Miami University inventor picked for national academy for research, patents

Credit: Miami University Jeff Sabo

Credit: Miami University Jeff Sabo

A Miami University instructor, who has more than a dozen patent applications in chemical and biological engineering, has been selected to join a nationally elite group.

Andrew Jones — an assistant professor at Miami’ Department of chemical, paper and biomedical engineering — and his research has led to 13 patent applications and wide acclaim for his work.

Jones, who joined Miami’s teaching staff in 2017, was recently chosen one of 95 of America’s “foremost emerging academic inventors” and is now a senior member of the National Academy of Inventors, according to Miami officials.

“There is a saying that those who can’t do, teach,” Jones said. “Miami and other universities want to put away that myth.”

“We want to show that members of our faculty are not only innovating in the classroom, impacting students, and engaging with scholarship that influences academic circles, but that we are also making an impact in the world,” said Jones, whose work has also been featured on National Public Radio.

He has also won Miami University’s Junior Faculty Scholar Award (2021), and Miami’s Associated Student Government — Outstanding Professor Award Finalist (2021).

Jones has published over 20 peer-reviewed publications in top journals and has been cited over 1800 times since 2014. And he is a member of the American Chemical Society and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

One of the focuses of Jones’ research is the biosynthesis of psilocybin, a chemical naturally found in the mushroom Psilocybe cubensis, and its use in treating addiction, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder in humans.

In 2020, PsyBio Therapeutics Corp. awarded a $1 million grant toward the work and a $1.5 million grant the following year.

His passion for both research and teaching has earned him highest marks from current and past students.

Former student Nick Kaplan, a 2022 Miami graduate, is now a Ph.D. student at the University of Washington and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow.

Through the Jones lab, Kaplan participated in the development of the first psilocybin production strains from project conception to scale-up optimization and commercial adoption.

It was an invaluable experience for Kaplan, who said that most students never get to see their research leave the lab.

“Throughout this process, I realized the power of metabolic engineering to impact human lives outside of academia,” Kaplan said. “Andrew is an incredible inventor but an even better teacher.”

“He is passionate about training the next generation of scientists, engineers, and inventors, and we will surely have a brighter future because of his dedication to teaching.”

According to Miami, NAI Senior Members are active faculty, scientists, and administrators from member institutions who have demonstrated remarkable innovation producing technologies that have brought, or aspire to bring, real impact on the welfare of society.

And they also have growing success in patents, licensing, and commercialization, while educating and mentoring the next generation of inventors.

Jones will join other newly recognized inventors at the academy’s annual convention in Washington, D.C.

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