Andre Palmer earns AIChE award named after Ohio State alum

Posted: November 5, 2023
Andre Palmer in his lab holding vials
Professor Palmer in his lab

Ohio Eminent Scholar and Professor Andre Palmer, renown for his expertise in blood substitute research, has received the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) 2023 William W. Grimes Award for Excellence in Chemical Engineering. The award recognizes Palmer's outstanding achievements as a chemical engineering researcher and scholar, as well as his contributions as a distinguished role model for underserved populations. 

Palmer accepted the award at the AIChE Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida, on November 6, during which he gave a brief presentation on his professional body of work. Named after an Ohio State chemical engineering alumnus, the William Grimes award includes a plaque, a $1,000 payment, and a $500 travel allowance to attend the annual meeting.

William W. Grimes ('50 BS) enjoyed a 36-year career at Standard Oil Company after receiving Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Ohio State, working his way up from process engineer to senior roles in leadership. After “retiring,” he ran his own consulting firm until 1993, when he was hired as senior vice president of Martech. The company disbanded in 2003 and Grimes, wishing to keep his brilliant mind sharp, decided to work for H&R Block as a tax preparer. At the age of 86, he was recognized as a master tax preparer. 

Grimes was also actively involved in educational, civic and community volunteer work, as well as professional organizations such as AIChE. He was AIChE’s first Black fellow and in recognition of his outstanding career and community service, he became the namesake of the William W. Grimes Award for Excellence in Chemical Engineering.

In addition to receiving the Grimes award, Palmer was inducted as an AIChE Fellow. His research initiatives are of critical importance to human health. He is currently working to develop safer, more commercially viable red blood cell (RBC) substitutes that could be used to sustain a patient who needs blood for up to 24 hours—enough time to secure blood or transport the patient to a hospital for a blood transfusion. With a looming threat of future RBC shortages and increased demands posed by traumatic injuries, wars, natural disasters, pandemics and routine surgery, these potential applications are of increasing significance. 

Palmer is also working to improve diagnoses and treatments for genetic anemias such as sickle cell disease and acquired anemias including extracorporeal device induced RBC lysis.

Palmer earned his PhD from Johns Hopkins University in 1998 and is a former department chair of the William G. Lowrie Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. He is currently serving out a term as associate dean for research in the College of Engineering (2021-2024).

In 2019, he was named a Fenburr Ohio Eminent Scholar, having been selected for the prestigious state-wide endowed chair in recognition of his breakthrough research innovations. Palmer is a recipient of the coveted National Science Foundation CAREER Award as well as the Lloyd N. Ferguson Young Scientist Award from the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers.

He serves on the International Scientific Advisory Committee on Blood Substitutes and is a member of the Bioengineering, Technology, and Surgical Sciences Study Section at the National Institutes of Health. In addition to his AIChE Fellow status, he is also a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), which represents the top two percent of researchers in the medical and biological engineering community in the country.

original article from the William G. Lowrie Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering