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UHCOP Pharmaceutics Professor Diana Chow Elected 2015 Fellow of National Academy of Inventors

UH College of Pharmacy's Diana S-L. Chow, Ph.D., professor of Pharmaceutics and director of the college's Institute for Drug Education & Research, has been named a 2015 Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. 

chow photo According to the NAI, "Election to NAI Fellow status is a high professional distinction accorded to academic inventors who have 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 welfare of society."

Chow was recognized for her translational research spanning more than 30 years and resulting in more than 10 U.S. and international patents, including as co-inventor of IV Busulfex® (busulfan), an intravenous conditioning agent for leukemia and other cancer patients undergoing blood, bone marrow or stem cell transplantation. 

The 100 percent bioavailable agent has resulted in a 10-fold reduction in the three-month, post-transplantation mortality rate of patients. Today, more than 65 percent of all acute leukemia patients transplanted in North America receive the intravenous Bulsufan-based pretransplant regimen, making significant impacts on patient survivals.

In 2009, the Houston Intellectual Property Law Association bestowed its "Inventor of the Year Award" to Chow and her co-inventors. IV Busulfex®, now available in more than 40 countries by Otsuka America Pharmaceuticals, also has generated more than $14 million in royalties to the University of Houston since it received FDA approval in 1999 – making it among most profitable patents in UH history. 

In October 2015, Chow received notices of award for two continuation patents on lung and liver organ-specific nanoformulations for novel oral and parenteral forms of an anticancer agent, mebendazole, a previously antiparasitic medication.   

In 2010, Chow’s lab was recruited as the only College of Pharmacy for PK/PD investigations in the nation to be a member of the North American Clinical Trial Network (NACTN), a collaboration of nine academic and clinical institutions in the U.S. and Canada. Established through the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation and funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, the NACTN is offering new hope for patients and veterans by investigating potential new therapies for acute and chronic spinal cord injuries. 

A UHCOP faculty member since 1981, Dr. Chow received her Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia, M.S. from Ohio State University and B.S. National Taiwan University. She has authored or contributed on nearly 200 national and international journal articles, abstracts and presentations.

The NAI has bestowed Fellow status to 582 individuals, representing over 190 research universities and governmental and non-profit research institutes. According to the NAI, the 2015 Fellows account for 5,368 issued U.S. patents, bringing the collective patents held by all NAI Fellows to more than 20,000. 

Induction of the 2015 fellows will be in April 2016, as part of the Fifth Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). USPTO Commissioner for Patents Andrew Hirshfeld will provide the keynote address for the induction ceremony. In honor of their outstanding accomplishments, Fellows will be presented with a special trophy, medal, and rosette pin.