Troy, N.Y. – Steven Cramer, the William Weightman Walker Professor of Polymer Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), has received an American Chemical Society award in Separations Science and Technology.
The American Chemical Society (ACS) awards program is designed to encourage the advancement of chemistry in all its branches, to support research in chemical science and industry, and to promote the careers of chemists. With more than 158,000 members, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and one of the world’s leading sources of authoritative scientific information.
“Steven Cramer is one of the world’s foremost leaders in the field of bioseparations. He has harnessed the power of fundamental molecular-level theory and modeling and creative experiments to solve important problems in the biotechnology industry,” said Shekhar Garde, dean of the School of Engineering at Rensselaer. “Steve is an outstanding educator and has mentored a generation of students who have become the movers and shakers in global biotechnology industry. We congratulate him on this well-deserved national recognition from the American Chemical Society.”
Two chemical engineering professors at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute are contributing to a collaboration among academia, industry, and the federal government to develop a method for rapidly manufacturing biologic drugs.
The project, funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), aims to provide front-line military medics with the ability to produce high-purity, high-potency drugs in as little as 24 hours. This capability would enable medics to be significantly more responsive to emergency situations and battlefield settings, where resources are often limited.
Rensselaer professors Steven Cramer and Pankaj Karande are among the academic research collaborators working on the project, which is led by MIT Professor J. Christopher Love, and funded with a $10.4 million grant as part of DARPA’s Biologically-derived Medicines On Demand (BioMOD) program.
“In this project, we are looking at ways of significantly simplifying and condensing several key steps of drug manufacturing and quality control. Our goal is to be able to create a small, easy-to-carry system that can synthesize needed drugs in 24 hours, instead of the six to 12 months it usually takes to create the same drugs in an industrial setting,” said Cramer, the William Weightman Walker Professor of Polymer Engineering at Rensselaer.
Bioseparations and bioprocessing expert Steven Cramer, the William Weightman Walker Professor of Polymer Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, was recently elected a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).
The AIChE commended Cramer for his wide-reaching research successes, and for demonstrating “significant accomplishments in, and contributions to, the profession” of chemical engineering.
“Professor Cramer is a gifted educator and nationally recognized scholar. We congratulate him for being named a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers,” said David Rosowsky, dean of the School of Engineering at Rensselaer. “Steve joins a growing number of society fellows in the School of Engineering and across the Institute. We are very proud of his scholarly achievements and this important recognition by his peers, and we are proud to count him among our distinguished engineering faculty at Rensselaer.”
The purification of drug components is a large hurdle facing modern drug development. This is particularly true of drugs that utilize proteins, which are notoriously difficult to separate from other potentially deadly impurities. Scientists within the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies (CBIS) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute are using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to understand and improve an important protein purification process.
“We hope to use our insights to help those in the industry develop improved processes to provide much less expensive drugs and dramatically reduce healthcare costs,” said paper author and William Weightman Walker Professor of Polymer Engineering Steven Cramer of Rensselaer.
His team’s findings are published in the Sept. 2 online early edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS ) in a paper titled “ Evaluation of protein absorption and preferred binding regions in multimodal chromatography using NMR.” The research was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).