MUSC Celebrates Yost

Mike Yost was inducted into the NAI

Michael Yost, Ph.D., vice chairman of research in the Department of Surgery was accepted as a fellow in the National Academy of Inventors. His MUSC colleagues honored him locally during the fifth annual induction ceremony.  “The National Academy of Inventors was founded to recognize academics with accomplishments in patents, licensing and commercialization,” said Michael Rusnak, executive director of the MUSC Foundation for Research Development. 

“People nominated as fellows have had an impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society,” he said. Provost Lisa Saladin, PT, Ph.D., said interacting with faculty members like Yost is one of the great pleasures of her job. “He has made substantial contributions to engineering, science, tissue engineering, inflammation modulation, muscle repair and regeneration, 3D bioprinting and the use of collagen as a biomaterial for regenerative medicine,” she said. 

Yost talked to the audience about how he has “stood on the shoulders of giants” throughout his life and career, because other people took the time to lend him a hand. One of those giants was his father, who changed the trajectory of his own life by leaving behind the coal mining and farm life he knew to become a submariner. His father then worked his way through undergraduate and graduate school, Yost explained, eventually securing a position at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and contributing to projects like the specially-designed Apollo spacesuits. 

Another was his graduate school mentor, Lou Terracio Ph.D., who pushed him to begin applying for patents and “held his hand” through his first federal grant funding application, Yost said. A family friend and inventor, Jim Fergason, gave Yost thoughtful advice when Yost was struggling with the demands of working, raising a young family, attending graduate school and following his mentor’s advice to pursue patents. 

 “Jim said to me, ‘I want to tell you something else. I want you to learn to quiet your mind. I want you to start trusting your intuition, and I want you to trust your own creative thoughts,’” Yost said.To conclude his remarks, Yost passed along the very wisdom he had collected from the people who helped him throughout his career. “I want you to start to learn to trust your intuition, quiet your mind and trust your own creative thoughts,” he told the audience.

“Get your work out there in the world where it can do some good and get it in the hands of people who can use it.” 

And, he added, “When the opportunity arises – and it will – I want you to bend down, and I want you to extend your hand, and I want you to lift up the next person and be the giant in their life.

Article By: Leslie Cantu