A recognized global leader in chromatographic bioprocessing, Steven Cramer, the William Weightman Walker Professor of Polymer Engineering, has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The tradition of AAAS fellows began in 1874. Election as a fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers.
This year, 396 newly selected members have been awarded this honor by AAAS because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. New fellows will be presented with an official certificate and a gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette pin on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018, at the AAAS Fellows Forum during the 2018 AAAS Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas.
As part of the engineering section, Cramer is one of 28 faculty members who were selected as AAAS fellows. Cramer was cited for “distinguished contributions to the field of chromatographic bioprocessing, achieved through combined experimental and computational approaches.”
For the past 31 years, Cramer and his students have combined elegant theoretical models and rigorous experimentation to make dramatic advances in several areas of chromatographic bioprocessing. Cramer’s research focuses on developing fundamental understanding and new methods and technologies to separate and purify biotherapeutics such as monoclonal antibody-based drugs and gene therapy agents.
“We are delighted with the news of Steve’s election as a fellow of AAAS,” said Shekhar Garde, dean of the School of Engineering. “Steve’s work combines state-of-the-art experiments, physics-based modeling and simulation, and big data and its analysis. This is a powerful combination, which is pushing the boundaries of modern bioprocessing and biomanufacturing.”
Cramer is a member of the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies, and also serves as a faculty member in the Isermann Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, the Department of Biomedical Engineering, and the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology.
While Cramer is known worldwide for his expertise in separations in general, today he is focused on conducting research on several areas related to protein-surface interactions and molecular bioprocessing. This includes research into multiscale modeling of complex chromatographic behavior, fundamental studies of selectivity and affinity in multimodal chromatographic systems, biophysics of protein interactions with surfaces, ligands and proteins, platformable strategies for effective removal of process impurities, chromatography on a chip, affinity ligand design, smart biopolymer affinity separation systems, and integrated biomanufacturing systems.
Cramer’s peers have honored him with many awards and recognitions for his contributions. He was awarded the Alan S. Michaels Award for the Recovery of Biological Products (ACS Division of Biochemical Technology) and the ACS National Award in Separation Science and Technology. At Rensselaer, he has been awarded the School of Engineering’s Outstanding Professor Award, the Research Excellence Award, and the Early Career Award. Cramer was given a Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation. In addition, Cramer has been elected a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the American Chemical Society, and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.
A prolific researcher, Cramer holds 11 patents and has published more than 185 papers in peer-reviewed journals. He recently stepped down from being the editor in chief of the international journal Separations, Science and Technology after 20 years. He has also chaired several high-profile meetings including two international HIC/RPC Bioseparation Conferences, two ACS Recovery of Biological Products Meetings, and the Gordon Conference on Reactive Polymers.
Cramer joined the Rensselaer faculty as an assistant professor in 1986 and in 1990 was named the Isermann Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering. He became a full professor in 1995, and in 2007 was named the William Weightman Walker Professor of Polymer Engineering. In his time at Rensselaer, he has advised 43 doctoral students who have gone on to leadership positions in the biotechnology industry and academia.
Cramer earned his bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from Brown University, and completed his master’s and doctoral degrees in chemical engineering at Yale University.