Juan de Pablo to receive 2016 DuPont Medal for excellence in nutrition and health science

Steve Koppes
Associate News DirectorUniversity Communications

The Danisco Foundation has selected the University of Chicago’s Juan de Pablo as the recipient of the DuPont Nutrition and Health Science and Excellence Medal 2016.

The Liew Family Professor in Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago, de Pablo will be honored for his work that led to optimal processes to stabilize live bacteria for survival and extended stability performance after lyophilization (freeze-drying). Such processes are now used throughout the world in the food and probiotic industries. de Pablo holds several patents on the underlying technology, which also has pharmaceutical and medical applications for preservation of drugs, cells and tissue.

The technology that de Pablo and his students developed was originally inspired by nature’s own mechanisms to withstand prolonged periods of drought and low temperatures. His team developed detailed molecular models to explain such mechanisms, whose results were subsequently translated into working bacterial formulations and processes.

The foundation grants the medal upon recommendations from DuPont Nutrition & Health’s Technical Fellows to a senior scientist broadly recognized by the fellows for scientific and operational excellence and a remarkable record of accomplishment in the industry. DuPont Fellows are scientists and engineers who define new technologies, influence research directions, and mentor scientists both inside and outside the company. The award includes an invitation to address the Nutrution and Health Technical Fellows at a ceremony to be held in Denmark.

Danisco, a subsidiary of DuPont, is a Danish biotech company that employs more than 7,000 people in more than 40 countries. Its products, used in ice cream, jams, bread, and many other food products, are eaten regularly by more than 100 million people worldwide.