The National Academy of Inventors has elected bioengineer Daniel Moran to its 2021 cohort of fellows. 

The NAI fellowship is the highest professional distinction reserved solely for academic inventors.

Moran, director of undergraduate studies and professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, is being celebrated for his pioneering work surrounding neuroprosthetics and neurostimulation to treat disease.

Notably, Moran and collaborator Eric Leuthardt, MD, professor of neurosurgery at the School of Medicine, developed a first-of-its kind device that helps people disabled by stroke regain significant control over their arm and hand function using their minds.

The FDA this spring granted market authorization to the device, IpsiHand Upper Extremity Rehabilitation System, which was developed by Neurolutions Inc., a startup Moran co-founded in 2008.

Neurolutions is one of four startups co-founded by Moran and Leuthardt, most based on patents developed at WashU.

In 2012, he co-founded OsteoVantage, which is developing next-generation spinal instrumentation aimed at helping people who suffer from decreased mobility and pain due to back injuries and degenerative diseases. In 2017, Moran co-founded Inner Cosmos to treat neurological diseases using electrical brain stimulation devices.

In 2020, he co-founded Sympel Therapeutics, which is developing a minimally invasive stimulation technology aimed at the sympathetic nervous chain. This emerging technology will help treat diseases as varied as asthma, hypertension and chronic pain.

In all, Moran has been granted nine patents and has a half-dozen additional patents pending.

Moran earned his bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from the Milwaukee School of Engineering and his PhD from Arizona State University. He worked as a research consultant, designing computer simulations for accident reconstruction, and then spent six years at the Neurosciences Institute before joining Washington University in 2001.

Moran is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and was elected to the 2016 College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, which represents the top 2% of medical and biological engineers in the country.

Read the full story here.


The McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis promotes independent inquiry and education with an emphasis on scientific excellence, innovation and collaboration without boundaries. McKelvey Engineering has top-ranked research and graduate programs across departments, particularly in biomedical engineering, environmental engineering and computing, and has one of the most selective undergraduate programs in the country. With 140 full-time faculty, 1,387 undergraduate students, 1,448 graduate students and 21,000 living alumni, we are working to solve some of society’s greatest challenges; to prepare students to become leaders and innovate throughout their careers; and to be a catalyst of economic development for the St. Louis region and beyond.

Click on the topics below for more stories in those areas