Congratulations to James Pikul: Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation announces 2020 Moore Inventor Fellows

September 6th, 2020

Published by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Fellowship established to honor one of Silicon Valley’s founders recognizes early-career, scientist-inventors across the country.
Today, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation announced the 2020 cohort of Moore Inventor Fellows. The fellowship supports scientist-inventors who create new tools and technologies with a high potential to accelerate progress in the foundation’s areas of interest: scientific discovery, environmental conservation and patient care.

“The Moore Inventor Fellowship recognizes the power of innovation to solve problems and reimagine our world,” said Harvey V. Fineberg, M.D., Ph.D., president of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. “We are pleased to recognize the spectrum of disciplines, ideas and approaches embodied in this group of fellows.”

While their backgrounds and fields of expert knowledge are varied, the fellows all share a common curiosity about our world and a passion for transformative ideas. This year’s inventions have potential applications in: targeted radiotherapy of cancers; creation of ultra-secure and low power communications networks; affordable point of care infection diagnosis; new energy sources enabling autonomous monitoring in remote areas; and illuminating previously inaccessible layers of biological specimens.  

“Our Moore Inventor Fellows come from a wide range of institutions across the country,” explained Robert Kirshner, Ph.D., the foundation’s chief program officer for Science. “What they have in common is a passion to create positive outcomes for the future.”

This year, the foundation received nearly 200 nominations, from which five fellows were selected. Each fellow receives a total of $825,000 over three years to drive their invention forward, which includes $50,000 per year from their home institution as a commitment to these outstanding individuals.

Launched in 2016 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Moore’s Law, the revolutionary prediction that anticipated the exponential growth of computing power, the fellowship embraces the spirit of Gordon Moore’s passion for science and penchant for inventing. The foundation expects the Moore Inventor Fellows will enable breakthroughs that accelerate progress over the next fifty years. This marks the fifth cohort of fellows and the second completed cohort. The foundation plans to allocate a total of nearly $34 million through 2026 to support fifty Moore Inventor Fellows – five fellows per year for ten years, beginning in 2016.

Nominations for 2021 Moore Inventor Fellows are being solicited from eligible institutions until November 16th, 2020. To gain access to the application system, please send the name and contact information for your institution’s point of contact to by October 1, 2020.

More information is available at

James Pikul, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, University of Pennsylvania
James Pikul combines robotics and electrochemistry to create new energy sources. His invention will create a synthetic metabolism to power off-grid electronics that conserve and monitor the health of our planet.

See full article by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation