National Academy of Inventors selects Dr. Thomas J. Fogarty as first NAI Fellow
Famed heart surgeon, entrepreneur and pioneer inventor inducted at NAI conference

Tampa, Fla. – February 23, 2012 – The National Academy of Inventors, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) membership organization dedicated to honoring, recognizing and encouraging academic inventors, has inducted Dr. Thomas J. Fogarty as its first NAI Fellow in the organizations' newly established Fellow membership category. Fogarty was inducted as a Fellow at the NAI's Inaugural Annual Conference held Feb. 16-17 at the University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa. Fogarty delivered the closing keynote address at the conference.

"Election to NAI Fellow status is the highest professional distinction accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific innovative spirit in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions with tangible impact on our quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society," said NAI president Dr. Paul R. Sanberg.

Fogarty's many inventions revolutionized heart surgery, including his invention of the now widely used balloon catheter that simplified and made safer what had been a complicated and highly invasive procedure.

Fogarty has served as founder and co-founder and board chairman

or board member for more than 30 businesses and research companies. He holds 135 surgical patents and established the Fogarty Medical Foundation that donates to nonprofit health research.

He left Stanford Medical School after about fourteen years as a professor of surgery and practicing cardiovascular surgeon and established the Fogarty Institute for Innovation to encourage, support and nurture innovation in medicine.

The recipient of countless awards and honors, most significantly, Fogarty received the Jacobson Innovation Award from the American College of Surgeons and the Lemelson-MIT Prize for Invention and Innovation. He has been inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame and the National Academy of Engineering.

The NAI is comprised of U.S. and international member institutions from universities and non-profit research institutes. Its approximately 1,000 inventor members are responsible for inventing and patenting medical, scientific, artistic and engineering breakthroughs that "save lives, create jobs and make life safer and more productive," said Sanberg. "While research and publishing have long been academic benchmarks, invention and getting inventions patented is an achievement too often overlooked. When we established the Academy, our goal was to create an arena where academic invention would be encouraged, recognized and applauded. With our Fellows program we are establishing an additional means of recognizing and honoring exceptional inventors."

The NAI edits an interdisciplinary journal, Technology and Innovation Proceedings of the National Academy of Inventors, published by Cognizant Communication Corporation.


The National Academy of Inventors_ is a 501(c)(3) organization comprised of U.S. and international universities and non-profit research institutes. It was founded in 2010 at the University of South Florida to recognize and encourage inventors with a patent issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, enhance the visibility of university technology and innovation, encourage the disclosure of intellectual property, educate and mentor innovative students, and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society. Email; web

The editorial offices of Technology and Innovation are located at the University of South Florida, Office of Research & Innovation, 3702 Spectrum Blvd., Suite 175, Tampa, Florida, 33612 USA. Tel: +1-813-974-1347. Email

News release by Florida Science Communications, Inc.

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