”I am very honoured to receive this inaugural award in the name of Gregory Stephanopoulos, as he has been a great mentor, colleague and friend to me. His support early on in my career was very important for me, and I have always considered him a fantastic scientist with great ideas, and therefore an important role model for me,” says Jens Nielsen.
Research translated into industrial practise
The award has been established by the International Metabolic Engineering Society (IMES), to recognise a prominent scientist or engineer who has made seminal contributions to the industrial translation of basic developments in metabolic engineering, or quantitative analysis, design, and modelling of metabolism.
Jens Nielsen is a pioneer in the field of systems biology of metabolism, and some of his research is focused on the engineering of microorganisms, so called cell factories, for the production of fuels and chemical products from renewable sources. He is known for his skills in turning basic science into industrial practise.
"His in silico systems biology and metabolic engineering tools, together with creative strategies for microbial metabolic engineering, have been used widely in biotech industry and also have led to the establishment of several companies.", says Professor Sang Yup Lee, the chair of the award selection committee, on the American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ website.
"Important to translate research to use in society"
“Getting this award means a lot for me as it acknowledges how we have managed to translate our research from the lab to use in both large companies and smaller start-up companies, including some I have founded myself. I have always been passionate about the importance of translating research from universities to use in society, and this happens only if we transfer the knowledge to industry or the clinic, “says Jens Nielsen.
The Gregory N. Stephanopoulos Award for Metabolic Engineering will be presented during the Metabolic Engineering XIV conference in Honolulu in July 2021.
Text: Susanne Nilsson
Photo: Johan Bodell
Read more about Jens Nielsen and his research: