Thursday, May 30, 2024

Innovation Awards celebrate UTSA research and discovery

Innovation Awards celebrate UTSA research and discovery

Innovator of the Year McHardy directs student researchers in the CIDD lab.

Nov. 13, 2019 — UTSA’s Office of Commercialization and Innovation honored faculty, staff and student achievements on Tuesday at the university’s seventh annual Innovation Awards. The event celebrated 42 members of the research community for their contribution and the successful commercialization of novel ideas and inventions. 

The culmination of the awards was the selection of Stanton F. McHardy as the 2019 Innovator of the Year. The award is based on a number of factors, including technology disclosures, patent filings, issued patents, licenses and overall innovation and ideation. 

McHardy is a professor of research, an associate professor of chemistry and director of UTSA’s Center for Innovative Drug Discovery, a joint venture between UTSA and UT Health San Antonio. The center provides a diverse array of core facilities and expertise to facilitate the translation of basic scientific discoveries into tangible preclinical candidate drugs that can be further developed into clinical therapies for human disease. An active researcher, he has brought over $10 million of research funding in the past few years. His patent application for small molecule drugs for the treatment of obesity and neurological diseases was recently licensed by Ridgeline Therapeutics. 

UTSA also recognized members of its research community in three additional categories, reflecting the university’s success at commercializing new knowledge and technologies. 

Learn more about the UTSA Innovation Awards.
Learn more about commercialization of intellectual property and technology transfer at UTSA.

“These awards not only recognize the UTSA research community’s accomplishments but also serve to inspire researchers to take a transdisciplinary approach to their work and create collaborations outside their disciplines and fields,” said Bernard Arulanandam, vice president for research, economic development and knowledge enterprise. “Our goal is to foster a research-intensive environment where faculty and students can flourish and their work can address society’s big challenges. Arulanandam was also recognized for being the latest inductee into the National Academy of Inventors.

The keynote speaker for the evening, Maria Zannes, is CEO of BioAffinity Technologies, which specializes in noninvasive, early stage cancer diagnostics and targeted therapeutics. Zannes has more than 30 years of executive-level management experience. An attorney who specialized in regulatory law, she has worked as a top aide in the U.S. Congress; directed efforts leading to federal and state agency approvals; and successfully lobbied numerous state legislatures, Congress, and federal administrations. BioAffinity resides in UTSA’s New Venture Incubator, directed by the Office of Commercialization and Innovation. 

OCI provides UTSA students, faculty and staff with commercialization assistance and nurtures university-industry partnerships. Services include intellectual property management and licensing, proof-of-concept development, new venture incubation, entrepreneurial training, and policies and procedures that accelerate and ease the transition of intellectual property and technologies from the university to industry. 

“By highlighting the commercialization successes of the UTSA community, we hope it serves to inspire more people as new therapeutics, innovative materials, and other products designed to improve our lives are developed,” said Christine Burke, director of commercialization and tech transfer. 

UTSA’s 2019 Innovation Awards Winners



Recipients of issued patents. This past year, there were 38 patent recipients with 24 patents issued. 


Eugene Britto John, Safwat Mostafa Noor

Method and apparatus for reducing power and cycle requirement for FFT of ECG signals (Patent 10359832, United States). Improvements to medical devices that reduce the processing power needed to execute an electrocardiogram. 

Banglin Chen, Bin Li, Hui-Min Wen

Porous metal-organic framework with pyrimidine groups for methane storage exhibiting high working capacity (Patent 10150095, United States). Materials useful for purification of hydrogen gas from methane and carbon dioxide, sensing, catalysis, drug delivery, lithium sulfide battery, membrane and analytical devices.

Banglin Chen, Tong-Liang Hu

Microporous metal-organic frameworks for the removal of acetylene from ethylene (Patent 10279334, United States). Materials useful for the separation of industrial gases without having to use extremely high heat. 

