Jay D. Keasling, Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and of Bioengineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and Faculty Senior Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has been selected by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) as its Doing a World of Good Medalist for 2019. Keasling, an eminent scientist and innovator working at the forefront of metabolic engineering, will receive the award at the 2019 AIChE Gala, to be held on December 3 at the Grand Hyatt New York in New York City.
Presented by the AIChE Foundation, the Doing a World of Good Medal recognizes the achievements of an engineer whose work has had a positive impact on society and the world. AIChE will honor Keasling for his groundbreaking and high-impact contributions to resource sustainability and human welfare, which include an innovative biotechnology-based method for the inexpensive production of the drug artemisinin, an antimalarial medicine. The award also recognizes Keasling’s commitment to fostering secure and inclusive educational and working environments for people of all backgrounds.
At the gala, AIChE will also honor Merck & Company, Inc., and the Procter & Gamble Company — two multinationals that are being lauded for their efforts to improve the quality of life for consumers and the global community.
In announcing Dr. Keasling as AIChE’s 2019 Doing a World of Good Medal recipient, AIChE Executive Director and CEO June Wispelwey said, “Dr. Keasling’s brilliant work, coupled with his passion to solve some of society’s most challenging global issues, has resulted in extraordinary advances in healthcare, sustainable fuels and the future of our environment. He is a genuine example of AIChE’s ‘Doing a World of Good’ motto, and it is an honor to recognize him as this year’s medalist.”
At Berkeley, Keasling’s laboratory is developing new tools to engineer the metabolism of cells, and these methods have opened new horizons in medicine, the production of specialty chemicals, and biofuels. Keasling has co-founded eight start-up companies to make these products, and he also serves as Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Joint BioEnergy Institute. Keasling was elected to the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 2006 he was named Scientist of the Year by Discover Magazine. He earned his PhD in chemical engineering at the University of Michigan, and performed post doctoral work in biochemistry at Stanford University.
The annual gala is organized by the AIChE Foundation, and raises funds to expand the profession’s positive impact through the organization’s “Doing a World of Good” campaign, which supports programs that bring chemical engineering expertise to bear for the benefit of society. More information about the AIChE Gala is available at www.aiche.org/gala.
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.