Teenage mutant ninja red
Behind biochemist Ron Taylor is a poster illustrating his
invention of a bispecific monoclonal antibody complex, dubbed
"teenage mutant ninja red cells," which can remove
diseases from the bloodstream. Taylor and his team of researchers
are working to modify red blood cells to attack and eliminate
a broad array of pathogens.
Ronald Taylor named
Inventor of the Year
U.Va. Patent Foundation
has named Ronald P. Taylor, professor of biochemistry and molecular
genetics and a member of the Beirne Carter Immunology Center,
as the Christopher J. Henderson Inventor of the Year.
Taylor, a faculty member in the U.Va. School of Medicine since
1973, is being recognized for inventions related to his research
into the treatment of diseases associated with pathogens in the
Taylor spent years struggling to find funding for his research
because many people were skeptical that this technology could
work," said Robert MacWright, executive director of the U.Va.
"But his patents now prove that it does. We are confident that
EluSys Therapeutics Inc., a company formed to complete the process
of bringing this technology to market, can apply his clever designs
to saving lives and reducing suffering in unprecedented ways.
are very pleased to recognize Ron's passion and his tenacity,
and to honor him now at the beginning of what we believe will
be an exciting story of commercial and medical success."
Taylor has studied the natural mechanisms by which white and red
blood cells work to rid the bloodstream of disease. Taylor's inventions,
which mimic this natural process, have potential uses in routine
health care, and in coping with diseases that currently have no
known treatment, as well as in treating victims of biological
warfare, according to MacWright.
Taylor's research has been funded in part by the National Institutes
of Health and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. To
date, his inventions have been licensed to EluSys Therapeutics
Inc. of Pinebrook, N.J.
insists on sharing credit for his scientific progress with other
researchers in his laboratory who have contributed to the effort
in many ways. He notes in particular his gratitude to William
M. Sutherland for his scientific and moral support. "Sutherland
created the monoclonal antibodies needed for our experiments and
has played an integral and essential role in our work from the
very beginning," he said.
also expressed his appreciation for the support and advice offered
by the U.Va. Patent Foundation.
of my colleagues are working with the U.Va. Patent Foundation
to pursue the practical applications of their research,"
Taylor said. "I hope that younger investigators will do so
as well. Such efforts have the potential to bring credit to the
University and enhance its well-deserved national reputation."
The U.Va. Patent Foundation award recognizes an invention of notable
value to society. The criteria for selection include commercial
success (or commercial potential) and the invention's value in
treating disease, in protecting the environment, as a tool for
research, in education and training, in the development of a field
of science or technology, or in helping the disadvantaged, the
disabled and the elderly.
Patent Foundation named the Inventor of the Year Award after Christopher
J. Henderson, president and chief financial officer of Robbins
& Henderson, a New York firm specializing in financial and related
services for institutions, in recognition of Henderson's interest
in technology transfer and commitment to the University. Established
in 1992, the award program was conceived by Dr. Richard Edlich,
a professor of plastic surgery and biomedical engineering at U.Va.
University of Virginia Patent Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation
affiliated with U.Va. that is responsible for licensing to business
and industry the intellectual property discovered and created
in University laboratories.