Carnegie Mellon University
December 07, 2021

Bruchez Named National Academy of Inventors Fellow

By Jocelyn Duffy

Jocelyn Duffy
  • Associate Dean for Communications, MCS
  • 412-268-9982

Marcel Bruchez, professor in the Departments of Biological Sciences and Chemistry and director of the Molecular Biosensor and Imaging Center at Carnegie Mellon University’s Mellon College of Science has been elected a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

The NAI Fellows Program highlights 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. Election to NAI Fellow is the highest professional distinction accorded solely to academic inventors. To date, NAI Fellows hold more than 48,000 issued U.S. patents, which have generated over 13,000 licensed technologies and companies, and created more than one million jobs. In addition, over $3 trillion in revenue has been generated based on NAI Fellow discoveries.

Bruchez is well known for inventing a suite of nanotechnology tools, which include fluorescent dyes, probes and optical tools, that allow for the dynamic imaging of living cells at the molecular level. The tools developed by Bruchez have allowed researchers worldwide to investigate how cells and proteins change and interact in vivo and in real time.

Bruchez is currently the founder and chief technology officer of Sharp Therapeutics (formerly Sharp Edge Labs), which provides technologies for the discovery of small molecules that can restore activity of disease- mutant proteins and can be used to develop new treatments for genetic disease. In 1998, he co-founded Quantum Dot, to market modified quantum dot technology for biological applications. The technology was based on Bruchez’s graduate work at the University of California, Berkeley.

Bruchez holds 34 U.S. patents and has three U.S. patents pending.

Larry Pileggi, Tanoto Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon was also named to the 2021 class of fellows.

The 2021 Fellow class hails from 116 research universities and governmental and non-profit research institutes worldwide. They collectively hold over 4,800 issued U.S. patents. Among the new class of Fellows are 33 members of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and three Nobel Laureates, as well as other honors and distinctions. Their collective body of research and entrepreneurship covers a broad range of scientific disciplines involved with technology transfer of their inventions for the benefit of society.

This year’s class also reflects NAI’s dedicated efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in its membership, with the addition of three outstanding academic female black inventors. The 2021 new Fellows will be inducted at the Fellows Induction Ceremony at the 11th Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Inventors this upcoming June in Phoenix, Arizona.