The Alaska Innovators Hall of Fame class of 2018 includes:
  • Mr. Eric Swanson - Mr. Swanson is a co-inventor of optical coherence tomography and has advanced the field through numerous theoretical, experimental, translational, and industrial contributions. He has developed novel fiber optical communication technology including fundamental contributions to one of the world’s first All-Optical Networks. He has developed novel free-space laser communication technology including fundamental contributions to of one the world’s first inter-satellite laser communications systems.

  • Dr. Kelly Drew - As a biomedical scientist in neuropharmacology, Dr. Kelly Drew has demonstrated that identifying and understanding unique animal adaptations can lead to solutions for some of our most vexing biological problems. Drew discovered receptors that regulate the onset of hibernation and now she’s building on that knowledge to pursue a medical solution for human victims of stroke, cardiac arrest, and spinal-cord injury. She is developing compositions and methods to induce these people into a hibernation-like state to ward off negative effects of the injury and minimize permanent damage until proper and complete medical service is available. 

  • Dr. Patricia Holloway - Dr. Patricia Holloway of the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) School of Natural Resources and Extension was the first to recognize the commercial opportunities of the peony industry in Alaska. Her research and public education efforts were instrumental in helping peony growers throughout the state capitalize on Alaska’s unique growing season. In addition, Holloway, colleagues, and many volunteers began the Georgeson Botanical Garden in 1989, and it is now a valuable community and University asset.

  • Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian Halibut Hook - For centuries, Southeast Alaska Natives have hauled in halibut with a traditional wood hook that is also a work of art and an ingenious conservation tool. The traditional wood Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian Halibut Hook is a sophisticated and innovative piece of technology. The Tlingit halibut hook targets medium size halibut. This precision contributes to the conservation of the species, specifically to reproduction, by sparing small fish and the larger egg-producing females. The halibut hook, which remains artistically and environmentally relevant after centuries of use, is the embodiment of Alaska Native ingenuity.

    Sealaska Heritage Institute accepts this honor on behalf of the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian people.