Department of Chemical Engineering alumnus, John Blazeck, has been recognized by the university in this year’s “40 under 40” awards, which honor outstanding young alumni whose achievements positively impact The Gator Nation® as they go greater in their communities and professions.
John Blazeck (BSCHE ’07) grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania before attending the University of Florida. At UF, he studied chemical engineering and worked with Dr. Kirk Ziegler as an undergraduate research assistant. He graduated summa cum laude from UF in 2007.
After completing his undergraduate studies, Dr. Blazeck obtained a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, performing research with Dr. Hal Alper to engineer microbial hosts to produce biofuels. He continued his research career as a Postdoctoral Fellow at UT Austin, working with Dr. George Georgiou to engineer a cancer-fighting enzyme, which will soon be tested in clinical trials.
Dr. Blazeck is now an assistant professor of Chemical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he teaches Chemical Engineering courses and leads a laboratory of 14 graduate and undergraduate students. His laboratory’s current work aims to understand the complex interplay between metabolism and immune function in human cancers to be able to design new therapies.
Dr. Blazeck’s work has resulted in 15 publications and five patents. He has been recognized nationally with several prestigious awards and honors, including an American Cancer Society Fellowship; a National Merit Scholarship; and more recently, an Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation Beckman Young Investigator Award, a yearly honor given to promising new professors in the biological and chemical sciences.
Dr. Blazeck lives in Atlanta with his wife Kristina, and their three young children.