The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) will present its 2021 Langer Prize for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Excellence to Aditya M. Kunjapur, Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Delaware. The fellowship — which is endowed by the AIChE Foundation and administered by AIChE’s Center for Entrepreneuring Excellence — is named for biomedical pioneer Robert Langer of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The Langer prize awards an unrestricted grant of up to $100,000 to enable creative researchers and engineering entrepreneurs in their early careers to pursue potentially game-changing innovations with transformative societal impact.
Dr. Kunjapur will receive the Langer Prize and present an associated lecture on November 8 during the 2021 AIChE Annual Meeting, to be held November 7–11 in Boston, Massachusetts, and online from November 15–19. Additional speakers at the event include Robert Langer; Pablo Debenedetti, Dean of Research at Princeton University; Terry McGuire, Founding Partner at Polaris; and María Eugenia Inda, PEW Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT and the 2020 Langer Fellow.
In his laboratory at the University of Delaware, Kunjapur and his research group are designing innovative biomolecular technologies to address a variety of societal needs. He uses approaches from synthetic biology to investigate how microbes can use non-standard chemistry and unusual building blocks to generate products — including fuels, chemicals, materials, and therapeutics — that exhibit enhanced functionality. The Langer Prize will support Kunjapur’s work to boost the efficacy of live vaccines by engineering cells to produce an immunogenic amino acid.
Kunjapur earned his BS at the University of Texas at Austin and his PhD at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, both in chemical engineering. He performed post-doctoral research in genetics at Harvard Medical School.
Information about the 2021 Langer Fellow, previous Langer Fellows, and the application process is available at www.aiche.org/langerprizes. The deadline for 2022 fellowship applications is February 15, 2022.
To learn about the endowment campaign for the Langer Prize, contact Lisa Lanzkowsky at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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 www.aiche.org.