Rebecca Abergel Awarded 2024 Bakar Prize

Rebecca Abergel Awarded 2024 Bakar Prize

March 13, 2024

Engineering faculty and staff headshots at UC Berkeley in Berkeley, Calif. on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024. (Photo by Adam Lau/Berkeley Engineering)

Professor Rebecca Abergel has been named one of five UC Berkeley faculty members awarded the 2024 Bakar Prize. The Bakar Prize is designed to give a boost to campus innovators as they translate their discoveries into real-world solutions. The prize is given annually to former Bakar Fellows and provides additional resources to ensure a successful transition of their technology from academic research to industry applications.

Rebecca Abergel, was awarded for the project: Extending indications for heavy metal decorporation products.

“Toxic heavy metals, such as lead, are ubiquitous in our environment, yet there currently is no viable option for removing them from the body when inadvertently consumed. The only practical therapy is treatment with chelating agents that form excretable complexes. Abergel’s team is trying to broadly extend the applicability of current drug treatment products to a wide range of heavy metal toxicities and everyday-life contamination scenarios, including chronic exposure of children. She plans to conduct experimental decontamination studies that will validate and translate these initial chelating drugs into treatments that are accessible and affordable to patients all over the world. She specifically hopes to develop treatment regimens appropriate for pediatric populations and for the removal of internalized heavy metals resulting from chronic exposure.”

Read more about the Bakar prize and its 2024 winners.