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Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering


Vanderbilt ChBE Hires New Faculty

RafatDr. Marjan Rafat has accepted an offer as Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Vanderbilt. Rafat is currently a post-doctoral scholar in the Stanford University Imaging Radiobiology Laboratory. She earned her Ph.D. in Engineering Science at Harvard University and her S.B. in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Rafat owns a prestigious National Institutes of Health (NIH) K99 Award, and further, she has received numerous other honors, including the AACR Cancer Research Scholar Award, the Katherine McCormick Advanced Postdoctoral Fellowship, and the Women in Molecular Imaging Scholar Award. Rafat’s research is in engineering approaches to cancer biology. She will have a secondary appointment in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and will participate actively in the Regenerative Medicine research neighborhood. Rafat will join the Vanderbilt faculty on January 1, 2018.

Kidambi Dr. Piran Kidambi will become an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Vanderbilt on August 16, 2017. Kidambi is currently a post-doctoral scholar in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his Ph.D. in Engineering from the University of Cambridge, his M.S. in Process Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), and his Bachelors in Chemical Engineering from the National Institute of Technology in India. Kidambi has received several awards and honors, including the Lindemann Trust Fellowship, awarded to the top 3 applicants from the UK performing research in the USA, the Elizabeth Mabel Burnett Prize from Cambridge, and 1st Prize in the ABTA Doctoral Thesis Award, meaning that Kidambi placed first among 217 applicants from 57 universities in the UK. His research is in 2-dimensional materials and their processing, device integration, and application as atomically thin membranes. Kidambi expects to be an active participant in the Vanderbilt Institute for Nanoscale Science and Engineering.

Batista Dr. Carlos Silvera Batista will begin in August of 2017 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Batista is currently a President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Michigan. He has also served as a post-doctoral researcher at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Batista earned his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Florida and his B.E. in Chemical Engineering from City College of New York. In his research, Batista plans to establish a multi-scale control over the assembly of colloids. He will also investigate the design of materials with high barrier properties for food packaging. Batista expects to engage broadly with the Vanderbilt Institute for Nanoscale Science and Engineering. He has extensive experience in service and outreach and has proposed an innovative set of plans to bolster the engagement of the ChBE Department at Vanderbilt with Latin America.

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).

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