Biology and ChE: Applying a Molecular Science (Part II) [Blog Series]

November 8, 2012

This is Part 7 in the ChEnected series "We Are ChE: Entering a Golden Age" and the second post related to Biology and ChE. It is authored by Incoming 2013 AIChE president Phil Westmoreland. 

My previous post was about how ChE has advanced bioprocessing and medicine. Here, I want to reflect on how bioscience and ChE have changed each other.

Biology is transformed

Two particular developments in the early 1950s set the stage for transforming biology and for biology’s transforming ChE. One was discovering the double-helix molecular nature of DNA, due to Rosalind Franklin, Maurice Wilkins, James Watson, and Francis Crick; the latter three won the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine. The other was the collection of Henrietta Lacks’ cervical-cancer cells, which provided part of the basis for modern tissue culturing.

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Phillip R. Westmoreland

Phillip R. Westmoreland is Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State Univ. (NCSU) and Executive Director of the NCSU Institute for Computational Science and Engineering. His chemical engineering degrees are from NCSU (BS, 1973), Louisiana State Univ. (MS, 1974), and MIT (PhD, 1986). He worked in coal research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (1974–1979), as a ChE faculty member at the Univ. of Massachusetts Amherst (1986–2009), and as a program director at the National Science Foundation (2006–2009).

An AIChE Fellow, Phil began service as public...Read more

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