The Andreas Acrivos Award for Professional Progress in Chemical Engineering is endowed by the AIChE Foundation in the name of fluid-dynamics pioneer Andreas Acrivos of the City College of New York. The prize recognizes outstanding progress in chemical engineering by a member of AIChE in their early career. The recipient of the 2020 Professional Progress Award is David Schaffer, a faculty scientist in Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging (MBIB), as well as a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at UC Berkeley, where he also directs the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences. Schaffer was recognized for implementing molecular and cellular engineering strategies to overcome challenges in the development of gene and cell therapies. In particular, he developed the concept of applying directed evolution to engineer targeted and efficient viral gene therapy vectors, which led to novel adeno-associated viral vectors being used in multiple human clinical trials. In addition, he has developed new technologies to investigate and control stem cell fate decisions.
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