Chen honored with Young Investigator Award

Zhilei Chen, assistant professor in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas Photo of Zhilei ChenA&M University, has been named a recipient of the Young Investigator’s Research Program Award (YIP) by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR).

This award will support Chen’s  basic research on developing proteinaceous material for efficient enzyme immobilization onto electrodes to create more efficient and longer lasting enzymatic biofuel cells.

Chen is one of only 48 recipients of this intensely competitive award, which has success rates of 13-19 percent for all applicants throughout the past three years. The YIP award fosters the early career development of young scientists and provides opportunities for creative research in science and engineering in keeping with the mission of the AFOSR.

Chen's research focuses on applying protein engineering principles for biotechnology applications. She
also is working on engineering agents for the treatment of various viral infections, including hepatitis C virus and HIV, and the identification of novel drug targets.

Chen completed her undergraduate studies at East China Normal University in Shanghai, China in 2000, and earned her Ph.D. at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 2006. She attended the Rockefeller University for postdoctoral studies before joining Texas A&M's chemical engineering department in 2008.

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