The following vignettes highlight the recipients of national awards administered by the American Chemical Society for 2020. Profiles of the Arthur C. Cope Award and Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award recipients will appear in the Jan. 13 issue of C&EN. A profile of JoAnne Stubbe, the 2020 Priestley Medalist, will appear in the March 23 issue, along with her award address.
The award recipients will be honored at a ceremony at the spring ACS national meeting in Philadelphia, March 22–26.
ACS Award in Industrial Chemistry: Mahfuza B. AliSponsor: ACS Division of Industrial & Engineering Chemistry
Citation: For inventing and commercializing novel ionic chemistries and manufacturing processes resulting in significant applications ranging from ink-receptive, antistatic, reflective, polarizing, and antimicrobials films and coatings.
Current position: Corporate scientist, 3M
Education: BS, chemistry, University of Dhaka; PhD, organic chemistry, University of Kentucky
What gets your creative juices flowing?“I am my most productive and creative when I’m presented with a problem to solve. I enjoy the subtle, positive anxiety that comes with deadlines because I know that the added pressure will lead to an effective solution that can potentially help millions of people. When I want to get some extra inspiration, I’ll hop onto my treadmill with a Post-it Note and pen in my hand, and the great ideas tend to flow out naturally!”
What her colleagues say: “In her long 3M career, Mahfuza has developed many technology platforms and invented numerous new-to-the-world monomers and polymers. She is a sought-after scientist for collaboration, as a consultant, and more importantly, she mentors countless young scientists around the world.”—Michael G. Vale, 3M
Frederic Stanley Kipping Award in Silicon Chemistry: Barry Arkles
Citation: For contributions to basic and applied research and education in silicon chemistry and creation and commercialization of new materials by the two companies he founded.
Current position: President and chief technology officer, Gelest
Education: BSc, chemistry, PhD, biochemistry, Temple University
Arkles on what he hopes to accomplish in the next decade:“I feel that there is tremendous opportunity in a number of materials-driven technologies. Among them: near-zero thickness films and area-specific deposition materials for hetero-devices and semiconductors, topologically complex polymers for tactile interaction and medical devices, and controlled half-life materials for environmental sustainability and drug delivery.”
What his colleagues say: “It is safe to say that Arkles probably has had a greater impact on silicon chemistry than any other person. The companies he founded and whose research he has directed have been the primary source for small and large molecules and materials. They are the starting points for almost every project in silicon chemistry by hundreds of academic and industrial chemists and biochemists. I can speak personally and unequivocally that the availability of starting organosilicon materials was indispensable for the work that led to my own Kipping Award. As I think back on the syntheses that led to the central molecules on which that award was based, they were made possible entirely because of the starting materials we purchased from Arkles’ companies.”—Joseph B. Lambert, Trinity University
ACS Award for Achievement in Research for the Teaching and Learning of Chemistry: Stacey Lowery Bretz
Sponsor: ACS Exams Institute
Citation: For distinguished contributions to chemistry education research, particularly for the development of meaningful and robust assessment instruments to drive transformation in curriculum and pedagogy.
Current position: University Distinguished Professor, Miami University
Education: BA, chemistry, Cornell University; MS, inorganic chemistry, Pennsylvania State University; PhD, chemistry education, Cornell University
What Bretz hopes to accomplish in the next decade: “Chemistry education research has amassed significant evidence across every undergraduate course that students can memorize the facts, syntheses, and derivations, yet they cannot generate explanations for why and how molecules do what they do. And yet . . . too many faculty continue to teach exactly as they were taught because it ‘worked’ for them. What research data will chemistry faculty find compelling enough to change their practices in their classroom and assessments? We need to generate this data and create a culture of accountability for faculty to use evidence-based practices.”
What her colleagues say: “Beyond her raw research productivity (she was noted as one of the most prolific authors in the Journal of Chemical Education this summer), it is important to also note her efforts to bolster the future of chemistry education research (CER) as a discipline of chemistry. She has, arguably single-handedly, propelled an entire generation of CER graduate student scholars forward in their development through specifically designed conferences, ranging far past the already noted spectacular success she has had with her own students. Her influence on CER has been profound for many years and is destined to continue to be important for many years to come.”—Thomas A. Holme, Iowa State University.
ACS Award for Computers in Chemical & Pharmaceutical Research: Charles L. Brooks III
Sponsor: ACS Division of Computers in Chemistry
Citation: For his work as a pioneering innovator of methods and applications in biomolecular simulation, emphasizing solvation, protein and nucleic acid function, and pH-mediated biological processes.
Current position: Cyrus Levinthal Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry and Biophysics, Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Professor of Chemistry, Director of Biophysics, University of Michigan
Education: BSc, chemistry and physics, Alma College; PhD, physical chemistry, Purdue University
Brooks on his scientific role models: “I have many scientific role models. I am in awe and inspired by my mentors, friends, and colleagues like Martin Karplus, my postdoctoral mentor, or Harold Scheraga, a colleague and friend. These scientists have helped define new fields and areas of study and that, together with the longevity with which they have pursued scientific questions, I find amazing and wish to emulate to the best of my ability. I am also guided, inspired, and motivated in my scientific endeavors by my students and close collaborators, especially my young faculty colleagues. They demonstrate for me the vigor and boundless enthusiasm for scientific exploration that I want to keep as part of my own core practice.”
What his colleagues say: “With a Google Scholar H-index of 103 and more than 400 publications at the age of 63, Charlie Brooks’ work is without peer in terms of impact on his field among those at a comparable age. His technical expertise in theoretical and computational chemistry is matched by his ingenuity and creativity. A prime example is Brooks’ pioneering development of extended Lagrangian methods for protein dynamics simulations, including constant pH molecular dynamics and lambda dynamics free energy simulation methods. I would rank him among the top five scientists in the world in the development of molecular dynamics simulation methods and applications to fundamental problems in protein chemistry, biophysics, and structural biology.”—Ronald M. Levy, Temple University.
Award for Volunteer Service to the American Chemical Society: Janet L. Bryant
Citation: For her holistic and strategic approach to volunteerism, unwavering commitment to empowering chemists, and proven track record of translating goals and needs into tangible actions.
Current position:Retired senior research scientist/engineer IV, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Education: BS, chemistry, Elmhurst College; MBA, organizational development and behavior, Foster School of Business, University of Washington
Bryant on what excites her about her volunteer work: “I thrive on the opportunity to make things better globally for chemists and society. Being able to see integrated and holistic solutions to problems and ensure the next generation of chemists are equipped with the skills and network they need to have sustainable careers, are what drive my passion for volunteering with ACS. Nothing is more satisfying than helping talented chemists maximize their potential and impact.”
What her colleagues say: “Janet has been involved in ACS and has freely given of her time and talents. She expects those who work with her to work as hard as she does. Because of this, her individual volunteering efforts reap exponential benefits while creating a new set of volunteers in the process.”—Angela Hoffman, University of Portland
James T. Grady-James H. Stack Award for Interpreting Chemistry for the Public: Raychelle Burks
Citation:For her leadership and impact, acting on and showing the way outreach can be performed, which are unrivaled in the field of chemistry.
Current position: Assistant professor of chemistry, St. Edward’s University
Education: BS, chemistry, University of Northern Iowa; MS, forensic science, Nebraska Wesleyan University; PhD, analytical chemistry, University of Nebraska
Burks on fandom science: “Everyone is a fan of something! Star Wars, Marvel, football, coins, Monet, Beyoncé, and beyond. Fans are knowledgeable and passionate about their fandoms, wanting to know everything about them—including science. Talking with my fellow fans is fun and informative. I get to share some chemistry, while always learning new things about my fandom.”
What her colleagues say: “Raychelle inspires a love of chemistry by bringing chemistry directly to where her audience is. This direct engagement with her audience’s interest, her commitment to finding chemistry that can entertain and enlighten people who wouldn’t normally think of science, is nothing short of phenomenal.”—Matthew Hartings, American University
ACS Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Inorganic Chemistry: Bruce E. Bursten
Sponsor: Strem Chemicals
Citation:For distinguished contributions to inorganic chemistry as an outstanding researcher in inorganic electronic structure and bonding, inspirational teacher and author, and forward-thinking leader.
Current position: Chemistry and biochemistry professor, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Education: BS, chemistry, University of Chicago; PhD, inorganic chemistry, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Bursten on what he hopes to accomplish in the next decade: “In addition to my own research area, I have become increasingly passionate about issues surrounding climate change and clean water. These are big, hairy, multidisciplinary areas for which inorganic chemistry plays a huge role. They are among the most challenging intersections of science, engineering, and public policy. Although I do not have a research track record in these areas, I hope that, with my background in science and leadership, I can make a tangible difference.”
What his colleagues say: “Part of the reason that Bursten’s research has had such a prominent role in advancing inorganic chemistry is his extraordinary ability as a teacher, both in the classroom and as a research colleague. His papers and his lectures reflect his natural abilities as the consummate teacher.”—James M. Boncella, Washington State University
Glenn T. Seaborg Award for Nuclear Chemistry: Sue B. Clark
Sponsor: ACS Division of Nuclear Chemistry and Technology
Citation: For seminal contributions to research on radioanalytical chemistry, fission products, and naturally occurring radionuclides, and international applications to radioactive waste, environmental cleanup, and nuclear security.
Current position: Regents Professor of Chemistry, Washington State University, and Battelle Fellow, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Education: BS, chemistry, Lander College; PhD, chemistry, Florida State University
Clark on what gets her creative juices flowing: “My creative juices flow the most when I am surrounded by very bright people with whom I can collaborate. I have been extremely fortunate to work with amazing people throughout my career. In particular, I thrive on working with amazingly bright, early career scientists who are very curious and not afraid to ask challenging scientific questions.”
What her colleagues say:“Sue Clark has made significant contributions to resolve the nation’s radioactive waste legacy, and her work has advanced innovation in global nuclear safeguards and forensics.”—Janet L. Bryant, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
ACS Award for Affordable Green Chemistry: Dimitris I. Collias, Jane E. Godlewski, and Juan E. Velásquez
Sponsor: Dow and endowed by Rohm and Haas
Citation: For outstanding contributions to the development of catalysts and processes to produce sustainable bioacrylic acid, superabsorbent polymers, adhesives, and coatings from renewable lactic acid
What their colleagues say: “When successfully commercialized, the new process will provide an important alternative to petrochemical-derived acrylic acid and its salts or esters. Furthermore, the resulting acrylic acid can be polymerized using well-established techniques to produce superabsorbent polymers or other value-added polymers (or co-polymers) that are widely used in paints and coatings, thickeners, adhesives, and elastomers, among others.”—John C. Warner, Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry
Dimitris I. Collias
Current position: Research fellow, Procter & Gamble
Education: Diploma, Chemical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens; PhD, chemical engineering, Princeton University
What Collias hopes to accomplish in the next decade: “My goal for the next decade is to introduce bio and circular economy solutions for various plastics and other materials. In that framework, I want to continue helping P&G’s efforts to have products packaged in 100% recyclable or reusable plastics and advance solutions for recycling Absorbent Hygiene Products. Also, I want to help the Alliance to End Plastic Waste end the leakage of plastic materials into the environment, especially in southeast Asia.”
Jane E. Godlewski
Current position: Senior scientist, Procter & Gamble
Education: AS, chemical engineering, Thames Valley State Technical College
Godlewski on her scientific role model:“My greatest scientific role model was my high school chemistry teacher. He encouraged me and developed my passion for chemistry through an independent work study. This ignited my passion for science and showed me how I could use my artistic creativity in the field of research and development. Thanks so much, Dr. Grant!”
Juan E. Velásquez Velez
Current position: Group scientist, Procter & Gamble
Education: BS, chemical engineering, Pontifical Bolivarian University; PhD, chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Velásquez on what gets his creative juices flowing: “My motivation and inspiration originate from my desire to understand nature and how these learnings can be translated into technologies that can improve the lives of millions of people. I find science to be a very rewarding and enjoyable job, especially when I can contribute to developing technologies that can make our lives better.”
ACS Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into Careers in the Chemical Sciences: Lawrence K. Duffy
Sponsor: Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation
Citation: For 35 years of work with Native Alaskan chemistry students, teaching them, encouraging them, mentoring them, and opening doors for them to pursue their dreams.
Current position:Professor and director of the Resilience and Adaptation Program, University of Alaska, Fairbanks
Education: BS, chemistry, Fordham University; MS, organic chemistry, PhD, biochemistry, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Duffy on his role models: “I was fortunate to work for and collaborate with outstanding scientists and educators during my years in ACS. They showed me the importance of working with the student and their cultural background, and the importance of place-based learning in the communication of chemistry. Bringing research results and connecting to their local community values and needs in the classroom brings an excitement to basic chemistry and biochemistry classes.”
What his colleagues say: “Dr. Duffy demonstrates his dedication to chemistry education through a place-based approach to helping students understand chemistry’s connection to their land, food, and environment. Using indigenous knowledge is a creative means of teaching biochemistry concepts and defines Dr. Duffy as an innovative thinker. Bringing chemistry to life through a blended lens of Western and traditional knowledge, Dr. Duffy is tireless in his efforts to engage and support our diverse group of students and faculty.”—Susan McCullough, Effie Kokrine Early College Charter School
ACS Award for Encouraging Women into Careers in the Chemical Sciences: Katherine J. Franz
Sponsor: Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation
Citation: For her outstanding accomplishments in encouraging women to pursue and thrive in careers in the chemical sciences.
Current position: Alexander F. Hehmeyer Professor and chair of the chemistry department, Duke University
Education: BA, chemistry and French, Wellesley College; PhD, inorganic chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Franz on the biggest research challenge she’s overcome: “The proposal portion of my grad school prelim exam: Identifying an unsolved problem and crafting a plan to solve it is exciting, but it was highly intimidating to me. It’s pretty easy to convince yourself your ideas aren’t good enough. Shifting that mindset takes grit and practice to hone your craft. It also helps to surround yourself with creative, inspiring people. I now get a thrill watching students develop this mindset. Once that happens, the biggest research challenge is just the next unsolved problem waiting to be tackled.”
What her colleagues say: “Kathy has encouraged women at all levels—high school students, undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, and junior faculty—to thrive in, and celebrate, the chemical sciences. This is of great benefit to society, as there is much need to encourage women to both pursue careers in the sciences and stay in the chemical sciences.”—Louise Charkoudian, Haverford College
Peter Debye Award in Physical Chemistry: Laura Gagliardi
Citation: For her leadership in developing and applying quantum mechanical electronic structure methods to multiconfigurational problems in bonding, catalysis, and inorganometallic chemistry.
Current position: McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair and chemistry professor, University of Minnesota
Education: First degree, industrial chemistry, PhD, theoretical chemistry, University of Bologna
Gagliardi on overcoming challenges in research: “On several occasions, I have worked on problems that at the time seemed impossible. I knew that if I set myself to solving the problem, a solution would emerge so long as I worked hard and I thought outside of my comfort zone. This is my suggestion to the next generation: set goals for yourself that are not too easily achieved, and be eager to exploit your creativity to learn new methods so that you can achieve your ambitious goals.”
What her colleagues say: “What sets Gagliardi apart is her unusually broad perspective arising from a background spanning physical, inorganic, and organic chemistry, as well as her ability to develop and use computational tools to address especially challenging molecular and materials problems. She is a fearless quantum chemist who tackles the hardest problems and has achieved unprecedented synergy with experimental collaborators, thereby pushing computational chemistry to limits beyond our wildest dreams in solving practical chemical problems.”—Donald G. Truhlar, University of Minnesota
Alfred Burger Award in Medicinal Chemistry: Gunda I. Georg
Sponsor: Gilead Sciences
Citation: For her outstanding contributions as an inspiring and highly productive medicinal chemist that are impacting drug discovery and human health.
Current position: Regents Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and department head, Robert Vince Endowed Chair, McKnight Presidential Chair, University of Minnesota
Education: BS, pharmacy, PhD, medicinal chemistry, University of Marburg
Georg on her goals for the next decade: “I am working on the discovery and development of non-hormonal male contraceptive agents and I hope that, together with my collaborators, we will bring the male pill to the clinic and to market.”
What her colleagues say: “Professor Georg is an inspiring and highly productive medicinal chemist, who is having a transformative impact on human health by translating basic science discoveries into useful therapeutic agents. She is most deserving of the Alfred Burger Award.”—Marilyn Speedie, University of Minnesota
E. Bright Wilson Award in Spectroscopy: Angela M. Gronenborn
Sponsor: E. Bright Wilson Endowment
Citation: For pioneering work on the development of NMR spectroscopy for determining 3-D structures of biological macromolecules in solution and extraordinary service to the chemistry community.
Current position: UPMC Rosalind Franklin Chair and head of the Department of Structural Biology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Education: BS, chemistry and physics, MS, chemistry, PhD, organic chemistry, University of Cologne
What she hopes to accomplish in the next decade: “I passionately believe in the importance of basic/fundamental science and institutions of learning, such as universities, have a responsibility to educate the next generation to engage in and understand the significance of fundamental science for the good of society as a whole. I sincerely hope that more trans-disciplinary teams take on big scientific challenges since several of the most interesting problems in science, and many of the most important facing society, need research at the interfaces of traditional disciplines. Examples are understanding life as networks of chemical reactions within an organism or between organisms, or interpreting the molecular basis of disease at the atomic level. If I can help bring such teams together or be part of such a team, I would be extremely satisfied.”
What her colleagues say: “Angela’s contributions to NMR spectroscopy are extraordinary in their depth and diversity. She belongs to the rare cohort of investigators who influence the development of entire branches of science as well as generations of scientists. She is the highest-caliber researcher who pioneered the development of several major research areas, she is an exceptional mentor to her colleagues, and an individual who generously contributes her time and service to the global chemistry and scientific community at large.”—Tatyana Polenova, University of Delaware
Ronald Breslow Award for Achievement in Biomimetic Chemistry: Donald Hilvert
Sponsor: Ronald Breslow Award Endowment
Citation: For his creative contributions to de novo design and characterization of protein catalysts, which are landmarks in biomimetic chemistry.
Current position: Professor of organic chemistry, ETH Zürich
Education: BA, chemistry and German, Brown University; PhD, organic chemistry, Columbia University
What he hopes to accomplish in the next decade: “By combining chemical and biological approaches, the engineering of macromolecular systems with tailored function is becoming routine. In the coming decade, engineering increasingly sophisticated artificial enzymes, biosynthetic assembly lines, and molecular assemblages would be my dream.”
What his colleagues say: “Hilvert has been an internationally recognized leader in this field from the very start of his independent career. His many outstanding accomplishments in the area of protein design, especially the creation of new catalysts, represent some of the most significant advances in biomimetic research over the past few decades.”—Samuel H. Gellman, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Herbert C. Brown Award for Creative Research in Synthetic Methods: Amir H. Hoveyda
Sponsor: Purdue Borane Research Fund and the Herbert C. Brown Award Endowment
Citation: For his development of catalytic methods for chemical synthesis, most notably for olefin metathesis and enantioselective generation of fully substituted tetrahedral stereogenic centers.
Current position: Patricia and Joseph T. ’49 Vanderslice Millennium Professor of Chemistry, Boston College; director of the Laboratories of Catalytic Chemical Synthesis, University of Strasbourg
Education: BA, chemistry and art, Columbia University; PhD, organic chemistry, Yale University
Hoveyda on the biggest research challenge he’s had to overcome: “Staying true to my core principles. Not being deceived by the trapping of this impermanent world and its hollow labels, titles, clubs, addresses, and epaulettes; staying true to my ideals of seeking knowledge as to how nature works, while training the young and hopefully doing something that helps all sentient beings.”
What his colleagues say: “Hoveyda has demonstrated unparalleled ability to perform research both at the cutting edge of catalytic reaction development and total synthesis.”—Eric Jacobsen, Harvard University
E. V. Murphree Award in Industrial and Engineering Chemistry: Enrique Iglesia
Sponsor: ExxonMobil Research and Engineering
Citation: For outstanding contributions to chemistry and engineering concepts with broad impact on the practice of catalytic transformations.
Current position: Theodore Vermeulen Chair in Chemical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Education: BSc, chemical engineering, Princeton; PhD, chemical engineering, Stanford University
Iglesia on his scientific role model:“Those who quietly persist in seeking simple solutions to long-standing puzzles and do so by thinking before doing. Those teachers who mentor students about how to think, not what to think. Those contrarians who mount quixotic challenges against hurdles and windmills (traits presumably from my La Mancha maternal family branch).”
What his colleagues say: “Enrique has helped to advance catalysis science significantly. His rigor in approaching problems, the exceptional clarity of thought he displays and his enthusiasm in overcoming puzzles of nature together with teammates make him a role model.”—Hayim Abrevaya, Honeywell UOP
Henry H. Storch Award in Energy Chemistry: M. Saiful Islam
Sponsor: Henry H. Storch Endowment
Citation: For his outstanding contributions to the fundamental atomistic understanding of new materials for energy storage and conversion devices, including lithium batteries and perovskite solar cells.
Current position: Professor of materials chemistry, University of Bath
Education: BSc and PhD, chemistry, University College London
Islam on what gets his creative juices flowing: “Discussing new exciting results with my talented students and postdocs. Having the relative freedom to carry out fundamental research is very rewarding. I’m a chemist who doesn’t wear a lab coat, using modelling techniques to study battery and solar cell materials. So when people ask me what I do, I sometimes say ‘I model!’ At the atomic level, crystalline solids can be as visually aesthetic as the arts.”
What his colleagues say: “Islam has established a world-class research program with an international profile. In particular, his work has played a key role in the development of atomistic models for the mechanisms of lithium-ion transport in novel cathode and electrolyte materials.”— Sossina Haile, Northwestern University
Francis P. Garvan-John M. Olin Medal: Caroline Chick Jarrold
Sponsor: Francis P. Garvan-John M. Olin Medal Endowment
Citation: For her outstanding service to chemistry, with particular emphasis on promoting diversity and inclusion of women, minorities, and the LGBTQ community.
Current position: Herman B. Wells Endowed Professor and chair of the chemistry department, Indiana University
Education: BS, chemistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; PhD, physical chemistry, University of California, Berkeley
What she hopes to accomplish in the next decade: “I hope to continue making scientific discoveries, while working collaboratively to get my academic institution and my scientific community to the point at which we’re no longer asking Virginia Valian’s question, ‘Why so slow?’”
What her colleagues say: “Caroline has consistently and tirelessly worked to promote a fair and inclusive setting for women in chemistry and sciences in general at Indiana University. She has an international reputation as a scientist, but spends an exceptional amount of personal effort working to improve diversity in our own department, the campus, and the community.”—Lane Baker, Indiana University
ACS Award for Creative Advances in Environmental Science and Technology: Kevin C. Jones
Sponsor: Aerodyne and the ACS Division of Environmental Chemistry
Citation: For advancing quantitative understanding of the global dynamics of persistent organic pollutants, their sources, emissions, mass balances, fates and multi-media exchanges.
Current position: Distinguished Professor, Lancaster University
Education: BSc (Hons), environmental science, London University; PhD, environmental science, King's College London
What he looks to address in his research: “My research challenges often seem to involve issues of scale—investigating small-scale processes that can affect the large-scale (regional/global) fate and behavior of pollutants. I love the complexity of the natural world and thinking through how this ‘reduces’ to the key processes governing pollutant behavior. I am also often working at interfaces—between environmental compartments, between disciplines, between people and teams. I enjoy the different perspectives this requires and brings out in people.”
What his colleagues say: “Numerous individuals have contributed, but no other environmental chemist has pursued the goal of establishing the big picture of chemical fate globally and regionally over such a prolonged period of time and as effectively as Dr. Jones.”—Don MacKay, Trent University
ACS Award for Team Innovation: Otto Berbée, Jaap den Doelder, Lori L. Kardos, Teresa P. Karjala, and Joe Ortega
Sponsor: ACS Corporation Associates
Citation: For development of low-density polyethylenes (LDPEs) with novel molecular structures providing films with improved processability and optics, and the advanced process developed for production.
What their colleagues say: “The new Agility products are an outstanding commercial success. It is remarkable that this major innovation in polyethylene polymerization took only 6 years to commercialize and already represents 30% of Dow’s global LDPE business. Moreover, this advance in LDPE production benefits society by using less energy in production and allowing less polyethylene to accomplish the same function in applications.”—Christopher Macosko, University of Minnesota
Current position: Retired principal research scientist, Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics
Education: MS, chemical engineering, Delft University of Technology
Berbée on what gets his creative juices flowing: “I get excited about working on complex problems such as optimizing the production of highly-branched polyethylenes. This includes the challenge of designing detailed reactor conditions that result in unique polyethylene polymer architecture and how that design translates into processing and film properties.”
Jaap den Doelder
Current position: Principal research scientist, Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics
Education: MSc, applied physics, PDEng, mathematics for industry, PhD, applied mathematics, Eindhoven University of Technology
What he hopes to accomplish in the next decade: “One of my current focus areas is the role science can play to improve the circular economy of plastics. Ten years from now, I would like the entire value chain to consider plastic waste a valuable resource, and to use that resource in practice for a wide range of applications.”
Lori L. Kardos
Current position: Senior research scientist, Dow Packaging & Specialty Plastics
Education: BS, chemistry, Alma College
What she hopes to accomplish in the next decade: “In the next decade I would like to make major strides towards resolving the environmental issues of ocean plastic waste and the closed loop recycling of plastic. I would also like to participate in key initiatives such as designing new polyethylene resins with high percentages of post-consumer recycle content that maintain key performance requirements.”
Teresa P. Karjala
Current position: Principal research scientist, Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics
Education: BS, chemical engineering, Michigan Technological University; PhD, chemical engineering, University of Delaware
Karjala on the biggest research challenge she’s had to overcome: “One of our team’s most significant challenges was developing differentiated high pressure low density polyethylenes. We combined our expertise in chemical reaction kinetics, materials science, structure/property relationships, polymer rheology, and polymer processing to deliver new products with exceptional performance and societal benefits. This challenge taught us to value the uniqueness of an existing technology and to utilize the advanced technology available today to improve both the product as well as the process used to develop the product.”
Current position: Senior research scientist, Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics
Education: BS, chemical engineering, Texas A&M University-Kingsville; MS, chemical engineering, University of Houston
Ortega on his scientific role model:“My favorite scientific role model is Leonardo da Vinci. Although he is considered one of the greatest painters of all time, he is also revered for his technical abilities and given credit for conceptualizing flying machines, parachutes, and helicopters. He is known as a true Renaissance man with an inventive imagination and unique curiosity, which are essential for any successful scientist or engineer to this day.”
ACS Award for Research at an Undergraduate Institution: Kerry K. Karukstis
Sponsor: Research Corporation for Science Advancement
Citation: For her research accomplishments, mentorship, and professional training of undergraduates, advancement strategies for women STEM faculty, and national efforts to promote undergraduate research.
Current position: Ray and Mary Ingwersen Professor of Chemistry, Harvey Mudd College
Education: BS, chemistry, PhD, physical chemistry, Duke University
Karukstis on the challenges that the undergraduate research movement faces: “Undergraduate research is a thriving and effective educational practice. While highly valued for the educational experience, undergraduate research remains undervalued in terms of its ability to advance scientific knowledge. Furthermore, even when undergraduate research is an institutional priority, few institutions have explicitly addressed undergraduate research in faculty workload policies and rewards systems. Finally, today’s emphasis on career preparation has shifted interest in research participation to internships and entrepreneurial activities to demonstrate that graduates are ‘job-ready.’”
What her colleagues say: “From only the perspective of her research prowess, Kerry far exceeds the standard for this award. Add to this her contributions as a mentor for students and faculty and her work for women in science, and you find a gem whose role in our scientific community extends far beyond her own work.”—Nancy E. Levinger, Colorado State University
Harry Gray Award for Creative Work in Inorganic Chemistry by a Young Investigator: Hemamala I. Karunadasa
Sponsor: Gray Award Endowment
Citation: For her outstanding accomplishments on obtaining structural control over the photophysics of new halide perovskites: from white-light emitters to solar-cell absorbers.
Current position: Associate professor of chemistry, Stanford University
Education: AB, chemistry, Princeton University; PhD, inorganic chemistry, University of California, Berkeley
Karunadasa on her biggest research challenge: “As an assistant professor, I wanted to work on something completely different from my doctoral and postdoctoral work. So I plunged into a field that had fascinated me for years, but this was also a field in which I had no prior experience. Learning everything from scratch was challenging, but it kept things very interesting. There was never a dull moment during the first few years.”
What her colleagues say:“Hema’s enthusiasm for science is absolutely infectious. Her communication skills are also superb. She is a motivated, passionate intellectual force, who is opening up whole new vistas of solid-state chemistry.”—Jeffrey R. Long, University of California, Berkeley
ACS Award in Applied Polymer Science: Joachim B. Kohn
Sponsor: Eastman Chemical
Citation: For creating amino acid-derived polymers with unique properties. For developing computational-combinatorial approaches for polymers and translating his work into life-saving products.
Current position: Chemistry professor, Rutgers University
Education: BSc, chemistry and physics, Hebrew University; PhD, chemistry, Weizmann Institute of Science
Kohn on what do you hope to accomplish in the next decade? “The structure of the extracellular matrix (ECM) contains much of the information living cells need to form functional tissue. I refer to the nanoscale structure of ECM as a secret code that enables single cells to form multicellular living organisms. Realizing the full potential of regenerative medicine requires us to decipher and harness the information embedded within ECM. This is a daunting challenge and solving it will totally change the practice of medicine.”
What his colleagues say: “It is a testimony to the value of his polymer innovations, that private investors raised in excess of $200 million to support his technologies, which were commercialized by three companies (Bard Davol, Medtronic, and REVA Medical). Very few academic scientists have this impressive record of entrepreneurial achievements.”—Ali Khademhosseini, University of California, Los Angeles
ACS Award for Creative Work in Synthetic Organic Chemistry: Michael J. Krische
Sponsor: MilliporeSigma (a business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany)
Citation: For the discovery and development of paradigm-shifting synthetic methods for catalytic C–C coupling beyond premetalated reagents via hydrogen transfer.
Current position: Chemistry professor, University of Texas at Austin
Education: BS, chemistry, Stanford University; PhD, chemistry, Stanford University
Krische on his scientific role model:“Geoffrey Wilkinson is my chemistry hero. Although he received the Nobel Prize for his work on ferrocene, he also advanced the use of rhodium catalysts for hydroformylation, as well as the first homogeneous hydrogenations of unactivated olefins. Both processes are widely used in chemical manufacturing. His work blends innovation with authentic real-world impacts. We strive to do the same!”
What his colleagues say: “Professor Krische singlehandedly conceived and developed a broad new family of metal catalyzed C–C bond formations. His research in redox-triggered carbonyl addition is an example of paradigm-shifting science that has unlocked broad new capabilities. His chemistry creatively merges hydrogenation, carbonyl addition, and polyketide synthesis, fundamentally changing how chemists view these important fields.”— Jeffrey N. Johnston, Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology
ACS Award for Creative Invention: Anil Kumar
Sponsor: ACS Corporation Associates
Citation: For the creative invention of variable polarization technology that enabled Transitions Vantage lens.
Current position: Associate fellow, PPG Industries
Education: BS, MS, Delhi University; PhD, University of Connecticut
Kumar on what gets his creative juices flowing:“As a scientist, I love coming up with new ideas and providing answers to challenging problems that make my creative juices flow. I enjoy listening to talks from a broad range of topics because I like learning and broadening my knowledge. I also like reading articles on exciting and unusual results, problems solving with the team members, and discussing crazy, outside-thebox, and blue-sky ideas with talented and innovative people.”
What his colleagues say: “The consumer who benefits from the quality of a photochromic lens is unlikely to properly appreciate the amazing technology they are wearing. Anil’s system works and is stable for years. However, as chemists we do recognize that such systems only come from visionary researchers, like Anil Kumar, who have the intellect and creativity to invent.”—Timothy M. Swager, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
George A. Olah Award in Hydrocarbon or Petroleum Chemistry: Harold H. Kung
Sponsor: George A. Olah Award Endowment
Citation:For his pioneering elucidation of relationships between catalytic synthesis, structure, selectivity, and activity and innovative applications of catalysis to hydrocarbon chemistry and efficient resource utilization.
Current position: Walter P. Murphy Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Northwestern University
Education:BS, chemical engineering, University of Wisconsin–Madison; PhD, chemistry, Northwestern University
Kung on what he hopes to accomplish in the next decade:“The world is facing the challenge of an adequate supply of clean water, and chemistry and chemical engineering will be central to the innovation of many of these energy-efficient water purification technologies. I hope to be able to contribute to that.”
What his colleagues say:“He advanced a new concept for the catalytic function of gold in cyclooctene selective epoxidation. One reviewer of this paper commented that, ‘It is a thought provoking piece of work . . . the proposal is extraordinary.’ ”—Linda J. Broadbelt, Northwestern University
National Fresenius Award: Kyle M. Lancaster
Sponsor: Phi Lambda Upsilon, the National Chemistry Honor Society
Citation: For contributing key mechanistic insights into biological ammonia oxidation and elucidating electronic structure principles underpinning base-metal catalysis.
