Rob Keynton
Rob Keynton

UofL bioengineering researcher Robert S. Keynton has been named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). The announcement was made Dec. 12, 2017.

Keynton is a professor and the Lutz Endowed Chair of Biomechanical Devices of the Department of Bioengineering at the J.B. Speed School of Engineering. Keynton was founding chair of the bioengineering department, which under his tenure grew into the most productive basic and translational research department in the Speed School. He is also the director of research initiatives in the office of the executive vice president for research and innovation.

“I am humbled by the nomination and support from my colleagues at UofL and I am truly honored to have been selected to be a member of the National Academy of Inventors and to be associated with such a prestigious group,” Keynton said.  

Keynton’s research focuses on Lab-on-a-Chip devices, microsensors, biomedical devices and biomaterials. He joined UofL in 1999 and has co-founded three companies with UofL colleagues. His career has centered on multidisciplinary research, which includes more than $51 million of funding from agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, Wallace H. Coulter Foundation and the Veterans Administration.

“Professor Robert S. Keynton is a leader in research and innovation at UofL and the nation and around the world,” said William Pierce, UofL executive vice president for research and innovation, who was named an NAI Fellow in 2015. “As founder of our department of bioengineering, he has built a talented faculty as he built his own research efforts. He has brought in many millions of research dollars in research funding individually and has led or helped lead development of our Nanotechnology Center, our Coulter Project initiative, our REACH (NIH) for proof-of-concept centers, and our NSF I-Corps Centers to provide opportunity for so many. Currently he leads efforts that will provide opportunities for untold numbers of students, fellows and future alumni. We are proud to have Rob as one of our leading innovators, inventors and scientists.”

Keynton is the fifth UofL researcher to be named an NAI Fellow. In addition to Pierce in 2015, honorees have been Suzanne T. Ildstad, MD, and Kevin M. Walsh in 2014 and Paula J. Bates in 2016.

With the election of the 2017 class there are 912 NAI Fellows representing more than 250 research universities and governmental and non-profit research institutes. The 2017 Fellows are named inventors on nearly 6,000 issued U.S. patents, bringing the collective patents held by all NAI Fellows to more than 32,000 issued U.S. patents.

The new NAI Fellows will be inducted April 5 as part of the Seventh Annual NAI Conference of the National Academy of Inventors at the Mayflower Hotel, Autograph Collection in Washington, DC.