Zhang, Adleman receive CALS research awards

Saied Mostaghimi, Percival Zhang, and Alan Grant

Percival Zhang, center, receives the Excellence in Applied Research from Associate Dean Saied Mostaghimi, left, and Dean Alan Grant.

Percival Zhang, a professor of biological systems engineering, was given the college’s 2015 award for Excellence in Applied Research.

Saied Mostaghimi, Zach Adelman, Alan Grant

Zach Adelman, center, receives the Award for Excellence in Basic Research from Associate Dean Saied Mostaghimi, left, and Dean Alan Grant.

Zach Adelman, an associate professor of entomology, was given the Award for Excellence in Basic Research.

The college established these awards in 2002 for the purpose of promoting excellence in research to two CALS faculty members who have reached a level of research achievement judged to be the most significant within their discipline.

Both were given a plaque at this year’s picnic and awarded $5,000 from the college to be used in support of their research programs.

Zhang has made significant scholarly contributions in diverse areas with a focus on disruptive biomanufacturing for food, biofuels, and biochemical production. With more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and over $5 million in research grants over the last nine years, he is recognized as an innovative, driven, and extremely productive scientist. His laboratory has done pioneering work on in vitro synthetic enzymatic systems and his work has been highlighted in numerous popular publications. The recipient of numerous prior awards, Zhang is active as a deputy editor for Energy Science and Engineering and serves as an editorial board member for several journals.

His interest and success in bridging the gap between research and application, and his participation in the technology transfer process, is documented by the fact that five of his patents and disclosures have been licensed to four biofuel companies and by his involvement as the chief scientific officer of two start-up companies.

Adelman heads a basic research program in molecular and vector biology, focusing primarily on the mosquito and the diseases it transmits, and including work looking at altering the vectorial competence of the mosquito through the generation of genetically modified pathogen resistant individuals. An additional focus is on bedbugs where he was one of the first researchers to examine the potential of the bedbug as a disease vector and where his group has contributed to a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in bed bug resistance to insecticides. His laboratory is internationally recognized as a leader in vector biology and for the application of advanced genetic technologies to better understand and control insects and insect-borne diseases.

Since 2005, Adelman has brought in more than $12 million in external funding to support his research program. He has consistently published in high-impact journals including Science and PNAS and is an editor for PLoS ONE. He is active in grant review panels at the national level, as a graduate advisor and as a reviewer for high profile journals. The importance of his contributions transcends narrow disciplinary boundaries.

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