UK HealthCare

Ambati Elected to National Academy of Inventors

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 15, 2015) – Dr. Jayakrishna Ambati, professor and vice chair in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, and professor of physiology at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, has been elected Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). Election to NAI Fellow status is a high professional distinction accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a proficient 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.

Ambati is the first individual from the University of Kentucky to receive this distinction. With the induction of the 2015 class, included among all 582 NAI Fellows are: more than 80 presidents and senior leaders of research universities and non-profit research institutes; 310 members of the other National Academies (NAS, NAE, NAM); 27 inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame; 32 recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation and U.S. National Medal of Science; 27 Nobel Laureates; 14 Lemelson-MIT prize recipients; 170 AAAS Fellows; and 98 IEEE Fellows, among other awards and distinctions.  

“I'm honored and humbled to have been elected to the NAI alongside so many other amazing innovators," Ambati said  "This award is really a testament to the outstandingly creative and motivated young scientists that I am fortunate and proud to lead. I look forward to supporting the NAI’s efforts to promote the application of technology and innovation to improve quality of vision and health for people worldwide.”

Ambati is an internationally recognized authority who has pioneered innovative concepts in macular degeneration, a blinding disease that affects 150 million people worldwide. Findings from his lab have been published in the most prestigious scientific journals such as Nature, Science, Cell, Nature Medicine, The Journal of Clinical Investigation, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Ambati, who is the Dr. E. Vernon & Eloise C. Smith Endowed Chair in Macular Degeneration, has received numerous other prestigious awards including the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award and has been elected to The American Society for Clinical Investigation, The Association of American Physicians, and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

He will be inducted during the NAI's 5th Annual Conference April 14 - 15, 2016, in Washington D.C.

Media Contact: Ann Blackford at 859-323-6442 or