Researcher Mikos honored as one of Texas’ best
BY JADE BOYD
Rice News staff
Rice University bioengineer Antonios Mikos has been recognized with one of the Lone Star State’s highest scientific honors. He received the O’Donnell Award from The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST) for tissue engineering research that may significantly improve orthopedic medicine, transplantation and other medical fields.
The O’Donnell Award, given for excellence in medical, scientific and engineering research, includes a $25,000 honorarium, a citation and an inscribed statue. Mikos, a tissue engineering pioneer, received the O’Donnell Award for engineering at the academy’s annual conference Jan. 4 in Austin.
He was 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 in 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 of areas, including the synthesis, processing and evaluation of new biomaterials for use as scaffolds for tissue engineering, as carriers for controlled drug delivery and as nonviral 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. Sen. 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 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 a 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 concluded with a dinner 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. Arden Bement, director of the National Science Foundation, was the keynote speaker at the award dinner.