Physics Professor Elected to the 2022 Class of NAI Senior Members

March 18, 2022

Two Virginia Commonwealth University faculty members have been elected by the National Academy of Inventors to the rank of senior members, an honor that recognizes faculty, scientists and administrators who have produced technologies that have brought, or aspire to bring, real impact on the welfare of society.

Massimo Bertino, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Physics in the College of Humanities and Sciences, and Martin Mangino, Ph.D., a professor of surgery and associate chair for basic research in the School of Medicine, were among 83 academic inventors from 41 institutions included in the academy’s 2022 class of senior members.

Image of Massimo Bertino smiling in a coat and tie.
Massimo Bertino, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Physics in the College of Humanities and Sciences. Contributed photo.

Bertino, who specializes in materials synthesis, with a focus on nanoparticles and nanocomposites, has received a number of grants from federal agencies that have supported his research. Several of Bertino’s discoveries have been patented, and two have been licensed by startup companies.

“Very humbled,” Bertino said. “I am especially grateful to my chairman, Dr. [Shiv] Khanna, who has always been supportive of my research efforts.”

Mangino is the inventor of a chemical compound that could help stabilize people in shock who are suffering from dangerously low circulation, whether it’s from loss of blood, illness or another injury.

Image of Martin Mangino smiling in a lab coat and tie near a column.
Martin Mangino, Ph.D., a professor of surgery and associate chair for basic research in the School of Medicine. Photo by Allen Jones, University Marketing.

“The invention is a new clear, crystalloid, I.V. solution that is administered to patients in shock that will improve resuscitation outcomes much better than the current standard of care,” Mangino said. “The solution is cell free and stable under harsh conditions – no refrigeration required, so it can be stored and transported in first responder vehicles, ambulances [and] helicopters and stored on the shelf in hospitals. It both lengthens field and transport times to definitive care so patients don’t die waiting to get to a hospital. And it improves the condition of patients when they reach definitive care, which improves outcomes.”

Mangino said he was honored to be elected as an NAI senior member. “I am humbled to be among so many innovative scientists and engineers,” he said. “It is a true honor for me.”

Other NAI senior members from VCU include Supriyo Bandyopadhyay, Ph.D., Commonwealth Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Everett Carpenter, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Chemistry; Swadesh Das, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Human and Molecular Genetics in the School of Medicine; Srirama Rao, Ph.D., vice president for research and innovation at VCU; and Shunlin Ren, M.D., Ph.D., a professor in the School of Medicine.

Additionally, a number of VCU faculty members have been named NAI fellows, which recognizes academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific 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.

NAI fellows from VCU include Barbara Boyan, Ph.D., the Alice T. and William H. Goodwin Jr. Dean of the College of Engineering; Paul Fisher, Ph.D., a professor in the School of Medicine, director of the VCU Institute of Molecular Medicine and the Thelma Newmeyer Corman Chair in Cancer Research, VCU Massey Cancer Center; B. Frank Gupton, Ph.D., the Floyd D. Gottwald Jr. Chair in Pharmaceutical Engineering and chair of the Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering; Peter Pidcoe, DPT, Ph.D., a professor in the College of Health Professions who has joint appointments in the College of Engineering's Department of Biomedical Engineering and the School of Medicine's Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation; Said Sebti, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology; and Bennett Ward, Ph.D., an associate professor in the College of Engineering.