Fei Wen, an assistant professor of Chemical Engineering, has been named to the 2018 Class of Influential Researchers by the American Chemical Society’s Industrial & Engineering Chemistry (I&EC) Research.
Wen is among the 29 engineers and scientists from laboratories in North America, Europe, and Asia identified by the journal editors and editorial advisory board members as influential, early-career (less than 10 years in their independent research career) researchers based on the quality and impact of their research.
In Wen’s featured contribution, “The Coming of Age of Insect Cells for Manufacturing and Development of Protein Therapeutics,” she and her students highlight recent technological advances—such as virus-less gene expression approaches—that are propelling the transformative potential of insect cells in protein therapeutics. Using these state-of-the-art technologies, Wen’s group aims to develop an immunobioengineering platform for rapid and scalable biomanufacturing of virus-like particles that mimic the supramolecular structure of pathogenic viruses, such as influenza viruses.
It represents a novel approach with the potential of shifting from simple natural virus-like particle synthesis to complex designer virus-like particle engineering for developing the next generation viral vaccines. Synergized with Wen’s research in the high dimensional CyTOF immune profiling at the single-cell level, Wen’s work in this area could impact not only vaccine production but also help us better understand the immune system.
This distinction from I&EC Research is the latest addition to a growing list of Wen’s professional accolades, such as the 2017 National Science Foundation CAREER Award, 2016 National Academy of Engineering Frontiers of Engineering Education, and 2014 Dow Corning Assistant Professorship.