César de la Fuente is a Presidential Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, where he leads the Machine Biology Group whose goal is to combine the power of machines and biology to understand, prevent, and treat infectious diseases. Specifically, he pioneered the development of the first antibiotic designed by a computer with efficacy in animals, designed algorithms for antibiotic discovery, reprogrammed venoms into antimicrobials, created novel resistance-proof antimicrobial materials, and invented rapid low-cost diagnostics for COVID-19 and other infections.
De la Fuente is an NIH MIRA investigator and has received recognition and research funding from numerous other groups. Prof. de la Fuente has received over 50 awards. He was recognized by MIT Technology Review as one of the world’s top innovators for “digitizing evolution to make better antibiotics”. He was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Langer Prize, an ACS Kavli Emerging Leader in Chemistry, and received the AIChE’s 35 Under 35 Award and the ACS Infectious Diseases Young Investigator Award. In 2021, he received the Thermo Fisher Award, and the EMBS Academic Early Career Achievement Award “For the pioneering development of novel antibiotics designed using principles from computation, engineering, and biology.” Most recently, Prof. de la Fuente was awarded the prestigious Princess of Girona Prize for Scientific Research. Prof. de la Fuente has given over 150 invited lectures and his scientific discoveries have yielded around 100 publications, including papers in Nature Biomedical Engineering, Nature Communications, PNAS, ACS Nano, Cell, Nature Chemical Biology, Advanced Materials, and multiple patents.