P.C. Rossin College of
Engineering and Applied Science
Highly prestigious honor for ChBE alum now faculty at University of Maryland

Chemical engineering and molecular biology alumnus Christopher M. Jewell ’03 has been named by the White House as a recipient of the 2019 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. PECASE is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government to recognize outstanding early-career scientists and engineers who show exceptional potential for leadership in their fields. 

Jewell is currently an associate professor and the associate chair for research in the Fischell Department of Bioengineering at the University of Maryland. He leads the Immune Engineering Lab, which is supported by more than $7.5 million in active research funding. 

“We are thrilled with the continuing accomplishments of one of our star alums,” says Mayuresh Kothare, department chair and R. L. McCann Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the Rossin College. “Chris epitomizes the new face of chemical engineering, linking basic chemical engineering principles to the health and medical sciences. His success with his recent selection as a PECASE winner, as well as his many previous recognitions in both the chemical and biomedical/health sciences community, are a testament to the versatility of the chemical engineering training that we impart to our students.” 

The award recognizes Jewell’s work in “integrating immunology and biomaterials to decipher the interactions between synthetic materials and immune tissues.” This research, which has applications in cancer treatment and therapeutic solutions for autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, has earned him a place among a distinguished group of scientists and engineers who have received this award. 

Jewell tells the University of Maryland: “This is an incredible honor. When I launched my lab, it was support from the [National Science Foundation] that really catalyzed our immune engineering research and the partnerships we were able to form with local schools. Receiving the PECASE is a humbling milestone and a chance to reflect on all the great people, trainees, mentors, and scientists that have helped us push forward in the lab, the classroom, and the community.”

Established in 1996, the PECASE acknowledges the contributions scientists and engineers have made to the advancement of science, technology, education, and mathematics (STEM) education and to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, and community outreach. 

Through his creation of the Program to Enhance Participation in Research, Jewell has provided STEM education opportunities for more than 500 high school students.

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy coordinates the PECASE with participating departments and agencies. A ceremony for recipients was held on July 25 at the U.S. Department of Energy Headquarters in Washington D.C.

Read the full story about Jewell’s award-winning research on the University of Maryland website.

—Isabela Madrigal is a student writer for the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science

 
Christopher M. Jewell ’03

ChBE alum and PECASE winner Christopher M. Jewell ’03 is an associate professor and the associate chair for research in the Fischell Department of Bioengineering at the University of Maryland

Chris epitomizes the new face of chemical engineering, linking basic chemical engineering principles to the health and medical sciences.
Mayuresh Kothare, department chair and R. L. McCann Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the Rossin College