MSE Professor Tony Brennan Named National Academy of Inventors Fellow

Anthony Brennan, Ph.D.

The National Academy of Inventors (NAI) names Materials Science and Engineering Professor Anthony Brennan, PhD., to its 2017 class of fellows.

Professor Brennan is being honored for his inventions that led to the Sharklet microtopography, which was inspired by biomimicry.

Dr. Brennan is the founder and chairman of the board of Sharklet Technologies, Inc. The company uses Brennan’s patented technology that replicates the microscopic pattern on shark skin. The Sharklet texture can be designed to discourage cells, including bacteria, from attaching, colonizing and forming biofilms on materials. The initial goal, funded by the Office of Naval Research, was to keep algae from coating the hulls of submarines and ships without using toxic antifouling paints, but he found that was just one of many uses for his discovery. The pattern can also be adjusted to enhance the attachment and spreading of mammalian cells for wound healing applications. This pattern has been applied to urinary catheters to inhibit bacteria and to wound dressings to improve the healing of deep wounds.

Brennan has 28 U.S. and foreign patents from his research over the past 25 years.

Brennan has been a professor at the University of Florida since 1991. He is the Margaret A. Ross Endowed Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Professor in Biomedical Engineering. His research focuses on biomaterials, emphasizing the design, fabrication and characterization of bio-interfaces.

He earned his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He studied chemistry and earned his master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Rochester Institute of Technology and State University of New York. In addition, he received an honorary Doctor of Science from the State University of New York in 2012.

Before his time in academia, Brennan worked as a Cerestore® Program Manager and senior development engineer for Coors Biomedical Company and a project manager and chemist for Rocky Mountain Orthodontics, where he worked in materials design, selection, characterization and manufacturing processing.

He joins 154 other renowned academic inventors as part of the class of 2017 and 912 NAI Fellows in total. The prestigious group recognizes contributions by researchers from universities to non-profit organizations and includes presidents, Nobel Laureates, members of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, and more.

To receive this prestigious distinction, fellows must have developed innovations that will positively impact quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society and be named inventors of U.S. patents or licenses.

“The election to the National Academy of Inventors illustrates the impact, brilliance and innovativeness of Dr. Brennan’s research,” said Michele Manuel, Ph.D., Department of Materials Science & Engineering Chair. “His ground-breaking contributions to technology, science and society have become an essential driver to help improve the lives of people around the world.”

Brennan will be inducted into the National Academy of Inventors on April 5, 2018, in Washington, D.C., as part of the Seventh Annual NAI Conference.