Diabetes researcher named “inventor of the year”

Boris Kovatchev, director of the UVA Center for Diabetes Technology, received the 2011 Edlich-Henderson Inventor of the Year award last night during the UVA Patent Foundation’s annual awards event. The award, presented in the Dome Room of the Rotunda, honors UVA researchers whose discoveries have made an impact on the health of humanity.

Kovatchev, who is internationally known for his diabetes research, is one of the most prolific inventors at UVA. Since following his wife to UVA in 1991, Kovatchev has received a total of 36 domestic and international patents, while 62 more patents are pending.

More after the photo.

Boris Kovatchev received the 2011 Edlich-Henderson Inventor of the Year award last night for his work in the field of diabetes research.

In a spirited presentation, Kovatchev shared the research that led to his latest endeavor, the Artificial Pancreas Project (APP). The goal of the APP is to provide diabetes patients with insulin as soon as their blood sugar levels change. For this project, Kovatchev and UVA colleagues have collaborated with researchers from around the globe.

Thomas Skalak, UVA’s vice president of research, praised Kovatchev’s research partnerships with other universities. “There has been a real sea change at UVA that we have been trying very hard to promote,” Skalak told the audience.

Just like Kovatchev and colleagues have been able to tackle a big disease one piece at a time, “if we all do a little bit of that, then I think UVA will become a global destination for deal making and for new venture creations,” said Skalak.

Mark Crowell, UVA associate vice president for innovation, partnerships and commercialization, reinforced the idea that partnerships are what make healthy innovations ecosystems. There is, said Crowell, a "need to partner effectively…to reach across disciplines and across departmental boundaries of any universities, to reach outside the university to companies, to government entities, to foundations, to private individuals to help build, create and leverage the ecosystem that we are here again to celebrate."

“I think we are doing a pretty darn good job here," added Crowell.

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