Dr. Pramod Srivastava Named Fellow of National Academy of Inventors

Dr. Pramod Srivastava
Dr. Pramod K. Srivastava has been elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. (Lanny Nagler/UConn Photo)

UConn Health’s Dr. Pramod K. Srivastava has been elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).

Dr. Srivastava was elected for his long-standing inventions in the area of cancer immunotherapy including his promising invention of a vaccine for difficult-to-treat ovarian cancer. This first-of-its-kind vaccine uses the unique genomic makeup of a woman’s ovarian cancer cells to design a personalized, targeted therapy to help her immune system recognize and kill invading cancer cells.

“I am honored to be recognized by the National Academy of Inventors and join its premier team of talented academic inventors,” says Dr. Srivastava, director of the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center at UConn Health, who will be inducted as one of the only 582 NAI Fellows on April 15, 2016 at the Fifth Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors.

Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecological malignancy. There is no early-screening test for the disease and often as a result it is discovered at advanced stages.  Also, there is currently no effective, advanced treatments for ovarian cancer, and the disease has a high recurrence rate.

The FDA has given Dr. Srivastava approval to start testing his ovarian cancer vaccine in human clinical trial. “I hope that our clinical trial results a few years from now will show that our unique ovarian cancer vaccine can extend a woman’s survival and even prevent recurrence of the disease,” says Srivastava. If proven successful in clinical trials, Dr. Srivastava plans to expand testing of his vaccine for bladder and other solid-tumor cancers.

“Dr. Srivastava has long been known as one of UConn’s leading physician-scientists and most productive inventors,” says Dr. Jeff Seemann, vice president for research at UConn. “As the scientific founder of Agenus Inc., a publicly-traded company that develops immunotherapies for cancers and infectious diseases, he pioneered the concept of patient-specific therapies. Dr. Srivastava has again brought recognition to UConn Health as he pursues a novel method to develop personalized vaccines to treat patients with ovarian cancer.”

Dr. Srivastava is the second NAI Fellow from UConn Health. The first was Dr. Cato T. Laurencin, a leading surgeon-scientist in orthopaedic surgery, engineering, and materials science who is a pioneer of the field of regenerative engineering.

Academic inventors, who are named inventors on U.S. patents, are selected by their peers to join the NAI as a Fellow for demonstrating a prolific spirit of innovation in creating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society.

At UConn Health, Dr. Srivastava is a professor of the Department of Immunology, and holds the Eversource Energy Chair in Experimental Oncology, in addition to his role as the director of the Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center. He serves on the Scientific Advisory Council of the Cancer Research Institute, and Scientific Advisory Board of several companies. He is also the scientific founder of Agenus and two other biotechnology companies.