Research Foundation News

July 12, 2016

Purdue named in top 15 for worldwide universities granted U.S. patents in 2015

Todos-Theranostics Rachel Kim, an MBA graduate from MIT Sloan, and You-Yeon Won, a professor in Purdue's School of Chemical Engineering, are developing a nanoparticle ultraviolet radiation technology, named Radio-Luminescent Nano Particles. The technology could replace chemotherapy drugs to enhance the cancer cell killing effect of radiation in a non-toxic way, minimizing radiation doses and patient side effects. Won and Kim have started the company Lodos Theranostics to further develop and commercialize the technology. (Purdue Research Foundation photo) Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University is ranked 15th in the world among universities granted U.S. utility patents in 2015, according to a new report released by the National Academy of Inventors  and the Intellectual Property Owners Association.

Purdue had 101 U.S. utility patents issued in 2015, compared to 93 the previous year. Purdue tied for 15th with the National Tsing Hua University in China. Also listed among the top 15 are the University of California system, MIT, Stanford, University of Texas system and Harvard.

Purdue has experienced steady increases in the past three years. In 2013, it was ranked 27th and in 2014 it was ranked 16th.

"Our faculty, staff and student investigators are committed to making a lasting impact on people's lives around the globe, and Purdue is dedicated to ensuring that their innovative scholarship is translated into cutting-edge products," said Suresh Garimella, Purdue's executive vice president for research and partnerships and the Goodson Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering. "As a major international research institution, there is a sense of pride and excitement that we can play this important role by furthering innovations that can truly make a difference."

The patents issued to Purdue represent innovations from nearly all of the university's core research areas including engineering, agriculture, science, computer science, technology, biomedicine, pharmaceuticals, health sciences, IT and veterinary medicine. Across campus, Purdue has more than 400 research laboratories and 139 research centers and institutes including Purdue's Discovery Park, its hub for interdisciplinary research, and the commercialization activities that take place in the Discovery Park-based Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship.

Purdue's intellectual property is protected through the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization.

"Protecting and commercializing Purdue's intellectual property is one of our most important endeavors," said Chad Pittman, vice president for the Office of Technology Commercialization. "It is exciting to see our pipeline of innovations increase and become products in society. We anticipate that the patent activity and startup creation will continue to grow in the coming years and support this ongoing stream."

You-Yeon Won, a professor in Purdue’s School of Chemical Engineering, and Rachel Kim, an MBA graduate from MIT Sloan, co-founded the company Lodos Theranostics to further develop the patented technology named Radio Luminescence Therapy. The technology is a unique nanoparticle ultraviolet radiation technology that could enhance cancer cell killing effects of radiation treatment, thus reducing radiation doses and patient side effects.

"Annually in the U.S. about 1 million cancer patients receive radiation treatment and about half of those patients qualify for radio sensitization treatments where they receive additional agents to enhance the radiation effect. Chemotherapy drugs, the agents typically used, even if locally administered to the tumor tissue, spread and produce side effects in other normal tissue regions, unavoidably adding side effects to side effects," Won said. "Our UV nanoparticle technology could be used in place of the chemotherapy drugs to enhance treatment effectiveness in a non-toxic way, while lowering overall radiation doses which will in turn minimize side effects such as nausea, dizziness, various pain, radiation burns and bruising."

As a system, Purdue was named the coveted 2014 Incubator Network of the Year by the National Business Innovation Association. For videos on startups formed from Purdue patents visit startups.

The patent activity also is noted in the researchers at Purdue who are members of the National Academy of Inventors. These fellows are:

* Rakesh Agrawal, the Winthrop E. Stone Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering.

* Jan P. Allebach, the Hewlett-Packard Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

* Charles A. Bouman, the Showalter Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Biomedical Engineering.

* R. Graham Cooks, the Henry B. Hass Distinguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry.

* Sherry L. Harbin, professor of biomedical engineering.

* Michael R Ladisch, Distinguished Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering.

* Philip S. Low, the Ralph C. Corley Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and director of the Purdue Center for Drug Discovery.

* Alyssa Panitch, the Leslie A. Geddes Professor of Biomedical Engineering.

The National Academy of Inventors and Intellectual Property Owners Association have published the report annually since 2013. The rankings are compiled by calculating the number of utility patents granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which lists a university as the first assignee on the printed patent. The full report of the Top 100 Worldwide Universities Granted Patents in 2015 is available at

About the National Academy of Inventors

The National Academy of Inventors® is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit member organization comprising U.S. and international universities, and governmental and nonprofit research institutes, 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 publishes the multidisciplinary journal, Technology and Innovation, Journal of the National Academy of Inventors.

About the Intellectual Property Owners Association

The Intellectual Property Owners Association, established in 1972, is a trade association for owners of patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. IPO is the only association in the U.S. that serves all intellectual property owners in all industries and all fields of technology. IPO advocates for effective and affordable IP ownership rights and provides a wide array of services to members, including supporting member interests relating to legislative and international issues; analyzing current IP issues; information and educational services; and disseminating information to the general public on the importance of intellectual property rights.

About Purdue University

Founded in 1869 in West Lafayette, Indiana, Purdue University serves its state as well as the nation and the world. Purdue is a major research institution supported by top-ranking disciplines in pharmacy, business, engineering and agriculture. More than 39,000 students are enrolled here. All 50 states and 130 countries are represented in its student population.

About Purdue Research Foundation

The Purdue Research Foundation is a private, nonprofit foundation created to advance the mission of Purdue University. Established in 1930, the foundation accepts gifts; administers trusts; funds scholarships and grants; acquires property; protects Purdue's intellectual property; and promotes entrepreneurial activities on behalf of Purdue. The foundation manages the Purdue Foundry, Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization, Purdue Research Park and Purdue Technology Centers. For more information about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at 

Writer: Cynthia Sequin, 765-588-3342,

Sources: Suresh Garimella, 765-494-6209,

Chad Pittman, 765- 588-3473,

You-Yeon Won,

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