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National Academy of Inventors (PRNewsFoto/National Academy of Inventors)

In December, the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) named 168 invention and innovation leaders NAI Fellows. Among the honorees were four MIT faculty members.

According to a press release, NAI Fellow status recognizes “academic inventors who have demonstrated a highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and welfare of society.”

The 2015 Fellows will be inducted at an event in April 2016 at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

This year’s NAI Fellows from MIT are:

Angela Belcher
James Mason Crafts Professor
Department of Material Science and Engineering and Department of Biological Engineering

One of the world’s leading nanotechnology experts, Belcher’s work is inspired by nature’s ability to create materials. Her current work focuses on engineering biological materials to work with inorganic materials to create electronic materials such as solar cells and environmentally friendly batteries. In addition to her award-winning lab work, Belcher works to inspire young students to get excited about studying science.

Sangeeta Bhatia SM ’93, PhD ’97
John J. and Dorothy Wilson Professor of Health Sciences and Technology
Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES) and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS)

Bhatia’s research draws on biological and medical sciences, and well as multiple engineering disciplines. The self-described tinkerer and Howard Hughes Investigator holds several patents and is the founder of several biotechnology companies. Among her recent breakthroughs: a yogurt that could provide an alternative to colonoscopies.

Emery Brown
Edward Hood Taplin Professor of Medical Engineering and Computational Neuroscience at MIT
Anesthesiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)

Brown’s research has uncovered the neuroscience behind anesthesia, deciphering the ways it affects different brain regions to control pain and consciousness. He has collaborated on a computer program to monitor the anesthetized brain, allowing him to reduce the dose of anesthetic used in patients by up to 50% to 75% in some cases. Brown has submitted patent applications and is seeking US Food and Drug Administration approval through MGH for a device that automatically control drug dosages in patients who are in medically induced comas.

H. Robert Horvitz ’68
David H. Koch Professor
Investigator, McGovern Institute
Professor, Department of Biology

Horvitz has spent much of his career studying the nematode worm C. elegans. His research has uncovered how neural circuits control specific behaviors—research that could lead to new treatments for diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. In 2002, Horvitz was a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discoveries related to programmed cell death.

Past NAI Fellows from MIT include:
Elazer R. Edelman, 2014
Robert S. Langer, 2012
Barbara H. Liskov, 2012
Ram Sasisekharan, 2014
Henry I. Smith, 2013
Christine A. Wang, 2014
Shuguang Zhang, 2013

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