GLENDALE, Calif. —Jan. 18, 2024 — Fifteen innovation pioneers whose inventions range from cancer treatments to theatrical technologies and special effects will be honored in the 2024 class of National Inventors Hall of Fame® Inductees. The class was announced Wednesday evening at the Walt Disney Imagineering campus in Glendale.
In partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the Hall of Fame will honor these Inductees on May 9 at one of the innovation industry’s most highly anticipated events — “The Greatest Celebration of American Innovation®.”
“Every year, I am impressed and inspired by the accomplishments of the newest Inductees in the National Inventors Hall of Fame,” said Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. “We are proud to honor these world-changing inventors in the class of 2024, who show us the power of turning ideas into realities and participating in our intellectual property system to make a positive impact on our society and our future.”
The Class of 2024 includes:
James Allison invented immune checkpoint blockade therapy. His pioneering work in the field of immunology brought immunotherapy into mainstream medicine as an effective treatment for cancer.
Shankar Balasubramanian and David Klenerman co-invented Sequencing-by-Synthesis (SBS), a Next Generation DNA Sequencing (NGS) method that made possible efficient, low-cost and large-scale genome sequencing. Enhancing our understanding of life, SBS has enabled applications in genomics, medicine and biology.
Eric Betzig and Harald Hess co-invented a super-resolution imaging technology called photoactivated localization microscopy (PALM), enabling scientists to distinguish individual molecules, and study biological structures and processes with unprecedented resolution.
Andrea Goldsmith created technical innovations including adaptive beamforming for multi-antenna Wi-Fi, which have shaped the performance of wireless networking and enabled fast, reliable wireless service around the world.
Asad Madni led the development and commercialization of the MEMS gyroscope for aerospace and automotive safety. Commercialized as the GyroChip and first applied in the aerospace and defense industries, the technology has saved lives around the world through its use in aircraft and passenger vehicles.
Disney Imagineer Lanny Smoot is the patent leader, with over 100 patents, at The Walt Disney Company. He has developed many special effects, interactive experiences, new ride vehicle and robotic concepts, and other technological advancements for Disney’s theme parks, attractions, resorts hotels and cruise ships, creating magical guest experiences and driving innovation for future attractions.
Xiaowei Zhuang introduced one of the most widely used methods of super-resolution imaging — stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy, or STORM. This technique, which overcomes the diffraction limit of light microscopy to produce images with higher resolution, is used to investigate biological systems and processes.
Shankar Balasubramanian and David Klenerman
Eric Betzig and Harald Hess
Joseph-Armand Bombardier invented the Ski-Doo® snowmobile. The first mass-produced snow machine, it set industry standards and launched snowmobiling as a sport and recreational activity.
George Washington Murray invented agricultural machinery designed to accelerate planting and harvesting processes. He also served in the U.S. Congress and advocated for greater recognition of his fellow Black inventors.
Mary Florence Potts invented an improved sad iron, which was lighter and offered a cooler, more ergonomic handle. It was widely commercialized as an easier, safer solution for ironing clothing and linens.
Alice Stoll, a research physiologist and pioneer in aerospace medicine, led the development of fire-resistant fabrics. Her work made it possible to rate materials by their ability to protect from thermal burns and demonstrated that fabric could be constructed with fire-resistant fibers.
Chemist and entrepreneur Jokichi Takamine was a biotechnology pioneer whose research led to the use of adrenaline in medicine. Also known as epinephrine, adrenaline is widely used for many applications, including the treatment of anaphylaxis and cardiac arrest.
Automotive engineer Ralph Teetor invented cruise control. Originally limited to luxury vehicles, this speed control technology has become a standard feature providing greater ease in driving, safety, as well as fuel efficiency benefits.
For biographies of each Inductee, visit https://www.invent.org/inductees/new-inductees.
The 15 Inductees in the class of 2024 will be honored at “The Greatest Celebration of American Innovation,” held in our nation's capital. Humorist, journalist and podcast host Mo Rocca will serve as emcee for the event.
“For more than 50 years, the National Inventors Hall of Fame has proudly recognized extraordinary creators and innovators,” said CEO Michael Oister. "The stories of our class of 2024 — and their world-changing inventions as diverse as cancer treatments, imaging technology, agricultural machinery and the snowmobile — will be incorporated into our children’s invention education programs such as our summer and afterschool programs Camp Invention and Invention Project. These programs tap into innate problem-solving skills of educators and students through high-energy, interactive STEM experiences.”
The National Inventors Hall of Fame is the premier nonprofit organization in America dedicated to recognizing inventors and invention, promoting creativity, and advancing the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship. Founded in 1973 in partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the Hall of Fame is committed to not only honoring the individuals whose inventions have made the world a better place, but to ensuring American ingenuity continues to thrive in the hands of coming generations through its national, hands-on educational programming and collegiate competitions focused on the exploration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. For more information, visit invent.org. To nominate an inventor for Induction, visit invent.org/nominate.
National Inventors Hall of Fame