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Dordick recognized for his pivotal contributions to biochemical and molecular engineering

TROY, N.Y. — Jonathan Dordick, the Howard P. Isermann ’42 Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), for his “contributions to methods for rapidly screening drug efficacy and toxicity, and biocatalytic technologies for improving human health.”

Election to the NAE is among the highest professional honors bestowed upon an engineer. According to the Academy, membership recognizes those who have made outstanding contributions to “engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature” and to “the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering.”

Dordick is a pioneer in using enzymes for material synthesis and designing biomolecular tools for the development of better drugs, including inventing ways to use biocatalysis to dramatically expand nature’s biologically active compounds. He has also devised unique ways to harness nature’s ability to selectively kill specific bacteria. For instance, his work has demonstrated how bacteria-killing enzymes could be incorporated into paints and coatings in order to eliminate specific pathogens on surfaces.  

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