The UH researchers are among 143 people elected as NAI Fellows, representing 94 universities and governmental and nonprofit research institutes. Nine are Nobel Laureates.
Rathindra Bose discovered a new class of anti-cancer agents.
“So we have been designing compounds that would really shut out the cancer growth — set up a process we call ‘programmed cell death.’ And what we want it to do is to kill the cancer cells.”
Dmitri Litvinov developed ways to store more data — technology now commonly used in computer hard drives.
“Society has the need to store more and more data for all kind of purposes — some for archival purposes, some because of this big data allows for some very interesting research, and so forth.”
Zhifeng Ren found ways to grow aligned carbon nanotube arrays in a large scale.
“We had invented a way to make, align the nanocarbon tubes on any surface for flat-panel displays. And then back in 2003, I picked up another research field which is thermoelectrics — converting heat into electricity, or vice versa, if you add power to the thermoelectric devices, you can do cooling.”
Venkat Selvamanickam found a way to convert brittle ceramic superconductors into a flexible wire with 300 times the current-carrying capacity of copper wire.
“So that has a lot of implications such as power transmission cables, wind convectors and so on. So what I did was taking this ceramic material which can break easily if you drop it, and then made into a flexible wire, this wire now can be used to transmit electricity 300 times more current-carrying capacity than a copper wire.”
All four of these UH researchers are — first and foremost — teachers.
Zhifeng Ren: “Absolutely. Educational process is very important to pass on the knowledge, pass on the experience. So education is a very important part of our research here.”