BME alumnus selected as UF’s 40 Under 40 Award

The annual Outstanding Young Alumni awards program was established in 2006 to recognize alumni under the age of 40 whose achievements positively reflect The Gator Nation. 40 Under 40 will continue the tradition of honoring Gators who are reflecting leadership and innovation in their communities and professions. The awards were announced prior to the Orange & Blue spring football game on April 13.

Criteria for the competitive award include making a significant impact on the candidate’s industry and having civic or professional accomplishments at the state, national or international level. This description is a solid reflection of the three engineering alumni who are part of 2019’s 40 under 40.

Congratulations to BME alumnus, Dr. Philip Barish!

Philip A. Barish (MS ’08, Ph.D. ’11 Biomedical Engineering)

Philip Barish, Senior Vice President of Operations and R&D for AbSci has over 17 years of experience in bioengineering research, with expertise in bioprocessing, molecular and cellular biology, biochemistry, protein expression and gene therapy. At AbSci, Barish is responsible for managing research and development activities as well as overseeing business development and strategic partnerships.

His own days as a UF engineering student were filled with exciting opportunities. Barish recounts, “During the first year of graduate school I worked on a group project utilizing an EEG that allowed people to control a video game with their minds. Through combining an EEG and basic signal processing algorithms, our team created a program that allowed us to navigate a beginner level of a first person shooter game. It was a fascinating engineering project that combined elements of neuroscience and software development to provide a window into brain-machine interfacing.”

Things he learned at UF helped Barish take the lead in innovating for success. He said, “AbSci collaborates with leading pharmaceutical companies to enable step-changes in productivity to their bio-pharmaceutical R&D and manufacturing. One of the exciting things about working in startups is that you’re often called onto projects where you lack specific expertise. As our company grew, we had a need to develop a fermentation process for protein production, but we had no one with those credentials in-house. Optimizing fermentation is primarily an exercise in process development, precisely the things you are taught as an engineer, so I volunteered to take on the task. I was able to build out and lead an entire team dedicated to fermentation, which ultimately led me to my current position.”