Dr. Jeff Anker Named Senior Member of National Academy of Inventors
Dr. Jeff Anker, the Wallace R. Roy Distinguished Associate Professor in analytical chemistry at Clemson University, has been named a Senior Member of The National Academy of Inventors (NAI). Anker is one of 54 globally to be honored in the spring 2019 class, whose academic inventors are named on over 860 U.S. patents and represent 32 different research universities and government and nonprofit research institutes. Apparao Rao, founding director of the Clemson Nanomaterials Institute, associate dean for discovery in the College of Science, and 2018 NAI fellow, nominated Anker for his exemplification of creative vision and entrepreneurship as an inventor, as well as his demonstrated history of making real, positive impacts on society. The associate vice president for health research at Clemson, Windsor Sherrill, described Anker’s research as “the quintessential example of translational science” due to his exceptional innovation and application across the disciplinary borders of chemistry, bioengineering, microbiology, and medicine.
Dr. Anker knew at a young age he wanted to be an inventor, but says he soon realized this wasn’t a conventional occupation. After earning four licensed patents and over twelve federal grants, he thanks his career as a chemistry professor for allowing him to continue developing new ideas and inventions, like his biomedical sensors. After being selected as the Clemson University School of Health Research Faculty Fellow at Prisma Health, Anker continues to work with physicians to learn how they incorporate implants and radiography into clinical decisions. Through this fellowship, Anker was able to modify and apply his work to real-world concerns. One of his prototype biomedical sensors measures bending in orthopedic plates, screws, and intervertebral spacers while another, currently in development, will measure local chemical concentrations to detect implant-associated infections. Anker’s novel sensors are compatible with technology readily available at the hospital, giving physicians the new capability to detect minute changes in hardware bending under load, which indicates bone fracture healing. The chair of the department of chemistry called Anker a vital connection for the faculty and the medical team at Prisma, as well as “a prolific researcher, a dedicated teacher and an excellent colleague”.