BUFFALO, N.Y. — University at Buffalo researcher Paras
Prasad, an internationally recognized expert in optics and
photonics, has been named a Fellow of the National Academy of
NAI Fellow is the highest professional distinction accorded by
the organization to academic researchers 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.
Among other individuals, the list of NAI
Fellows includes presidents and senior leaders of research
universities and nonprofit research institutes, Nobel Laureates,
and recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Technology and
Innovation and U.S. National Medal of Science.
New fellows will be inducted at a ceremony on April 6 at the
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston,
Prasad, PhD, serves as the executive director of UB’s
Institute for Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics (ILPB). He is a
SUNY Distinguished Professor in the departments of Chemistry,
Physics, Medicine and Electrical Engineering.
Prasad was an early pioneer in nanomedicine, which uses
super-small particles, materials and devices to treat and diagnose
He specializes in the use of optics, photonics and
nanotechnology in this field, and has worked with colleagues to
study and develop a wide range of new materials that could
ultimately improve lives around the world.
These novel materials include miniature luminescent crystals
that could be used in image-guided surgery; light-activated
nanoparticles that could enable the development of new bioimaging
technologies for disease detection; new nanoneurotechnologies for
monitoring and enhancing brain functions; and magnetic and
laser-activated nanoparticles that could be used for cancer
diagnosis and treatment. This latter technology was licensed to UB
spinoff Nanobiotix, a publicly traded company and leader in
nanomedicine that has maintained close contact with Prasad while
working to develop these and other new nanomedicine products.
Prasad has published more than 750 scientific papers, eight
edited books and four monographs, and has been named the inventor
or co-inventor on numerous patents. In keeping with his emphasis on
the translational impact of his research, Prasad has been extremely
active in launching startup companies and partnering with industry
for co-development of technologies to create new companies. His
efforts have led to 9 different companies worldwide.
He has received numerous regional, national and international
recognitions for his lifetime achievements, including the Morley
Medal; Jacob F. Schoellkopf Medal; Guggenheim Fellowship; Sloan
Fellowship; Western New York Health Care Industries
Technology/Discovery Award; and Excellence in Pursuit of Knowledge
Award of the Research Foundation for SUNY. He was named a fellow of
the American Physical Society, OSA (the Optical Society) and SPIE
(the international society for optics and photonics).
This year, the SPIE awarded him the society’s highest
honor: the Gold Medal. The University at Buffalo awarded him the
high honor of the UB President’s Medal in 2016 in recognition
of extraordinary service to the university, and he also received
UB’s inaugural Innovation Impact Award in 2015 for his
contributions to the invention of the technologies licensed to
In 2005, he was named one of the “Scientific American
50,” the magazine’s list of “visionaries from the
worlds of research, industry and politics whose recent
accomplishments point toward a brighter technological future for
everyone.” He was on the Thomson Reuters “Highly Cited
Researchers” list for 2014 and 2016.
Prasad has received honorary doctorates from KTH Royal Institute
of Technology in Sweden; the Aix-Marseille University in France;
and the National Research Nuclear University (MEPhI) in Russia.
The National Academy of Inventors is a nonprofit member
organization comprising U.S. and international universities, and
governmental and nonprofit research institutes, with over 3,000
individual inventor members and fellows spanning more than 200
institutions. The academy was founded in 2010 to recognize and
encourage inventors with patents issued from the U.S. Patent and
Trademark Office; enhance the visibility of academic technology and
innovation; encourage the disclosure of intellectual property;
educate and mentor innovative students; and translate the
inventions of its members to benefit society.