Hal Alper has been elected to the International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering, a select group of innovators recognized for their outstanding contributions to the medical and biological engineering professions.

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Alper is only the fourth faculty member from UT to be inducted into IAMBE, joining Ken Diller, José del R. Millán and Nicholas Peppas.

IAMBE is a subsidiary of the International Federation of Medical and Biological Engineers (IFMBE). IFMBE was formed in Paris in 1959, and it now has an estimated 120,000 members. IAMBE has 168 elected fellows, fewer than 0.2 % of the Federation members

Alper holds the Kenneth A. Kobe Professorship in Chemical Engineering in the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering. His research focuses on engineering biology to produce organic molecules of interest such as biofuels, commodity and specialty chemicals, and protein pharmaceuticals.

The goal is to alter cells and “hijack” the basic metabolism to “rewire” cellular systems into industrially relevant biochemical factories. He and his colleagues used artificial intelligence to redesign a natural enzyme to degrade widely used PET plastics in days rather than centuries.