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Moffitt CEO, Hollywood icon join Florida Inventors Hall of Fame

Margie Manning

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Florida Inventors Hall of Fame (PRNewsFoto/Florida Inventors Hall of Fame)

Alan List, CEO and president of H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute in Tampa, and Hedy Lamarr, a movie star whose invention helped enable WiFi, GPS and Bluetooth, are among the eight new inductees in the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame.

The organization recognizes Florida inventors whose achievements have advanced the quality of life for the state and the nation. The Hall of Fame is housed in the University of South Florida Research Park in Tampa.

Alan List, president and CEO, Moffitt Cancer Center

The eight inductees chosen for 2019 collectively hold more than 340 patents, said Paul Sanberg, chair of the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame advisory board and senior vice president for research, innovation and knowledge enterprise at the University of South Florida.

List was selected for his dedication to understanding cancer biology and developing novel therapeutic strategies for treating hematologic malignancies such as myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myelocytic leukemia.

Lamar, who lived in central Florida before her death in 2000, holds the patent for a “secret communication system” that is the foundation for frequency-hopping spread spectrum technologies. Her contribution led to the development of countless wireless communication technologies, including Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth and has spawned significant advances in cybersecurity.

Other inductees are:

Michael Bass, professor emeritus at University of Central Florida in Orlando, selected for his significant inventions in the area of optics and spectroscopy that have optimized the use of lasers and optical systems, aiding in the treatment of major diseases and improving the design of the world’s fiber optic communication system.

Joanna Fowler, USF alum, selected for her transformative research that enabled the use of molecular imaging to more accurately identify and treat illnesses ranging from drug addiction to cancer.

Thomas Lipo, research professor at the Florida State University’s Center for Advanced Power Systems in Tallahassee, selected for his pioneering innovations in the field of electrical machinery and power electronics that improved the technology that runs subway cars as well as paved the way for hybrid and electric vehicles.

Chris Malachowsky, University of Florida alum and adviser to the UF College of Engineering, selected for inventing the graphics processing unit that transformed the visual computing industry by creating a consumer-oriented 3D graphics market. Malachowsky is the co-founder of Fortune 1000 company NVIDIA in California, which has evolved the GPU into a computer brain that intersects virtual reality, high performance computing and artificial intelligence.

Luther George Simjian, founder of Tampa based flight simulation and training company Reflectone (now CAE USA) and pioneer in the concept of automated teller machines, selected for his many accomplishments including the development of the optical range estimation trainer used during World War II, which became the standard for simulation defense training, as well as his numerous inventions that advanced technology throughout Florida theme parks.

Richard Yost, professor of chemistry at UF in Gainesville, selected for his invention of the triple quadrupole mass spectrometer, a groundbreaking analytical instrument that is used daily in drug development, disease testing, food safety and environmental studies.

All will be inducted at the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame 6th Annual Induction Ceremony & Gala Sep. 20 at the Hilton Tampa Downtown.

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