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Rensselaer professors Dordick and Interrante named ACS Fellows

Troy, N.Y. Two Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute professors have been named 2010 fellows of the American Chemical Society (ACS). Director of the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies (CBIS) and the Howard P. Isermann '42 Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering Jonathan Dordick and Professor Emeritus of Chemistry Leonard Interrante were both recognized by the ACS for their "outstanding achievements in and contributions to the science, the profession, and service to the society."

"Both of these esteemed researchers and educators have had a major impact on their fields," said Rensselaer Provost Robert Palazzo. "Dr. Dordick is among the foremost biocatalysis and bioengineering experts in the world. His recent discovery of antibacterial coatings could protect thousands of people from harmful bacterial infections and his work to develop biochip technologies is transforming the way we view the modern drug discovery process.

"Dr. Interrante is both a polymer pioneer and successful entrepreneur. He has developed sophisticated new materials utilized in technologies around the world, including the Hubble Space Telescope. His pure silicon carbide-forming polymer is the only of its kind commercially available in the world, paving the way for an entirely new generation of high-temperature, high-strength ceramic composites."

The ACS honored the new fellows at the society's fall national meeting.

Dordick's research interests are in the areas of biocatalysis, bioengineering, and nanobiotechnology. He most recently developed a nanoscale coating for surgical equipment, hospital walls, and other surfaces that safely eradicates methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). He has also discovered a biochip that could eliminate animal testing in the chemicals and cosmetics industries, and drastically curtail its use in the development of new pharmaceuticals. The co-founder of EnzyMed Inc., a pharmaceutical discovery company, he is currently a co-founder of Solidus Biosciences, a venture-stage biotechnology company. In addition, he serves on the scientific advisory boards for several biotechnology companies and has served as chair of the division of biochemical technology for the ACS.

Dordick joined the Rensselaer faculty in 1998. He became director of CBIS in 2008. He is a fellow of both the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Dordick received his doctorate in biochemical engineering in 1986 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Interrante's research encompasses a wide range of subjects in materials chemistry. His works spans the study of both inorganic and organic polymers to the development of new, advanced materials. His ceramic and ceramic composite materials have broad applications for aerospace, industrial, and energy generation applications. His development of the pure silicon carbide forming polymer enables the processing of high-temperature, high-strength ceramic composites. The polymer helped him co-found Starfire Systems Inc., a high-tech advanced materials manufacturer that started at Rensselaer. His research is utilized in areas from aerospace to motorcycles.

Interrante joined Rensselaer in 1985. He is founding and current editor-in-chief of the ACS journal Chemistry of Materials. Before coming to Rensselaer, Interrante spent 17 years at the General Electric Research and Development Center. He is a fellow of the AAAS and was named Inventor of the Year in 2007 by Eastern New York Intellectual Property Law Association.

Interrante received his doctorate in inorganic chemistry from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 1963.


Contact: Gabrielle DeMarco
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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