Contreras Wins 2017 Biotechnology and Bioengineering Daniel I.C. Wang Award

Dr. Lydia Contreras in her lab, wins the SHPE Young Investigator AwardAssistant Professor Lydia Contreras has won the 2017 Biotechnology and Bioengineering Daniel I.C. Wang Award for her research in biotechnology, modeling and simulation. The award is presented by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. and the journal Biotechnology and Bioengineering and recognizes a young member of the biotechnology/bioengineering academic community for commitment to the journal and the community it serves.

Contreras was selected as the recipient of the award for her innovation through research, education and the practice of biochemical engineering. She and her lab group work at the interface of RNA biology and protein engineering to solve complex problems in medicine and biotechnology. Contreras’ current efforts include the discovery of novel regulatory RNAs from ethanologenic bacteria to engineer higher cellular tolerance to alcohols and other chemicals, discovery and characterization of regulatory networks in radioresistant bacteria for novel biosensory technologies, and the engineering of novel biosensors to evaluate effects of environmental agents in the behavior of human cells.

“I feel very honored to have our work be acknowledged and recognized by members of our scientific community,” Contreras said. “I am also very grateful to all the students in our group for their hard work and dedication to what we do. It’s a blessing to be part of such a talented research group.”

The award consists of a plaque, an honorarium of $3,000, and acknowledgement of the award in the journal.  The award will be presented before the Wang Award Lecture at the 2017 Spring American Chemical Society (ACS) Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California, April 2017. Contreras is invited to provide a short talk at one of the Biochemical Technology division sessions of the ACS Annual Meeting

Contreras earned her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Princeton University in 2003 and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Cornell University in 2008. She was a NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, researching infectious diseases for the Division of Developmental Genetics and Bioinformatics at the Wadsworth Center of the New York State Department of Health from 2008 to 2010.

The Daniel I.C. Wang Award adds to Contreras’ growing list of accolades including the Norman Hackerman Award for Biosensor Research, the Walter A. Rosenblith Young Investigator of the Year Award, the SHPE Young Investigator Award, a National Science Foundation CAREER Award and more.

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