The U.S. Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Science Prize for Innovation, Research, and Education (ASPIRE) Competition named Dr. Liangfang Zhang of the University of California, San Diego as this year’s U.S. nominee to represent the United States at the APEC-wide ASPIRE prize.

Dr. Zhang was selected for his outstanding work in biomimetic nanotechnologies. He was the first to invent a red blood cell-membrane-camouflaged nanoparticle platform that can evade the body’s immune system for prolonged and effective delivery of drugs, and he has been recognized for his innovative work in the medical field applying new material technologies. He was honored at the State Department in Washington, DC, along with fellow scientists Dr. Michael Arnold of University of Wisconsin-Madison and Dr. Zhen Gu of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University.

The scientists were recognized at a roundtable event on June 12, where Dr. Jonathan Margolis, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Science, Space, and Health, and Wendell Albright, Director of the East Asia Pacific Bureau’s Office of Economic Policy, awarded prizes and highlighted science’s role in addressing regional challenges and building relationships.

ASPIRE is an annual award that recognizes young scientists from APEC economies who have demonstrated a commitment to both excellence in scientific research, as evidenced by scholarly publication, and cooperation with scientists from other APEC member economies. The award, as well as the competition for U.S. ASPIRE, is co-sponsored by Wiley and Elsevier, publishers of scholarly scientific knowledge. The winner of the APEC-wide ASPIRE prize will receive a cash prize of $25,000.