Rice’s Mikos honored as one of Texas’ best researchers

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Rice’s Mikos honored as one of Texas’ best researchers
Bioengineer earns O’Donnell Award from Texas Academy

Rice University bioengineer Antonios Mikos will be recognized today with one of the Lone Star State’s highest scientific honors, the O’Donnell Award from The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST).

The O’Donnell awards, given for excellence in medical, scientific and engineering research, include a $25,000 honorarium, a citation and an inscribed statue. Mikos, a pioneer in the field of tissue engineering, will receive the O’Donnell Award for engineering at the academy’s annual conference today in Austin. He is being honored “for insightful application of chemical engineering principles to biomolecular engineering as exemplified by pioneering contributions to tissue engineering, biomaterials science, bioadhesion and drug delivery systems.”

Mikos is the J.W. Cox Professor of Bioengineering, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and director of Rice’s Center for Excellence in Tissue Engineering.

“Living tissues like bone, muscle and cartilage are among the most complex structures known, and Dr. Mikos is a global leader in applying engineering techniques to synthesize these sophisticated tissues in the laboratory,” said Rice President David Leebron. “His research offers hope for significant improvements in orthopedic medicine, transplantation and other medical fields, and he is richly deserving of this distinguished honor.”

Mikos’ research spans a broad range, including the synthesis, processing, and evaluation of new biomaterials for use as scaffolds for tissue engineering, as carriers for controlled drug delivery, and as non-viral vectors for gene therapy. His work has led to the development of novel orthopedic, cardiovascular, neurologic, and ophthalmologic biomaterials.

“Dr. Antonios Mikos’ research has advanced some of the most exciting and dynamic areas of biomaterials science,” said U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. “I am pleased that TAMEST has recognized his good efforts that exemplify the goals and purposes of the O’Donnell Award.”

Launched with the support of Sen. Hutchison in 2004, TAMEST provides broad recognition for Texas’ leading researchers in medicine, engineering and science, and it helps build a strong identity for Texas as center of achievement in each of those fields. The academy brings Texas’ top scientific, academic and corporate minds together to position Texas as a research leader. Academy members include all Texas Nobel laureates as well as the 200-plus Texas members of the National Academies, which include the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council.

Named for Dallas philanthropists Edith and Peter O’Donnell, the O’Donnell Awards were established to recognize outstanding Texas up-and-comers and their work.

The 2007 O’Donnell Award ceremonies conclude with a dinner this evening in honor of Mikos and fellow award-winners Zhijian ”James” Chen and David Mangelsdorf, both of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. Chen, professor of molecular biology, received the award for science and Mangelsdorf, chairman of pharmacology, received the honor for medicine. Dr. Arden Bement Jr., director of the National Science Foundation, will deliver the dinner’s keynote address.

Mikos is the author of more than 300 publications and a founding editor of the journal Tissue Engineering. His research has earned numerous professional honors, including the Orthopaedic Research Society’s 2005 Marshall R. Urist Award for Excellence in Tissue Regeneration Research. Mikos is a founding member of Rice’s Department of Bioengineering, and he is the lead organizer of the extremely successful continuing-education course, “Advances in Tissue Engineering,” which has been offered annually at Rice since 1993.

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