Cornish Named Fellow of National Academy of Inventors


COLUMBUS, Ohio — Katrina Cornish, a researcher in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University, has been named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

Cornish, who holds the university’s Endowed Chair in Bio-based Emergent Materials and is an Ohio Research Scholar, is one of two inductees — along with Vice President for Research Caroline Whitacre — from Ohio State this year.

NAI Fellows are nominated by their peers for outstanding contributions to innovation.

“We at Ohio State are extremely proud of the accomplishments of Drs. Whitacre and Cornish. Their contributions to innovation are superb examples of the positive impact that the university has on society,” said Bruce McPheron, interim executive vice president and provost. Before being named to his current position, which began Dec. 2, McPheron was dean of CFAES and vice president for agricultural administration.

Since joining Ohio State in 2010, Cornish has submitted 26 invention disclosures, 15 with student co-inventors, and 12 of the pending patents have been licensed to private industry. She has had tremendous impact on the development of alternate natural rubber sources and applications. Her issued and pending patents span a range of fields, including transgenic enabling technologies, plant utility patents, process engineering, value-added materials, sustainable fillers, and medical products and devices.

Cornish holds appointments in CFAES’s Department of Horticulture and Crop Science and Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering.

Whitacre was honored both for her own research advances and for her leadership in promoting innovation as vice president. Whitacre holds a patent for a peptide that she developed that offers significant promise for treatment of autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis. She was also honored for creating an environment at Ohio State that fosters innovation and the translation of inventions for the benefit of others.

Whitacre and Cornish 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. In honor of their outstanding accomplishments, they will be presented with a special trophy, medal and rosette pin.

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Editor: The original version of this press release was distributed by Ohio State’s University Communications office on Dec. 16. It is online at

CFAES News Team
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Katrina Cornish