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Jiann-Shin Chen honored with emeritus status


Jiann-Shin Chen Jiann-Shin Chen

BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 30, 2010 – Jiann-Shin Chen, professor of biochemistry in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the “professor emeritus” title by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The title of emeritus may be conferred on retired professors and associate professors, administrative officers, librarians, and exceptional staff members who are specially recommended to the board of visitors by Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board of visitors receive an emeritus certificate from the university.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1976, Chen conducted research on nitrogen-fixation, which supplies the nitrogen fertilizers, and the production of butyl alcohol, or biobutanol, a valuable chemical feedstock and potential biofuel, by anaerobic microorganisms. His research resulted in numerous research papers, reviews, book chapters, and extramural grants.

In addition to his research, Chen educated graduate students in the unique metabolic pathways found in anaerobic microorganisms. He also was instrumental in the establishment of an awards program honoring the late Professor John Johnson of the former Department of Anaerobic Microbiology and the VPI Anaerobe Laboratory of Virginia Tech.

Chen received his Ph.D. from Purdue University.

Nationally ranked among the top research institutions of its kind, Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences focuses on the science and business of living systems through learning, discovery, and engagement. The college’s comprehensive curriculum gives more than 3,100 students in a dozen academic departments a balanced education that ranges from food and fiber production to economics to human health. Students learn from the world’s leading agricultural scientists, who bring the latest science and technology into the classroom.