Moffitt Cancer Center’s Dr. Nicholas Lawrence Inducted into 2016 National Academy of Inventors

December 13, 2016

Nicholas Lawrence

TAMPA, Fla. Nicholas Lawrence, Ph.D., senior research faculty member at Moffitt Cancer Center, has been named a Fellow of the 2016 National Academy of Inventors (NAI). 

Election to NAI Fellow status is a high professional distinction for 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. 

With the election of the 2016 class, there are now 757 NAI Fellows representing 229 research universities and governmental and nonprofit research institutes. The 2016 Fellows are named inventors on 5,437 issued U.S. patents, bringing the collective patents held by all NAI Fellows to more than 26,000. 

The 2016 Fellows will be inducted on April 6, 2017, as part of the Sixth Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum in Boston. U.S. Commissioner for Patents Andrew H. Hirshfeld will provide the keynote address for the induction ceremony. In honor of their outstanding accomplishments, Fellows will be presented with a special trophy, medal and rosette pin. 

Lawrence is a senior member of Moffitt’s Drug Discovery Department and professor in the Department of Oncologic Sciences at the University of South Florida.  He has made important contributions to the field of chemical biology and medicinal chemistry.  The goal of Lawrence’s laboratory is to design and synthesize organic molecules to act as selective anticancer agents targeting a range of processes important in cancer cell biology including signal transduction, tumor angiogenesis, epigenetic gene regulation and cell cycle control.  

“These efforts are driven by a passionate desire to discover new anticancer drugs that will increase the spectrum of human cancers that can be more effectively treated,” he said. 

Lawrence holds 10 awarded patents, which include protecting anticancer small molecule technology licensed to GLG Pharma (STAT3 inhibitors) and Debiopharm (disruptors of the Rb-Raf protein-protein interaction).  Most recently, a series of multitargeting dual bromodomain-kinase inhibitors was licensed to Aptose Biosciences.  Lawrence has published over 100 peer reviewed papers and 15 review articles in organic and medicinal chemistry and anticancer drug design.  

The academic inventors and innovators elected to the rank of NAI Fellow are named inventors on U.S. patents and were nominated by their peers for outstanding contributions to innovation in areas such as patents and licensing, innovative discovery and technology, significant impact on society, and support and enhancement of innovation.

The 2016 NAI Fellows were evaluated by a selection committee, which included 19 members, comprising NAI Fellows, recipients of U.S. National Medals, National Inventors Hall of Fame inductees, members of the National Academies and senior officials from the USPTO, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Association of American Universities, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, Association of University Technology Managers, and other prominent organizations. 

About the National Academy of Inventors
The National Academy of Inventors is a 501(c)(3) non-profit member organization comprising U.S. and international universities, and governmental and non-profit research institutes, with over 3,000 individual inventor members and Fellows spanning more than 240 institutions, and growing rapidly. It was founded in 2010 to recognize and encourage inventors with patents issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, enhance the visibility of academic technology and innovation, encourage the disclosure of intellectual property, educate and mentor innovative students, and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society. 

About Moffitt Cancer Center
Moffitt is dedicated to one lifesaving mission: to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer. The Tampa-based facility is one of only 47 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a distinction that recognizes Moffitt’s excellence in research, clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt is the No. 6 cancer hospital in the nation and has been listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of the “Best Hospitals” for cancer care since 1999. Moffitt devotes more than 2.5 million square feet to research and patient care. Moffitt’s expert nursing staff is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center with Magnet® status, its highest distinction. With more than 5,200 team members, Moffitt has an economic impact in the state of $2.1 billion. For more information, call 1-888-MOFFITT (1-888-663-3488), visit, and follow the momentum on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube