Photo of awardee

Antonios G. Mikos

Louis Calder Professor of Bioengineering and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Rice University
MSChE '85, PhD '88

In recognition of his outstanding academic achievements and for advances in the fields of tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, biomaterials and controlled drug delivery

As a longtime distinguished researcher, educator and mentor, Antonios Mikos views his 54 doctoral students and 38 postdoctoral fellows as extended family. He fosters their development and follows their progress, providing ongoing encouragement and guidance long after they have established their own careers in industry or academe.

Two years ago, a group of his former students proved to him that they, too, consider him family, when they marked his 50th birthday by giving him a family tree — one with branches featuring his graduate students and their graduate students.

"It is indeed a family. Their success is more important than mine," Mikos says from his office at Rice University. "If there is one 'product' I would be most proud of, it is these students and postdocs."

Mikos points to his own mentor, Nicholas Peppas, former Showalter Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at Purdue, who first taught him what Mikos now instills in his own students — that building a strong foundation is the best way to prepare yourself for the rapidly evolving field of engineering.

Mikos conveys that lesson by his own example, having first studied chemical engineering and then merging it with medicine to become a world-renowned pioneer in tissue engineering.

If he had his academic career to do over again, he says, he would make one change: "I would have taken more courses in other disciplines outside engineering. I recognize now that breadth is very important — equally important to depth."

The combination of breadth and depth that Mikos has attained in decades of research is evident in the generous support his work receives today.

Among his current research priorities is the quest to improve technologies to treat wounded soldiers. His research to advance the art of craniofacial reconstruction that began in 2008 received significant funding from the Department of Defense in September. During the five-year grant, Mikos will collaborate with other researchers at Rice University, the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and the Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

The tissue-engineering work he continues, and the soldiers and civilians whose healing will be improved because of it, represent the achievement of a goal set long ago.

"In 1988, as I completed my PhD at Purdue, I wanted to explore the interface of engineering with medicine, and recently I was very fortunate to be inducted into the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies for bridging engineering and medicine."

Career Highlights

1999-present Louis Calder Professor of Bioengineering and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Rice University
1999–present Director of Center for Excellence in Tissue Engineering, Rice University
1999–present Director of J.W. Cox Laboratory for Biomedical Engineering, Rice University
1996–1999 Associate Professor of Bioengineering and Chemical Engineering, Rice University
1992–1996 Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering, Rice University
1990–1991 Postdoctoral Fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Medical School
1988 PhD ChE, Purdue University
1985 MSChE, Purdue University
1983 Dipl. Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece