Eleftherios (Terry) Papoutsakis, Unidel Eugene du Pont Chair of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Delaware, has won the E.V. Murphree Award in Industrial and Engineering Chemistry from the American Chemical Society. The award is sponsored by ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company.
Papoutsakis has made significant contributions in the areas of cell culture engineering, metabolic engineering, genetics and genomics, and cell stem- and T-cell bioengineering.
“Terry started his academic career 35 year ago with problems that would be clearly identified now as core issues in modern, molecular-based biological engineering,” says Wilfred Chen, Gore Professor of Chemical Engineering, who nominated Papoutsakis for the award.
“He was one of the pioneers who recognized the importance of molecularly based interdisciplinary research for the advancement of metabolic and biochemical engineering.”
Papoutsakis is also credited with starting two companies. The first, Tissue Therapeutics, was launched 15 years ago and later sold to Resodyn Corp. More recently, he started Elcriton, which develops microbial-based technologies and was sold to White Dog Labs in 2014.
Papoutsakis has served on many review boards, journal editorial boards, advisory panels and professional societies in the biochemical and biomolecular engineering communities, including serving as editor-in-chief of Biotechnology and Bioengineering from 1990 to 1996 and currently serving as editor for Biotechnology Advances.
He has also received a number of awards, including, most recently, the DIC Wang Award for Excellence in Biochemical Engineering (2013), the James E. Bailey Award for Biological Engineering (2012), and the International Metabolic Engineering Award and the Elmer Gaden Award (2010).
In addition, he is a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the American Chemical Society, the American Academy of Microbiology, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers.
Papoutsakis has co-edited two books that have had a significant impact on the field: Foundations of Biochemical Engineering: Kinetics and Thermodynamics in Biological Systems (ACS Symposium Series No. 207, 1983) and Metabolic Engineering (Marcel Dekker, 1999).
In the area of education, Papoutsakis has mentored and trained 30 postdoctoral researchers, 57 doctoral students, 24 master’s students, and more than 65 undergraduates in independent research. He has also advised and mentored a large number of young faculty members outside his home institution.
Papoutsakis earned his doctorate at Purdue University. He was a faculty member at Rice University and then at Northwestern before joining UD in 2007.
The purpose of the Murphree award is to stimulate fundamental research in industrial and engineering chemistry, the development of chemical engineering principles, and their application to industrial processes.
Article by Diane Kukich Photo by Evan Krape August 23, 2016