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National Academy of Inventors Elevates James Stubbs to Senior Member
Posted February 14, 2022




James Stubbs has long broken new ground by creating new technologies to treat cancer patients. Now the engineer, teacher, and inventor can add another first to his list: Stubbs is the first person at Georgia Tech or Emory University elevated to the rank of Senior Member of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).

“I am really honored to be elected an NAI Senior Member and to join an organization that has such an accomplished membership and where your innovation and commercialization experience really counts,” said Stubbs, professor of the practice in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory.

Senior Members are elected for their success in securing patents and licensing or commercializing their ideas. Stubbs has roughly 30 patents in the United States and around the world for medical devices he developed, mostly surgical devices for brain tumors and breast cancer. His inventions range from devices to aid in delivery of chemotherapy to technologies that enable tumor removal and breast reconstruction.

“His work has helped save lives and brought patients a new lease on life. He is recognized as a thought leader in breast- and neuro-oncology,” said James Rains, who leads the BME Capstone program and nominated Stubbs for senior membership. “[Stubbs] continues to serve as a mentor and adviser to assist other medical companies in bringing transformative treatments to the healthcare market.”


Professor of the Practice James Stubbs talks with students in the Capstone Design course. Stubbs helps students develop their ideas and work through the design process in the Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering. The holder of roughly 30 patents for medical and surgical devices, Stubbs has been named a Senior Member of the National Academy of Inventors. (Photo: Craig Bromley)


In his nomination letter, Rains noted that Stubbs has started a number of companies and built them until they were acquired. Four of those firms sold to public medical devices companies for more than $500 million.

Stubbs also started the life sciences investing program at the Atlanta Technology Angels in 2015 and has authored more than 50 journal articles throughout his career. He studied nuclear engineering as an undergraduate and pivoted to nuclear imaging for his master’s and Ph.D. As professor of the practice in the Coulter Department, he works closed with Rains and helps students develop their own ideas and work through the design process. He developed a globally focused Capstone program to create technologies that improve health and healthcare in countries with limited resources.

“I’m looking forward to joining the network of NAI Senior Members, and I am grateful to Professor Rains that he went to the effort of nominating me and pushing for the recognition,” Stubbs said. “What a super person to work with on a daily basis.”



Joshua Stewart
Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering




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Both the graduate and undergraduate programs in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering were nationally ranked no. 1 in 2023. It was a first-time top ranking for the grad program. Dedicated faculty and innovative curriculum earned the department its lofty spot and will be what keeps it there in the future.