Huimin Zhao receives AIChE Food, Pharmaceutical and Bioengineering Division Award in Chemical Engineering


Claire Benjamin

Huimin Zhao, professor of chemical & biomolecular engineering
Huimin Zhao

Chemical and biomolecular engineering professor Huimin Zhao has received the 2022 Food, Pharmaceutical and Bioengineering Division Award in Chemical Engineering from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). 

The Division Award recognizes an individual's outstanding chemical engineering contribution in the food, pharmaceutical, and/or bioengineering field, which is of a fundamental nature and/or of practical significance to industry and industrial practice. 

“I am deeply honored and humbled to receive this award,” said Zhao, who develops and applies synthetic biology tools for industrial and medical applications and studies the fundamental aspects of enzyme catalysis, cell metabolism, and gene regulation.

Zhao joined the chemical and biomolecular engineering department in 2000; he is the Steven L. Miller Chair and a professor of chemistry, biochemistry, biophysics, and bioengineering at Illinois. He is also the director of NSF AI Research Institute for Molecular Discovery, Synthetic Strategy, and Manufacturing named Molecule Maker Lab Institute.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Science and Technology of China and a doctorate in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology. He has authored and co-authored over 380 research articles and over 30 issued and pending patent applications, several of which have been licensed by industry. 

This award will be presented at the Food, Pharmaceutical & Bioengineering Division plenary session of the 2022 AIChE Annual Meeting held November 13 - 18 in Phoenix, Arizona, where Zhao will present a lecture: “Synthetic Biology: Putting Synthesis into Biology.”