Meet the Q1 2016 Lectureship Winners

Lectureship winners 43_Energy Axial Art-022016 Inorganic Chemistry Lectureship Award

Winner: Prof. Dr. Serena DeBeer

Institution: Max-Planck-Institut fuer Chemische Energiekonversion

Research Highlights: A professor and research group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion in Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany, Dr. DeBeer’s research group is focused on the development and application of advanced X-ray spectroscopic tools for understanding key mechanisms in biological, homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis. A combination of synchrotron-based, as well as a broad range of advanced laboratory spectroscopies tightly coupled to modern computational methods, are utilized in order to obtain quantitative insights into electronic structural changes in catalytic systems.

2016 Gordon Hammes ACS Biochemistry Lectureship

Winner: Prof. Carol A. Fierke

Institution: University of Michigan

Research Highlights: Professor Fierke’s laboratory has combined an array of chemical, biological and biophysical approaches to identify the mechanistic and structural constraints that determine the high catalytic efficiency and rigorous substrate specificity of protein and nucleic acid catalysts. She is recognized as an international leader in devising elegant experimental approaches for probing the structure, function and biological relevance of metals as cofactors in catalysis.

2016 ACS Chemical Biology Lectureship

Winner: Prof. Peter G. Schultz

Institution: The Scripps Research Institute

Research Highlights: Professor Schultz’s research uses both chemical and biological tools to synthesize molecules with novel functions. By developing technologies to make and characterize molecules and materials hundreds to million at a time, his work has dramatically impacted our ability to make molecules with novel biological and physical properties, ranging from medicines to materials.

2016 Organic Letters Outstanding Publication of the Year Lectureship Award

Winner: Dr. Bruce Lipshutz

Institution: University of California, Santa Barbara

Research Highlights: Dr. Lipshutz’s article describes the use of small quantities of a nonionic surfactant that enables nucleophilic aromatic substitution by oxygen-, nitrogen-, and sulfur-based nucleophiles at ambient temperatures in water. Comparing micellar and traditional conditions in the preparation of important drug intermediates emphasized the importance of this method, as the reactions proceed at much lower temperatures and products can be readily extracted directly from the reaction flask. This strategy may find broad application in industry, as it greatly reduces the dependence on organic solvents, especially commonly used DMF, leading to minimal waste production.

2016 Organometallics Distinguished Author Award Lectureship

Winner: Prof. Dr. Valentine P. Ananikov

Institution: Russian Academy of Sciences

Highlights from his/her research: Prof. Dr. Valentine P. Ananikov’s research interests are focused on catalysis, organic synthesis, molecular complexity and transformations.

The Journal of Organic Chemistry Outstanding Publication of the Year Lectureship Award

Winner: Prof. Jeffrey Johnson

Institution: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Research highlights:: Prof. Johnson’s research group at UNC focuses on a broad range of fields in chemical synthesis. The key questions their group seeks to answer include: 1)Can reagent design be used to create product diversity from a common mechanistic platform? 2)Can there be value in examining reaction classes that have received so much attention that one could be forgiven for assuming that all the interesting problems are solved? 3)Can simple reagents (e.g. hydrogen, oxygen) be used in reactions that provide more complexity than the reagents themselves might suggest?

2016 Energy & Fuels Joint Award for Excellence in Publication

Winner: Dr. Charles Mullen

Institution: United State Department of Agriculture

Research highlights: The winning article for this second annual award was “Production of Deoxygenated Biomass Fast Pyrolysis Oils via Product Gas Recycling” DOI: 10.1021/ef400739u.

2016 ACS Photonics Young Investigator Lectureship Award

Winner: Prof. Andrea Alù

Institution: The University of Texas at Austin

Research highlights: Prof. Alù’s is recognized for his outstanding contributions in the conception, modeling and application of metamaterials and nanostructured artificial materials to mold electromagnetic waves and light in unusual ways, going beyond the limits and challenges associated with the use of natural materials.

2016 ACS Catalysis Lectureship for the Advancement of Catalytic Science

Winner: Prof. Matthias Beller

Institution: University of Rostock, Germany

Research Highlights: Prof. Beller’s research has played a significant role in the resurgence of iron catalysis, including for carbon dioxide reduction, amide reduction, nitroarene reduction, ester reduction, and enantioselective ketone hydrosilylation. And has had a significant impact on the field of palladium catalysis—a field in which his work is very widely known—for well over a decade.

2016 ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces Young Investigator Award

Winner: Dr. Ricardo Ruiz

Institution: Western Digital Corporation

Research Highlights: Dr. Ruiz’s research achievements include advances in self-assembled polymer tempting techniques used to produce high-density patterned magnetic media for the latest generation of hard disks, as well as developments in the heat-assisted magnetic recording process that allow data to be written at these record-breaking densities.

2016 Langmuir Lectureship

Winner: Prof. Bernard P. Binks

Institution: University of Hull, UK

Research Highlights: Prof. Binks’ research interests include the origin of ultralow interfacial tensions in microemulsions, Langmuir monolayers of ionizable surfactants, antifoam action in aqueous foams and novel primitive surfactants. His most recent area has been concerned with the behavior of colloidal particles at a range of fluid-fluid interfaces, including particle-stabilized emulsions and foams and novel materials derived thereof.

