Peppas Elected to the Academy of Athens

Picture of Nicholas Peppas standing outside the Biomedical building at UT Austin.Professor Nicholas Peppas, the Fletcher Stuckey Pratt Chair in Engineering,┬áhas been elected to the Academy of Athens, Greece’s national academy and the highest research establishment in that country.

The Academy of Athens is housed in a neoclassical style building that was completed in 1885. When facing the building, a statue of Plato is on the left while a Socrates statue is on the right.

Yannis Kevrekidis, a professor of chemical and biological engineering at Princeton University said, “Election to the Order of Sciences in the Academy whose roots go back to Plato’s Academy in this “city that taught the world” is a signal honor. It is also a recognition for the entire field that Nicholas has helped found and has graced with his work, his vision, his creativity and his vibrant academic/industrial “progeny tree” over the years. In a way, it honors a generation of groundbreaking young Greek chemical engineers who have redefined the forefront of our science and transformed the way it addresses society and its needs. Yet at heart it is a recognition of sustained excellence to an individual for work that really matters.”

Peppas’ election is an acknowledgement of his tremendous scientific contribution.

“The pioneering research efforts of Professor Peppas have led to the discovery of more than 20 medical products (he has 37 patents). These products have had a major impact on the health and happiness of millions of people. Furthermore, he is one of the most cited engineers worldwide,” said Peppas’ nominator Athanassios Fokas, an internationally known mathematician and professor of applied mathematics and theoretical physics at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

Peppas has been a leader in biomaterials, drug delivery and pharmaceutical bioengineering. The multidisciplinary approach of his research blends modern molecular and cellular biology with engineering to create the next generation of medical systems and devices for patient treatment.

Athens Academy Building“One consistent theme in Peppas’ work is the introduction of mathematical rigor to model physicochemical and biological processes as they relate to the transport of molecules through polymers,” said Tony Mikos a professor of bioengineering at Rice University in Houston, Texas, and one of Peppas’ former doctoral students.

“He used the principled frameworks that he developed to design drug delivery systems with control release of pharmaceuticals for different medical applications. In this way, he paved a new direction to the pharmaceutical sciences by enabling a paradigmatic shift from trial-and-error approaches for drug delivery to the rational application of mechanistic knowledge of polymeric materials for controlled drug delivery.”

Peppas is the chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering and holds professorships in the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering and the College of Pharmacy. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. He is also a member of the National Academy of Pharmacy of France, the Royal Academy of Spain, and the Academy of Medicine, Engineering, and Science of Texas.

Greece established the Academy of Athens in 1926 for the purpose of cultivating advancement of the sciences, humanities, and fine arts. Membership is the most prestigious recognition that an eminent representative of the scientific, intellectual and artistic cycles can attain in Greece.

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