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Sobhana Sripada Receives 2024 Vivian T. Stannett Graduate Award

The 2024 winner of the Vivian T. Stannett Graduate Award for Outstanding Early Publication is the exceptional graduate student, Sobhana Sripada.

Sobhana’s dissertation research is supervised by Prof. Stefano Menegatti, and she is being honored for her 2023 Separation and Purification Technology paper, “Pseudo-affinity capture of K. phaffii host cell proteins in flow-through mode: Purification of protein therapeutics and proteomic study.” This publication covers material discovery, characterization, and development of novel adsorbents that enable broad-spectrum removal of host cell protein impurities from purification processes of recombinant biologics (including antibodies, growth factors, and hormones) that can be produced in Pichia pastoris fermentations. This technology features an innovative bioprocessing paradigm of pseudo-affinity capture in flow-through mode and is scalable – hence, it is readily adaptable into existing processes and can be implemented in next-generation intensified biomanufacturing.

Sobhana performed 100% of the experimental work, design of experiments, statistical analyses, bioinformatics, composed the manuscript, and developed all figures and tables. According to her Ph.D. advisor, Prof. Stefano Menegatti, “the…paper represents a remarkable accomplishment. The technology presented therein – flow-through affinity technology – is groundbreaking and requires mastery of a wide analytical toolbox. Sobhana led not only the scientific/technical aspects of this study but managed the coordination of the team…and the composition of the manuscript.” 

The Vivian T. Stannett Graduate Award for Outstanding Early Publication recognizes research excellence, initiative, focus and tenacity during the early career of Ph.D. candidates in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. It was named in memory of Professor Vivian T. Stannett, a CBE faculty member who was an internationally renowned polymer scientist, research leader, and National Academy of Engineering member. Prof. Stannett published over 400 research papers and reviews during his distinguished academic career. Funds for the cash prize of the award are made possible through the Vivian T. Stannett Memorial Fund.

Congratulations, Sobhana!