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Professor and Biomaterials Expert Nicholas Peppas Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences


Nicholas Peppas, professor of biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, surgery and pharmacy at The University of Texas at Austin and an expert in biomaterials and drug delivery systems, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Peppas sitting at desk

Peppas is one of 228 new members elected this year. They include some of the world’s most accomplished scholars, scientists, writers and artists as well as civic, business and philanthropic leaders.

“Nicholas is a pioneer in oral drug delivery systems, and his breakthrough discoveries and inventions have had an enormous impact on quality of life around the world,” said Sharon L. Wood, dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering. “We congratulate him on this honor and on the significance of his many contributions to engineering and medicine.”

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is one of the country’s oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers, convening leaders from the academic, business and government sectors to respond to the challenges facing — and opportunities available to — the nation and the world. Members contribute to academy publications and studies in science, engineering and technology policy; global security and international affairs; the humanities, arts and education; and American institutions and the public good.

Peppas has been a highly accomplished professor, innovator and entrepreneur throughout his career. He has six honorary doctorates, 43 U.S. patents pending or issued, three companies founded and more than 1,350 papers published. He joined the UT Austin faculty in 2002 and served as chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering from 2009 to 2015.

Among his accolades, Peppas has received the Founders Award from the National Academy of Engineering, the Acta Biomaterialia Gold Medal, the Founders Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the Benjamin Garver Lamme Excellence in Engineering Education Award from the American Society for Engineering Education. He is the recipient of the Robert A. Pritzker Distinguished Lecture Award and was recognized by the American Institute for Chemical Engineers with a symposium honoring his “40 Years of Impact at the Frontiers of Science and Engineering.” In addition, he is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Engineering, the Royal Academy of Chemistry, the National Royal Academy of Spain, the National Academy of France and the National Academy of Athens.

Members of the 2017 American Academy of Arts and Sciences class include winners of the Pulitzer Prize and the Wolf Prize; MacArthur fellows; Fields medalists; Presidential Medal of Freedom and National Medal of Arts recipients; and Academy Award, Grammy Award, Emmy Award and Tony Award winners.