Kornfield and Dervan named to National Academy of Inventors

Two members of Caltech's Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Julia A. Kornfield and Peter B. Dervan, 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."

Kornfield (BS '83), professor of chemical engineering, has focused her research on understanding how the molecular structures of polymers create the polymers' macroscopic properties. Her research has led to, among other things, a jet fuel additive that can lessen the intensity of explosions during accidents or terrorist acts. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Physical Society, and the recipient of the Dillon Medal of the American Physical Society.

Dervan, Bren Professor of Chemistry, has pioneered research at the intersection of biology and chemistry, working to understand the chemical principles for recognition of DNA. His research has led to the development of synthetic molecules that can regulate gene expression. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and a foreign member of the French Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Sciences Leopoldina in Germany. He has received awards that include the National Medal of Science, the Wilbur Cross Medal, the Ronald Breslow Award, the Linus Pauling Medal Award, and the Tetrahedron Prize.

This year's class of fellows also includes five alumni. They are: Rena Bizios (MS '71), Francis Joseph Doyle III (PhD '91), Dean B. Edwards (MS '73, PhD '77), Yiannis A. Levendis (PhD '88), and Howard A. Stone (PhD '88).

Written by Emily Velasco

Emily Velasco