Allie Obermeyer Named 2023 Camille Dreyfus Teacher Scholar

The assistant professor in chemical engineering was recognized for her commitment to education and scholarship. 

May 25 2023 | By Allison Elliott

Allie Obermeyer, assistant professor of chemical engineering, conducts research bridging chemistry, biology, and engineering, is focused on improving human health by developing protein- and polymer-based materials for biomedical applications.

Allie Obermeyer, assistant professor of chemical engineering, is among this year’s Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholars for 2023. The award is given by the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation for faculty within five years of their academic careers who have created an outstanding independent body of scholarship, and are deeply committed to education. 

Obermeyer, who joined Columbia Engineering in 2017, focuses on developing novel protein-based materials to address problems in biomedicine, biotechnology, and synthetic biology. In recent years, Obermeyer has teamed with Helen Lu, Hudson Professor of Biomedical Engineering, on the development of bioengineering sustainable textiles. The Columbia Engineering professors partnered with Theanne Schiros, a Columbia research scientist and an associate professor at FIT, on the startup Werewool, which uses protein structures in place of plastics to make fibers that can biodegrade and return nutrients to the soil, making the clothing supply chain more sustainable. Werewool recently won the ELLE & Polestar Design Towards Zero Award for innovators who use new and circular materials within the fashion industry, and has also raised $3.7 million in seed funding from investors. 

Prior to Columbia, Obermeyer was a postdoctoral fellow at MIT, and obtained her PhD in chemistry and chemical biology from the University of California, Berkeley and her BS in chemistry from Rice University. She has won an NSF CAREER Award, the Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award from the Columbia Engineering Alumni Association, and the Andrew D. Morsey Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence from the Chemistry Department at the University of California, Berkeley. 

As a Camille Dreyfus Teacher Scholar, she and the 18 award winners will receive an unrestricted research grant of $100,000. Established in 1946 by chemist, inventor, and businessman Camille Dreyfus, the foundation’s stated mission is to advance the science of chemistry, chemical engineering, and related sciences as a means of improving human relations and circumstances throughout the world. 

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