Mason named to top 100 list for patents awarded in 2022


It isn’t surprising that George Mason University, a university that has been recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, would be among the top 100 universities in United States for patents. This fall, the National Academy of Inventors ranked Mason No. 91 in its list of the top 100 universities granted patents during 2022.

student looking in a microscrope in a lab
Photo by Evan Cantwell/Office of University Branding

“Mason is in the business of discovery,” said Andre Marshall, vice president for research, innovation, and economic impact. “Our researchers are curiosity-driven. As such, we don't always know where our research will lead or what impact it may have. I am absolutely delighted that the Mason Enterprise tech transfer team is working with our researchers on inventions and patents to transform our discoveries into impact.”

In 2022, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued 15 utility patents to Mason inventors including a method to monitor physical cues for people in recovery, a wearable device for knee injuries, a system for detecting power grid states and determining appropriate actions, and therapeutics for dealing with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), to name a few. Utility patents cover the creation of a new or improved—and useful—product, process, or machine.

Mason professors Padmanabhan Seshaiyer of the Department of Mathematical Sciences and Holly Matto, Department of Social Work, share a patent for systems and methods for biobehavioral-regulation treatments. Their invention provides recovery support for users by monitoring their biobehavioral state and strategically delivers, in real time, personalized recovery cues to treat and prevent relapse. It is the first patent for the Department of Social Work.

Researchers Marissa Howard and Lance Liotta at Mason’s Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine patented a wearable device that measures, tracks, and monitors a wearer's physical physiological conditions during a rehabilitation period. The device collects metrics, such as temperature, patellar shifting, limb circumference, and acceleration, and communicates them through a networked communication system so medical personnel and patients can stay updated with the patient’s rehabilitation progress and make adjustments.

Mason alum Eniye Tebekaemi, PhD Information Technology ’18, and Duminda Wijesekera of the College of Engineering and Computing were awarded a patent for a secure overlay communication model for decentralized autonomous power grids. The model is a logic-based system deployed onto computing devices in power grid stations and substations. In response to detecting various power grid faults, such as line failures and over-current states, the system can automatically rearrange power line configurations.

Researcher Yuntao Wu, a professor in Mason’s School of Systems Biology and the Center for Infectious Disease Research, was awarded two patents in 2022 for his work on HIV: “Targeting the Cofilin Pathway” and “Method and System for Inactivating Virus Infectivity for Producing Live-Attenuated Vaccines.” Wu has devoted his career to HIV research. In 2013, he founded the biotech company Virongy after licensing an HIV drug-screening technology that was developed in his Mason lab.

“The Office of Technology Transfer takes great pride in the quality of patented innovations brought forth by our dedicated researchers,” said David Grossman, senior director of  Technology Transfer and Industry Collaboration at Mason. “We are honored to help these innovators transition their groundbreaking concepts from the laboratory to the marketplace. This collaboration between academia and industry underscores our unwavering commitment to harness the full potential of research for the betterment of society.”

The academy’s Top 100 lists are created using data provided by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Other Virginia universities in the top 100 included University of Virginia at 52 and Virginia Commonwealth University at 86.

According to the National Academy of Inventors press release, “This new list was created to highlight and celebrate American innovation and to showcase the universities that play a large role in advancing the innovation ecosystem within the U.S. and beyond.”