Current position: Associate professor of chemistry and chemical biology, Cornell University
Education: BA, molecular biology, Pomona College; PhD, chemistry, California Institute of Technology
Lancaster on what drives him scientifically: “Since I was a kid I have always wanted to know how things work. These answers are seldom obvious and require us to merge many approaches/tools, which is also part of the fun—I love instrumentation!”
What his colleagues say: “In a landmark paper in PNAS in 2017, Lancaster showed that nitric oxide (not nitrite) is the product of a key energy transducing enzyme, hydroxylamine oxidoreductase. This finding was a major upheaval in our understanding of the biogeochemical nitrogen cycle, and it has had broad impact.”—Brian Crane, Cornell University
James Flack Norris Award in Physical Organic Chemistry: Herbert Mayr
Sponsor: ACS Northeastern Section
Citation: For the development of a general organizing principle of polar organic reactivity based on nucleophilicity and electrophilicity scales.
Current position: Emeritus professor of chemistry, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU München)
Education: Diploma in chemistry, PhD, organic chemistry, LMU München
Mayr on the biggest research challenge he has had to overcome: “Terminating additions of carbocations to olefins at the 1:1-product stage. After nine frustrating months at the beginning of my independent career, in which I had only produced black tars, identification of a side product taught me how to control aliphatic Friedel-Crafts reactions and to measure their kinetics. This was the starting point of our comprehensive nucleophilicity scales.”
What his colleagues say: “Mayr’s systematic investigations are not only of eminent value for a rational design of synthetic procedures but have also led to fundamentally new insights in basic principles of organic reactivity, including the revision of several allegedly established concepts of organic chemistry.”—G. K. Surya Prakash, University of Southern California.
ACS Award in Analytical Chemistry: Mark E. Meyerhoff
Sponsor: Battelle Memorial Institute
Citation: For his significant contributions to the field of electrochemical/optical chemical sensors and advancing their analytical applications for both in vitro and in vivo biomedical measurements.
Current position: Philip J. Elving Professor of Chemistry, University of Michigan
Education: BS, chemistry, Herbert H. Lehman College; PhD, chemistry, State University of New York at Buffalo
Meyerhoff on what gets his creative juices flowing:“Having a new idea for a research direction, and then obtaining the first preliminary experimental data to support the concept—and witnessing the graduate student/postdoc get very excited—is probably the sequence of events that truly gets my juices flowing. This is especially the case when other scientists might have expected the idea to never work! And then to figure out the chemical mechanism on how and why it works, is especially gratifying.”
What his colleagues say: “Meyerhoff has played an important role in both fundamental and applications research in analytical electrochemistry. His publications are of the high quality consistent with publishing in the leading journals and show creativity and careful attention to detail. His impact on electroanalytical chemistry and sensors is significant, and he is among the leaders of his generation of scientists.”—William R. Heineman, University of Cincinnati
Gabor A. Somorjai Award for Creative Research in Catalysis: David Milstein
Sponsor: Gabor A. & Judith K. Somorjai Endowment Fund
Citation: For his design and development of novel environmentally benign catalytic reactions for the green synthesis of key families of organic compounds, and for hydrogen storage.
Current position: Israel Matz Professorial Chair of Organic Chemistry, Weizmann Institute of Science
Education: BS, MS, PhD, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Milstein on what gets his creative juices flowing: “It is exciting to try to design new catalytic reactions and sometimes succeed, but it is also exciting to obtain a surprising result, which may lead to new research directions. Remembering the saying, ‘A good traveler has no fixed destination,’ we are ready to change our research path as we go along, while enjoying the path itself even if the destination is not readily arrived at.”
What his colleagues say: “What impresses me is his nose for practically important problems, which are then attacked at the highest levels of scholarly rigor, both from an elegant mechanistic standpoint, tracing the pathways of intricate catalytic cycles, to the practical level of developing processes useful to the broad community as highly selective tools to efficiently create pharmaceuticals and other functional substances.”—Tobin J. Marks, Northwestern University
F. Albert Cotton Award in Synthetic Inorganic Chemistry: Daniel J. Mindiola
Sponsor: F. Albert Cotton Endowment Fund
Citation: For developing innovative synthetic methods affording complexes containing multiple bonds between carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus and the earliest transition metals, and for their unique reactivity.
Current position: Brush Family Professor of Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania
Education: BS, chemistry, Michigan State University; PhD, chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Mindiola on his biggest research challenge: “It’s a constant battle, but securing financial support for research in fundamental synthetic inorganic chemistry is always a challenge. I am just glad I stuck to what motivated me the most and decided to make exotic molecules not because they are fundable or practical but because they are fundamentally interesting to study!”
What his colleagues say: “Mindiola has found new ways to stabilize and study metal-carbon multiply bonded molecules using the earliest of the transition metals, thereby carving out for himself a unique niche that is now instantly recognizable as ‘Mindiola chemistry.’”—Christopher C. Cummins, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
ACS Award in the Chemistry of Materials: David B. Mitzi
Citation: For pioneering contributions to the discovery, fundamental chemistry, processing, and application of halide perovskite semiconductors, including the demonstration of high-performance hybrid organic-inorganic electronic devices.
Current position: Simon Family Professor of Engineering, Duke University
Education: BSE, electrical engineering/engineering physics, Princeton University; PhD, applied physics, Stanford University
Mitzi on his biggest research challenge: “A challenge that I faced early on is learning to embrace negative results and rather looking at them as opportunities for possible exciting new research directions.”
What his colleagues say: “His scholarly approach has literally helped launch an entire burgeoning field.”—David S. Ginger, University of Washington Clean Energy Institute
Ernest Guenther Award in the Chemistry of Natural Products: Tadeusz (Ted) F. Molinski
Citation: For his outstanding contributions to the chemical synthesis, structure elucidation, and understanding of the biological chemistry of marine natural products.
Current position: Chemistry professor, University of California, San Diego
Education: BSc, chemistry, Monash University; PhD, organic chemistry, Australian National University
Molinski on what gets his creative juices flowing: “I’m drawn to unusual—even extraordinary—chemical structures from nature that can stimulate new ways to see and invent solutions to seemingly impossible problems in structural chemistry. To address the latter, I’ve often been inspired by the superb works of professor Koji Nakanishi on exciton coupling circular dichroism in organic chemistry.”
What his colleagues say: “From graduate training in synthetic organic chemistry, Ted’s career has expanded to bridge the fields of natural products discovery, medicinal chemistry, and biological chemistry, while still contributing several total syntheses of marine natural products. One can say Ted’s scientific research has been a well-rounded and eclectic journey.”—William Fenical, University of California, San Diego
ACS Award in Polymer Chemistry: Jeffrey S. Moore
Sponsor: ExxonMobil Chemical
Citation: For the conception, testing, and validation of the mechanophore hypothesis, and for pioneering concepts and research leading to self-healing polymers in coatings and composites.
Current position: Stanley O. Ikenberry Endowed Chair, Professor of Chemistry, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Education: BS, chemistry, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; PhD, materials science and engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Moore on his biggest research challenge: “Learning to be patient in the early days of a new research idea was difficult. Every good project comes with an incubation period during which progress is slow. It can shake your confidence. We worked on the mechanophore hypothesis for several years before we convincingly demonstrated force-induced reactivity.”
What his colleagues say:“Jeffrey Moore’s research accomplishments are unparalleled where elements of physical organic and synthetic chemistry are combined for groundbreaking developments in polymer chemistry. His deep fundamental knowledge of chemistry and his strong wish to use this knowledge to address societal challenges makes him a real leader in the field of polymer chemistry.”—E.W. (Bert) Meijer, Eindhoven University of Technology
James Bryant Conant Award in High School Chemistry Teaching: Michael A. Morgan
Sponsor:Journal of Chemical Education and ChemEd X
Citation: For his work as a teacher, making it cool to be a high achiever and NErDy in inner-city Los Angeles.
