Distinguished Professor Lee Elected to the National Academy of Sciences : the first Korean elected to both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering.
Distinguished Professor Sang Yup Lee from the KAIST CBE Department was elected as a foreign associate to the US National Academy of Sciences (National Academy of Sciences) this year. The National Academy of Sciences elected 84 new members and 21 foreign associates in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in their research. Election to the Academy is respected as one of the highest honors that a scientist can receive.
In 2010, Professor Lee was also elected as a member of the US National Academy of Engineering (National Academy of Engineering) for his leadership in microbial biotechnology and metabolic engineering, along with the development of fermentation processes for biodegradable polymers and organic acids. Until 2016, only 12 foreign associates have been elected as a member of both National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering worldwide, and he is the first Korean elected to both of the prestigious academies. Professor Lee is currently the Dean of the KAIST Institutes (KI), a world-leading institute for multi-and interdisciplinary research. He is also serving as the co-chair of the Global Council on Biotechnology and member of the Global Future Council on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the World Economic Forum.
Professor Lee played a leading role in developing the research field of system metabolic engineering that produces useful chemicals by utilizing microorganisms. He has pioneered a number of globally-recognized technologies such as gasoline production using micro-organisms, a bio-butanol production process, microbes for producing nylon and plastic raw materials, and making native-like spider silk produced in metabolically engineering bacterium which is stronger than steel but finer than human hair.
Professor Lee was also selected as the winner of the "2017 Korea Best Science and Technology Award" by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP) and the Korea Federation of Science and Technology Societies. This award is the highest honor annually accorded to the two most outstanding scientists in Korea.