SIMB presents the Charles Thom Award to honor researchers for their exceptional merit in industrial microbiology and biotechnology, and their independent of thought and originality that added appreciably to scientific knowledge. Huimin Zhao, PhD will receive this award and present the Charles Thom Award Lecture on Thursday, July 28.

Dr. Huimin Zhao is the Steven L. Miller Chair Professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). He received his B.S. degree in Biology from the University of Science and Technology of China in 1992 and his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 1998. Prior to joining UIUC in 2000, he was a project leader at the Dow Chemical Company. He was promoted to full professor in 2008. Dr. Zhao has authored and co-authored over 230 research articles and over 20 issued and pending patent applications with several being licensed by industry. In addition, he has given over 260 plenary, keynote or invited lectures in international meetings, universities, industries, and research institutes. Dr. Zhao received numerous research and teaching awards and honors, such as Elmer Gaden Award (2014), Guggenheim Fellowship (2012), Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2010) and the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (2009). Dr. Zhao served as a consultant for over 10 companies and is an advisor to the Department of Energy’s Biological and Environmental Research program. He is the visiting principal investigator of the metabolic engineering research laboratory (MERL) in the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) of Singapore.