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Sigma Xi Chapter Hosts Symposium to Honor 2019 Sigma Xi Monie A. Ferst Award Recipient

November 08, 2019

Nicholas Peppas A symposium held today by the Georgia Institute of Technology Sigma Xi Chapter in Atlanta is honoring a Sigma Xi member and chemical and biomedical engineer who is a leading researcher and inventor in the fields of biomaterials, drug delivery, and therapeutic protein controlled release. He was being honored for his contributions to research through his efforts to mentor and support several generations of graduate students. 

Nicholas A. Peppas is the 2019 recipient of the Sigma Xi Monie A. Ferst Award, sponsored by the Georgia Institute of Technology Sigma Xi Chapter. The award consists of a medal, a check of $10,000, and a day-long symposium focused on the achievements of his former graduate students and collaborators. Peppas was elected a member of Sigma Xi while at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1973 and has been an active Sigma Xi member in three universities. He was president of the Purdue University Chapter in 1996.

Peppas is the Cockrell Family Regents Chair in Engineering and a professor of biomedical engineering and chemical engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. He also holds appointments in the Departments of Pediatrics and Surgery of the Dell Medical School, and in the Division of Molecular Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery. He is director of the Institute for Biomaterials, Drug Delivery, and Regenerative Medicine at the University of Texas at Austin. 

Peppas has supervised the theses of 115 PhD students and has been the research mentor of 990 postdocs, visiting scientists, graduate, and undergraduate researchers who have worked in his laboratories and Institute. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Inventors, the European Academy, the Chinese and Canadian Academies of Engineering, the French, Spanish and Greek Academies, and the Texas Academy TAMEST.

“I believe that education is a continuous process that never stops,” said Peppas. “I teach my students, who affectionately call themselves 'Peppamers,' to study the fundamentals of their profession and to use their enthusiasm and creativity to achieve their goals and to improve the quality of life of our citizens and our patients through their successful contributions to science.”

Most of his former students and collaborators continue interacting with him even 40 years later. 

Jennifer Sinclair Curtis, dean of Engineering at the University of California, Davis, and a former student of Peppas who started the symposium, has said, “There could be no greater supporter or mentor. When you work with Nicholas, you are 'his' for life. He keeps up with your career, your family, your life.”