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Rocky Tuan, Ph.D.

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Credit: Joshua Franzos/Pitt Health Sciences

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Pitt Professor Rocky Tuan Named National Academy of Inventors Fellow

PITTSBURGH, Dec. 12, 2017 – Rocky Tuan, Ph.D., distinguished professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine has been named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).
Tuan is internationally known for his research in stem cell biology, musculoskeletal tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, and for his innovative leadership role in biomedical education. Most recently, Tuan has been recognized for his efforts to engineer the first-ever three dimensional joint-on-a-chip called the “microJoint,” to replicate a human joint using a microbioreactor platform. The microJoint will be used to study and test drugs for the treatment of arthritic joint diseases.
In addition to being the director of the Center for Cellular and Molecular Engineering, Tuan, who is the Arthur S. Rooney Sr. Chair Professor of Sports Medicine is also the founding director of Pitt’s Center for Military Medicine Research and the associate director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine. A widely cited author of approximately 450 research papers, Tuan has lectured extensively and currently is editor of the developmental biology journal, Birth Defects Research and founding editor of Stem Cell Research and Therapy. 
Tuan is the fourth Pitt faculty member to be named an NAI Fellow, joining 2016 fellow William Wagner Ph.D., professor of bioengineering and director of the McGowan Institute; 2015 fellow Mir Imran, adjunct professor of bioengineering; and 2014 fellow Rory Cooper Ph.D., director of Pitt’s Human Engineering Research Laboratories.
Those elected to the rank of NAI Fellow are named inventors on U.S. patents and were nominated by their peers for outstanding contributions to innovation in areas such as scientific discovery and technology, patents and licensing, significant impact on society, and support and enhancement of innovation.
Election to NAI Fellow status is the highest professional accolade bestowed solely 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 welfare of society.
Included among all NAI Fellows are more than 100 presidents and senior leaders of research universities and non-profit research institutes; 439 members of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; 36 inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame; 52 recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation and U.S. National Medal of Science; 29 Nobel Laureates; 261 American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellows; 168 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Fellows; and 142 Fellows of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, among other awards and distinctions.
On Apr. 5, 2018, the 2017 NAI Fellows will be inducted as part of the Seventh Annual NAI Conference of the National Academy of Inventors at the Mayflower Hotel, Autograph Collection in Washington, D.C. Andrew H. Hirshfeld, U.S. Commissioner for Patents, will provide the keynote address for the induction ceremony.

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