Jack Pronk receives two awards

News - 24 May 2018 - Communication TNW

The past weeks, Jack Pronk received two prizes. He was awarded the International Metabolic Engineering Award by the International Metabolic Engineering Society. In addition, he received the ‘Zilveren Zandloper’ (Silver Hourglass), an educational prize, during the Dutch Biotechnological Congress 2018 on 22 May.

The International Metabolic Engineering Award is presented every two years by the International Metabolic Engineering Society (IMES), a community within the American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ (AIChE’s) Society for Biological Engineering, recognizes an outstanding career contributor to the field of metabolic engineering. Pronk is being honored for his contributions to metabolic and evolutionary engineering of yeasts for the production of biofuels and chemicals. 

Professor Sang Yup Lee, the chair of the award selection committee said “Pronk is an obvious recipient of the International Metabolic Engineering Award due to his many significant contributions to the metabolic engineering of yeast, several of which have been implemented for industrial production. In particular his contributions to engineering pentose metabolism in yeast, which has enabled second generation bioethanol production, are worth mentioning, but also his many contributions to engineering of yeast for production of a wide range of other chemicals”.

Pronk responded to the news on Twitter: “I'm immensely happy and grateful at having been elected winner of the 2018 International Metabolic Engineering Award. THANK YOU current and former students, colleagues and collaborators, at TU Delft and elsewhere, for the inspiration and support throughout my career!”

The Zilveren Zandlopers (Silver Hourglasses) are awarded every two years to innovative biotechnological projects in the field of innovation and education. The education prize is awarded in even years, the innovation prize is awarded in the odd years. The prize consists of a statue and a sum of €2500,-.

A jury consisting of Prof. Aldrik Velders (Wageningen University and chairman of the Dutch Biotechnology Association), Dr. Dennis Claessen (Leiden University) and Dr. Nick van Biezen (Koppert BV and Zilveren Zandloper Education winner in 2010) assessed the nominations. The jury concluded that Prof. Jack Pronk excels at both teaching and research. The students  idolize him and rate his courses very highly. His passion for biotechnology and the patience he shows as a teacher are characteristic for him. His contribution to education in biotechnology is of great importance to both Delft University of Technology and the biotechnology community in the Netherlands.

"Many thanks to the Dutch Association of Biotechnology for the wonderful ‘Zilveren Zandloper’ for education, which I received today in Ede - and to all the students with whom I had and have the privilege to work!" Pronk wrote on Twitter after receiving the prize.

Read the laudatio of the Zilveren Zandloper award here.