Esther Takeuchi is a woman after Stuff Mom Never Told You's own heart. First, the energy storage expert at SUNY's University at Buffalo has risen through the scientific ranks, defying the old stereotypes about women underperforming in math and science. Also, she holds 140 patents with the U.S. Patent Office, making Takeuchi the most patent-wealthy woman in America.
Her area of expertise is battery technology, and President Obama recently granted her the National Medal of Technology and Innovation for her work on a battery for an implantable cardiac defibrillator. Developed nearly 20 years ago, the battery keeps the life-saving device going in thousands of patients today. Using what she's learned from building biomedical batteries, Takeuchi also focuses on improving batteries' energy densities to extend their lifetime. In a June interview with SmartPlanet, she said that increasing that battery lifetime will be crucial for the automobile industry in particular as it slowly shifts toward more hybrid vehicles.
Takeuchi's fun patent fact was confirmed after USA Today published a list of the 10 most prolific patent holders (#1 Japanese Shunpei Yamazaki holds 1,432 patents). Responding to the 2005 article, Takeuchi noted that she was thought to be the most patent prolific living woman, and the reporter confirmed her hunch.