Texas A&M University Distinguished Professor of Chemistry Karen L. Wooley has been elected as a 2019 Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), the highest professional distinction accorded solely to academic inventors.
Wooley, holder of the W.T. Doherty-Welch Chair in Chemistry and one of the world’s top chemists in the burgeoning field of materials and polymer chemistry, is one of 168 Fellow honorees for 2019 announced today (Tuesday, Dec. 3). She is one of 12 faculty-researchers from Texas-based institutions recognized among the NAI’s most recent class of academic inventors who have demonstrated a 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.
Collectively, the 2019 Fellows class represents 135 research universities and governmental and non-profit research institutes worldwide. As a group, they hold more than 3,500 issued U.S. patents.
“Congratulations to the 2019 class of NAI Fellows,” said Laura A. Peter, Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). “It is a privilege to welcome these exceptionally-qualified individuals to this prestigious organization. I am certain their accomplishments will inspire the next generation of invention pioneers.”
Wooley will be presented with a special trophy, medal and rosette pin as part of an April 10, 2020, induction ceremony during the Ninth NAI Annual Meeting, set for April 8-10 in Phoenix, Arizona. Peter will be the keynote speaker at the ceremony, where Fellows will be formally inducted by Peter and NAI President Paul R. Sanberg in recognition of their outstanding achievements.
“I am so impressed by the caliber of this year’s class of NAI Fellows, all of whom are highly-regarded in their respective fields,” Sanberg said. “The breadth and scope of their discovery is truly staggering. I’m excited to not only see their work continue, but also to see their knowledge influence a new era of science, technology, and innovation worldwide.”
A member of the Texas A&M Department of Chemistry faculty since 2009, Wooley also holds joint appointments in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Department of Materials Science and Engineering. In addition, she serves as director of the Laboratory for Synthetic-Biologic Interactions. She was appointed as a distinguished professor in 2011 and was named one of Texas A&M’s 24 inaugural Presidential Impact Fellows in 2017.
Wooley’s research interests include degradable polymers derived from natural products, unique macromolecular architectures and complex polymer assemblies, and the design and development of well-defined nanostructured materials. The development of novel synthetic strategies, fundamental study of the materials’ properties, and their functional performance in the diagnosis and treatment of disease as non-toxic anti-biofouling or anti-icing coatings for the marine environment as materials for microelectronics device applications and as pollutant remediation systems are particular foci of her research activities.
“I am delighted that Karen has been elected as a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors,” said Dr. Simon W. North, professor and head of Texas A&M Chemistry. “She has shown a remarkable ability to combine fundamental scientific discovery with innovation and the development of beneficial applications. For instance, her recent work with Teysha Technologies to develop polymers that degrade to produce natural products is a nice example of insights from basic science toward more environmentally friendly plastics.”
A Fellow of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2015) and the Royal Society of Chemistry (2014), Wooley’s career awards to date include the Royal Society of Chemistry’s 2014 Centenary Prize and the American Chemical Society’s 2015 Oesper Award. In 2014, she also made history as the first woman to receive the ACS Award in Polymer Chemistry, a prestigious accolade honoring outstanding fundamental contributions and achievements toward addressing global needs for advanced polymer systems and materials.
Wooley joins 10 previous NAI Fellows from Texas A&M: Leif Andersson (2017); Mark A. Barteau (2018); Carrie L. Byington (2017); the late Christodoulos A. Floudas (2015); M. Cynthia Hipwell (2018); John L. Junkins (2016); Roderic I. Pettigrew (2018); Darwin J. Prockop (2014); B. Don Russell Jr. (2014) and Marlan O. Scully (2015). To date, NAI Fellows hold more than 41,500 issued U.S. patents that have generated more than 11,000 licensed technologies and companies while creating in excess of 36 million jobs. In addition, more than $1.6 trillion in revenue has been generated based on NAI Fellow discoveries.
To learn more about the National Academy of Inventors and the 2019 Fellows class, visit http://academyofinventors.org/.
For more information on Wooley and her research, visit https://www.chem.tamu.edu/rgroup/wooley/.
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About the National Academy of Inventors: The National Academy of Inventors is a member organization comprising U.S. and international universities, and governmental and non-profit research institutes, with over 4,000 inventor members and Fellows spanning more than 250 institutions worldwide. It was founded in 2010 to recognize and encourage inventors with patents issued from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), enhance the visibility of academic technology and innovation, encourage the disclosure of intellectual property, educate and mentor innovative students, and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society. The NAI has a close collaborative relationship with the USPTO and is one of three honorific organizations, along with the National Medals and National Inventors Hall of Fame, working closely with the USPTO on many innovation support initiatives. The NAI publishes the multidisciplinary journal, Technology and Innovation. To learn more, go to www.academyofinventors.org.
About Research at Texas A&M University: As one of the world’s leading research institutions, Texas A&M is at the forefront in making significant contributions to scholarship and discovery, including in science and technology. Research conducted at Texas A&M generated annual expenditures of more than $922 million in fiscal year 2018. Texas A&M ranked in the top 20 of the National Science Foundation’s Higher Education Research and Development survey (2017), based on expenditures of more than $905.4 million in fiscal year 2017. Texas A&M’s research creates new knowledge that provides basic, fundamental and applied contributions resulting, in many cases, in economic benefits to the state, nation and world. To learn more, visit http://research.tamu.edu.
Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or email@example.com or Dr. Karen L. Wooley, (979) 845-4077 or firstname.lastname@example.org