Belcher, Bhatia, Brown, and Horvitz recognized for demonstrating a prolific spirit of innovation and invention resulting in a tangible impact on society.

Four MIT faculty members have been named 2015 Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI):

Angela M. Belcher is the James Mason Crafts Professor Department of Material Science and Engineering and Department of Biological Engineering in the School of Engineering and a member of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. Her lab seeks to understand and harness nature’s own processes in order to design technologically important materials and devices for energy, the environment, and medicine.

Sangeeta N. Bhatia is the John J. and Dorothy Wilson Professor at MIT’s Institute for Medical Engineering and Science and Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in the School of Engineering and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. She is a member of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, the Ludwig Center for Molecular Oncology, and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, an Institute Member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and a Biomedical Engineer at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Her laboratory is dedicated to leveraging miniaturization tools from the world of semiconductor manufacturing to impact human health.

Emery N. Brown is the Edward Hood Taplin Professor of Medical Engineering and of Computational Neuroscience in the MIT School of Science and School of Engineering and the Warren M. Zapol Professor of Anesthesia at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. He is also director of the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology; associate director of the MIT Institute for Medical Engineering and Science; and professor of health sciences and technology at MIT. His lab investigates neural signal processing algorithms and seeks to understand general anesthesia.

H. Robert Horvitz is the David H. Koch Professor in the Department of Biology within the School of Science; a member of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT; and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. His lab is focused on understanding the genetic control of nematode development and behavior and how genes control animal development and behavior and affect human health.

Election to NAI Fellow status is a high professional distinction accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society.

The 168 named 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 (National Academies of Science, National Academy of Engineering, National Academy of Engineering), 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.

The NAI Fellows will be inducted on April 15, 2016, as part of the Fifth Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in Alexandria, Virginia. USPTO Commissioner for Patents Andrew Hirshfeld will provide the keynote address for the induction ceremony. Fellows will be presented with a special trophy, medal, and rosette pin in honor of their outstanding accomplishments.

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