Imperial College London

Chemical Engineer awarded prestigious Felix Franks Biotechnology Medal


Photo of Dr Yuval Elani

Dr Yuval Elani recognised by the Royal Society of Chemistry Biotechnology Group as a ‘pioneer’ in synthetic biology.

Dr Elani has been awarded the Felix Franks Biotechnology Medal in recognition of his ‘meritorious contributions to Chemical Biotechnology’. The Royal Society of Chemistry Biotechnology Group describe him as ‘a pioneer in the development and advancement of “bottom-up” synthetic biology’.

“I am delighted to be receiving this medal. It is a great honour for my group’s works to be recognised in this way." Dr Yuval Elani Department of Chemical Engineering

His approach to the field has led to successful partnerships with industry, including GSK Vaccines, AstraZeneca, and Syngenta, and his accomplishments include the development of cutting edge microfluidic, optofluidic, and membrane engineering technologies for the manufacture of vesicle based synthetic cells with user defined size, compartmentalisation and molecular content.

Dr Elani is a UKRI Future Leaders Fellow and  Lecturer in the Department of Chemical Engineering where he leads the Artificial Cell Engineering group having previously held EPSRC and Imperial College Research Fellowships. He is on the Leverhulme Cellular Bionics Centre leadership team, and is Co-Director of the Membrane Biophysics Platform and fabriCELL, the latter of which he co-founded.

Commenting on his award, Dr Elani said: “I am delighted to be receiving this medal. It is a great honour for my group’s works to be recognised in this way. It is fantastic to see our strategy of dovetailing blue-skies frontier science with more applied research areas recognised through this award. 

“It goes without saying that this wouldn’t be possible without the immense contributions of students, staff and collaborators over the years. This award is a reflection on their tenacity and perseverance.”

The award is in commemoration of Cambridge University Professor, Felix Franks (1926-2016), a highly distinguished former Chairman of the Biotechnology Group, and is a result of the generosity of his family who have agreed to provide the medals. The aim of the medal is to encourage and recognise excellence in early career scientists in the application of chemical sciences to the study of any aspect of Biotechnology.


Sara West

Sara West
Department of Chemical Engineering

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