Dr. Michael R. Ladisch is the director of the Laboratory of Renewable Resources Engineering (LORRE) and a distinguished professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering with a joint appointment in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering. His bachelor’s degree from Drexel University in 1973 and master’s and doctorate degrees in 1974 and 1977 respectively from Purdue University are in Chemical Engineering. He was Chief Technology Officer of Mascoma, a biofuels company, from 2007 to 2013 and has served on the scientific advisory board of Agrivida.
Ladisch’s research applies principles of biological and chemical engineering to the study of proteins, enzymes and therapeutic molecules at interfaces and their fractionation, purification and characterization using bioseparation techniques. He and his team study how proteins interact with solid interfaces, with each other or with molecules or microorganisms in aqueous environments. His research has resulted in new industrial bioenergy processes and systematic approaches and correlations for scaling-up laboratory chromatographic purification techniques and biopharmaceutical manufacture. He is an author for two textbooks, numerous journal papers, book chapters and abstracts, with 20 patents granted.
Ladisch was elected a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering in 1994 and to the National Academy of Engineering in 1999. The American Institute of Chemical Engineers named him as one of the 100 engineers of the Modern Era in 2008. He received the Marvin J. Johnson Award of the American Chemical Society in 2002, the Charles D. Scott Award in 2009 and became a fellow of American Chemical Society and American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2011. Ladisch was elected to the National Academy of Inventors in 2014. In 2015, he received the Morrill Award from Purdue University and led the Purdue team that was named the winner of the Food and Drug Administration Food Safety Challenge. In 2019, he became a member of the Department of Energy Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee and is active on several committees of the National Academies. Ladisch is a member of the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research’s Board of Directors.