Current position: AP chemistry teacher, Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School, Los Angeles
Education: BA, chemistry, University of California, Santa Cruz
Morgan on what gets his creative juices flowing: “I teach a course called ChemX after school every Friday. It is an advanced class open to anyone who wants to attend. The students receive no credit, yet I still have over 30 current and former students showing up weekly. Sometimes other teachers and kids from neighboring schools join us. These students could be at sporting events or playing video games yet they choose to learn about advanced topics like steady state kinetics and quantum mechanics.”
What parents of his students say: “Many of Michael’s students are economically disadvantaged and have parents who never completed high school. Despite this, he believes his students to be just as capable as those who are more fortunate, if not more so. Without any doubt, I believe it is this faith that fosters the immense success among his teams. Often, his students achieve far beyond what anyone thought them capable of.”—Osnat Amram, parent of one of Morgan’s students
ACS Award in Inorganic Chemistry: Catherine J. Murphy
Sponsor: MilliporeSigma (a business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany)
Citation: For pioneering research on the synthesis and properties of gold nanocrystals.
Current position: Larry R. Faulkner Endowed Chair in Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Education: BS, chemistry and biochemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; PhD, chemistry, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Murphy on what she hopes to accomplish in the next decade: “Lots of things! I want to be able to use plasmonic nanomaterials to control cell behavior. I also want to be able to control where organic ligands go on inorganic nanocrystal surfaces with atomic-level precision.”
What her colleagues say: “When Cathy started out, reliable methods to make nanomaterials reproducibly were few. Her key methods for nanoparticle fabrication are now the standard, and are used commercially. She also pioneered the use of inorganic nanocrystals as biological probes. Cathy is a true inorganic pioneer.”—Jacqueline K. Barton, Caltech
ACS Award in Theoretical Chemistry: Abraham Nitzan
Sponsor: ACS Division of Physical Chemistry
Citation: For his seminal contributions to condensed-phase chemical dynamics, including the theory of surface-enhanced Raman scattering and the modern theory of charge and energy transport.
Current position: Donner Professor of Physical Sciences, professor of chemistry, University of Pennsylvania
Education: BSc, chemistry, Hebrew University of Jerusalem; MSc, chemistry, Hebrew University of Jerusalem; PhD, chemistry, Tel Aviv University
Nitzan on what gets his creative juices flowing: “It goes like this: You read something, or take part in a discussion where something is said that captures your imagination. You think about this a little, but not for long, because life intervenes. But it keeps on nagging you, and when you wake up at 4 or 5 a.m., rather than go back to sleep, you start thinking about it again. This is when, sometimes, real progress is made.”
What his colleagues say: “Abe is a towering figure among theoretical chemical physicists worldwide; I believe that the breadth times width of Abe’s knowledge gives the largest area of any living theoretical chemical physicist.”—Joseph E. Subotnik, University of Pennsylvania
ACS Award in Surface Chemistry: Teri W. Odom
Sponsor: Procter & Gamble
Citation:For her outstanding accomplishments in the design of nanoscale surface structures that exhibit exceptional chemical and optical properties.
Current position: Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor of Chemistry, Northwestern University
Education: BS, chemistry, Stanford University; PhD, chemical physics, Harvard University
Odom on who her scientific role model is and why: “I’ve been recently inspired by women scientists whose stories have been brought to light by those dedicated to the most accurate and inclusive versions of history. These women tend to have similar characteristics: dedication to their research, tireless efforts without recognition, the ability to overcome barriers including unwelcoming work environments—and only posthumously, or near the ends of their lives, have they been honored for their discoveries. I admire such resilience and brilliance.”
What her colleagues say: “Teri’s mastery and control of surface patterns at the nanoscale is opening new opportunities to exploit disorder and non-periodic structures on surfaces. She is clearly an exceptionally creative leader in the field of surface chemistry.”—Anne Milasincic Andrews, University of California, Los Angeles
Frank H. Field & Joe L. Franklin Award for Outstanding Achievement in Mass Spectrometry: Kimberly A. Prather
Sponsor: Waters Corp.
Citation: For her creative and groundbreaking research in the development of mass spectrometry for the analysis of atmospheric aerosols at the single-particle level.
Current position: Distinguished Chair in Atmospheric Chemistry, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego
Education: BS, chemistry, University of California, Davis; PhD, chemistry, University of California, Davis
Prather on what gets her creative juices flowing:“My creativity escalates when working on large-scale environmental problems that impact our society. I love collaborating with people across a broad range of disciplines. I find it invigorating to leverage my chemistry knowledge with other areas such as microbiology, weather, and oceanography to uniquely address issues related to climate and air quality. It is also inspiring to work with and mentor young scientists as they become equally fearless in doing whatever it takes to tackle environmental challenges.”
What her colleagues say: “Prather invented a unique technique, aerosol time-of-flight mass spectrometry (ATOFMS), that can be used for on-line analysis of the size and chemical composition of individual aerosol particles. This technique provides real time information on aerosols and has been used to significantly advance our understanding of air pollution in regions around the world. The prototype ATOFMS filled an entire laboratory. Commercially available portable versions of the instrument are now being used worldwide to understand the sources of atmospheric aerosols in air pollution.”—Vicki Grassian, University of California San Diego
Elias J. Corey Award for Outstanding Original Contribution in Organic Synthesis by a Young Investigator: Sarah E. Reisman
Sponsor: Pfizer Endowment Fund
Citation: For her extraordinary and creative contributions to the field of natural product total synthesis.
Current position: Chemistry professor, California Institute of Technology
Education: BA, chemistry, Connecticut College; PhD, organic chemistry, Yale University
Reisman on her scientific role model: “Madeleine Joullié. She is an amazing chemist and trailblazer, and one of very few women working in natural product synthesis. I met her early during my independent career, and it was clear that she always stands up for what she thinks is right.”
What her colleagues say: “Sarah’s research program reflects her strong background in multi-step synthesis. Perhaps Sarah’s greatest triumph to date is her recent synthesis of (+)-ryanodol, which she completed in 15 steps, cutting in half the number of steps in the most efficient prior synthesis of this complex diterpenoid.”—Gregory C. Fu, California Institute of Technology
ACS Award in Chromatography: Lane C. Sander
Citation: For outstanding contributions to the understanding of the behavior of alkyl-modified stationary phases in liquid chromatography through chromatographic and spectroscopic characterization.
Current position: Senior scientific advisor, Chemical Sciences Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Education: BS, chemistry, PhD, analytical chemistry, University of Washington
Sander on what gets his creative juices flowing: “I take satisfaction from the application of basic research findings to solve practical challenges. At NIST, the persistent need for ever-improved measurement accuracy motivates fundamental research efforts. This balance between theory and practice invigorates our program in measurement science, and provides the necessary tools required to fulfill our mission as the nation’s national metrology institute.”
What his colleagues say: “Over the past 30 years, Dr. Sander has directed a research effort toward an understanding of separation mechanisms in liquid chromatography, with particular emphasis on stationary phase characterization by chromatographic and spectroscopic techniques. Dr. Sander’s chromatographic, spectroscopic, and simulation-based studies of alkyl-modified surfaces offer a compelling model of surface architecture that includes details of the conformation, organization, and motion of tethered alkanes.”—Stephen A. Wise, NIST
Ralph F. Hirschmann Award in Peptide Chemistry: Alanna Schepartz
Sponsor: Merck Research Laboratories
Citation:For pioneering and creative development and application of alpha- and beta-peptides to explore and expand the chemistry in biology.
Current position: T. Z. and Irmgard Chu Distinguished Chair in Chemistry; molecular and cell biology professor; and faculty affiliate, California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3), University of California, Berkeley
Education: BS, chemistry, State University of New York, Albany; PhD, chemistry, Columbia University
Schepartz on what gets her creative juices flowing: “I am incredibly excited about the explosion of biological innovation and insight and the potential for therapeutic application—all of which are accelerated by a deeper understanding of the underlying chemistry. As chemists focus on more complex systems, we have our work cut out for us. But it’s hard to imagine a more rewarding set of challenges.”
What her colleagues say: “Professor Schepartz is internationally renowned for her groundbreaking work in the field of protein chemistry and unrivaled in her ability to apply physical and chemical principles to the design of new protein-based architectures for tailored functions. She epitomizes the modern protein chemist: rooted in mechanism and theory, but also empowered with the tools of de novo design and molecular engineering, many of which she developed in her own lab.”—Carolyn R. Bertozzi, Stanford University
Kathryn C. Hach Award for Entrepreneurial Success: Paul Schimmel
Sponsor:Kathryn C. Hach Award Fund
Citation: For co-founding more than ten biotech companies and aiding others as board member, director, and scientific advisor for nearly three decades.
