Two Caltech faculty members, Lihong Wang and Changhuei Yang, have been named fellows of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). According to the NAI, election as a fellow is the "highest 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."
Wang, the Bren Professor of Medical Engineering and Electrical Engineering, is focused on biomedical imaging. His lab has developed photoacoustic imaging that allows researchers to see into biological tissues noninvasively, and to peer deeper into the body by nearly two orders of magnitude compared to conventional optical microscopy. Wang has been the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER award; and, from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the FIRST, Director's Pioneer, Director's Transformative Research, and NIH/National Cancer Institute Outstanding Investigator awards.
Wang also received the C.E.K. Mees Medal from the Optical Society of America (OSA), a Technical Achievement Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), an IEEE Biomedical Engineering Award, SPIE Britton Chance Biomedical Optics Award, a Senior Prize from the International Photoacoustic and Photothermal Association, and an OSA Michael S. Feld Biophotonics Award for "seminal contributions" to photoacoustic tomography and light-speed imaging. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, the Electromagnetics Academy, the International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering, and the IEEE, OSA, and SPIE. He is a Foreign Fellow of the Chinese Optical Society. An honorary doctorate was conferred on him by Lund University, Sweden. In 2018, he was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering.
Yang is the Thomas G. Myers Professor of Electrical Engineering, Bioengineering, and Medical Engineering. The Yang lab at Caltech develops technologies aimed at transforming the conventional microscope so that it can be used for high-throughput, automated applications. He also works on the use of "time-reversal" techniques to undo the effect of tissue light scattering. Yang has received the NSF CAREER Award, Coulter Foundation Early Career Phase I and II Awards, and an NIH Director's New Innovator Award. He is a Coulter Fellow, an AIMBE Fellow, and an OSA Fellow. Wang and Yang are both affiliated faculty members of the Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience.
Caltech alumni among the 2020 class of NAI fellows include William W. Bachovchin (PhD '77) of Tufts University, Gary A. Evans (MS '71, PhD '75) of Southern Methodist University, and Timothy M. Swager (PhD '88) of MIT. The NAI's 2020 class of fellows includes two Nobel Prize winners, 24 members of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and/or Medicine, and six fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS). Collectively, the 2020 class includes the inventors of more than 4,700 U.S. patents.
In 2019, Caltech faculty members Peter B. Dervan, Bren Professor of Chemistry, and Julia A. Kornfield (BS '83), Elizabeth W. Gilloon Professor of Chemical Engineering, were named fellows of the NAI.