Melanie S. Sanford Wins 2017 Blavatnik National Award

Professor Melanie S. Sanford, Associate Editor of the Journal of the American Chemical Society is a winner of a 2017 Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists. Sanford was recognized for her work designing molecules with a variety of uses, such as in batteries, new medical imaging agents, recycling carbon dioxide, and drug design. Sanford also serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of both Accounts of Chemical Research and ACS Catalysis.

The chemical reactions Sanford developed are used in the pharmaceutical industry creating new drug candidates and for preparing a type of chemical that allows doctors to view the heart’s sympathetic nervous system through positron emission tomography scans, among other things. Sanford also had breakthroughs in the field of redox flow batteries, which will be used to store energy from renewable sources like solar and wind.

“I think energy storage is a particularly important and exciting frontier, and I am excited to continue to pursue this in the years to come,” Sanford said.

Sanford is the Moses Gomberg Distinguished University Professor and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Chemistry at the University of Michigan. She earned her BS/MS from Yale University, her PhD from California Institute of Technology, and is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Princeton University.

“This award is such an incredible honor,” Sanford said. “It is a huge testament to the phenomenal training that I have received from my teachers and mentors throughout the years as well as the amazing undergraduates, graduate students, and post-docs that I have been so fortunate to work with over the last 13 years of my independent career.”

Feng Zhang, PhD, of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and Yi Cui, PhD, of Stanford University are also recipients of the 2017 Blavatnik Award.

Sanford was on the 2016 list of Highly Cited Researchers, received the MacArthur “genius grant” in 2011 and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

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