Nicholas Peppas | AIChE

Nicholas Peppas

Regent Chair Professor
Cockrell College of Engineering

For 45 years Nicholas A. Peppas, a distinguished professor in Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Pediatrics, Surgery and Pharmacy at the University of Texas at Austin, has designed new intelligent biomaterials and medical devices, has developed new drug delivery systems for oral, buccal, sublingual and gastrointestinal delivery of drugs, peptides and proteins, has educated more than 4,500 students in chemical, biological, biomedical engineering, polymers and materials science and has touched the life of more than 750 million patients with his inventions. 

He has more than 1,800 publications, an impact factor of H=190 (160,000 citations), and 57 US patents issued or pending. His multidisciplinary work in biomaterials, drug delivery, and bionanotechnology blends modern molecular and cellular biology with engineering principles to design next-generation medicines and devices. His numerous awards include the Founders Award of NAE, the Adam Yarmolinsky Award from NAM, and the Pharmaceutical (AAPS) Global Leader and Distinguished Pharmaceutical Scientist Awards. Also AIChE has honored him with the AIChE Founders Award during its Centennial Year, the 2007 Institute Lecture, the 2006 William H. Walker Award, the J. Bailey Award (from SBE), the 1994 Food, Pharmaceuticals and Bioengineering Award, the 1984 CME Stine Materials Engineering and Sciences Award, and the 1994 Best Paper Award of the AIChE Meeting, and has elected him an AIChE Fellow. [Addendum follows at the end]

Nicholas  Peppas has made lasting educational contributions to the fields of chemical, biological and biomedical engineering as an author of co-author of 7 educational  texts and 20 other research books, as well as author or co-author of 26 educational papers in Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Chemical Engineering Education and as contributor of several books and articles on the History of the field. Early in his career, he authored the 3-volume “Hydrogels in Medicine and Pharmacy” (1986-1987), a book that became the “Bible” in the field of drug delivery, biomaterials, polymers and pharmaceutical engineering. This book taught several generations of polymer, biomaterials scientists and chemical engineers and has become a standard reference by drug delivery scientists seeking solution to important molecular phenomena. 

Peppas is a member of 16 international Academies including the National Academies of Engineering (NAE) and Medicine (NAM), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Inventors, Academia Europaea, International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineers, Canadian Academy of Engineering, Indian National Academy of Engineering, Chinese Academy of Engineering, Korean Academy of Science and Technology, National Academy of France, Royal Academy of Spain, Academy of Athens, Greece,  and the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Sciences of Texas. He is the Editor of the journals  “Regenerative Biomaterials” (Oxford) and Deputy Editor of “Science Advances” (Science, AAPS). He holds a Dipl. Eng. from the National Technical University of Athens (1971), and a Sc.D. from MIT (1973), and is the recipient of 12 honorary doctorates and professorships from Universities in Spain, Italy, Greece, Belgium Slovenia, Greece and China. 

The Warren K. Lewis Award recognizes his educational contributions. Peppas’ inspiring example to his students and colleagues has certainly enhanced the collaborative environment in the engineering and medical/biomedical disciplines. His many emissaries to “carry the torch” already occupy many disciplines: he has graduated 115 PhD students, and has supervised a total of 1,010 scientists who have worked in with him in his labs (graduate and undergraduate students, technicians, postdocs, research associates, visiting scientists, etc) over 46 years. Among his ex-PhDs, 54 are University professors including 8 professors in medical schools. In addition, 14 are CEOs, Presidents or VPs of companies. Seven of his former associates are NAE members; five are members of the NAM, one of the National Academy of Sciences and 18 of the National Academy of Inventors. Peppas has been an active supporter of DEI over the past 46 years. Indeed, 46 of his 115 PhD graduates are women and 8 are from diverse backgrounds.

Nicholas  Peppas has made lasting educational contributions to the fields of chemical, biological and biomedical engineering as an author of co-author of 7 educational  texts and 20 other research books, as well as author or co-author of 26 educational papers in Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Chemical Engineering Education and as contributor of several books and articles on the History of the field. Early in his career, he authored the 3-volume “Hydrogels in Medicine and Pharmacy” (1986-1987), a book that became the “Bible” in the field of drug delivery, biomaterials, polymers and pharmaceutical engineering. This book taught several generations of polymer, biomaterials scientists and chemical engineers and has become a standard reference by drug delivery scientists seeking solution to important molecular phenomena. 

Addendum

In addition, Peppas has received the highest research recognitions from the Society for Biomaterials (the 2005 Founders Award for life time contributions, and the 1992 Clemson Award for Basic Research), the Applied Polymer Science Award and the Herman Mark Award from the American Chemical Society, the highest recognitions of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (the 2021 Global Leader Award, the 2018 Distinguished Pharmaceutical Scientist Award, the 2002 Dale E. Wurster Award in Pharmaceutics, and the 1999 Research Achievement Award in Pharmaceutical Technology), the highest scientific recognitions of the Controlled Release Society (the 1991 Founders Award, the 2002 Eurand Award for Outstanding Contributions in Oral Drug Delivery, the 1999 J. Heller Award, and the 2003 Capsugel Award),   both the Pritzker Medal and the Distinguished Biomedical Scientists Awards of BMES, the highest educational recognition in the USA, the Benjamin Carver Lamme Award of the American Society for Engineering Education, the 2017 Inaugural Pioneer in Nanotechnology Award from Johns Hopkins University, the 2010 Acta Biomaterialia Gold Medal, the 1998 and 2003 Materials Research Society Best Paper Awards, the 1997 Whitaker Award from the International Society for Artificial Organs, the 2002 Newsmaker of the Year Award of the American Chemical Society, the 2002 Pioneer in Biomedical Engineering Award and the 1996 Whitaker Award from the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, and the 1995 APV Medal for Distinguished Pharmaceutical Contributions from the International Pharmaceutical Association. He has received the highest scientific recognitions from both Universities with which he has been associated (the 2007 Research Excellence Career Award and the 2004 Hamilton Best Paper Award from the University of Texas at Austin; and the 2002 Sigma Xi Award for Best Research and the 2000 Herbert  McCoy Research Award from Purdue University)