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Cote named a National Academy of Inventors senior member

Recognized for developing technologies to improve cancer diagnosis, care

February 16, 2021

Pathologist Richard J. Cote, MD, the Edward Mallinckrodt Professor and head of the Department of Pathology & Immunology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has been elected a senior member of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). A cancer specialist, Cote has developed tools for analyzing tumor cells and predicting disease progression and response to therapy.

The distinction honors people who have demonstrated remarkable innovation, producing technologies that have had, or aspire to have, real impact on the welfare of society. Senior members also must have demonstrated substantial training and mentoring of the next generation of inventors, and have provided leadership to advance inventorship within their academic institutions.

Cote led three of the largest clinical trials in breast, lung and bladder cancer, which were based on research from his laboratory. With the help of funding from the National Cancer Institute, Cote and his colleagues are developing a tool to detect early-stage breast cancer and predict how the disease will progress by analyzing tumor cells in the bloodstream. He and his colleagues also have developed tools based on nanotechnology that may one day lead to a liquid biopsy blood test to detect early, treatable cancer.

Cote holds numerous patents and is the founder of several biotech companies, including Impath, Clarient, Filtini, Sensitini and Circulogix. One of the first companies to bring specialty testing for cancer analysis to market, Impath was acquired by Genzyme in 2004. Clarient, an image analysis company co-founded by Cote under the name Chromavision, brought high-tech diagnostic capabilities to practicing pathologists and oncologists. Clarient was acquired by GE in 2009.