UA Research VP Elected as Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors

UA Research VP Elected as Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Dr. Russell J. Mumper, vice president for research and economic development at The University of Alabama, has been elected as a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

A prominent researcher in the field of pharmaceutical sciences and biomedical engineering, Mumper is the first faculty member at UA elected as an NAI Fellow. He holds faculty appointments in the UA Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and the UA Department of Family, Internal and Rural Medicine.

“Dr. Mumper has been a prolific inventor who positively impacts economic development, both as an entrepreneur and as an academic administrative leader, and is a highly regarded educator,” said Dr. James T. Dalton, UA executive vice president and provost, who nominated Mumper for this recognition. “This honor is greatly deserved.”

The NAI Fellows Program highlights academic inventors who have demonstrated a spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society. Election to be an NAI Fellow is the highest professional distinction accorded solely to academic inventors.

The 2021 Fellow class hails from 116 research universities and governmental and non-profit research institutes worldwide. They collectively hold over 4,800 issued U.S. patents. Among the new class of Fellows are 33 members of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and three Nobel Laureates, as well as other honors and distinctions.

“It is an honor to be both nominated and elected as an NAI Fellow,” Mumper said. “Fellows’ individual and collective list of accomplishments is truly remarkable and inspiring. It is humbling to be part of this Academy.”

Mumper is an inventor on 20 United States patents and 10 foreign patents in the fields of advanced drug and gene delivery systems, nanotechnology, vaccines, and botanical drugs. Most of the awarded patents were licensed to companies, and several serve as the foundational technologies for products currently in human clinical trials in the areas of ophthalmic drug delivery and therapeutics as well as oral drug delivery of metal chelators to rid the body of radioactive elements in the event of a nuclear accident, explosion, or “dirty bomb.” During his career, Mumper has also been instrumental in the commercialization of six commercial pharmaceutical or health-related products.

As an active faculty researcher, Mumper co-founded five start-up companies, three eventually acquired by other companies. Mumper was also named as one of three university partners and advisors to the Alabama Innovation Commission, created by Gov. Kay Ivey.

The 2021 new Fellows will be inducted at the Fellows Induction Ceremony at the 11th Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Inventors in Phoenix, Arizona, in June 2022. The complete list of NAI Fellows is available online.


Adam Jones, UA communications, 205-348-4328,