MIT’s Chakraborty Chosen as 2021 Prausnitz AIChE Institute Lecturer | AIChE

MIT’s Chakraborty Chosen as 2021 Prausnitz AIChE Institute Lecturer

Arup Chakraborty
Arup Chakraborty
August 9, 2021

Arup K. Chakraborty, Institute Professor, Professor of Chemical Engineering, Physics, and Chemistry, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has been selected by AIChE to present the John M. Prausnitz AIChE Institute Lecture for 2021. He will present his lecture, “Viruses, Immunity, and Vaccines,” on Wednesday, November 10, at the 2021 AIChE Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts.

In addition to attending the in-person Annual Meeting — to be held November 7–11 — meeting registrants can view Chakraborty’s lecture during a virtual version of the Annual Meeting, which will be available online from November 15–19. 

The Prausnitz AIChE Institute lectureship is awarded to a distinguished member of AIChE who has made significant contributions to chemical engineering in their field of specialization. The lectureship is endowed by the AIChE Foundation in honor of John Prausnitz, Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, who pioneered the field of engineering-oriented molecular thermodynamics. 

In his lecture, Chakraborty will discuss the challenges faced in developing vaccines that are effective against rapidly mutating viruses, and how approaches from engineering and the life sciences are helping researchers to make progress in addressing this challenge.

Chakraborty is one of the 12 Institute Professors at MIT, where he served as the founding Director of the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science. He is also a founder of the Ragon Institute of MIT, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard. He applies approaches from immunology, physics, and engineering in his research, which spans T-cell signaling, T-cell development, and an understanding of virus evolution, antibody responses, and vaccine design. Recently, he has also explored the role of phase separation in gene regulation. 

Chakraborty is one of only 25 people to have been elected to all three branches of the U.S. National Academies — National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Medicine, and National Academy of Engineering. He is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In addition to numerous teaching awards, he has received honors including the Director’s Pioneer Award from the National Institutes of Health and the E. O. Lawrence Medal from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Previously from AIChE, he received the Allan P. Colburn Award for Excellence in Publications by a Young Member of the Institute and the Award for Professional Progress. He is a co-author of the recent book Viruses, Pandemics, & Immunity (MIT Press, 2020). Chakraborty has also served on the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) Science Board since 2013, and is a member of the Board of Governors of the Wellcome Trust.

Information about AIChE’s 2021 Annual Meeting, its lectures, and programming can be found at

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About AIChE: AIChE is a professional society of more than 60,000 members in more than 110 countries. Its members work in corporations, universities and government using their knowledge of chemical processes to develop safe and useful products for the benefit of society. Through its varied programs, AIChE continues to be a focal point for information exchange on the frontier of chemical engineering research in such areas as nanotechnology, sustainability, hydrogen fuels, biological and environmental engineering, and chemical plant safety and security. More information about AIChE is available at