Yuan, Spatafora-Salazar receive Sunit Patel ’85 Endowed Fellowships

Named for the distinguished Rice alumnus, the departmental award recognizes outstanding graduate student research.

Headshots of Qichen Yuan and Aldo Spatafora-Salazar

Two graduate students in chemical and biomolecular engineering (ChBE) at Rice University have received 2022-23 Sunit Patel ’85 Endowed Fellowship Awards for outstanding research.

Named for a distinguished ChBE alumnus and former chair of the department's External Advisory Board, the awards recognize the most outstanding graduate student research in the third year of residency or later.

Qichen Yuan works in the lab of Xue “Sherry” Gao, Ted N. Law Assistant Professor of ChBE. Yuan and Gao have devised a genome-editing strategy capable of correcting dozens of errors in multiple genes simultaneously with high precision and efficiency. It represents a possible breakthrough for patients suffering from diseases caused by a combination of mutations.

Aldo Spatafora-Salazar is a member of the research group headed by Sibani Lisa Biswal, William M. McCardell Professor in Chemical Engineering and professor of Materials Science and NanoEngineering. Their research focuses on assembling colloidal particles into polymer-like and crystalline-like structures under the application of magnetic fields.