Celebrating UW Medicine Faculty's Innovative Contributions to Healthcare

The UW Medicine Inventor of the Year award honors outstanding UW scientists whose inventions have had a major effect on both human health and our local economy. Each year, the Inventor of the Year selection committee solicits nominations from department chairs and administrators which are then reviewed based on the following criteria:

  • Number of lives saved or improved​
  • Biomedical impact of the invention
  • Contribution to the Bioscience sector
  • Contributions to the UW CoMotion mission to extend the impact of University of Washington research through the creation of partnerships that encourage investment in innovation.
  • Contributions to the UW School of Medicine faculty community.

Current and Former Award Recipients

Dr. Mary L.

Pictured: Mary L. “Nora” Disis, M.D. 

2024 Inventor of the Year - Mary L. "Nora" Disis, MD

Dr. Disis is the Helen B. Slonaker Endowed Professor for Cancer Research at the University of Washington (UW), Professor of Medicine and Adjunct Professor of Lab Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology and a Member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. She is the Director of UW Medicine’s Cancer Vaccine Institute. Her research is in the development of vaccine and cellular therapy for the treatment and prevention of common malignancies. She holds several patents in the field of cancer immunotherapy and diagnostics. Dr. Disis is a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, Association of American Physicians, and Sigma Xi. She is an American Cancer Society Clinical Professor, Deputy Editor, JAMA, and the Editor-in-Chief of JAMA Oncology

Dr. Disis in the News

2023: Ruikang “Ricky” Wang, PhD

Dr. Wang’s laboratory is responsible for the invention of optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA, or optical microangiography), an OCT imaging technique capable of 3D imaging of blood flow within microcirculatory tissue beds in vivo.

Inventor of the Year 2022 Jay Shendure, MD, PhD

2022: Jay Shendure, MD, PhD

Dr. Shendure’s research group in Seattle pioneered exome sequencing and its earliest applications to gene discovery for Mendelian disorders and autism; cell-free DNA diagnostics for cancer and reproductive medicine; massively parallel reporter assays, saturation genome editing; whole organism lineage tracing, and massively parallel molecular profiling of single cells.

2020: Alexander Greninger, MD, PhD, MS, M.Phil., and Keith Jerome, MD, PhD

The 2020 Inventor of the Year Award honored Alexander Greninger, MD, PhD, MS, M.Phil., and Keith Jerome, MD, PhD for their COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR testing) design.

Past Award Winners

2019: Jim Stout, PhD
2018: Thomas S Lendvay, MD

2017: Christy McKinney, PhD, MPH & Michael Cunningham, MD, PhD
2016: Samuel Browd, MD, PhD., Jonathan Posner, PhD
2015: David R. Eyre, PhD
2014: David Russell, MD, PhD
2013: Fred Silverstein, MD
2012: Yongmin Kim, PhD
2011: David Baker, PhD
2010: Roy Martin, PhD
2009:  Bonnie Ramsey, MD, Arnold Smith, MD, Bruce Montgomery, MD
2008: Irwin D. Bernstein, MD
2007: Phillip Green II, PhD
2006: David C. Auth, PhD
2005: Earle W. Davie, PhD
2004: Benjamin Hall, PhD