Nobel Prize winning scientist Oliver Smithies and UNC-CH Chancellor Holden Thorp will soon become “charter fellows” in the National Academy of Inventors.

So, too, will Dr. Anthony Atala of Wake Forest University, a pioneer in regenerative health.

Smithies is Weatherspoon Eminent Distinguished Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at UNC. He received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2007 for his groundbreaking work in RNA and DNA.

Thorp, who recently announced his decision to step down as UNC chancellor, is an inventor with  12 patents and also is an entrepreneur. He is a co-founder of Viamet Pharmaceuticals, a Triangle-based firm researching treatments for cancer and fungal infections.

The two will be honored by the Academy at an induction ceremony on Feb. 22 at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Fla.

The Academy is including Smithies and Thorp as charter fellows. It includes 98 inventors and innovators.