Jackie Yi-Ru Ying

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Jackie Yi-Ru Ying
Born1966 (age 53–54)
CitizenshipAmerican /
Singapore PR
EducationRaffles Girls' School
Alma materCooper Union, Princeton University
Children1 daughter[1]
AwardsSingapore Women's Hall of Fame
Mustafa Prize
Turkish Academy of Sciences (TÜBA) Academy Prize[2]
Fellow AAAS (2015)[3]
Fellow NAI (2017)
Scientific career
InstitutionsMassachusetts Institute of Technology,
Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology,
NanoBio Lab
Academic advisorsHerbert Gleiter

Jackie Yi-Ru Ying (born 1966) is an American nanotechnology scientist and the founding executive director of the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology in Singapore.[1]


Ying was born in Taipei in 1966. She moved to Singapore with her family in 1973 where she was a student at Rulang Primary School[4] and Raffles Girls' School. Her family moved to New York when she was 15. She earned a B.Eng. degree, graduating summa cum laude from Cooper Union in 1987.[5] She then attended Princeton University, receiving her MA in 1988 and her PhD in 1991, both in chemical engineering. She spent a year as a Humboldt Fellow at the Institute for New Materials in Saarbrücken and researched nanocrystalline materials with Herbert Gleiter.[6][7]

Ying became a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1992. She was made a full professor in 2001; at 35 she was one of MIT's youngest full professors.[6]

Ying returned to Singapore in 2003 to serve as the first executive director of the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, a division of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR).[5] Her research concerns the biomedical and catalytic applications of nanostructured systems and materials.

In 2008, she was named one of the "100 Engineers of the Modern Era" by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.[1]

Ying was elected to the Singapore Women's Hall of Fame in 2014.[5]

In December 2015, it was announced that she was one of the recipients of the inaugural 2015 Mustafa Prize awarded by the Mustafa Science and Technology Foundation. She was awarded the "Top Scientific Achievement" award for "her great scientific and technological contributions and achievements to the synthesis of well-designed advanced nanostructured materials and systems, nanostructured biomaterials and miniaturised biosystems for various interesting applications".[8]

In 2017, Ying was named a Fellow of the United States National Academy of Inventors (NAI), becoming for the first time a Singapore-based scientist has earned the highest professional accolade for academic inventors. The status is given to academic inventors who have shown a spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have contributed to society. Ying has more than 180 primary patents and patent applications which have led to 11 spin-offs. One such spin-off — SmartCells Inc., has a technology that is capable of autoregulating the release of insulin, depending on the blood glucose levels for treating diabetes. The company was acquired by pharmaceutical giant Merck in 2010,[1]

In March 2018, Ying stepped down from her position as Executive Director at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology to lead her own lab, NanoBio lab.[9]

Ying is a practicing Muslim, having converted to the faith in her early 30s.


  1. ^ a b c d Teng, Amelia (13 December 2017). "Singapore-based scientist Jackie Ying clinches highest accolade for academic inventors". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2017-12-15.
  2. ^ https://www.a-star.edu.sg/News-and-Events/News/Press-Releases/ID/7416
  3. ^ https://www.asianscientist.com/2015/11/topnews/ibn-executive-director-jackie-ying-elected-aaas-fellow/
  4. ^ "Jurong Heritage Trail" (PDF). National Heritage Board. p. 26.
  5. ^ a b c "Jackie Yi-Ru Ying". Singapore Women's Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  6. ^ a b Spector, Myron (12 May 2014). "An interview with Jackie Yi-Ru Ying: the compleat multi-tasker". Biomedical Materials. 9 (3): 030401. doi:10.1088/1748-6041/9/3/030401. PMID 24818688.
  7. ^ "Jackie Yi Ru Ying, Editorial Board - Nano Energy". Elsevier. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  8. ^ "A*STAR's IBN Executive Director wins top scientific achievement award". Channel NewsAsia. 24 Dec 2015. Retrieved 2016-06-03.
  9. ^ "Star scientists Jackie Ying, Birgitte Lane stepping down from key leadership roles at A*Star's research institutes". Straits Times. 15 Dec 2017. Retrieved 26 November 2018.

External links[edit]

  • Biography at Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, Agency for Science, Technology and Research