Being named a NAI Fellow is a high professional distinction given to academic inventors who demonstrate a highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society.
"I am honored that my peers feel that my work has made a useful contribution to society," Dixon said. "As scientists, we are often poor at communicating our work to the public, hence the skepticism surrounding, for example, genetically modified crops. Demonstrating purposeful outcomes for plant biotechnology that benefit farmers and consumers is an important part of the fight to address the basic requirements of the ever growing world population."
Dixon's range of work includes numerous projects in the area of bioproducts, including inventing a new, stronger plant-based carbon fiber, researching the impact of grape seed extract on Alzheimer's disease, and developing more digestible and cattle-friendly alfalfa and improved bioenergy crops.
Dixon has published more than 400 papers and chapters on topics including biochemistry, molecular biology and metabolic engineering of plants. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a member of the editorial boards of five international journals, and has been named by the Institute of Scientific Information and Thomson Reuters as one of the most cited authors in plant science.
Dixon recently was appointed president-elect of the American Society for Plant Biologists, and was appointed to a National Research Council committee examining the history, safety, benefits and drawbacks of genetically modified crops around the world.
The NAI Fellows will be inducted during the 4th Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors on March 20, 2015, at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
In 2013, Distinguished Research Professor Narendra Dahotre in UNT's College of Engineering was named a National Academy of Inventors Fellow.