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Florida Inventors Hall of Fame

Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

When Phillip Furman received his masters degree in microbiology from the University of South Florida in 1972, he didn't realize he was starting on a path that would lead him to developing antiviral drugs that treat diseases like HIV and hepatitis B and C. 

He also didn't realize that path would eventually put him in the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame

Florida Inventors Hall of Fame

While the class lacks a "household name" like Thomas Edison or Henry Ford, the 2017 inductees into the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame are a varied collection of creative minds that hold a collective 260 U.S. patents. 

Among the honorees is Richard D. Gitlin, a State of Florida 21st Century World Class Scholar and the Agere Systems endowed Chair in the University of South Florida Department of Electrical Engineering.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

What does it take to get a world renowned scientist to channel his inner "Wayne Campbell" from the 1990's comedy sketch, "Wayne's World?"

In Dr. Paul Sanberg's case, it's being chosen for induction into the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame.

Florida Inventors Hall of Fame

Innovation will be honored Wednesday night as the inaugural class is inducted into the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame at a private ceremony in Tampa.