Kristala Jones Prather is the Theodore T. Miller Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT and an investigator in the multi-institutional Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center (SynBERC) funded by the National Science Foundation (USA). She received an SB degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994 and PhD from the University of California, Berkeley (1999), and worked four years in BioProcess Research and Development at the Merck Research Labs (Rahway, N.J.). She is the recipient of a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation New Faculty Award (2004), an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award (2005), a Technology Review "TR35" Young Innovator Award (2007), a National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2010), and the Biochemical Engineering Journal Young Investigator Award (2011). Additional honors include selection as the Van Ness Lecturer at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (2012) and a Young Scientist of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions (2012). Prather has been recognized for excellence in teaching with the C. Michael Mohr Outstanding Faculty Award for Undergraduate Teaching in the Dept. of Chemical Engineering (2006) and the MIT School of Engineering Junior Bose Award for Excellence in Teaching (2010).