Three UCLA professors have been chosen as 2023 fellows by the National Academy of Inventors. Election to an academy fellowship is the highest professional distinction awarded solely to inventors.

The newest class of 162 fellows “are creating innovations that are driving crucial advancements across a variety of disciplines and are stimulating the global and national economy in immeasurable ways,” the academy said in a press release.

Nominees must be a named inventor on a patent or patents issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and be affiliated with a university or nonprofit or governmental research institution to qualify. Candidates are first nominated by their peers and reviewed by the academy’s fellows selection committee.

The new UCLA fellows are:

Eric Chiou
Professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, and bioengineering, UCLA Samueli School of Engineering

Chiou leads the UCLA Optofluidics Systems Laboratory, which focuses on integrated photonics, electronics and microfluidics devices for biomedical applications. He holds more than a dozen U.S. patents, and several of his major inventions have been licensed to technology companies, including the optoelectronic tweezers, the pulse laser-activated cell sorter and the laser-activated supercritical injector.

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Xianfeng Duan
Professor of chemistry and biochemistry, UCLA College

Duan focuses on nanoscale materials and their applications in novel devices — research with the potential to transform electronic, energy and medical technologies. The holder of over 50 U.S. patents, Duan was the recipient of the 2023 Pioneer Award in Nanotechnology from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers for his “pioneering contribution to the synthesis and integration of nanoscale materials and devices.” He was recently listed among the world’s most highly cited researchers in the sciences.

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Paul S. Weiss
Distinguished professor of chemistry and biochemistry, UCLA College

Distinguished professor of materials science and engineering, and bioengineering, UCLA Samueli School of Engineering

Weiss holds the UC Presidential Chair in Chemistry and leads an interdisciplinary research group at UCLA that studies the atomic-scale properties of surfaces and supramolecular assemblies. He holds more than 40 U.S. and international patents, and his research has led to major advances in scanning probe microscopes, nanofabrication processes, and high-throughput gene editing and tissue engineering — providing insights into biological, electronic, mechanical and thermal systems. He is a member of the UCLA Health Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and the UCLA Goodman-Luskin Microbiome Center.

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The National Academy of Inventors is a nonprofit member organization with more than 4,600 individual members worldwide. With the election of the 2023 class, the academy now has 1,898 fellows across the globe. According to the academy, fellows hold more than 63,000 patents and 13,000 licensed technologies, with their innovations generating over $3 trillion in revenue and 1 million jobs. 

The 2023 fellows will be honored and presented with medals on June 18, 2024, as part of the 13th annual National Academy of Inventors meeting in Raliegh, North Carolina.

Visit the National Academy of Inventors website for the full list of 2023 fellows (PDF).