Two MIT faculty members have been named 2016 fellows of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI):
Michael Cima is the David H. Koch Professor of Engineering in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and has an appointment at the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. He is also the faculty director of the Lemelson-MIT Program. Cima is actively involved in materials and engineered systems aimed at improving human health, such as treatments for cancer, metabolic diseases, trauma, and urological disorders. A co-inventor of MIT's three-dimensional printing process, he is currently working to develop implantable microelectromechanical (MEMS) devices for unprecedented control in the delivery of pharmaceuticals and implantable diagnostic systems. An author or co-author of over 200 peer-reviewed scientific publications, he has over 250 issued patents (and two dozen pending applications), and is a recognized expert in the field of materials processing.
Edward W. Merrill ScD ’47 is a professor emeritus in the Department of Chemical Engineering. He is one of a handful of researchers who pioneered the field of biomedical engineering in the 1960s and ’70s, developing polymers for biomedical uses. During his 60-year career at MIT, Merrill used his expertise in polymer chemistry, especially the study of membranes, to make major contributions to the development of the artificial kidney and oxygenation of the blood during open-heart surgery. He is also credited with launching biomedical engineering as a major focus of MIT’s chemical engineering department, influencing hundreds if not thousands of MIT students, including Paula T. Hammond ’84, PhD ’93, now head of the Department of Chemical Engineering and the David H. Koch Chair Professor in Engineering.
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.
With the election of the 2016 class there are now 757 NAI Fellows, representing 229 research universities and governmental and nonprofit research institutes. The 2016 Fellows are named inventors on 5,437 issued U.S. patents, bringing the collective patents held by all NAI Fellows to more than 26,000.The 2016 Fellows will be inducted on April 6, 2017, as part of the Sixth Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. U.S. Commissioner for Patents Andrew H. Hirshfeld will provide the keynote address for the induction ceremony. In honor of their outstanding accomplishments, Fellows will be presented with a special trophy, medal, and rosette pin.
The 2016 NAI Fellows will be recognized with a full page announcement in the Jan. 20, 2017 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education and in upcoming issues of Inventors Digest and Technology and Innovation.
The academic inventors and innovators elected to the rank of NAI Fellow are named inventors on U.S. patents and 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.
Past MIT-affiliated NAI Fellows include Angela M. Belcher (2015), Sangeeta N. Bhatia PhD ’97 (2015), Emery N. Brown (2015), H. Robert Horvitz ’68 (2015), Elazer R. Edelman ’78, PhD ’84 (2014), Ram Sasisekharan (2014), Christine A. Wang ’77, ScD ’84 (2014), Henry I. Smith (2013), Shuguang Zhang (2013), Robert S. Langer ScD ’74 (2012), and Barbara H. Liskov (2012).