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Katharina Ribbeck named a Popular Science "Brilliant 10"

Katharina Ribbeck has been named a <i>Popular Science</i> "Brilliant 10"
Katharina Ribbeck has been named a <i>Popular Science</i> "Brilliant 10"
Illustration: Alvaro Tapia Hidalgo/Popular Science
Katharina Ribbeck of the MIT Department of Biological Engineering
Katharina Ribbeck of the MIT Department of Biological Engineering
Photo: Mariann G. Murray

Popular Science magazine has named Katharina Ribbeck, assistant professor with MIT’s Department of Biological Engineering, as one of its Brilliant 10 for 2014.

Ribbeck, the Eugene Bell Career Development Professor of Tissue Engineering, is featured in the October 2014 issue, which is available online and at newsstands.

The Ribbeck Lab focuses its research on basic mechanisms by which mucus barriers exclude, or allow, passage of different molecules and pathogens, and the mechanisms pathogens have evolved to penetrate mucus barriers. Ribbeck hopes to provide the foundation for a theoretical framework that captures general principles governing selectivity in mucus, and likely other biological hydrogels, such as the extracellular matrix and bacterial biofilms.

Ribbeck obtained her bachelor’s degree and her PhD in biology from the University of Heidelberg in Germany. She continued her postdoctoral research at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany, and the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School. Ribbeck established her independent research group as a Bauer Fellow at the FAS Center for Systems Biology at Harvard University in 2007, and joined the Department of Biological Engineering at MIT as an assistant professor in 2010.

Among her previous honors and awards, Ribbeck received the John Kendrew Young Scientist Award in 2013.

The 10 awardees, chosen from hundreds of nominations, are reviewed by peers in the field. In addition to Ribbeck, BE alum Jordan Green PhD '07, currently an associate professor of biomedical engineering, ophthalmology, neurosurgery, and materials science & engineering at Johns Hopkins University, was also included on this year’s list for his work with biodegradable nanoparticles as a tool to treat cancer and other diseases.

Popular Science's annual Brilliant 10 list was first published in 2002. Twelve other MIT researchers have received this distinction.

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