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Chemists inducted into Inventors Hall of Fame

by Linda Wang
May 29, 2017 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 95, Issue 22

Four chemical scientists are among the 15 inventors inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame this year. The awards honor contributions to society through groundbreaking innovations and are presented by the National Inventors Hall of Fame in partnership with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.

The following chemical scientists were recognized during ceremonies in Arlington, Va., and Washington, D.C., on May 3–4.

Carolyn Bertozzi
Credit: Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
A photo of Carolyn Bertozzi.
Credit: Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

Carolyn Bertozzi, who holds the Anne T. & Robert M. Bass Professorship in the School of Humanities & Sciences at Stanford University, was recognized for her work in the development of the field of bioorthogonal chemistry, which allows researchers to chemically modify molecules within living systems.

Haren Gandhi of Ford Motor Co. was honored posthumously for his work on developing more effective catalytic converters. In addition, his work on catalyst poisoning from lead contributed to the ban of leaded gasoline in the U.S.

Allene Jeanes of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Northern Regional Research Lab was honored posthumously for her work on developing dextran into a blood plasma extender, which has saved many lives on the battlefield and in emergency rooms. She also discovered xanthan gum, which is widely used as a food thickener, stabilizer, and emulsifier.

Frances Ligler
Credit: NC State
A photo of a Frances Ligler.
Credit: NC State

Frances Ligler, Lampe Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the joint department of biomedical engineering at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, was recognized for her innovative work on optical biosensors for various applications, including food safety, disease diagnosis, pollution control, and homeland security.

Inductees will participate in educational programs and competitions to help inspire youth and the next generation of inventors.


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