Young Investigator Award

The Young Investigator award recognizes a CRS member, who has made outstanding contributions in the science of controlled release, and is 40 years of age or younger in the year the award is presented.

2017 Awardee


Zhen Gu received his B.S. degree in chemistry and M.S. degree in polymer chemistry and physics from Nanjing University. In 2010, he obtained Ph.D. degree at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), under the guidance of Prof. Yi Tang in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. He was a postdoctoral associate working with Profs. Robert Langer and Daniel Anderson at MIT and Harvard Medical School during 2010 to 2012. He is currently an Endowed-Chair Associate Professor in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University. He also holds joint positions in the Eshelman School of Pharmacy and Department of Medicine at UNC. His group studies controlled drug delivery and bio-inspired materials, particularly for treating cancer and diabetes. He is a co-founder of two startup companies. Prof. Gu is the recipient of the Sloan Research Fellowship (2016), Pathway Award (2015) and Junior Faculty Award (2014) of the American Diabetes Association (ADA), and the Young Innovator Award in Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES, 2015). MIT Technology Review listed him as one of the top innovators under 35 (TR35) in 2015.

Nomination Process:

Nominations for the 2018 are now being sought.

In addition to completing the online form. The following items are to be saved as pdf files and emailed directly to CRS Program Manager, Linda Schmitt by January 15.

  1. Nomination letter from the nominator outlining key accomplishments of the candidate.
  2. Two additional supporting recommendation letters are required and are the responsibility of the sponsor.
  3. A CV of the candidate with the following:
    • Awards and honors
    • Memberships in societies
    • Service to societies
    • Research grants received
    • Publications, grouped as: refereed publications, nonrefereed publications, proceedings, abstracts, patents, other publications. Include publications in press but not submitted or in preparation.
    • Other activities

To renominate a candidate it is the responsibility of the nominator to obtain updated letters of references and an updated CV and resubmit the online form.

Selection Process:

The Young Investigator Award Committee will be responsible for the selection of the awardee. Any questions about the nomination packet or selection process should be directed to CRS Program Manager Linda Schmitt.  


The awardee will receive an award and be recognized duruing the award ceremony at the CRS annual meeting.

Past Recipients


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