Juan José De Pablo

University of Chicago
Engineer; Materials scientist; Educator
Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Engineering and Technology

Juan de Pablo is the Liew Family Professor in Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School for Molecular Engineering (PME), Executive Vice President for Science, Innovation, National Laboratories, and Global Initiatives, and Senior Scientist at Argonne National Laboratory. Much of Juan de Pablo’s work entails conducting supercomputer simulations to understand and design new materials from scratch and to find applications for them. He is a leader of simulations of polymeric materials, including DNA dynamics — how DNA molecules arrange and organize themselves and interact with other DNA molecules. He also studies protein aggregation and its poorly understood relationship to various diseases, including type II diabetes and neurodegenerative disorders. He holds over 20 patents on multiple technologies, including nine jointly with PME Brady W. Dougan Professor of Molecular Engineering Paul Nealey and others, and is the author or co-author of more than 600 publications. As the Executive Vice President for Science, Innovation, National Laboratories, and Global Initiatives, de Pablo helps drive and support the expanding reach of the University’s science, technology, and innovation efforts, along with their connection to policy and industry. A fellow of the American Physical Society, de Pablo also has received the 2011 Charles Stine Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the DuPont Medal for Excellence in Nutrition and Health Sciences in 2016, and the Intel Patterning Science Award in 2015 He currently chairs the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Advisory Committee of the National Science Foundation, and the Committee on Condensed Matter and Materials Research at the National Research Council. He is the founding editor of Molecular Systems Design and Engineering, and co-director of the new Center for Hierarchical Materials Design. In 2016, de Pablo was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). de Pablo earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in 1985. After completing his doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1990, he conducted postdoctoral research at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland. de Pablo joined the University of Wisconsin faculty in 1992 and served as the Howard Curler Distinguished Professor and Hilldale Professor of Chemical Engineering. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy in 2011 and serves as the Chair of Class I and Chair of the Class I, Section 5 Panel.

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