David Kaplan Named Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors

A leader in cellular agriculture and biomedical engineering, Kaplan is recognized for contributions to science and society

David Kaplan, the Stern Family Endowed Professor of Engineering, has been named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). Election as an academy fellow is the highest professional distinction awarded solely to inventors. The NAI was founded to recognize and encourage inventors with U.S. patents and enhance the visibility of academic technology and innovation.

As a member of the Class of 2023, Kaplan will be honored at the NAI’s annual meeting on June 18, 2024 in Raleigh, North Carolina. The 2023 NAI fellows include two Nobel laureates, three National Inventors Hall of Fame inductees, and 22 members of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

“This year’s class of NAI fellows showcases the caliber of researchers that are found within the innovation ecosystem,” says Paul R. Sanberg, president of the NAI. “Each of these individuals are making significant contributions to both science and society through their work.”

“I am appreciative of this recognition as a reflection of the amazing group of students and colleagues that I have been fortunate to work with during my time at Tufts,” says Kaplan, a Distinguished University Professor and professor and former chair in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. In 2021, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering.  

His research focus is on biopolymer engineering, tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, and cellular agriculture. He has published more than 1,000 peer-reviewed papers, is editor-in-chief of ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, and serves on many editorial boards and programs for journals and universities.

“This prestigious recognition is a testament to David’s outstanding contributions to the world of innovation, and exemplifies the caliber of research excellence we strive for at Tufts,” says Bernard Arulanandam, vice provost for research at Tufts, and an NAI fellow. “David has not only demonstrated a commitment to advancing knowledge but has also showcased the transformative power of his work. We take immense pride in his accomplishments, and his induction into the National Academy of Inventors.”

Kaplan is also director of the Tufts University Center for Cellular Agriculture, and holds appointments in several other Tufts schools and departments. His more than 150 patents have supported more than a dozen spin-out companies and many other technology developments with origins at Tufts.

He directs the Kaplan Lab and the Initiative for Neural Science, Disease & Engineering; is co- investigator at the Tissue Engineering Resource Center. He has received a number of awards for teaching, is an elected fellow of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, and has received the Columbus Discovery Medal, and the Society for Biomaterials’ Clemson Award.

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