Dr. James Martin – Director of the Cardiomyocyte Renewal Lab at Texas Heart Institute – Elected to the 2021 Class of the National Academy of Inventors

Houston, TX (February 11, 2021) – The Texas Heart Institute is pleased to announce that Dr. James Martin, Director of its Cardiomyocyte Renewal Lab, is one of 61 distinguished academic inventors to be elected to the 2021 class of NAI Senior Members at The National Academy of Inventors (NAI).


NAI Senior Members are active faculty, scientists, and administrators from NAI member institutions who have demonstrated remarkable innovation – producing technologies that have brought, or aspire to bring, real impact to the welfare of society – in a number of different disciplines. NAI Senior Members also have proven success in the areas of patenting, licensing, and commercialization.


The ability to nominate an individual for NAI Senior Member recognition is an exclusive opportunity afforded solely to NAI member institutions in order to recognize their outstanding innovators. These multi-faceted organizations are widely regarded as innovation powerhouses that continuously promote and foster the spirit of innovation.


“Dr. Martin has long been a steward of scientific advancement and has proven to be a tremendous asset to the Texas Heart Institute and to its Cardiomyocyte Renewal Lab through his efforts to translate fundamental biological discoveries in cardiac development and disease into novel treatment strategies for cardiac regeneration,” noted Dr. Darren Woodside, Vice President for Research at Texas Heart Institute. He added, “Everyone at the Texas Heart Institute is thrilled for Dr. Martin, whose induction into the NAI as a Senior Member is well-deserved.”


In his years as a researcher, Dr. James Martin has authored more than 170 peer-reviewed papers in top journals such as Nature, Science, Cell, Developmental Cell, Plos Genetics, Development, and PNAS (H-index 79). He discovered that Hippo signaling is a critical repressor of adult heart regeneration, and his recent groundbreaking work on the Hippo pathway in heart size regulation has generated landmark studies that have led to the insight that the Hippo pathway is an endogenous inhibitor of adult heart muscle regeneration. His insights have revealed new avenues for the treatment of human heart failure. He holds 9 U.S. patents and applications, including one provisional application, all of which have been licensed to Yap Therapeutics, a company he co-founded. His research has been and is currently supported by multiple federal granting agencies, including multiple NIH NHLBI R01 and DOD grants.


As Director of Texas Heart Institute’s Cardiomyocyte Renewal Lab, Dr. Martin leads a department that focuses on understanding how genetic pathways are connected to adult tissue homeostasis and regeneration. By obtaining an in-depth understanding of these pathways, the team hopes to develop treatments and techniques that will prevent disorders like heart failure and atrial fibrillation and develop new treatments to treat heart disease.


This latest class of NAI Senior Members represents 36 research universities, government, and non-profit research institutes. They are named inventors on over 617 issued U.S. patents.


“NAI Member Institutions support some of the most elite innovators on the horizon. With the NAI Senior Member award distinction, we are recognizing innovators who are rising stars in their fields and the innovative ecosystems that support their work,” said Paul R. Sanberg, NAI President. “This new class is joining a prolific group of academic visionaries already defining tomorrow.”


Following a nomination for NAI Senior Member, individuals undergo a rigorous selection process by the NAI Advisory Committee, which is composed of elected NAI members and other professionals who are considered pioneers in their respective fields.


Senior Members are elected biannually, and nominations are accepted on a rolling basis. Nominations are currently being accepted for the next Senior Member class.


A full list of NAI Senior Members is available on the NAI website.



The Texas Heart Institute, founded by world-renowned cardiovascular surgeon Dr. Denton A. Cooley in 1962, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the devastating toll of cardiovascular disease through innovative and progressive programs in research, education, and improved patient care. THI’s scientists and physicians conduct fundamental biomedical, translational, and clinical research in cardiology, cardiovascular surgery, molecular-based medicine, stem cell and gene therapy, and regenerative medicine both independently and in collaboration with organizations worldwide. As global leaders of patient care for nearly six decades, Texas Heart Institute has been ranked among the top cardiovascular centers in the United States by U.S. News & World Report for the past 30 years. THI is dedicated to spreading awareness and sharing updates on ways to prevent, treat and defeat cardiovascular disease. With over 10 million visitors coming to its website from around the world every year, www.texasheart.org is just one of the ways THI is helping to educate people on the importance of heart health. For more information, please visit https://www.texasheart.org.


About the National Academy of Inventors (NAI)

The National Academy of Inventors is a member organization comprising U.S. and international universities, and governmental and non-profit research institutes, with over 4,000 individual inventor members and Fellows spanning more than 250 institutions worldwide. It was founded in 2010 to recognize and encourage inventors with patents issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, enhance the visibility of academic technology and innovation, encourage the disclosure of intellectual property, educate and mentor innovative students, and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society. The NAI publishes the multidisciplinary journal, Technology, and Innovation. For more information, please visit www.academyofinventors.org