Current position: Ernest and Jean Hahn Professor of Molecular Medicine, Scripps Florida and California
Education: AB, pre-medicine, Ohio Wesleyan University; PhD, biophysical chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Schimmel on his biggest research challenge: “Overcoming the influence of dogma and consensus. If you follow the latest dogma and consensus, then you will someday look back and realize that your life’s work was the result of other people’s thinking. Ernie Beutler, former head of molecular medicine at Scripps Research, made this point to me before he passed away. Later, I read that Steve Jobs stressed this same point.”
What his colleagues say: “Schimmel is a masterful, articulate, and business-savvy scientist who is as comfortable in the boardroom as he is in the classroom; his enthusiasm for applications of science in health has motivated biotech principals. As an entrepreneur, Schimmel has founded or co-founded more than a dozen biotech companies over nearly three decades. He is a much sought-after scientific advisor and board member for another 15 companies and academic institutions, and he served as a trustee of Scripps Research.”—Julius Rebek, Scripps Research
ACS Award in Pure Chemistry: Corinna Schindler
Sponsor: Alpha Chi Sigma Fraternity and the Alpha Chi Sigma Educational Foundation
Citation: For her work in the development of new Lewis acid-catalyzed transformations.
Current position: William R. Roush Assistant Professor of Chemistry, University of Michigan
Education: BS and MS, chemistry, Technical University of Munich, Germany; PhD, chemistry, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Schindler on her scientific role model: “My role model is Jack Dunitz because of his unbridled enthusiasm for science and support for young chemists. Even after retiring from ETH Zurich, he was in his office every day interacting with colleagues and students. On the day of my thesis defense, he gave me a newspaper article about successful female scientists and strongly encouraged me to consider an academic career. I wasn’t his graduate student but that kind of support meant a lot.”
What her colleagues say: “Dr. Schindler is a dedicated scientist who is not afraid of tackling difficult problems and thinks deeply about the discipline. She is fearless in trying out new ideas, and possesses the perseverance along with intellectual and analytical skills to ensure success. Her work is a fundamental step in a promising direction involving the development of a metathesis reaction using base metals.”—Erick Carreira, ETH Zürich
Alfred Bader Award in Bioinorganic or Bioorganic Chemistry: Kevan M. Shokat
Sponsor: Alfred R. Bader Fund
Citation: For the development of chemical tools and drug candidates that precisely regulate individual kinases and GTPases to re-wire signaling pathways in cancer.
Current position: Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator; cellular and molecular pharmacology professor, University of California, San Francisco; chemistry professor, University of California, Berkeley
Education: BA, chemistry, Reed College; PhD, organic chemistry, University of California, Berkeley
Shokat on what gets his creative juices flowing: “Hearing a great lecture or reading a great paper and getting confused about something that doesn’t quite make sense. Sometimes this has led me to realize there is a missing piece in the puzzle and then to start hunting for a solution. Often it takes months or years for a good solution to emerge.”
What his colleagues say: “Shokat’s work is characterized by elegant and creative approaches and a deep understanding of cell biology and its mechanistic challenges. He developed a generalizable approach for direct identification of downstream substrates of protein kinases, using a combination of protein engineering and unnatural nucleotide synthesis. His lab also developed a second and highly complementary approach for generation of a mono-selective inhibitor of the same engineered kinases, which allows investigation of any kinase using a cell permeable small molecule inhibitor.”—Peter Schultz, Scripps Research
Ahmed Zewail Award in Ultrafast Science & Technology: Olga Smirnova
Sponsor: Ahmed Zewail Endowment Fund established by Newport Corp.
Citation: For pioneering contributions in attosecond strong-field physics, including attosecond high harmonic spectroscopy of electron dynamics and the discovery of electron spin polarization during optical tunneling.
Current position: Head, strong-field theory group, Max Born Institute in Berlin; physics professor, Technical University Berlin
Education: BS and PhD, physics, Moscow State University
Smirnova on what gets her creative juices flowing: “For me, the most exciting part of my research is a chance to work at the interface of my area of expertise, ultrafast electron dynamics and highly nonlinear light-matter interaction, and another field where people normally do not think about using intense light fields tailored at the sub-femtosecond time-scale. This is how we came up with the idea of engineering ‘synthetic chiral light’ to achieve ultimate control over chiral light-matter interactions at the 1fs time-scale.”
What her colleagues say: “Attosecond science is an interdisciplinary field at the frontier of ultrafast science that deals primarily with the electronic response of matter to light. Dr. Smirnova is a star theorist in this field. She has developed innovative ways to track electron dynamics in atoms and molecules with attosecond temporal resolution, often without resorting to attosecond pulses. She has also discovered several unexpected ultrafast phenomena that have now been confirmed in the laboratory.”—Paul B. Corkum, University of Ottawa and National Research Council of Canada
ACS Award in Organometallic Chemistry: Milton (Mitch) R. Smith III
Citation: For the catalytic synthesis of organoboron compounds from hydrocarbons and boranes: a fundamental development in CH functionalizations of arenes and heterocycles.
Current position: Chemistry professor, Michigan State University
Education: BS, chemistry, California Institute of Technology; PhD, inorganic chemistry, University of Chicago
Smith on his scientific role model and why: “The late Greg Hillhouse, my PhD mentor, is my role model. He taught me the importance of scholarship and commitment to science. More importantly, his commitment to teaching our craft and supporting future generations of chemists from all walks of life is something I think of nearly every day.”
What his colleagues say: “Smith invented and, along with others, has been instrumental in further developing the iridium-catalyzed borylation reactions of aromatic hydrocarbons. These reactions are of fundamental interest in the hot area of C-H activation. They are widely used throughout synthetic organic chemistry in both academia and industry, including the pharmaceutical industry.”—Stephen L. Buchwald, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
ACS Award in Colloid Chemistry: Molly M. Stevens
Citation: For use of colloidal chemistry to make groundbreaking new materials and technologies for life sciences and regenerative medicine.
Current position: Biomedical materials and regenerative medicine professor, Imperial College London
Education: BPharm, pharmacy, Bath University; PhD, biophysics and materials chemistry, University of Nottingham
Stevens on her biggest research challenge: “Bringing together lots of different research disciplines under one roof is one of the challenges that I find most exciting. Our lab has chemists working closely with engineers, materials scientists, biologists, surgeons, and mathematicians, enabling us to address complex design challenges in ultrasensitive biosensing and tissue engineering materials.”
What her colleagues say: “From the many fascinating outcomes produced by Molly’s lab, one worth highlighting is her nanomaterial-based biosensing technology. Molly’s research of the behaviors of nanoparticles in suspension has led to the development of tools and techniques for accurately detecting disease state biomarkers by producing a signal that can be read with the naked eye and with sensitivity that surpasses the current methods. These techniques have been incorporated into simple, cost-effective, lateral flow assays for point-of-care diagnostics.”—Ali Khademhosseini, University of California, Los Angeles
Joel Henry Hildebrand Award in the Theoretical and Experimental Chemistry of Liquids: Kenneth S. Suslick
Sponsor: ExxonMobil Research & Engineering
Citation: For his exploration of sonoluminescence and its use as a spectroscopic probe of acoustic cavitation in liquids and the chemical effects thereof.
Current position: Marvin T. Schmidt Research Professor of Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Education: BS, chemistry, California Institute of Technology; PhD, chemistry, Stanford University
Suslick on what gets his creative juices flowing:“Coming up with something nobody ever thought of before. Simple, clean concepts—those are what I look for. The first thing I try to teach my students is that if it isn’t worth doing, it isn’t worth doing right.”
What his colleagues say: “Suslick’s studies of the chemical and physical effects of ultrasound have fundamentally changed our view of the interactions of sound and matter. When Suslick began his work 35 years ago, sonochemistry essentially did not exist. His efforts have produced a vibrant research area that has had a substantial impact on our experimental understanding of liquids undergoing cavitation or turbulent flow.”—Martin Gruebele, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
ACS Award for Creative Work in Fluorine Chemistry: Robert (Bob) G. Syvret
Sponsor: ACS Division of Fluorine Chemistry
Citation: For industrialization of Selectfluor and DeoxoFluor fluorination agents and development of selective fluorination processes for high-purity electronics and low-GWP gases and fluorinated biologically active materials.
