo has served as principal investigator and co-investigator of federally and privately funded grants and contracts totaling millions. His research has led to nearly 15 intellectual property disclosures, patent applications and patents, in addition to a start-up company.

By Edwin B. Smith

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