The Materials Research Society (MRS) has selected Kristi S. Anseth, University of Colorado, Boulder, to receive the inaugural Mid-Career Researcher Award “for exceptional achievement at the interface of materials and biology enabling new, functional biomaterials that answer fundamental questions in biology and yield advances in regenerative medicine, stem-cell differentiation, and cancer treatment.” Anseth will be recognized during the award presentations at the 2012 MRS Spring Meeting on Wednesday, April 11, at 6:30 p.m. in the San Francisco Marriott Marquis. The MRS Mid-Career Researcher Award, endowed by Aldrich Materials Science, recognizes exceptional achievements in materials research made by mid-career professionals. It is intended to honor an individual between the ages of 40 and 52, who demonstrates notable leadership in the materials area. This new award complements the existing MRS Awards portfolio, addressing researchers between the Outstanding Young Investigator (OYI) award and the more senior Von Hippel and David Turnbull Lectureship awards.
“We are pleased to support the materials research community through the endowment of the MRS Mid-Career Researcher Award,” remarked Shashi Jasty, Director, Materials Science, Sigma-Aldrich. “We are especially delighted with the selection of Professor Kristi Anseth as the inaugural recipient of this Award as it recognizes her truly inspiring materials research contributions.”
Anseth is a leading researcher and inventor in the fields of biomaterials and regenerative medicine. She has shown how control of the chemical, biological, and physical properties of biomaterials enables one to probe fundamental cell biology questions and use this information in targeted applications for tissue regeneration. Her approach is unique in that she combines the ability to synthesize polymers with highly defined structures with an understanding of the molecular dynamics of processes at the cell-biomaterial interface. Her seminal work on the mechanisms of how extracellular cues are transmitted through cells and her innovative approaches for biomolecule presentation have revolutionized the field. Anseth is widely recognized for blending modern molecular and cellular biology with engineering and quantitative methods to generate the next-generation of biomaterials for cell culture, delivery, and tissue regeneration.
Following her research fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Anseth joined the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1996. Among her many honors are election to the National Academy of Engineering and to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, selection as the first engineer to become a Howard Hughes Investigator, and recognition by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers as “one of the 100 engineers of the modern era.” She received the MRS Outstanding Young Investigator award in 2001 and became an MRS Fellow in 2009. She has also served the Society as a member of the Board of Directors, chair of the Planning Committee, and co-chair of 2009 MRS Fall Meeting. She received her PhD degree from the University of Colorado in 1994. She holds 17 patents and has published over 220 papers. Her contributions have been translated into a number of medical products, and she has started two startup companies on biomaterials and tissue engineering.
Her review “Mechanical Properties of Cellularly Responsive Hydrogels and Their Experimental Determination” appeared in the Advanced Materials Special Issue “Stimuli-Sensitive Polymers“.