Visionary THI Scientist Honored by the National Academies of Inventors

Ronald J. Biediger, Ph.D., a visionary scientist, and inventor, and a highly respected member of the Texas Heart Institute and the Texas Medical Center was awarded Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. He will be formally inducted into the NAI with the new class on June 8 at the 10th Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Inventors in Tampa, Florida.

Dr. Biediger is the Director of Medicinal Chemistry in the Molecular Cardiology Research Labs at the Texas Heart Institute. He is a highly respected chemist with a strong track record of innovation that has led to advancements in cancer therapeutics and potential treatments for diseases in which inflammation and autoimmunity play underlying roles. 

With 26 US patents licensed to 3 different companies and 2 more pending patent applications presently being considered for licensing, Dr. Biediger demonstrates a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that are making a tangible impact on the quality of life, economic development, and welfare of society. He co-founded a small pharmaceutical company startup, 7 Hills Pharma, LLC, which has licensed the technology he developed at the Texas Heart Institute to develop a drug that has now entered Phase I clinical testing in healthy volunteers.

As a Senior Investigator in the Molecular Cardiology Research Labs and a Research Scientist Member of the Professional Staff at the Texas Heart Institute, Dr. Biediger leads a group of chemists developing small-molecule agonists and antagonists of cell-adhesion receptors for use as therapies, or as adjunctive treatments for cell-based therapies and vaccines, for heart, lung, and vascular disease.  Dr. Biediger and his team are developing targeted agents to image vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques, so as to identify individuals who may be at risk for sudden ischemic events.

Dr. Biediger was a double major in mathematics and chemistry at Texas Lutheran College. This was followed by a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Texas Tech University. During a postdoctoral fellowship at Florida State University, he was part of a team directed by Dr. Robert Holton that completed the first total synthesis of Taxol and developed environmentally less-intrusive ways to mass-produce this effective, widely used chemotherapeutic agent. Before accepting his current position at the Texas Heart Institute, Dr. Biediger was Senior Director of Medicinal Chemistry at Encysive Pharmaceuticals Inc, where he directed numerous drug discovery and development projects over a 14-year period. These projects resulted in four new chemical entities that have entered human testing and one other that was selected as a preclinical candidate.

“Dr. Biediger is a strong addition to this distinguished group of fellows, as his many inventions and his research focus well represent the mission and vision of the NAI and highlight the value of patents and commercialization to universities and nonprofit research institutions, both nationally and internationally, ” said Vice President for Research, Darren Woodside, Ph.D.

5 Houston inventors named fellows of a prestigious international program by Natalie Harms (InnovationMap)

National Academy of Inventors Announces 2020 Fellows