Fuzhong Zhang, in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, has been selected to receive the 2016 Daniel I.C. Wang Award from the journal Biotechnology & Bioengineering.
The award, named for Daniel I.C. Wang, an Institute professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a pivotal leader in developing the biotechnology industry and in shaping biochemical engineering education and training for more than 50 years, honors an accomplished younger member of the biotechnology and bioengineering community for his or her commitment to the journal and to the community it serves.
Zhang, assistant professor of energy, environmental & chemical engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, will receive the honor and a monetary award at the American Chemical Society's annual meeting in March. The award recognizes his contribution in engineering the bacterial fatty acid biosynthetic pathway to produce "non-natural" chemicals that can be used as advanced biofuels with significantly improved combustion properties than conventional biofuels.
Zhang's research interests focus on applying synthetic biology methodologies to develop microbial systems for the sustainable production of biofuels, chemicals and materials with defined structures and controllable properties. He also is interested in developing tools that allow engineered microbes to synthesize target products and to perform complex tasks more efficiently and robustly.
Zhang has recently received numerous early career and young investigator awards for his research, including from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Office of Naval Research, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the National Science Foundation, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and from the Human Frontier Science Program Organization.
Zhang completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Joint Bioenergy Institute after earning a doctorate from the University of Toronto. He earned a master's degree from McMaster University and a bachelor's degree from Peking University.
The School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis focuses intellectual efforts through a new convergence paradigm and builds on strengths, particularly as applied to medicine and health, energy and environment, entrepreneurship and security. With 88 tenured/tenure-track and 40 additional full-time faculty, 1,300 undergraduate students, more than 900 graduate students and more than 23,000 alumni, we are working to leverage our partnerships with academic and industry partners — across disciplines and across the world — to contribute to solving the greatest global challenges of the 21st century.