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2024 ACS National Award winners: Part III

by Nina Notman, special to C&EN
January 5, 2024 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 102, Issue 1


Jarad A. Mason.
Credit: Courtesy of Jarad A. Mason
Jarad A. Mason

ACS Award in Pure Chemistry: Jarad A. Mason

Sponsor: Alpha Chi Sigma Fraternity and the Alpha Chi Sigma Educational Foundation

Citation: For contributions to the fields of phase-change materials, microporous materials, and materials chemistry

Current position: Assistant professor of chemistry and chemical biology, Harvard University

Education: BA and MS, chemistry, University of Pennsylvania; PhD, inorganic chemistry, University of California, Berkeley

Mason on the most rewarding part of his job: “It is getting to work with extremely talented, curious, and creative students every day and watching them take our research in directions I never imagined.”

What Mason’s colleagues say: “Jarad is a class act in and out, is unusually creative and bold in his science, and is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with in the inorganic materials world.”—Mircea Dincă, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Hedi Mattoussi.
Credit: Courtesy of Hedi Mattoussi
Hedi Mattoussi

ACS Award in Surface Chemistry: Hedi Mattoussi

Sponsor: Procter & Gamble

Citation: For outstanding contributions to understanding the surface properties of colloidal nanomaterials and for developing novel rationales for integrating them within biological systems

Current position: Distinguished Research Professor of chemistry and biochemistry, Florida State University

Education: BS, physics, University of Tunis El Manar; MS, physics, and PhD, physical chemistry, Pierre and Marie Curie University

Mattoussi on his proudest career moment: “It was the first time I synthesized a batch of colloidal quantum dots. Having been trained in physics and math in college made me fear chemistry. That success gave me the confidence that I could do chemistry in addition to physics. It also taught me that expanding our scientific horizon is very rewarding.”

What Mattoussi’s colleagues say: “Hedi is a leading scientist in the new wave of scientists that apply the fundamental tools of chemistry and physics to surfaces to pursue diverse and exciting research opportunities.”—Vincent Rotello, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Simon C. Weston.
Credit: Courtesy of Simon C. Weston
Simon C. Weston

ACS Award in the Chemistry of Materials: Simon C. Weston

Sponsor: DuPont

Citation: For the design, discovery, and incorporation of metal-organic framework materials into new architectures and processes for carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), deep CCS, and direct air capture

Current position: Chief science officer, Climeworks

Education: BSc, chemistry, and PhD, chemistry, Royal Holloway and Bedford New College

Weston on his most memorable project: “It is the 10-year collaboration with Jeffrey Long at University of California, Berkeley, on designing improved metal-organic framework (MOF) materials for CO2 capture. This project culminated in the rational design of a steam- and cycle-stable [tetraamine- appended] MOF with exceptionally high CO2 capacity.”

What Weston’s colleagues say: “Simon is a model industrial scientist who has a demonstrated impact in both industry and academic spheres. His work is actively improving the materials critical for successful postcombustion CO2 capture and CO2 capture from the air.”—Ryan P. Lively, Georgia Institute of Technology

V. Michael Mautino.
Credit: Courtesy of V. Michael Mautino
V. Michael Mautino

Award for Volunteer Service to the American Chemical Society: V. Michael Mautino

Sponsor: ACS

Citation: For outstanding volunteerism and mentorship at all levels of ACS

Current position: Retired product line manager, Covestro

Education: BS, business management, University of Phoenix

Mautino on his scientific hero: “It is Michael Faraday. He started out his career in chemistry as a chemical technician and went on to make major discoveries, not just in chemistry but in other disciplines as well. The Faraday Institute notes Faraday was ‘an exemplar of how to cross interdisciplinary boundaries,’ something that is still relevant in today’s scientific discoveries. Fun fact: I have a document signed by Michael Faraday.”

What Mautino’s colleagues say: “Michael’s contributions to moving forward the vision and mission of the ACS have been extensive and far-reaching, especially in relation to community outreach programs.”—Ingrid Montes, University of Puerto Rico Río Piedras Campus

Christopher J. Chang.
Credit: Courtesy of Christopher J. Chang
Christopher J. Chang

Alfred Bader Award in Bioinorganic or Bioorganic Chemistry: Christopher J. Chang

Sponsor: Endowed fund established by Alfred R. Bader and Isabel Bader

Citation: For advances in chemical sensor platforms to enable the determination of how metals function in biological systems and to decipher their signaling roles

Current position: Class of 1942 Chair and professor of chemistry and molecular and cell biology, University of California, Berkeley

Education: BS and MS, chemistry, California Institute of Technology; PhD, chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Chang on the most rewarding part of his job: “It is working with my students. People are what drive science forward, and I love helping to mentor colleagues and watching them grow during their own unique journeys in science and in life. One of the great joys of an academic career is seeing this growth and renewal in people in real time again and again.”

What Chang’s colleagues say: “Chris is a world-renowned chemist, known for his seminal contributions to bioinorganic and bioorganic chemistry impacting catalysis, energy, and medicine.”—Chad A. Mirkin, Northwestern University

David Parrillo.
Credit: Courtesy of David Parrillo
David Parrillo

Earle B. Barnes Award for Leadership in Chemical Research Management: David Parrillo

Sponsor: Dow

Citation: For a history of R&D leadership focused on people, business, and technology across a diverse range of chemical and materials industries and products, leading to new product and process innovations that have progressed safety and sustainability and boosted quality of life

Current position: Vice president of research and development for packaging, specialty plastics, and hydrocarbons, Dow

Education: BS, chemical engineering, University of Rhode Island; PhD, chemical engineering, University of Pennsylvania

Parrillo’s message to his younger self: “The depth and breadth of your business and scientific network are enormously important in amplifying your passions and making your work and contributions better. Build and nurture your network on a continuous basis, focus on the interface between disciplines, and amplify your impact by doing so.”

What Parrillo’s colleagues say: “To know Dave Parrillo is to love Dave Parrillo, but it isn’t always love at first sight. Dave is a disruptor. He shakes things up but ends up inspiring great loyalty in the organization. He delivers innovative new products and drives research organizations to increase performance and develop the next generation of leaders.”—Mark Jones, MJPhD

Muthiah “Mano” Manoharan.
Credit: Courtesy of Muthiah “Mano” Manoharan
Muthiah “Mano” Manoharan

Ronald Breslow Award for Achievement in Biomimetic Chemistry: Muthiah “Mano” Manoharan

Sponsor: Endowed fund established by Ronald Breslow and others

Citation: For the successful development of RNA therapies (such as small interfering and antisense RNAs) based on foundational contributions to nature-mimicking chemical modifications and conjugation strategies for RNA

Current position: Senior vice president of drug innovation, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

Education: BSc and MSc, chemistry, American College, Madurai; PhD, chemistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Manoharan on his hopes for the future: “As chemists, we need to fully understand the genetics and cell biology of neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases, mental health conditions, and cancers to optimize discovery, delivery, and development of RNA-based medicines. This will allow us to achieve effective cures, infrequent dosing, safety, and patient-friendly modes of drug administration. I also very much hope that we can democratize RNA-based medicine and make these therapeutics available to people in all countries.”

What Manoharan’s colleagues say: “Mano is an outstanding scientist, an academic-style chemist working in industry, whose discoveries have led the forefront of therapeutic [small interfering RNA (siRNA)] science and technology. His efforts have come to fruition in the past few years with several siRNA therapeutics on the market and with more in the clinic.”—Cynthia J. Burrows, University of Utah

William A. Nugent.
Credit: Courtesy of William A. Nugent
William A. Nugent

Herbert C. Brown Award for Creative Research in Synthetic Methods: William A. Nugent

Sponsor: Endowed fund established by the Purdue Borane Research Fund and others

Citation: For the creative use of organometallic chemistry to invent novel methods for organic synthesis and for the application of these methods to real-world problems in pharmaceutical manufacture

Current position: Visiting research scientist, Ohio State University

Education: BS, chemistry, Purdue University; PhD, organic chemistry, Indiana University Bloomington

Nugent on his most memorable project: “That would be the reactions of epoxides with titanium(III) reagents that I developed in collaboration with T. V. RajanBabu. It provided a way to generate highly functional free radicals at or below room temperature and opened the door to a multitude of synthetic applications. Research groups around the world have subsequently greatly expanded the scope of this chemistry, and it has been used in the synthesis of over 170 natural products, drugs, and advanced intermediates.”

What Nugent’s colleagues say: “Bill’s influence on the field of synthetic methodology is both broad and deep. He has made important contributions to asymmetric hydrogenation and ligand development, carbon–carbon bond–forming reactions, radical chemistry, the synthesis of main group compounds, and asymmetric catalysis, among other areas.”—Stephen L. Buchwald, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Laura J. Trout.
Credit: Courtesy of Laura J. Trout
Laura J. Trout

James Bryant Conant Award in High School Chemistry Teaching: Laura J. Trout

Sponsor: Endowed fund established by theJournal of Chemical Education and the Chemical Education Xchange

Citation: For teaching high school chemistry for 30 years and championing process-oriented guided inquiry learning (POGIL) education by facilitating workshops and providing other services to the POGIL community

Current position: Chemistry teacher, Lancaster Country Day School

Education: BS, chemistry, Central Washington University; MS, chemistry, University of Washington

Trout on her scientific hero: “I’m impressed by the historical women scientists, starting with Marie Curie, who pushed back against tradition and sought a scientific education. They blazed the trail for me to become a scientist. My teacher heroes are [Anne Shirley from]Anne of Green Gables and Laura Ingalls Wilder (Little House on the Prairie) . Both book series helped me imagine what it would be like to be a teacher. Through them, I felt the thrill of getting a student to understand a difficult topic.”

What Trout’s colleagues say: “Laura has enriched the professional lives of countless high school teachers and college professors. She has also changed the way that chemistry is taught around the country and across the globe.”—Richard S. Moog, Franklin and Marshall College

Yvonne C. Martin.
Credit: Courtesy of Yvonne C. Martin
Yvonne C. Martin

Alfred Burger Award in Medicinal Chemistry: Yvonne C. Martin

Sponsor: Gilead Sciences

Citation: For pioneering work in computer-aided drug discovery and cheminformatics, for development of innovative methodologies, and for the application of computational chemistry to significant biomedical problems

Current position: Retired Senior Volwiler Research Fellow, Abbott Laboratories

Education: BA, chemistry and zoology, Carleton College; PhD, physical biochemistry, Northwestern University

Martin on receiving this award: “I met Alfred Burger in 1971 when he appointed me to the editorial board ofJournal of Medicinal Chemistry, despite me having only reviewed several manuscripts for, and published one note in, the journal. This was the first formal recognition of my eagerness to jump outside the recognized boundaries of quantitative structure-activity relationship models. It is a special honor to have the public recognition of my work to be bookended by a relationship with Professor Burger.”

What Martin’s colleagues say: “Yvonne pioneered the application of quantitative structure-activity relationship models, computational chemistry, and cheminformatics in the pharmaceutical industry during her 48-year career at [Abbott]. She was arguably the first person whose primary responsibility it was to apply computational approaches in the pharmaceutical industry.”—D. Eric Walters, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science


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