Several inventors to be honored as Distinguished Scientists today


OMAHA, Neb. (Feb. 23, 2021)—Several key inventors on more than 50 innovations will be honored today at 4:30 p.m. when the University of Nebraska Medical Center presents its virtual Distinguished Scientists Awards ceremony.

Jingwei Xie, PhD

“We weren’t surprised to see some of our top inventors listed as Distinguished Scientists,” said Matt Boehm, PhD, UNeMed’s Director of Licensing. “Excellent research creates opportunities to develop discoveries into products that improve healthcare.”

While each of the 2020 Distinguished Scientists have made a remarkable impact on research at UNMC, they are also driving past presentations and publications to make sure their research and discoveries make an impact on society.

For example, three in particular stand out as inventors listed on at least 43 inventions: Channabasavaiah Gurumurthy, PhD; Hanjun Wang, MD; and Jingwei Xie, PhD.

Channabasavaiah Gurumurthy, PhD

Dr. Xie, an assistant professor in the Department of Surgery and a leader in the Regenerative Medicine program, has more than two dozen inventions to his credit, many specializing in nanofiber-based materials that promote wound healing and tissue growth.

Previously, Dr. Xie was presented the New Investigator award in 2017, the same year UNeMed named his “Nanofiber Sponges for Hemostasis” as the Most Promising New Invention of the Year.

He was also presented the 2019 Chancellor Emeritus Harold M. Maurer, MD, and Beverly Maurer Scientific Achievement Award, and was honored as one of UNeMed’s “Innovators of the Year” in 2020.

Dr. Gurumurthy was also among UNeMed’s 2020 “Innovators of the Year.”

Hanjun Wang, MD

Hanjun Wang, MD

A professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience and the director of the Mouse Genome Engineering Core Facility, Dr. Gurumurthy has 10 inventions during his tenure at UNMC. Most of his inventions involve improvements to the CRISPR gene-editing tool, one of which is license to an industrial partner.

Dr. Wang is an associate professor in the Department of Cellular & Integrative Physiology, and has two inventions that are currently licensed to commercialization partners, including a midsized biotech and a recently created startup company.

His work on methods for treating cardiovascular diseases has led to more than a dozen new inventions; and more than $1 million in industrial sponsored research that will help further develop his discoveries.

Dr. Wang was previously presented a UNMC New Investigator Award in 2015.

The portal to watch the ceremony, and a complete list of all UNMC’s 2020 honorees—including the Scientist Laureate, the highest honor UNMC bestows to researchers—is available on UNMC’s website:

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