Maranas Receives 2020 International Metabolic Engineering Award

Costas D. Maranas, the Donald B. Broughton Professor of Chemical Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University, has been named the recipient of the 2020 International Metabolic Engineering Award. The award, presented every two years by the International Metabolic Engineering Society (IMES) — a community within the American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ (AIChE’s) Society for Biological Engineering — recognizes an outstanding career contributor to the field of metabolic engineering.

Maranas is being honored for his contributions to the application of algorithmic and optimization techniques for the reconstruction, analysis, and redesign of metabolic networks and strain design. The Metabolic Engineering Award and an associated lecture by Maranas will be presented during the IMES-sponsored Metabolic Engineering XIII conference, July 12–16, 2020, in Honolulu, HI.

Sang Yup Lee (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology), chair of the IMES award selection committee, said:

Costas Maranas will be receiving the 2020 International Metabolic Engineering Award for his many significant contributions to metabolic engineering through the development of computational tools and modeling strategies. Tools such as OptKnock, OptForce, GapFill, Flux Coupling Analysis, and others have been widely adopted and used for metabolic network analysis and strain design.

Costas Maranas received a diploma in chemical engineering from Aristotle University (Greece) and a PhD in chemical engineering from Princeton University. In 1995, he joined the faculty of Penn State, where his research group develops and deploys computational frameworks informed by systems engineering and mathematical optimization to understand, analyze and redesign metabolism and proteins.

He has documented his work in more than 200 publications, including the textbook Optimization Methods in Metabolic Networks (Wiley, 2016). He serves on the editorial boards of numerous journals and is a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering.

Among his honors, Maranas received AIChE’s Allan P. Colburn Award for Excellence in Publications by a Young Member of the Institute, and the Outstanding Young Investigator Award from AIChE’s Computing and Systems Technology (CAST) Division.

The International Metabolic Engineering Society promotes the use of metabolic engineering — the optimization of the genetic and regulatory processes within cells — as an enabling science for bio-based production of advanced materials, pharmaceuticals, food ingredients, chemicals, and fuels.

For more information about this and other awards presented by the International Metabolic Engineering Society, visit