Gregory Stephanopoulos

W. H. Dow Professor of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Gregory Stephanopoulos was born in Kalamata, Greece, in 1950. Since 2006, he is the holder of the W. H. Dow Professorship of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology at the Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

He attended High School in Kalamata (Paralia HS), a city in the south of the Peloponnese, and Athens (6th HS of Athens). In the last year of high school he won First Prize of the Greek Mathematical Society. In 1968, he was admitted to the School of Chemical Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA or Polytechnion) after successful testing at the Panhellenic University Entrance Examination. He graduated from NTUA in 1973 with the Diploma of Chemical Engineering. Throughout his undergraduate studies he maintained a scholarship from the State Scholarship Foundation (IKY) and was recognized, upon graduation, with the “CHRISOVERGION” Award from NTUA for achieving the highest overall GPA in the ChE graduating class and a Prize from the Technical Chamber of Greece for achieving the 2nd highest GPA in the University.

After graduation from NTUA he continued his studies in the United States. In 1975 he obtained his M.S. from the University of Florida and, three years later, his Ph.D. degree from the University of Minnesota. Professors Arnold Fredrickson and Rutherford Aris were his doctoral mentors. His professional career started in 1978 as Assistant Professor at Caltech where he was promoted in 1984 to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure. In 1985, Gregory Stephanopoulos moved to MIT as Professor of Chemical Engineering. He was Bayer Professor between 2000 and 2006, when he was appointed to the W. H. Dow Professorship of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology. From 1990 to 1997 he served as Associate Director of the Biotechnology Process Engineering Center (BPEC) at MIT.  Since 1997, he has served as Lecturer on Surgery and Bioengineering for Harvard University at the Massachusetts General Hospital, while he spent the academic year 2006-2007 as Visiting Professor at the ETH Zurich.

The professional career of Professor Stephanopoulos is underscored by his prolific scientific production: he is the co-author of a book and the editor of five other titles, while he has written or co-authored more than 430 papers and is co-inventor of more than 50 patents. During his tenure, he has trained and supervised more than 150 Graduate and Post-Doctoral students; he presently serves on the Editorial Boards of 12 scientific journals (see CV for full list) and currently serves as Editor-in Chief of Metabolic Engineering (since 2003) and co-Editor–in-Chief of Current Opinion in Biotechnology (since 2010). Throughout his career he has served on the Advisory Boards of numerous Panels and Scientific Advisory Boards of government, academic and industrial organizations. Presently he serves on the Advisory Board of the Swiss NSF for National Centers for Competence in Research (NCCR), the Delft Process Technology Institute (DPTI), the University of Illinois Institute for Genomic Biology, the Board of Directors of the International Chemical Reaction Engineering (ISCRE), and the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB).

The importance of his outstanding research was highlighted in 30 named Lectureships (see below). During the years, Professor Stephanopoulos received many honors (see full list below). Among others, in 2010 he received the George Washington Carver Award for Innovation in Industrial Biotechnology and the ACS E. V. Murphree Award. From AIChE he received the R.H. Wilhelm Award (2001), the Founders award (2007) and the William Walker Award (2014). In 2011 he received the Eni Prize in Renewable and non-Conventional Energy, in 2013 the John Fritz Medal from the American Association of Engineering Societies, in 2016 the Eric and Sheila Samson Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation in Alternative Fuels and in 2017 the Novozymes Award for Excellence in Biochemical and Chemical Engineering. Professor Stephanopoulos was elected in 2003 to the US National Academy of Engineering and in 2011 as Corresponding Member of the Academy of Athens. He has Honorary degrees from the Danish Technical University and NTUA. In 2016 he served as President of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

Professor Stephanopoulos currently works in Cambridge, at the Department of Chemical Engineering of MIT, focusing on biotechnology, specifically metabolic and biochemical engineering. He is the Director of the Metabolic Engineering Laboratory. His group of approximately 20 graduate students and post-docs conducts research on various projects aiming at the development of biological production routes to chemical products and biofuels. Another program is investigating cancer as metabolic disease. More information about on-going research can be found in the research page of this site.

Gregory Stephanopoulos C.V.



