Jackie Yi-Ru Ying, executive director of the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) in Singapore, received the 2017 Abdeali Tayebali Lifetime Achievement Award. Established in memory of a Singaporean philanthropist, the award recognizes her contributions to society through scientific research. Her achievements in nanotechnology span drug delivery, cell and tissue engineering, biosensors and diagnostics, and more. Among the products developed from this research are a glucose-responsive delivery insulin system, point-of-care test kits that use minimal amounts of blood or saliva for accurate and rapid diagnosis of infectious diseases, microsieve technology to isolate tumor cells from blood samples quickly and effectively, and nanaomaterials for use in highly efficient and low-cost fuel cell and battery applications.
Ying encourages and supports students in the pursuit of careers in scientific research. In 2003 IBN started the Youth Research Program in Singapore. It has grown to over 100,000 participants representing almost 300 schools.
Ying received her Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Princeton in 1991. Her B.A., also in chemical engineering, was earned at The Cooper Union in 1987. She spent a year as a Humboldt Fellow then joined the faculty at MIT in the Department of Chemical Engineering, where she continues affiliation as an adjunct professor. Ying became the founding executive director of the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology in 2003.