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OTT Announces Innovator and Dr. John S. Risley Entrepreneur of the Year for 2014

University belltower against skyline
Late afternoon sun paints the Belltower.

The Office of Technology Transfer held its 25th annual Celebration of Innovation and Entrepreneurship on October 21st, where it announced the winners of the Innovator and Dr. John S. Risley Entrepreneur of the Year.

Innovator of the Year – 2014

Dr. Paul D. Franzon is currently a Distinguished Alumni Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at North Carolina State University.  He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia.  He has also worked at AT&T Bell Laboratories, DSTO Australia, Australia Telecom and three companies he cofounded, Communica, LightSpin Technologies and Polymer Braille Inc. His current interests center on the technology and design of complex microsystems incorporating VLSI, MEMS, advanced packaging and nano-electronics.

He has lead several major efforts and published over 300 papers in these areas.  In 1993 he received an NSF Young Investigators Award, in 2001 was selected to join the NCSU Academy of Outstanding Teachers, in 2003, selected as a Distinguished Alumni Professor, received the Alcoa Research Award in 2005, and the Board of Governors Teaching Award in 2014.  Dr. Franzon served with the Australian Army Reserve for 13 years as an Infantry Solider and Officer.  He  flies with the Bandit Flight team that often opens NCSU at home footlball games and is often the lead pilot. Dr. Franzon is a Fellow of the IEEE.

Dr. John S. Risley Entrepreneur of the Year – 2014

Dr. Kenneth B. Adler is Professor in the Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences at North Carolina State University CVM. He received his Ph.D. in Cell Biology from the University of Vermont in 1978, and remained at Vermont as a postdoctoral fellow and faculty member in the Department of Pathology until 1987, when he moved to North Carolina State University, where he became Professor in 1992. Dr. Adler has published over 150 papers, mostly in the area of airway inflammation and mucus secretion, and more lately lung injury and lung cancer.

Dr. Adler has received numerous awards, including an Established Investigator Award from the American Heart Association in 1987; and the Alexander Quarles Holladay Medal for Excellence (‘the highest award made by the university in recognition of faculty career accomplishments”) from NCSU in 2004. In 1998, he was named Alumni Distinguished Graduate Professor at NCSU. In 2005, Dr. Adler was the recipient of The Oliver Max Gardner Award for Service to Humanity from The University of North Carolina Board of Governors. Technology developed in Dr. Adler’s laboratory has been the basis for 9 patents and the formation of the start-up biotech company, BioMarck, Inc. which has developed a drug based on Dr. Adler’s laboratory discoveries that has progressed to clinical trials in patients with Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease, and additional pre-clinical work and possible clinical trials are anticipated in the near future for patients with lung and breast cancer, as well as patients with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome.