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National Academy of Inventors 

Announces 2015 NAI Fellows

Three faculty members from the University of Missouri have been named fellows of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). They join 168 other distinguished scientists who have been awarded this honor this year.

  • Gabor Forgacs, the George H. Vineyard Professor of Bioengineering – for his research in cell and developmental biology and meat proteins used for food as well as his work using modified ink-jet printers to produce human tissues and organs such as nerve cells. His methods could be implemented in countries suffering from war, famine or overpopulation and can be used to serve as nerve grafts for damaged and severed nerves.
  • Shubhra Gangopadhyay, the LaPierre Chair and Joint Professor of Electrical Engineering, Biological Engineering and Physics – for her work in engineering advanced methods and processes for analyzing DNA sequences used in medical studies. Her inventions make the process of studying DNA more mobile and portable, giving greater flexibility and faster analysis in the field.
  • Frederick Hawthorne, professor of physics and astronomy and director of the MU International Institute of Nano and Molecular Medicine – for his research and work in the creation of boron cluster compounds, which may be useful in targeting tumor cells for drug delivery and imaging as well as MRI applications for the diagnosis of and therapy for disease.

Election as an NAI Fellow is a high honor bestowed upon academic innovators and inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions and innovations that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society. 

Those named this year bring the total number of NAI Fellows to 582, representing more than 190 prestigious research universities and governmental and non-profit research institutions. The 2015 Fellows account for more than 5,300 issued U.S. patents, bringing the collective patents held by all NAI Fellows to more than 20,000. These academic luminaries have made a significant impact to the economy through innovative discoveries, creating startup companies, and enhancing the culture of academic invention. 

Included among all NAI Fellows are more than 80 presidents and senior leaders of research universities and non-profit research institutes, 310 members of the other National Academies (NAS, NAE, NAM), 27 inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, 32 recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation and U.S. National Medal of Science, 27 Nobel Laureates, 14 Lemelson-MIT prize recipients, 170 AAAS Fellows, and 98 IEEE Fellows, among other awards and distinctions. 

Academic inventors and innovators elected to the rank of NAI Fellow were nominated by their peers for outstanding contributions to innovation in areas such as patents and licensing, innovative discovery and technology, significant impact on society, and support and enhancement of innovation.

The 2015 NAI Fellows Selection Committee included 17 members, comprising NAI Fellows, recipients of U.S. National Medals, National Inventors Hall of Fame inductees, members of the National Academies and senior officials from the USPTO, Association of American Universities, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Association of University Technology Managers, and National Inventors Hall of Fame.

To learn more about the NAI visit their website or read this press release: