Designation: Founding Executive Director of the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN; as a member of the A*STAR) and faculty at Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT)
Work: the synthesis of well-designed advanced nanostructured materials and systems, nanostructured biomaterials and miniaturized bio-systems of various interesting applications including the development of “stimuli-responsive polymeric nanoparticles” for diabetic patients
Field of the Prize: Bio Nanotechnology
Date of birth: 1965
For her outstanding contributions to the synthesis of well-designed advanced nanostructured materials and systems, nanostructured biomaterials and miniaturized bio-systems of various interesting applications including the development of “stimuli-responsive polymeric nanoparticles” for diabetic patients.
Nanostructured materials hold tremendous potential due to their unique size-dependent properties. For applications in numerous fields, these materials need to be designed and synthesized not only with the desired feature size, but also with the specific functionalities. Prof. Jackie Yi-Ru Ying’s research has made a major impact in the field of nanostructured materials through major breakthrough in the synthesis of nanoparticles, nanocomposites and nanoporous materials. She has created a nano tool box that is successfully applied towards drug delivery, cell and tissue engineering, biosensors and diagnostics, pharmaceuticals synthesis, green chemistry and energy. Remarkably, besides her 340 publications in leading journals, she has over 150 primary patents issued or pending, many of which have been successfully licensed for commercialization.
Using the nano tool box, Prof. Ying has created new materials and systems that tackle the major challenges in different areas. For example, her laboratory has developed polymer nanoparticles that are capable of auto-regulating the release of insulin depending on the blood glucose levels. This invention bypasses the need for blood glucose monitoring by finger pricks, and allows insulin to be delivered orally or by nasal passage, instead of through injection. This technology would greatly benefit the diabetic patients by helping to prevent hyperglycemic and hypoglycemic episodes and the associated organ damages. Prof. Ying co-founded SmartCells, Inc. to commercialize this novel nanomedicine. This spin-off company was acquired by Merck in 2010, with potential aggregate payments in excess of $500 million to further develop the technology for clinical trials.
Prof. Ying was born in Taipei in 1966, and raised in Singapore and New York. She received her B.E. and Ph.D. from The Cooper Union and Princeton University, respectively. She joined the faculty at Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT) in 1992, where she was Professor of Chemical Engineering until 2005. She has been the Founding Executive Director of the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN; as a member of the A*STAR) in Singapore since 2003. For her research on nanostructured materials, Prof. Ying has been recognized with the American Ceramic Society Ross C. Purdy Award, David and Lucile Packard Fellowship, Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award, Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, American Chemical Society Faculty Fellowship Award in Solid-State Chemistry, Technology Review’s Inaugural TR100 Young Innovator Award, American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Allan P. Colburn Award, Singapore National Institute of Chemistry-BASF Award in Materials Chemistry, Wall Street Journal Asia’s Asian Innovation Silver Award, International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Jubilee Medal, Materials Research Society Fellowship, Royal Society of Chemistry Fellowship, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering Fellowship, American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellowship, and Crown Prince Grand Prize in the Brunei Creative, Innovative Product and Technological Advancement (CIPTA) Award.
Prof. Ying was elected a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, and a member of the German National Academy of Sciences, Leopoldina. She was named one of the “One Hundred Engineers of the Modern Era” by AIChE in its Centennial Celebration. She was selected by The Muslim 500 in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 to be one of the world’s 500 most influential Muslims. She was selected as an Inaugural Inductee for the Singapore Women’s Hall of Fame in 2014. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Nano Today, which has an impact factor of 15.