Winner: Prof. Robert J. Hamers

Institution: University of Wisconsin – Madison

Research Highlights: Prof Hamers’ achievements include pioneering atomic-resolution studies of geometry, electronic structure, and chemical reactions of semiconductor surfaces. He has developed new approaches to functionalization of semiconductor surfaces that have established new links between surface science and organic chemistry and have yielded versatile surfaces with application in biology, catalysis, and other fields.

2016 Biomacromolecules/Macromolecules Young Investigator Awards

Winner: Prof. Cyrille Boyer

Institution: The University of New South Wales

Research Highlights: Prof. Boyer was selected in recognition of his outstanding contributions in the development of new functional polymers and new nanomaterials for biological applications. He has developed original methodologies for the synthesis of complex macromolecules, including star polymers, hyperbranched polymers, and biodegradable polymers and a new photoinduced polymerization technique, photoinduced electron transfer – reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer polymerization (PET-RAFT).

Winner: Prof. Andrew P. Dove

Institution: University of Warwick

Research Highlights: Prof. Dove was selected for this honor in recognition of his exceptional contributions to the development of synthetic methodologies for degradable polymer materials with exquisitely-tuned structures, stereochemistries and functionalities, and with compositions that are sustainable. His work has impacted research areas of organocatalysis, orthogonally-functional degradable polymers and metal-free click chemistry leading to new techniques and materials for advanced biomaterials applications.

2016 Bioconjugate Chemistry Lecturer Award

Winner: Dr. Xiaoyuan (Shawn) Chen

Institution: National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, NIH, Bethesda, MD

Research Highlights: Dr. Xiaoyuan Chen was selected as the lectureship award winner because of his extensive contributions at the interface between chemistry, biology, and medicine that have helped define the field of nanomedicine. Dr. Chen’s current research interests include the development of a molecular imaging toolbox to attain a better understanding of biology, early diagnosis of disease, monitoring therapy response, and guiding drug discovery/development. His lab puts special emphasis on high-sensitivity nanosensors for biomarker detection and theranostic nanomedicine for imaging, gene and drug delivery, and monitoring of treatment. Dr. Chen has published over 500 peer-reviewed papers (H-index = 96, total citations > 36,000, based on Google Scholar) and numerous books and book chapters. He is the founding editor of Theranostics (2014 IF = 8.022). He is also the President of Chinese-American Society of Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology (CASNN) and President-Elect of the Radiopharmaceutical Science Council (RPSC), Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI).

2016 Journal of Physical Chemistry Lectureship Awards

The Journal of Physical Chemistry A Winner: Wen Li

Institution: Wayne State University

Research Highlights: Wen Li received a B. S. degree from Peking University in China. In 2006, he earned a Ph. D. in chemical physics with Professor Arthur Suits at Stony Brook University. In the same year, he joined the Kapteyn/Murnane group at JILA/University of Colorado to study ultrafast dynamics. In 2009, he started as an assistant professor in Wayne State University and was promoted to associate in 2014. His research focuses on developing novel probes to study the intimate details of chemical reactions in ultrafast time domain (particularly at attosecond level). He received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientist and Engineer (PECASE) (2012) and an Alfred P. Sloan research fellowship (2013).

The Journal of Physical Chemistry B Winner: Julie Biteen

Institution: University of Michigan

Research Highlights: Julie Biteen is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of Michigan, where her research program develops single-molecule, super-resolution microscopy for applications to microbiology and nanophotonics. Dr. Biteen received an A.B. in Chemistry at Princeton University before earning a Masters in Applied Physics and a Ph.D. in Chemistry at California Institute of Technology for her studies of plasmon-enhanced luminescence in the labs of Harry Atwater and Nathan Lewis. She then went on to study structural proteins in live bacteria with single-molecule imaging as a postdoc with W. E. Moerner at Stanford University. Her current projects build on this background in optoelectronics, nanoscience, and microscopy, and she has been recognized by numerous awards, including a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award at the Scientific Interface (2009), an NSF CAREER Award (2013), and a Scialog fellowship from the Moore Foundation and the Research Corporation for Science Advancement (2015).

The Journal of Physical Chemistry C Winner: J. R. Schmidt

Institution: University of Wisconsin

Research Highlights: J. R. Schmidt received his B.S. from Hope College in 2001. He earned his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin in 2006, working with Jim Skinner, focusing on simulations of the dynamics and non-linear spectroscopy of aqueous solutions. He subsequently began a postdoctoral research position with John Tully at Yale University where he studied approaches for modeling non-adiabatic quantum dynamics. He returned to UW in 2008 when he accepted as position as an Assistant Professor, subsequently receiving an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, and DOE Early Career Award. He became an Associate Professor in 2015. Prof. Schmidt’s research interests include developing accurate, first-principles force fields, nano-porous materials, and computational heterogeneous catalysis.

2016 Nano Letters Young Investigator Lectureship

Winner: Prof. Jennifer Dionne

Institution: Stanford University

Research Highlights: Professor Dionne’s research has focused on developing new nano-optical materials and methods to directly visualize, probe, and control both energy- and biologically-relevant systems with nanometer-scale resolution. Her group has also helped to unravel the quantum properties of plasmonic materials and metamaterials. Her work has illustrated that quantum effects can have a significant impact on the optical properties of metallic nanoparticles.