AASF Founding Member Dr. Zhenan Bao Elected to the National Academy of Sciences


Media Contact: Melissa Stek, media@aasforum.org

Washington, D.C.— The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) announced the election of an Asian American Scholar Forum (AASF) founding member, Dr. Zhenan Bao, in recognition of her distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Dr. Bao was among 120 members and 24 international members elected this April.

Dr. Bao is the K. K. Lee Professor in the School of Engineering at Stanford University, and by courtesy, professor of chemistry and professor of materials science and engineering. ​​Bao has pioneered molecular design concepts and fabrication processes to advance the scope and applications of soft electronics. Her work has resulted in new solutions for soft robotics, wearable and implantable electronics for precision health, precision mental health and advanced tools for understanding neuroscience and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Building on chemical insights, her group has developed foundational materials and devices that enabled a new generation of skin-inspired soft electronics. They provide unprecedented opportunities for understanding human health through developing monitoring, diagnosis and treatment tools. With a vast array of affiliations and memberships, Bao’s expertise spans multiple interdisciplinary domains, enhancing collaborative research efforts across various institutes including Stanford Bio-X, the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute, the Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance, the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute, and the Maternal & Child Health Research Institute. Furthermore, as a senior fellow of the Precourt Institute for Energy, an affiliate of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, and a faculty fellow of Sarafan ChEM-H, Dr. Bao exemplifies a commitment to pioneering research at the intersection of science and engineering, driving innovation in academia and beyond.

“We at AASF are tremendously proud of Dr. Zhenan Bao’s election to the NAS,” said Dr. Yasheng Huang, AASF Founding President. “Her career and research exemplify the invaluable contributions Asian American scholars bring to various fields. As a fellow founding member of the Asian American Scholar Forum, we are incredibly proud not only of her leadership in pioneering research, but also in her commitment to advance and protect the academic freedom of scholars like herself.”

“We are so proud of Dr. Zhenan Bao’s election to the NAS.” said Dr. Kai Li, AASF Vice President. “Her pioneering work in material science, especially in organic and flexible electronics, has significantly advanced the field.  As a role model for young people, particularly women in STEM,  her dedication and excellence inspire future generations to pursue their passions and achieve greatness.”

“We are absolutely thrilled by Dr. Zhenan Bao’s election to the NAS,” said Gisela Perez Kusakawa, AASF Executive Director. “Dr. Bao’s exemplary work and her active involvement in AASF’s founding has greatly benefited the Asian American scholar community and contributed to ensuring our nation remains a global leader in the fields of science and technology. It is an honor to have her as a founding member of our organization, and we take immense pride in her well-deserved recognition.”

“I feel very much honored to join this prestigious academy. It would not have been possible without the mentoring and support of friends and colleagues. Most importantly, I am grateful to my current and former students and postdocs for their creative work,” said Dr. Zhenan Bao.

NAS is a private, non-profit society founded in 1863, tasked with providing independent advice on science and technology. It comprises distinguished scholars elected by their peers for outstanding research contributions. The NAS is dedicated to advancing science in America and has active members in the international scientific community. Over 500 NAS members, past and present, have received Nobel Prizes, while its journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is renowned for publishing original research.


Asian American Scholar Forum (AASF) is a national non-profit that promotes academic belonging, openness, freedom, and equality for all. In response to heightened anti-Asian sentiments and profiling in the U.S., AASF has been a leading national voice fighting for the rights of Asian American and immigrant scientists, researchers, and scholars. AASF membership includes members from the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Science and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, in addition to past and current university presidents, provost, vice provosts, deans, associate deans and past and current department chairs.