2017  Novozymes Award for Excellence in Biochemical and Chemical Engineering

2016 Eric and Sheila Samson $1M Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation in Alternative Fuels for Transportation

2016  Honorary degree from the National Technical University of Athens

2015  Elected President of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers

2014 William H. Walker Award of AIChE for Excellence in Contributions to Chemical Engineering Literature

2013  American Academy of Microbiology, Elected Fellow

2013  John Fritz Medal of the American Association of Engineering Societies (AAES)

2012 Siegfried Prize from University of Zurich-ETH Zurich for outstanding accomplishments on process chemistry

2012  Elected Fellow of the AIChE

2011  Election as Corresponding Member of the Academy of Athens

2011  Eni Prize in Renewable and non-Conventional Energy

2011 Inaugural award from Biotechnology Progress for outstanding publications in biotechnology

2010  George Washington Carver Award, BIO (Biotech Industry Organization)

2010  ACS E.V. Murphree Award in Industrial and Engineering Chemistry

2009  HBA-USA: Aristoteles Award for excellence in Biosciences research

2009  Commonwealth of Massachusetts American-Hellenic Excellence Award

2009  Amgen Award in Biochemical Engineering

2007  AIChE Founders Award

2007  Charles Thom Award, Society for Industrial Microbiology

2006  Visiting Professor, ETH Zurich, D-CHAB department

2005  Elected fellow of AAAS

2005  Doctor technices honoris causa, Technical University of Denmark, DTU, Lyngby

2003  Elected Member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE)

2002  Elected Director of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers

2002  Merck Award in Metabolic Engineering

2001  AIChE R.H. Wilhelm Award in Chemical Reaction Engineering

2001  Marvin J. Johnson Award of the American Chemical Society

2000  Ray W. Fahien Distinguished Alumni Award, Dept. of Chem. Eng., University of Florida

1997: AIChE FPBE Division Award

1993: Best Paper Award, Computers and Chemical Engineering

1992: Founding Fellow, American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering

1992: Visiting Professor, Osaka University

1992: AIChE FPBE Division Chairman

1984: Presidential Young Investigator Award

1984: Technical Achievement Award, South. California AIChE

1982: Dreyfus Foundation Teacher Scholar Award

1982: Excellence in Teaching Award, Caltech

1973 “CHRISOVERGION” Award from the National Technical Univ. of Athens for the highest overall GPA in the ChE graduating class

1973  Technical Chamber of Greece Award for the 2nd highest GPA in the University

1968-73 National Scholarships Foundation Scholar in all undergraduate years

1968 First Prize of the Greek Mathematical Society in a Panhellenic Competitive Math Exam



2017  Kroc Memorial Lecture, University of Chicago

2016  Abbott Lectures, RPI

2016 Henry A. McGee Lecture in Chemical and Life Science Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University

2015  Beiyang Lecture, Tianjin University, China

2014 Alkiviades C. Payatakes Memorial Lecture, FORTH Institute, Patra, Greece, December, 15, 2014.

2014  Lacey Lectures, Caltech, Chemical Engineering

2014  Luojia Lecture, Wuhan University

2014  University of Western Ontario Distinguished Lecture

2013  Giulio Natta Inaugural Lectureship, Milano Polytechnico

2013  Mason Lectures, Stanford University

2012  University of Massachusetts Alumni Lectures

2012  KAIST Global Distinguished Lecturer

2012  Chancellor’s Distinguished Lecture, Louisiana State University

2011  Paul C. Wilber Distinguished Lecture, Rice University

2010  Pigford Distinguished Lecture, University of Delaware

2009  McFerrin Distinguished Lecturer, Texas A&M University

2009  Ashland Distinguished Lecturer, University of Kentucky

2009  Distinguished Lectureship, Imperial College, London, UK

2009  Robb Lectureship, Pennsylvania State University

2008  Inaugural Founders Lectureship, First Ken Nobe Lecture, UCLA

2008  Academy Lectures, University of Missouri-Rolla

2007  Lowrie Lectures, Ohio State University

2005  Amundson Lectures, University of Guadalajara

2005 McCabe Lectureship, North Carolina State University

2004  Lumpkin Lecture, U. Maryland Baltimore County

2004  Ralph Peck Annual Memorial Lecture, Illinois Institute of Technology

2004  Cary Lectures, Georgia Institute of Technology

2004  Holtz Lectures, Johns Hopkins University

2004  Centennial Lecture, Clarkson University

2003  Kelly Lectures, Purdue University, 2003

2003  Distinguished Lecturer, University of Utah

2003  Patten Distinguished Lecture, University of Colorado

2003  Joe and Essie Smith Distinguished Lectureship, U.C. Davis

2002  A.G. Fredrickson Lecture, University of Minnesota

2002  Merck Distinguished Lectureship, Rutgers University

2002  Distinguished Lecturer, University of Virginia

1996  Inaugural Bayer Lectureship, UC Berkeley

1991  Merck Lecturer U.P.R.

1987  Marchon Lectureship, Newcastle University