Zachary Hamilton, Susana A. Martinez, Ahmed Alsheri, William Tirado

Marksmanship training aid (Patent 10260845, United States). A device that attaches to a rife that provides feedback to the shooter to improve marksmanship. 

Brian Kelley, Jackseario Rosario

Power quality of service optimization for microgrids (Patent 10211638, United States). A design for a power microgrid that balances power demanded by the customers with the energy supplied by the sustainable sources such as solar. 

Ram Krishnan, Ravi Sandhu

Authorization Policy for Group-Centric Secure Info Sharing (Patent 10116664, United States). Computer access control system that enables consistency of specification and enforcement of authorization policies. 

Peyman Najafirad, Mohan Kumar Muppidi, Sos Agaian, Mo Jamshidi

Systems and methods for containerizing multilayer image segmentation (Patent 10217017, United States). Improved automatic object detection in a digital image. 

Arturo Ponce-Pedraza, Miguel Jose-Yacaman, John Eder Sanchez

Systems and methods for measuring magnetic fields produced within microscopes (Patent 10373801, United States). An improvement to a microscope which allows the researcher to measure magnetic fields in a sample being studied. 

David Alvin Tyvoll, Christopher S. Navara, James P. Collman, Christopher Jeffrey Barile

Mitochondrial inhibitors for use in culturing pluripotent stem cells (Patent 10196604, United States). Compounds that allow stem cells to retain their ability to become new cell types. 

Jing Yong Ye, He Huang

Backprojection approach for photoacoustic image reconstruction (Patent 10157483, United States). Improvements to a photoacoustic imaging system that produces more detailed medical images. 


Mauli Agrawal, Steven R. Bailey, Jordan Kaufmann

Scaffold system for tissue repair (Patent 10376394, United States; EP 2544624, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, France, United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden; CA 2829881, Canada; AU 2017200200, Australia). Expendable scaffold that serves as a temporary template that allows damaged tissue to be rebuilt. 

Sos Agaian, Ali Almuntashri, Clara M. Mosquera-Lopez, Richard Metzler

Systems and methods for automated screening and prognosis of cancer from whole-slide biopsy images (Patent 10192099, United States). Software that automatically screens biopsy slides for the presence of cancer. 

Sos Agaian, James Christopher Collins

System and device for preventing attacks in real-time networked environments (Patent 10230739, United States). A filter for a data network that prevents malware from making it to users’ computers. 

Brent M. Nowak, Leonid Bunegin, Pamela G. Ferguson

Advanced cervical ripening system (Patent 10207090, United States). Medical device to assist the dilation of the cervix during childbirth.  



Innovators with optioned or licensed technology that has generated returns for the university. 

Doug Frantz

New chiral phosphite ligands for asymmetric catalysis. (Building block organic molecules that make certain reactions easier.) 

Ruyan Guo, Amar Bhalla

Master agreement for sponsored research. (For research related to 3D printing and improvements to industrial machines.)  



Faculty, staff, students and team mentors who have participated in the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps. This accelerator program takes a mentored research team through the customer discovery process so that they can better understand both what is needed in the marketplace and what a business will need to do for it to be successful. 


A software tool that makes it easier to pick the right statistical test for one’s data. H. Paul LeBlanc III, principal investigator; David Cortez, entrepreneurial lead; and Les Doss, mentor.

Sarah Hada

Celebrate UTSA’s 50th Anniversary and share social media posts about the 50th using the hashtag #UTSA50.

Connect with UTSA online at Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn.

UTSA Today is produced by University Communications and Marketing, the official news source of The University of Texas at San Antonio. Send your feedback to Keep up-to-date on UTSA news by visiting UTSA Today. Connect with UTSA online at Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram.




University of Texas at San Antonio receives ‘transformational’ $40M gift

UTSA’s Mission

The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.

UTSA’s Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

UTSA’s Core Values

We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.

UTSA’S Destinations

UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education .

Our Commitment to Inclusivity

The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to promoting access for all. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.