Device that detects faux fish is catching on

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - The market is showing an interest in technology developed through the University of South Florida that can instantly determine whether a grouper is really a grouper. In the future, similar technology may signal whether wild-caught shrimp, tuna and red snapper live up to their claims, and even whether that glop floating offshore is really an example of the scourge known as red tide.

A USF professor and former graduate student obtained a patent last year on GrouperChek, a test that identifies the target gene in grouper to determine whether it’s actually grouper or a common substitute such as tilapia or catfish.

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John Paul receives one of the five 2015 Excellence in Innovation Awards for work in 2014

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - At the Annual Luncheon of the USF Chapter of the National Academy of Inventors, Dr. John Paul, Distinguished University Professor, received one of the five 2015 Excellence in Innovation Awards for the "spin off" company called PureMolecular, LLC, which he formed in 2014 with his recent PhD graduate Robert Ulrich, CTO.  This company grew out of their December 2013 patent.  

They have created a device called GrouperChek (trademark pending), which is ... "A handheld sensor assay for the identification of grouper as a safeguard against seafood mislabeling fraud" - also the title of their recent 2015 publication in Food Control (  


Additional Information

Earlier this week on Monday August 31st, USF convened the 7th annual luncheon for the USF Chapter of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).  The event celebrating NAI’s 6th anniversary (2009-2015) was held at the Galleria, USF Research Park in Tampa, Florida. According to Dr. Clifford R. Merz, President of the USF Chapter of the NAI and College of Marine Science (CMS) faculty member and alumni, the USF Academy of Inventors began in 2009 with 131 inventor members.  From the USF Academy of Inventors, the National Academy of Inventors was born and now comprises 177 Member Institutions from around the country and world with more than 3,000 individual inventor members.  In 2010, USF formed NAI’s founding local chapter. Today, USF’s NAI Chapter has over 360 regular and honorary members, and is the largest chapter in the NAI.  Membership is open to any USF faculty, staff, student or alumni listed on an issued patent from the US Patent and Trademark office. Collectively, USF Chapter Inventor Members are listed on nearly 1,900 U.S. Patents, of which, CMS has nine members with over 85 issued U.S. patents. For additional information on the NAI or to join visit or contact Dr. Merz at

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