Prof. Arup K. Chakraborty


Prof. Arup K. Chakraborty is the Robert T. Haslam Professor in Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Biological Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA. He is also the founding director of MIT's Institute for Medical Engineering and Science. His predictive computational/theoretical work has impacted both the experimental basic immunology and the infectious disease research. He has had a remarkable illustrious career marked with several prestigious research and teaching awards from Berkeley and MIT. In 2008, IIT Kanpur conferred upon him the Distinguished Alumnus Award for his seminal contributions.


Prof. Chakraborty received his B.Tech. in Chemical Engineering from IIT Kanpur in 1983. Following it, he joined the Ph.D. program in the same subject at the University of Delaware, USA and completed it in 1988. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Minnesota from 1987 to 1988, he joined as a faculty in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley where he was the Warren and Katherine Schlinger Distinguished Professor and Chair of Chemical Engineering. He also headed the Theoretical and Computational Biology at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. In September 2005, he moved to MIT where he is currently the Robert T. Haslam Professor of Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Biological Engineering. He is also the founding director of MIT's Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, and a founding member of the Ragon Institute of MIT, MGH and Harvard.

Prof. Chakraborty's research interests include cell-cell recognition in immunology, T-cell biology, polymers and membranes, and statistical mechanics. The central focus of his research group is to understand the mechanistic basis of the adaptive immune response to pathogens, and then to use this understanding to help design better vaccines and therapies. They work on problems ranging from inter-cellular communication in the immune system, bio-sensors, polymer science and interfacial phenomena to zeolite catalysis. His work is outstanding and distinguished because of its close synergy with complementary studies in experimental immunology laboratories and clinical research. They have collaborated with over 15 different immunology laboratories and have active collaborations with several other prestigious names. His laboratory is one of the six core groups comprising the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT & Harvard-a multidisciplinary institute focused on understanding the human immune response and harnessing this knowledge to develop a vaccine against HIV..

Achievements and Honors

  • Fellow, National Academy of Sciences, 2016.
  • Graduate Student Council Outstanding Faculty Award, 2012.
  • Department of Chemical Engineering Teaching Award, MIT, 2009.
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2008.
  • Fellow, American Academy of Arts & Sciences, 2007.
  • E.O. Lawrence Award for Life Sciences, 2007.
  • NIH Director's Pioneer Award, 2006.
  • Presidential Citation for Outstanding Achvt, University of Delaware, 2005.
  • Department of Chemical Engineering Teaching Award, UC Berkeley, 2005.
  • Fellow, National Academy of Engineering, 2004.
  • Allan P. Colburn Award, AIChE, 1996.
  • Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, 1994.
  • AIChE, Berkeley Student Chapter, Distinguished Teaching, 1996-1997.
  • National Young Investigator Award, 1992-1997.
  • Royal Academy of Engineering (U.K.), ICI Fellowship, 1993-1998.
  • Shell Young Faculty Fellow, 1989-1992.
  • Best Review Paper, Intl. Conf. on Polymer/Solid Interfaces, 1991.