Arup K. Chakraborty

Robert K. Haslam Professor of Chemical Engineering, MIT
Professor of Physics and Chemistry, MIT
Understanding the mechanisms underlying the immune response to pathogens for the design of better vaccines; phase separation in gene regulation.

Research Interests

Statistical Mechanics, Molecular and Cellular Immunology, Immune response to HIV, Vaccine development, Gene regulation in mammals.

Biographic Sketch

Arup K. Chakraborty is the Robert T. Haslam Professor of Chemical Engineering, Physics and Chemistry at MIT. He was the founding Director of MIT’s Institute for Medical Engineering and Science. He is also a founding steering committee member of the Ragon Institute of MIT, MGH, and Harvard. After sixteen years on the faculty at Berkeley, Chakraborty came to MIT in 2005. Chakraborty’s research is focused on understanding how the immune system functions and how to harness that knowledge for the design of vaccines against highly mutable pathogens. He is also deeply interested in the role of phase separation in gene regulation. Chakraborty’s work in these fields is focused on developing and applying approaches rooted in statistical physics to study fundamental issues in biology which are potentially of clinical significance. Chakraborty’s work at the intersection of disciplines has been recognized by numerous honors, including the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, the E.O. Lawrence Medal for Life Sciences from the US DOE, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Allan P. Colburn and Professional Progress awards from the AIChE, a Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar award, and a National Young investigator award. Chakraborty is one of 25 individuals who are members of all three branches of the US National Academies – National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Medicine, and National Academy of Engineering. He is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Chakraborty has received five teaching awards for his classroom teaching. He is a co-author of the book, Viruses, Pandemics and Immunity.

Awards & Honors

  • 2020 // Outstanding Graduate Teaching award, Chemical Engineering department, MIT
  • 2019 // Doctor of Engineering honoris causa, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology
  • 2018 // John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship
  • 2018 // Moore Distinguished Scholar, Caltech
  • 2017 // Elected, Member of the National Academy of Medicine
  • 2016 // Elected, Member of the National Academy of Sciences
  • 2012 // Outstanding Graduate Teaching award, Chemical Engineering department, MIT
  • 2009 // Outstanding Graduate Teaching award, Chemical Engineering department, MIT
  • 2008 // Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • 2008 // Distinguished Alumnus Award, Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur
  • 2007 // Elected, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • 2007 // E.O. Lawrence Award for Life Sciences, DOE
  • 2006 // NIH Director’s Pioneer Award
  • 2005 // Presidential Citation for Outstanding Achievement, Univ. of Delaware
  • 2005 // Dept. of Chem. Eng. Teaching Award, UC Berkeley
  • 2005 // Engineering Foundation Endowed Lectureship, U.T. Austin
  • 2004 // Elected, Member of the National Academy of Engineering
  • 2004 // Professional Progress Award, American Institute of Chemical Engineers
  • 1999-00 // Research Prof., Miller Inst. for Basic Science, Berkeley
  • 1996 // Allan P. Colburn Award, American Institute of Chemical Engineers
  • 1996-97 // AIChE, Berkeley Student Chapter, Appreciation for Distinguished Teaching
  • 1994 // Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award
  • 1993-98 // Royal Academy of Engineering (U.K.), ICI Fellowship
  • 1992-97 // National Young Investigator Award
  • 1989-92 // Shell Young Faculty Fellow

Key Publications

  • Lee et al, Science (2003)

  • Das et al., Cell (2009)

  • Kosmrlj et al, Nature (2010)