Current position: Principal, Fluorine Chemistry and Technology (F2ChemTech) LLC
Education: BSc and PhD, chemistry, McMaster University
Syvret on his scientific role models:“Throughout my career I’ve been fortunate to have several excellent role models. In particular, Karl Christe, Eric Banks, Surya Prakash, and Bill Dolbier represent a group of highly creative individuals who, throughout their research careers, have found unique ways to solve challenges in fluorine chemistry and apply these solutions to real life problems. In my career, I’ve tried to apply my craft in a similar manner, to overcome and solve challenges in industrial fluorine chemistry.”
What his colleagues say: “He embodies the best of a creator; he networks effectively with other scientists in the field, is a meticulous experimentalist, and his laboratory reflects his careful, controlled approach to experimentation. I have always found Bob to be a very receptive scientist to open discussion and consideration of new approaches.”—David A. Roberts, Tetrahedron Specialty Chemical Consulting
Irving Langmuir Award in Chemical Physics: Veronica Vaida
Sponsor:The Journal of Chemical Physics and the ACS Division of Physical Chemistry
Citation: For original contributions revealing fundamental organic photo-reactions at water interfaces in planetary systems, including the contemporary and ancient Earth.
Current position: Chemistry professor and Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences fellow, University of Colorado Boulder
Education: BS, chemistry, Brown University and University of Bucharest; PhD, chemistry, Yale University
Vaida on the future: “We now have clear evidence that water interfaces are very special reaction environments, which in comparison with bulk water, allow for accelerated reactions as well as for reactions thermodynamically forbidden to occur in bulk environments. I hope to contribute to a molecular-level understanding of the special reactivity at water surfaces. Given the importance of the multiphase reactivity of water in all natural environments, I also hope to contribute to rethinking chemistry in planetary atmospheres including the contemporary and prebiotic Earth.”
What her colleagues say: “Her pioneering papers in JACS and PNAS have shed new light on how the complex molecular building blocks of life can be generated at water interfaces in planetary environments that include the contemporary and ancient Earth.”—David Jonas, University of Colorado
Josef Michl ACS Award in Photochemistry: Michael R. Wasielewski
Sponsor:Josef Michl Award Endowment
Citation: For fundamental discoveries on the photophysics and photochemistry of electron transfer in molecules and materials.
Current position: Clare Hamilton Hall Professor of Chemistry and executive director, Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern University; director, Center for Light Energy Activated Redox Processes
Education: BS, MS, PhD, chemistry, University of Chicago
Wasielewski on what gets his creative juices flowing:“I am particularly energized by discussions with students, postdocs, and colleagues centered around trying to understand a new observation or result that doesn’t fit into the usual expectations. It is during these occasions that new insights are achieved. It is particularly gratifying when testing these ideas in the lab leads to new discoveries.”
What his colleagues say: “Mike is an internationally recognized scholar, whose contributions to photochemistry reflect his remarkable scientific breadth and creativity as evidenced by both the quality of his publications (>660) and their impact (h-factor = 94, Web of Science; 109, Google Scholar).”—Miguel Garcia-Garibay, University of California, Los Angeles
George C. Pimentel Award in Chemical Education: Thomas J. Wenzel
Sponsor: Cengage Learning and the ACS Division of Chemical Education
Citation: For promoting the value of undergraduate research and the inclusion of collaborative learning and project-based laboratory experiences in the undergraduate curriculum.
Current position: Charles A. Dana Professor of Chemistry, Bates College
Education: BS, chemistry, Northeastern University; PhD, analytical chemistry, University of Colorado, Boulder
Wenzel on what gets his creative juices flowing: “The challenge of designing and facilitating effective instructional strategies that help students develop essential lifelong skills. I get my greatest pleasure when working with students who are tackling a problem in the classroom or laboratory, especially those in an instructional lab or research project where we don’t know what the outcome will be. The initiative and independence that students show when working on meaningful problems without obvious answers continue to impress me.”
What his colleagues say:“Professor Wenzel has developed and disseminated materials that enable professors worldwide to engage students in inquiry-based activities. He has championed the educational importance of high quality undergraduate research. His innovative educational ideas focus on the use of cooperative learning in the classroom as an alternative to a lecture format and the use of semester-long, project-based laboratory experiences that require students to complete a project similar to the way scientists truly function.”— Rachel Narehood Austin, Barnard College
Nobel Laureate Signature Award for Graduate Education in Chemistry: Anna Wuttig (student) and Yogesh Surendranath (preceptor)
Citation: For contributions to energy conversion chemistry by developing comprehensive mechanistic models for the catalytic conversion of carbon dioxide to chemical fuels driven by renewable electricity.
Current position: Postdoctoral fellow, University of California, Berkeley
Education: BA, chemistry, Princeton University; PhD, inorganic chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Wuttig on what gets her creative juices flowing: “I enjoy discussing papers and seminars with people from similar and different scientific backgrounds. Sharing our thoughts on new research we have read or heard together can turn into impromptu brainstorming sessions at the board, which are fun and valuable. I also enjoy reading and rereading textbooks on a variety of different topics. I find that revisiting principles from the past and thinking about them in the context of what we know now to be extremely stimulating.”
Current position: Paul M. Cook Career Development Associate Professor of Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Education: BS, chemistry, and BA, physics, University of Virginia; PhD, inorganic chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Surendranath on his scientific role model and why: “My father. As a young child, he would take me to his chemistry laboratory and he would show me how to spot TLC plates, collect IR spectra, and measure melting points—I was hooked. He taught me that science is not just a vocation, but a thought process for understanding and navigating a complex world.”
What their colleagues say: “Wuttig and Surendranath have tackled a significant research problem in energy science: the reduction of carbon dioxide under sustainable conditions. Their work defines a rational framework for the selective reduction of CO2 and a path forward to obtaining products containing two carbons. The development of fuels based on renewable energy, freed from fossil fuels, is perhaps our greatest challenge as a global society. Their work has sent us far down the road to realizing this sustainable future.”—Daniel Nocera, Harvard University
Earle B. Barnes Award for Leadership in Chemical Research Management: Wendy B. Young
Citation:For inspired leadership of scientists resulting in discovery of novel molecules, clinical compounds, and marketed drugs that address some of the world’s most difficult illnesses.
Current position: Senior vice president of small molecule discovery, Genentech
Education: BA and MS, chemistry, Wake Forest University; PhD, chemistry, Princeton University
Young on what she hopes to accomplish in the next decade:“A lot! There has never been a better time to be in drug discovery. We have more tools than ever before to help us create and invent new medicines that can identify and attack difficult biological targets that were once considered ‘undruggable.’ I believe it is now possible to rewrite medical textbooks with new medicines that people today cannot even envision and patients are in dire need of. I look forward to working with my colleagues in writing them.”
What her colleagues say: “Dr. Young has made lasting contributions through the discovery of novel therapeutics, clinical compounds, and marketed drugs that address some of the world’s most difficult health challenges and that advance human health. She has built a world class chemistry department and drug discovery division at Genentech. Her problem-solving, collaborative, and transparent leadership style serves as an inspiration to her colleagues.”—Magid Abou-Gharbia, Temple University
ACS Award in Separations Science & Technology: Andrew L. Zydney
Sponsor: Waters Corp.
Citation:For outstanding contributions to the development of membrane separation processes for purification of high-value biological products, including work on ultrafiltration, membrane fouling, and shear-induced diffusion.
Current position: Bayard D. Kunkle Chair; professor of chemical engineering; and director, Center of Excellence in Industrial Biotechnology, The Pennsylvania State University
Education: BS, chemical engineering, Yale University; PhD, chemical engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Zydney on what he hopes to accomplish in the next decade: “Biomanufacturing is at the start of a major revolution. For the first time, the industry is seriously considering how to develop and implement continuous manufacturing processes for the production of monoclonal antibodies and other biopharmaceuticals. At the same time, new developments in gene and cell therapy have created unique manufacturing challenges. I am truly excited about our current work to develop novel membrane/separation technologies that will help enable the commercialization of cost-effective breakthrough biotherapeutics.”
What his colleagues say: “Zydney’s research has had an enormous impact on membrane science and technology, including unique contributions in bioprocessing. His work has not only provided important fundamental understanding of membrane separations, it has also had a major impact on the design and development of commercial membrane processes.”—Phillip E. Savage, Pennsylvania State University
This story was updated on Jan. 8, 2020, to correct the Priestley Medal year, which is 2020, not 2019.