National Academy of Inventors names Rowan's Drs. Blank and Lowman fellows

National Academy of Inventors names Rowan's Drs. Blank and Lowman fellows


Dr. Anthony Lowman and Dr. Kenneth Blank, of Rowan University, have been named Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).

Election to NAI Fellow status is a high professional distinction accorded 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 the welfare of society.

“Rowan University is pleased to share this great honor with Dr. Lowman and Dr. Blank,” said Rowan University President Dr. Ali Houshmand. “Having two members of our University named NAI Fellows underscores not only the significant achievements of these individuals, but also highlights Rowan’s growing reputation as a center for research and discovery.”

The dean of Rowan University’s Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering, Dr. Anthony Lowman is internationally recognized for his hydrogel research. A prolific international speaker and presenter, Lowman has published more than 75 papers in peer-reviewed journals, has 11 issued patents and has attracted more than $12 million for his research.

Before coming to Rowan in 2013, Lowman was the vice provost for research and business development and a professor of bioengineering at Temple University. Additionally, he spent 15 years at Drexel University in numerous roles, including professor and associate dean in the College of Engineering and associate dean for research and graduate studies. He has also held international appointments at the University of Parma, Italy, and Hoshi University, Japan. 

Dr. Kenneth Blank was appointed Rowan University’s first senior vice president of Health Sciences in December 2012. A professor of biology at Rowan, Blank holds three patents related to his work as a molecular pathologist and has more than 30 years of experience in research program development, technology commercialization and regional economic development. Blank was previously the senior vice provost for research and graduate education at Temple University and the vice provost for research at both Northeastern University and Drexel University. During his career, he has established a strong track record of increasing research awards from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, Department of Energy and other mission-oriented federal agencies, while creating alliances with businesses to spur discovery, technology commercialization and economic development. Throughout his career in academic leadership, Blank has created environments that make technology development and commercialization a top priority and yielded highly successful university collaborations with government agencies at the state and federal levels.

In addition to his work at Rowan University, Blank is a member of New Jersey’s Council on Innovation, the vice chairman of the board of directors for University City Science Center in Philadelphia and a member of the board of directors for the New Jersey Innovation Institute. He has been a scholar of the Leukemia Society of America (presently known as the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society) and is a current fellow of the Philadelphia College of Physicians.   

Lowman and Blank were among the 168 individuals named as NAI Fellows this year, bringing the total number of Fellows to 582. Among them, the Fellows represent more than 190 prestigious research universities and governmental and non-profit research institutions. The 2015 Fellows account for more than 5,300 issued U.S. patents, bringing the collective patents held by all NAI Fellows to more than 20,000. These academic luminaries have made a significant impact to the economy through innovative discoveries, creating startup companies, and enhancing the culture of academic invention.

Included among all NAI Fellows are more than 80 presidents and senior leaders of research universities and non-profit research institutes, 310 members of the other National Academies (NAS, NAE, NAM), 27 inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, 32 recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation and U.S. National Medal of Science, 27 Nobel Laureates, 14 Lemelson-MIT prize recipients, 170 AAAS Fellows, and 98 IEEE Fellows, among other awards and distinctions. 

The NAI Fellows will be inducted on April 15, 2016, as part of the Fifth Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in Alexandria, Va.

The academic inventors and innovators 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 patents and licensing, innovative discovery and technology, significant impact on society, and support and enhancement of innovation.

The 2015 NAI Fellows Selection Committee included 17 members, comprising NAI Fellows, recipients of U.S. National Medals, National Inventors Hall of Fame inductees, members of the National Academies and senior officials from the USPTO, Association of American Universities, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Association of University Technology Managers, and National Inventors Hall of Fame.

About Rowan University

Rowan University offers bachelor’s through doctoral programs to 16,100 students through its campuses in Glassboro, Camden and Stratford, New Jersey. In the past four years, Rowan created a School of Biomedical Sciences & Health Professions; opened the Camden-based Cooper Medical School of Rowan University; and incorporated the School of Osteopathic Medicine and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, making Rowan only the second university in the nation to grant both M.D. and D.O. medical degrees. Rowan is collaborating with Rutgers-Camden to create degree programs to meet the growing need for medical services in the City of Camden. One of only three state-designated public research institutions in New Jersey, Rowan comprises the University's William G. Rohrer College of Business, the Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering and colleges of Communication & Creative Arts, Education, Humanities & Social Sciences, Performing Arts, and Science & Mathematics and the Division of Global Learning & Partnerships, as well as the medical schools.

About the National Academy of Inventors

The National Academy of Inventors® is a 501(c)(3) non-profit member organization comprised of U.S. and international universities, and governmental and non-profit research institutions, with over 3,000 individual inventor members and Fellows spanning more than 200 institutions, and growing rapidly. It was founded in 2010 to recognize and encourage inventors with patents issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, enhance the visibility of academic technology and innovation, encourage the disclosure of intellectual property, educate and mentor innovative students, and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society. The NAI edits the multidisciplinary journal, Technology and Innovation, published by Cognizant Communication Corporation (NY).