Whitten selected as 2020 STC Innovation Fellow

April 27, 2020 - by STC.UNM

2020 Innovation Awards

STC’s Innovation Awards recognizes the accomplishments of UNM inventors who have received issued U.S. patents, trademarks, and registered copyrights within the past year. Between March 1, 2019 and February 29, 2020, 57 UNM inventors received issued U.S. patents for 54 technologies. Thirty-three patents were for technologies developed on main campus; 20 patents were for technologies developed on the health sciences campus; and one patent was developed collaboratively between the campuses.

2020 STC.UNM Innovation Fellow

The Innovation Fellow award has been presented each year since 2010 by the STC.UNM Board of Directors to a faculty inventor whose body of technologies has made a significant social and economic impact on society and the marketplace.

David G. Whitten

This year we honor Dr. David G. Whitten as the 2020 Innovation Fellow. Dr. Whitten has over 50 year of experience as a scientist and an academic. He joined The University of New Mexico in 2005 and has since excelled as an inventor, disclosing 33 technologies and has received 17 issued patents. He was selected as a Distinguished Professor in 2016 and is the Associate Director for the Center for Biomedical Engineering. He also serves as Associate Editor for ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces.

Dr. Eva Chi, Professor and Regents’ Lecturer at The University of New Mexico, commented, “Dave has been an incredible mentor and collaborator, and an inspiration to me as a scientist. He is humble, open, and always ready to listen and discuss, whether it’s science or life. He is also always brimming with ideas. Science to him is not just an abstract pursuit of knowledge, but how the knowledge can impact the world and real lives. In this regard, the Innovation Fellow is fitting, and well-deserved honor for Dave as it recognizes the significant social and economic impact his work has had on society and the marketplace”.

Dr. Whitten explores the mechanisms by which different compounds function and their potential application as antimicrobials. His conjugated polyelectrolyte technology combats two of the largest threats to human health and wellbeing in the 21st century; antibiotic resistant bacteria and most recently the spread of infectious disease. The emergence of these significant problems has resulted in a considerable amount of clinical research on the study of different methods of infection control practices. One of the most significant interests has been on antimicrobial surfaces for medical facilities, medical devices, and personal residences and household items. These antimicrobial compounds would be used to reduce the transmission of disease and infection spread from one organism to another through eliminating microbes.

In partnership with his students and collaborators, Dr. Whitten’s innovations and discoveries have the potential of impacting the health of our community and those all around the world. This extraordinary pursuit is just one of the many reasons Dr. Whitten has been chosen as an STC.UNM Innovation Fellow.

Read 2020 STC.UNM Innovation Awards Honors University of New Mexico Inventors, Innovation Fellow and NAI Fellows