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Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Vanderbilt engineering professor wins inaugural $2.5M Chan Zuckerberg Initiative grant for neurodegenerative disorders research

Ethan Lippmann, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Vanderbilt University, has won an inaugural Chan Zuckerberg Initiative grant for neurodegenerative disorders research. The five-year, $2.5 million award supports his goal of better understanding how blood-brain barrier dysfunction impacts neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s... Read More

Congratulations to the recipients at the 2018 ChBE Awards Ceremony

On Thursday, April 12 th , 2018, the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering held an awards ceremony to celebrate the year’s successes and to announce twelve student awards and one faculty award. After sharing a department update that included faculty acheivements from the academic year and our current U.S. News and World Report ranking of #34 amongst Chemical Engineering graduate programs, Chair Kane Jennings presented each winner with a framed certificate. Special thanks to Kyle Garland for taking photos!

Award Winners

Pictured: All winners and Chair Kane Jennings. Not pictured: Dr. Max Robinson and Dr. Jamey Young.


William Ma Award for the Outstanding Sophomore in ChBE: James Dohm

Professors’ Award for the Distinguished Sophomore in ChBE: Kelly Carr

Karl B. Schnelle, Jr. Award for Outstanding Performance in ChBE Thermodynamics: Zane Weltman

William Ma Award for the Outstanding Junior in ChBE: Allison Albright

Professors’ Award for the Distinguished Junior in ChBE: Lindsay Eller

Award for Outstanding Performance in ChBE Transport: Imran Anoar

Tomlinson Fort Award for Outstanding Teaching Assistant: Harris Manning and Devon Powers

Best Research Paper by a 2 nd /3 rd Year Student: Christian Palmer

Best Research Paper by a 4 th Year (and up) Student: Dr. Yinnian “Andy” Feng

Outstanding Graduate Student: Dr. Dana Nicole "Nikki" Reinemann

M. Douglas LeVan Award for Distinguished Record of Graduate Research: Dr. Max Robinson

ChBE Award for Excellence in Teaching: Professor Jamey Young

J. Craig Venter Institute-led Team Awarded 5-year, $10.7 M Grant from U.S. Department of Energy

The Young lab has recently received a new grant from the DOE to study the metabolism of photosynthetic diatoms, a type of unicellular algae and the most common form of phytoplankton found in the ocean. Diatom photosynthesis is estimated to account for between 25% and 40% of the 45-50 billion tons of organic carbon fixed annually in the sea. Due to their relatively high lipid content, diatoms supply significant amounts of essential fats to marine food webs, yet their metabolic pathways have not been rigorously characterized at the systems level. Therefore, the true potential for light-driven metabolism remains poorly understood for a large subset of the global diversity of photosynthetic organisms. The newly funded research is expected to develop technologies that are required to achieve sustainable production of biochemicals from photosynthetic microbes within the next 10 to 15 years.

This project involves a collaboration between investigators at the J. Craig Venter Institute, Colorado State University, UC-San Diego, and Vanderbilt to leverage significant recent advances in diatom genome engineering and metabolic modeling to dramatically improve our ability to understand and redirect metabolism in these eukaryotic microbes. In their prior DOE-funded research, the Young lab has developed a suite of experimental approaches and software packages that enable 13C flux analysis of photosynthetic metabolism in photosynthetic bacteria and plants. However, there have been no prior 13C flux studies of diatom metabolism to date. The lab will build on its prior experience to develop novel experimental approaches and data analysis workflows to enable 13C flux analysis of the model diatom Phaedoctylum tricornutum. The resulting flux maps will be integrated with genome-scale metabolic models (GSMs) to identify metabolic bottlenecks that limit cell growth and/or lipid production, which can be removed through genome engineering.

Synergy in two-dimensional materials, membranes research clear in professor’s new work

Where researchers who worked with two-dimensional materials and those who worked with membranes were once separate, synergistic opportunities are resulting in exciting new developments at their intersection, a Vanderbilt University chemical and biomolecular engineering professor has both opined and proven... Read More

Novel, 'multiplexed' diagnosis may better identify candidates for cancer immunotherapy

A Vanderbilt engineering researcher has shown that combining an enhanced vibrational spectroscopy technique with tagged gold nanostructures can detect important tumor immunomarkers – a significant step toward predicting which patients would benefit from immunotherapy... Read More

McCabe receives a 2018 Chancellor’s Award for Research

Clare McCabe, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Engineering, is one of six Vanderbilt professors who won a Chancellor’s Award for Research. She received the award from Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos at the Fall Faculty Assembly Aug. 23.... Read More

Lara Jazmin-Metalytics LLC Deal

Vanderbilt University signed a license agreement with Metalytics LLC, a startup company dedicated to commercializing metabolic pathway analytics. Metalytics LLC (formerly known as MetaMap Bioworks LLC) was formed by Lara Jazmin, a recent graduate of the chemical engineering PhD program and Vanderbilt Associate Professor Jamey Young, the principal author of the INCA software.

Wilson receives National Science Foundation CAREER Award

The five-year grant will allow Wilson to develop new synthetic materials for “encoding” immunological messages and tightly regulating their delivery to the organs, cells, and pathways of the immune system.

Wilson Named 'A' Award Recipient

John Wilson, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, recently was named an ‘A’ Award recipient by the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for developing a new class of therapeutic to “retrain” the immune system against neuroblastoma.

Welcome, Dr. Ethan Lippmann!

We are excited to welcome Dr. Ethan Lippmann as our new Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.  Dr. Lippmann arrives from the University of Wisconsin where he worked as a post-doc in Biomedical Engineering after receiving his Ph.D. there in Chemical Engineering.  He earned his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois.  Dr. Lippmann is building a research group in the area of pluripotent stem cells.  He will be teaching ChBE 3200-Phase Equilibria and Stage-Based Separations this fall.

Lang Promoted to Professor

Congratulations to Dr. Matthew Lang who was promoted to Professor as of January 1, 2015.   Professor Lang is leading a very productive research group that is uncovering the inner-workings of nature’s molecular and cellular machinery through high-impact publications. He is also an excellent teacher and mentor. 

Young Promoted to Associate Professor

Congratulations to Dr. Jamey Young who was promoted to Associate Professor as of August 16, 2015. During his time at Vanderbilt, Professor Young has won the prestigious NSF CAREER Award, the DOE Young Investigator Award, and an NIH R01, among others.  The central theme of his research is the application of engineering, biochemistry, and molecular biology to quantitatively analyze and redirect cellular metabolism. 

Guelcher Named Chancellor’s Fellow

Professor Scott Guelcher was among fifteen Vanderbilt professors who were named as inaugural Vanderbilt Chancellor’s Faculty Fellows on February 12, 2015.
Professor Guelcher will hold this title for two years and be supported by an unrestricted allocation to support innovative research, scholarship and creative expression activities.  Congratulations, Professor Guelcher! 

Nikki Reinemann—NSF Graduate Fellowship Winner

Congratulations to Ph.D. student Nikki Reinemann who won a 2015 NSF Graduate Fellowship.  Nikki is finishing her second year of Ph.D. studies in the group of Professor Matt Lang and is investigating single-molecule studies toward the mitotic spindle assembly.  Nikki is one of four current Vanderbilt Ph.D. students in chemical engineering who have won a NSF Graduate Fellowship in recent years, including Ali McAtee (Young), Will Erwin (Bardhan), and Joseph Weinstein-Webb (Bardhan).