Peppas Nicholas

The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) awarded Nicholas Peppas the Professional Impact Award for Mentoring during its annual meeting.

AIMBE leaders decided to recognize Peppas, a professor in the Cockrell School of Engineering's Department of Biomedical Engineering, for his stellar impact on the field through outstanding mentoring of students and early career faculty.

Peppas is an internationally known educator, mentor and research leader in the fields of biomaterials, controlled release, and bionanotechnology. Peppas is widely recognized as a pioneer of hydrogel chemistry and physics. He created the molecular design and preparation of 3D cross-linked networks, which in turn swell in water or biological fluids and become hydrogels.

Hydrogels are used as biocompatible materials and in controlled-release devices, especially in controlled delivery of drugs, peptides, and proteins, as well as the development of novel biomaterials. This work led to a series of novel, controlled-release systems known as swelling controlled release systems — a series of pH-sensitive devices for drug delivery. 

Throughout his career, Peppas has educated more than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students. His research accomplishments and seminal contributions to the biomaterials field have been honored by seven honorary doctorates, four honorary professorships, and more than 170 international awards — including the highest recognitions from the National Academy of Engineering (Founders Award), the National Academy of Medicine (Adam Yarmolinsky Award), the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (the William H. Walker Award, the Institute Lecture), the Society for Biomaterials, and more.

While his impact and legacy on the field are stellar through his own outstanding research and educational achievements, the impact is further magnified through the successes of his students, his academic "grandchildren," the rest of his academic family tree, and his numerous other mentees, all due to his excellent teaching and mentoring.

The AIMBE is a voice and advocate for the value of medical and biological engineering to society. It is an organization of leaders in medical and biological engineering, consisting of academic, industrial, professional societies, and elected fellows.