Rice University bioengineer Antonios Mikos has been elected to the Academy of Athens – Greece’s national academy and highest research establishment – as a corresponding member in the Section of the Sciences.
“Professor Mikos holds international acclaim as a global pioneer in the application of fundamentals of engineering and biological sciences toward the development of biomaterials for a wide variety of medical uses,” the academy noted. “His exceptional research productivity is clearly reflected by his authorship of more than 550 scientific publications, which collectively have garnered over 49,000 citations.”
Mikos is the Louis Calder Professor of Bioengineering and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and a professor of chemistry and of materials science and nanoengineering at Rice. He is the director of the J.W. Cox Laboratory for Biomedical Engineering and of the Center for Excellence in Tissue Engineering.
His lab in Rice’s BioScience Research Collaborative specializes in the synthesis, processing and evaluation of new biomaterials for use as scaffolds for tissue engineering, as nonviral vectors for gene therapy and as carriers for controlled drug delivery. His work has led to the development of novel orthopedic, dental, cardiovascular, neurologic and ophthalmologic biomaterials, including synthetic biodegradable polymers that can be used for guided tissue growth and the precise regeneration of bone to repair defects and injuries.
“The research of Professor Mikos brought paradigmatic shifts in the way researchers approach biomaterials for regenerative medicine and enabled the rational design of scaffolds by his laboratory and others for site-specific tissue regeneration,” the academy wrote. “These scaffolds remain the cornerstone in tissue engineering and the basis for countless clinical products.”
The academy also cited Mikos’ pioneering research in a number of other areas and noted that he revolutionized the development of flow perfusion bioreactor systems used for novel three-dimensional tumor models, “which present enormous potential to produce high throughput drug screening for personalized medicine approaches for cancer treatment.”
A native of Thessaloniki, Greece, Mikos said this distinguished recognition from his homeland is particularly meaningful to him and his family. “My generation was raised with the ideal of higher learning for the benefit of humanity, much of which was epitomized by the Academy of Athens,” he said. “The origins of this academy trace back to the Academy of Plato, where Aristotle studied. I am deeply honored to be included in this prestigious institution that has led the scientific, intellectual and artistic circles in my native country for the last century.”
Mikos’ election to the Academy of Athens was preceded by a number of other highly select scientific honors, including election to the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Inventors and the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas and a lifetime achievement award from the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society-Americas, of which he is a founding fellow.
Mikos has an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and an M.S. and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Purdue University. He was a postdoctoral researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Medical School before joining the Rice faculty in 1992.