Boyertown resident Elena Fattakhova recently received the 2021 Outstanding Day Adult Student award from Widener University. The award is given annually to a graduating adult student who has excelled in academic studies and contributed service to the university community.
Fattakhova, 38, received the award ahead of graduating summa cum laude with a bachelor of science in engineering.
Fattakhova transferred into Widener’s chemical engineering department as part of the 4+1 accelerated graduate degree program. Prior to Widener, Fattakhova obtained the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree in linguistics and science of teaching from Ulyanovsk State University, Russia in 2005.
While earning her undergraduate degree, Fattakhova participated in a number of faculty-student led research projects. Most notably, her work in the NanoBio Lab led by Chemical Engineering Professor Sachin Patil investigated ways to repurpose FDA-approved drugs for immunotherapy treatments that are easier on the patient both physically and financially.
After the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, Fattakhova contributed to an interdisciplinary team of students, faculty and alumni to apply similar immunotherapy investigations to identify FDA-approved drugs that could aid in finding an effective therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2.
Her proven scholarship earned her a nomination for the prestigious American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ (AICHE) Zeisberg award for the Best Written Laboratory Report by an accredited chemical engineering department as well as The American Institute of Chemists’ award for Chemical Engineering and a certificate of honors in engineering from Widener.
Additionally, she is a published co-author on three papers related to cancer immunotherapy and COVID-19 treatment potential.