College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

CBE’s Balaji Narasimhan named Anson Marston Distinguished Professor

Balaji Narasimhan will become part of a select group of Iowa State faculty members as an Anson Marston Distinguished Professor.

Dr. Balaji Narasimhan, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering Professor and Vlasta Klima Balloun Chair, has been named Anson Marston Distinguished Professor in Engineering at Iowa State University.

The title of Anson Marston Distinguished Professor honors outstanding achievement in advancing engineering science, technology or policy having national and international impact in academics, industry, public service, government or other venues. The awardee retains the title for the remainder of his or her career at Iowa State.

Marston was an educator and engineering department head at Iowa State, and was influential in the development of the College of Engineering and the Iowa State campus.

Narasimhan joined the Iowa State CBE faculty as an assistant professor in 2001 and was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2003. From 2006 to 2007, he was the director of the Institute for Combinatorial Discovery at Iowa State University. In 2007, he was promoted to professor and also appointed the associate dean of research and economic development for the College of Engineering. He earned his B.S. from the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay, India, in 1992 and Ph.D. from Purdue University in 1996, both in chemical engineering. After a postdoctoral stint at MIT and a visiting position at Purdue, Balaji joined the chemical and biochemical engineering faculty at Rutgers University as an assistant professor in 1997. He also spent time at the University of Naples, Italy, and Cambridge University, UK, as a visiting scientist.

Narasimhan is shown at the 2015 University Awards ceremony where he was awarded for Outstanding Achievement in Research. He will officially receive the Marston honor at the 2017 ceremony in September (Photo by Chris Gannon, Iowa State University).

Among many other honors and awards for Narasimhan are the ISU Foundation Early Excellence in Research Award in 2003; being named Vlasta Klima Balloun Professor of Engineering in 2010; being named a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2011; and the Iowa State University Award for Outstanding Achievement in Research in 2015.

One of his primary research thrusts is the Nanovaccine Initiative, a consortium of 68 researchers at 21 universities, research institutes, national laboratories, companies and health care coalitions that is coordinated by Iowa State University. The Initiative is developing nanovaccines and nanotherapeutics for respiratory infections, neural disorders, tropical diseases, cancer, and veterinary diseases. Novel “pathogen-mimicking” nanovaccines the group is developing are expected to revolutionize the ability to prevent viral and bacterial diseases. View Dr. Narasimhan’s research site.

The Anson Marston honor will be conferred at the University Awards Ceremony in September of 2017 (details are forthcoming).