Panetta elected NAI Fellow

Professor and Dean of Graduate Education Karen Panetta is recognized by the National Academy of Inventors.
A woman stands outside a building

Karen Panetta, Dean of Graduate Education and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Computer Science, and Mechanical Engineering, has been elected to the rank of Fellow by the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). The honor recognizes her “prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on the quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society,” according to the announcement from the NAI. Election to NAI Fellow status is the highest professional distinction awarded to academic inventors.

With a primary appointment in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Panetta’s research focuses on developing efficient algorithms for simulation, modeling, and signal and image processing for security and biomedical applications. Under her leadership, Panetta and her team have developed artificial intelligence (AI) software that has the potential to improve medical and dental diagnostics. Recent work by the lab includes AI software that can identify cases of COVID-19 pneumonia from x-rays and CT scans, and an AI program that reviews panoramic dental x-rays and alerts clinicians of results that require closer inspection.

Established in 2010, the National Academy of Inventors is a nonprofit organization focused on encouraging inventors in higher education. The NAI recognizes inventors with patents issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and raises the visibility of academic invention. Fellows currently hold more than 42,000 issued U.S. patents. The 2021 Class of Fellows will be inducted during the 11th annual NAI meeting on June 15, 2022.