Francisco Valero-Cuevas Named Senior Member of the National Academy of Inventors

| February 21, 2023

The USC professor is a leader in the application of fundamental engineering principles to aid human welfare.

Francisco Valero-Cuevas has been selected to join a board that helps shape the direction of medical rehabilitation research. Photo: Nick Nuccio

Francisco Valero-Cuevas has been honored as a Senior Member of the National Academy of Inventors. Photo: Nick Nuccio

Professor in the Alfred E. Mann Department of Biomedical Engineering and in the Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy Francisco Valero-Cuevas has been named a Senior Member of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) for innovation in the field of human mobility.

NAI senior membership honors leaders in research whose creations aim to benefit society and who have achieved success in patents, licensing, and commercialization. His inventions include systems to build architectural arches, orthopedic implants, toys to enhance development in children, and portable systems to quantify and enhance neuromuscular control in hands and legs.

Valero-Cuevas leads USC’s ValeroLab, which aims to understand  brain-body interactions in biological and engineered systems by combining biology, neuroscience, mathematics, computer science  and engineering. One of the Valero Lab’s key research focus areas examines how robotics and AI can be harnessed to support human function and rehabilitation — and how to create autonomous bio-robots. The lab recently developed an AI-controlled robotic limb driven by animal-like tendons that can quickly learn to walk without prior knowledge.

Along with his cross-appointment in Biomedical Engineering and Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, Valero-Cuevas holds courtesy appointments in the departments of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, and the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Valero-Cuevas joined USC as an associate professor in 2007 and was promoted to full professor in 2011. Prior to this, he was at the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University and the Biomechanical Engineering Division at Stanford University. He obtained his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University, his Master’s from Queens University Ontario, and his Bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College. In 2017, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Biology by Swarthmore College.

In 2021 Valero-Cuevas was elected to join the National Advisory Board on Medical Rehabilitation Research (NABMRR) from the National Institutes of Health. He is also a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological (AIMBE). In 2023, he will lead the NSF DARE Conference: Transformative Opportunities for Modeling in Neurorehabilitation at USC.

NAI President Paul R. Sanberg said the organization was excited to honor Valero-Cuevas’ achievements and contributions to the innovation ecosystem at USC.

Sanberg said Valero-Cuevas was honored as an “academic inventor who is a rising leader in [his] field with success in patents, licensing, and commercialization, and for producing technologies that have brought, or aspire to bring, real impact on the welfare of society.”

Valero-Cuevas will be inducted at the 12th NAI Annual Meeting on June 26, 2023, in Washington, D.C.

Published on February 21st, 2023

Last updated on February 21st, 2023

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