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Honors and Awards

Jewett and Gianneschi Named Elite Medical and Biological Engineering Fellows

Inductees among 156 engineers who make up AIMBE’s College of Fellows Class of 2020

Northwestern Engineering’s Michael Jewett and Nathan Gianneschi have been elected to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering’s (AIMBE) College of Fellows.

AIMBE’s College of Fellows comprises the top 2 percent of medical and biological engineers in the country. Fellows are recognized for their notable contributions advancing the fields of medical and biological engineering through research, practice, or education.

Jewett and Gianneschi are among 156 engineers who make up the College of Fellows Class of 2020. They were formally inducted remotely on March 30.

Michael JewettJewett, Walter P. Murphy Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, is an expert on cell-free synthetic biology, protein synthesis, therapeutics, glycosylation, and engineered ribosomes. He is developing cell-free biology as an enabling technology for biomanufacturing lifesaving therapeutics, sustainable chemicals, and novel materials, both quickly and on-demand.

The director of Northwestern’s Center for Synthetic Biology, Jewett was elected to AIMBE for “outstanding contributions to develop cell-free synthetic biology and repurpose translation for on-demand biomanufacturing, portable diagnostics, and education kits.”

Jewett recently introduced a system that can rapidly create cell-free ribosomes in a test tube, then select the ribosome that can perform a certain function. The platform could help enable new manufacturing approaches to sustainable materials and targeted therapies.

Nathan GianneschiGianneschi, the Jacob and Rosalind Cohn Professor of Chemistry in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and professor of materials science and engineering and biomedical engineering at the McCormick School of Engineering, studies how nanomaterials interact with cells, tissues, and biomolecules, with an interest in synthetic materials programmed with biopolymers as delivery systems. His research group also develops responsive materials and “smart” nanoparticles as well as new techniques for the discovery of functional nanomaterials and bionanomaterials through library screening methodologies.

He was recognized by AIMBE for “pioneering and creative contributions to nanomedicine through the invention of bioresponsive phase-change materials for selective tissue targeting.”

Last year, Gianneschi developed a new drug-delivery system that disguises chemotherapeutics as fat in order to penetrate and destroy tumors. The system tricks tumors into inviting in the chemotherapeutic, which then activates the targeted drug and immediately suppresses tumor growth.