Two innovative researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have been named fellows of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).

Rensselaer Professor Robert Linhardt and Vice President for Research Jonathan Dordick, both renowned for their leadership and excellence in biotechnology research, were among the distinguished group of 170 individuals elected as NAI fellows.

The recognition is reserved for 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,” according to the NAI.

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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Researchers Partner in Research Described in Nature Medicine

Troy, N.Y. — It’s the most basic of ways to find out what something does, whether it’s an unmarked circuit breaker or an unidentified gene — flip its switch and see what happens. New remote-control technology may offer biologists a powerful way to do this with cells and genes. A team at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Rockefeller University is developing a system that would make it possible to remotely control biological targets in living animals — rapidly, without wires, implants, or drugs.

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Aside from pushing young scientists away from research, the reduction in federal funding also has the potential to create problems for those researchers trying to climb the ranks within academe. The increasing scarcity of federal funding opportunities may make it more difficult for faculty to obtain tenure, according to Jonathan S. Dordick, vice president for research at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

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