Jain Named Holder of the Shah Rising Star Professorship

Piyush K. Jain, Ph.D.

Carlos M. Rinaldi-Ramos, Ph.D., Chair and Dean’s Leadership Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, and Cammy R. Abernathy, Ph.D., Dean of the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering, have named Assistant Professor Piyush K. Jain, Ph.D., as holder of the Shah Rising Star Professorship, for his contributions to developing a multi-scale biomolecular engineering platform using nucleic acids chemistry, protein engineering, and nanoengineering.

“I am truly honored to be receiving the Shah Rising Star Professorship,” said Dr. Jain. “This is a very significant event in my professional career, and I look forward to continuing to work hard towards the professorship.”

Jain’s Nano-Biomolecular Precision Lab has been working on improving CRISPR-based testing and applying it to a range of diseases including COVID-19. His background is in pharmaceutical sciences and biomolecular engineering.

“Dr. Jain’s research in biomolecular engineering using gene editing technologies is an exciting example of how our faculty seek to advance engineering science in the service of society,” said Dr. Rinaldi.

After a distinguished 40-year career at the University of Florida Department of Chemical Engineering and Anesthesiology, Professor Emeritus Dinesh O. Shah, Ph.D., established the Shah Rising Star Professorship. The endowed professorship is awarded to early career faculty who demonstrate distinguished performance in engineering research and teaching.

“I hope that the Shah Rising Star Professorship sets a young assistant professor on a trail-blazing path,” said Dr. Shah.

Dr. Shah’s research contributed significantly to the scientific understanding of monolayers of lipids, microemulsions, nanoparticles, solid/liquid dispersions, enhanced oil recovery by surfactant-polymer flooding, artificial tears and contact lens solutions, foams and lubrication.

During his tenure, Dr. Shah received numerous teaching, research and service awards. He contributed 10 books, 15 patents, and published over 375 papers in scientific journals, monographs and books. The Institute of Scientific Information, U.K. reported Dr. Shah among the top one percent of most frequently cited scientists in the world (1999).