Marvin J. Slepian appointed to federal patent advisory committee

Dr. Marvin J. Slepian, Regents Professor of medicine, medical imaging and surgery at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson and biomedical engineering at the College of Engineering, has been appointed to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Patent Public Advisory Committee. His three-year term started Dec. 1 and lasts until Dec. 1, 2026.

Dr. Marvin J. Slepian

Dr. Marvin J. Slepian

The committee is composed of private-sector intellectual property executives who participate in regular meetings to discuss the office's patent and trademark operations. The committee is an advisory panel created under the America Inventors Protection Act of 1999. The committee advises the patent office on matters related to the policies, goals, performance, budget and user fees of the patent operation. The committee aims to ensure that the office's policies and programs effectively meet the needs of the diverse users of the U.S. patent system. 

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo – in consultation with Kathi Vidal, the patent office's director and undersecretary of commerce for intellectual property – appoints committee members to serve rotating terms.

Slepian is the founder and director of the university's Center for Accelerated Biomedical Innovation, which focuses on developing solutions for unmet medical needs. He is also a member of the BIO5 Institute. His research has led to the development of innovative diagnostics and therapeutics for cardiovascular diseases, including drug-eluting stent technologies, novel heart valves and the only FDA-approved total artificial heart. Most recently his work has expanded leading to novel technologies and approaches in wearables, digital health and artificial intelligence. He is an elected fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, the National Academy of Inventors and the Biomedical Engineering Society. He has worked at the university since 1991.

"I really appreciate the faith that the USPTO showed in me by placing me on this committee. I recognize that this is a very important responsibility, to provide guidance, insight and help to drive the invention and innovation mission of USPTO for the country," Slepian said. "I think invention and innovation are key economic drivers in both good and bad times. And I think fostering a mindset of inventiveness, particularly in young people, and then continuing to reinforce that mindset throughout life is critical to keeping us moving forward in a safe, healthy, economically viable and creative kind of way."

Slepian, a named inventor on more than 60 patents spanning a broad range of technologies, is a member of the Roundtable on Biomedical Engineering Materials and Applications and the National Research Council of the National Academies.

The patent office is the federal agency responsible for granting U.S. patents and registering trademarks. In doing so, the office fulfills the constitutional mandate to promote innovation and progress by securing for inventors the exclusive right to their discoveries.

A version of this article originally appeared on the UArizona Health Sciences website.