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Three professors elected into National Academy of Inventors

Alan Flurry

The National Academy of Inventors has selected three University of Georgia faculty as 2023 NAI Senior Members. NAI Senior Members are faculty, scientists and administrators selected for their proven ability to invent and innovate.

The UGA representatives of the 2023 class are Christine Szymanski, Hitesh Handa and Leidong Mao. With their selections, UGA now has 11 Senior Members overall:

Szymanski is a professor, associate head of the Franklin College of Arts & SciencesDepartment of Microbiology and member of the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center. She is a leading researcher in the areas of Campylobacter pathogenesis and microbial glycobiology. Her trailblazing efforts have laid the foundation for researchers in this field and are critical for the development of vaccines and therapeutics for animal and human health.

In addition to her research, Szymanski has been named inventor on six U.S.-issued patents, along with many issued foreign patents and numerous pending patents. Her patents have been licensed to seven companies for the development of interventions against bacterial infections.  GlycoVaxyn, a specialist vaccine pharmaceutical company, was founded to leverage discoveries she made during her postdoctoral studies. The company was later purchased by GSK (formerly GlaxoSmithKline) for nearly $200 million. In 2013, Szymanski co-founded VaxAlta to develop glycoconjugate vaccines for human and animal health.

Congratulations to all three of our new elected faculty, who each work closely with students faculty from across the Franklin College.


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