Dec 8, 2022

Dear colleagues,

I am pleased to congratulate Phil Felgner and Payam Heydari on being named fellows of the National Academy of Inventors.

Phil Felgner, Professor in Residence, Physiology and Biophysics, is being honored for a series of discoveries based on biophysics principles and the structure and hydrodynamic properties of bilayer membranes. He has developed approaches that enable the transfer of nucleic acids into cells, a pioneering technology used in developing messenger RNA COVID-19 vaccines. This messenger RNA technology also will be used to create vaccines to fight HIV and other infectious diseases. It offers possibilities for treating cancer and Alzheimer's disease and correcting genetic disorders such as sickle cell disease and impaired vision. Professor Felgner has published 280 papers that have been cited 44,000 times and has 53 U.S. patents and 56 foreign patents, including 14 licensed patents. He received Spain's Princess of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research and won the 2022 Robert Koch Prize.

Payam Heydari, Chancellor's Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, conducts research in microelectronics, specifically in the design and analysis of radio frequency, millimeter-wave and terahertz integrated circuits. Professor Heydari's techniques and architectures pushed silicon-based integrated circuits to operate at speeds and frequencies once achieved only by advanced compound semiconductors. His work led to the development of integrated systems that transformed point-to-point wireless communications and the creation of applications in wireless communications, imaging and sensing. Professor Heydari is an IEEE Fellow, has published more than 180 international articles, and is a recipient of five best paper awards and two distinguished educator awards from IEEE. He holds 20 U.S. patents, of which nine were licensed to two companies and three are currently used in RF products.

The National Academy of Inventors Fellows Program is the organization's highest professional distinction awarded solely to academic inventors to recognize innovation that has made a tangible impact on the quality of life, economic development and welfare of society.

UCI now has 16 National Academy of Inventors fellows and 670+ active U.S. patents. Please join me in congratulating Professors Felgner and Heydari on this exceptional recognition.


Hal Stern
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Chancellor's Professor, Department of Statistics