Justin Siegel
Justin Siegel

Justin Siegel Elected to National Academy of Inventors

Chemist Justin Siegel is one of two UC Davis faculty members elected to the National Academy of Inventors’ 2022 class of fellows.

Siegel's work in computational enzyme engineering is focused on discovering catalysts that improve health and environmental outcomes. He holds more than 100 global patents and has co-founded eight startups in the last 10 years.

The other UC Davis faculty member elected is Nancy E. Lane of the School of Medicine, who has made major contributions to the fields of musculoskeletal diseases of aging, including osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, and holds three patents.

The new class of fellows, 169 strong, holds a collective total of more than 5,000 issued U.S. patents.

Siegel and Lane join 13 other current UC Davis faculty members as fellows of the National Academy of Inventors. The 12-year-old academy now has 1,737 fellows, whose selection is based on their “demonstrated spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on the quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society.”

Siegel is an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry, College of Letters and Science, and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, School of Medicine, as well as the Genome Center. In addition, he is the director of the UC Davis Innovation Institute for Food and Health, and the Arthur and Carlyse Ciocca Visiting Professor in Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Graduate School of Management.

His startups include PvP Biologics, which developed an enzyme to digest gluten; Peak B, a startup developing naturally derived blue food coloring (blue is the rarest food color in nature); Digestiva, a technology company allowing people to eat the foods they love and get the health benefits they desire; and VinZymes, a technology company helping the wine industry adapt to climate change.

Siegel is a founding member of six international organizations, including FoodShot Global, a consortium for awarding and highlighting impactful innovation to help transform the world’s food system.

The induction ceremony for the 2022 class of fellows is scheduled at the academy’s next annual meeting, to be held in June in Washington, D.C.

— Adapted from a Dateline UC Davis article

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