Soheil Ghiasi Named Senior Member of National Academy of Inventors

Soheil Ghiasi
(Wayne Tilcock/UC Davis Health)

The National Academy of Inventors, or NAI, has conferred senior membership to Soheil Ghiasi, an electrical and computer engineering professor at the University of California, Davis, as part of its 2024 class of emerging innovators. 

Senior memberships recognize active faculty, scientists and administrators at partner institutions like UC Davis who have achieved success in the patenting, licensing and commercialization of technologies with real-world impacts or that promise positive change to the welfare of society. 

Ghiasi's research focuses on embedded computing technologies, which are computer systems designed to complete one function under specific constraints. One example of Ghiasi's innovative work in this area is his Transabdominal Fetal Oximetry technology, or TFO. 

TFO is a non-invasive monitor for directly measuring the blood oxygen saturation levels of a baby during labor and delivery, addressing the current standard of care's inaccuracies that stem from using fetal heart rate as an indirect measure of a baby's distress due to low oxygenation. 

The first-of-its-kind device uses infrared sensors and groundbreaking algorithms to pinpoint the exact data needed to determine oxygen levels during childbirth. Physicians can then use this information to decide if intervention to prevent birth asphyxiation is necessary or not. 

The Transabdominal Fetal Oximetry, or TFO, technology is used on a pregnant woman. The device directly monitors oxygen saturation levels in babies during labor or birth, helping physicians to know if intervention for fetal asphyxiation is necessary or not. (Courtesy)

"By providing physicians with a more objective and direct measure of fetal wellbeing, Soheil's innovatively conceived TFO system promises to drastically improve standard-of-care in labor and delivery rooms and contributes to solving a critical and long-standing global health problem," Saif Islam, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, wrote in his nomination letter for Ghiasi. 

The technology is currently licensed to Storx Technologies, a Davis-based medical device startup, and is undergoing patient studies. 

The academy's senior membership also recognizes an individual's strength in educating and mentoring the next generation of inventors. Ghiasi exemplifies this principle, bringing in graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and early career faculty to work and learn alongside him, ideating and developing pioneering technologies that become patented, like the TFO patent portfolio.  

"This year's class of senior members is truly a testament to the outstanding innovation happening at NAI member institutions and what happens when the academic space encourages and celebrates invention and commercialization," said Paul R. Sanberg, the president of NAI. 

The NAI will celebrate Ghiasi and the entire 2024 class of innovators during its annual conference, occurring June 16-18 in Raleigh, North Carolina. 

Read the full NAI press release 

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