This story was originally published in March 2023 and updated in October 2023 with the newest series of interviews. Read more below.
As Chemistry of Materials celebrates its 35th year in 2023, this seems like an excellent opportunity to hear more from our community and gain inspiration from researchers all over the world, collecting narratives that arise from different backgrounds and different experiences – throughout 2023 these narratives will all be published in Chemistry of Materials as a series of Editorials we will call 35 Voices.
Read on to explore the latest interviews, which showcase a diversity of research areas and intersect with broad social issues.
If you are interested in participating in this series or in hearing from a specific person in 2023, please contact Editor-in-Chief Sara Skrabalak for more information. We are especially interested in adding early career and student voices to the collection.
Gloria Isendi Murila
Gloria Isendi Murila is a secondary school teacher who teaches chemistry and physics. She is also a Ph.D. student in the Nanomaterials Group at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology in Kakamega, Kenya where she works within the Department of Physics as a part-time lecturer. Her motivation to pursue a higher level of education is to become self-reliant. The desire to be a mirror and a role model to young mothers and girls propelled her to pursue a higher level of education.
Charles Kofi Ofosu
Charles Kofi Ofosu is a Ph.D. candidate in the Milliron and Truskett groups at the University of Texas at Austin. He completed his undergraduate studies in Chemistry and Data Science at Macalester College in Minnesota. Outside of research, He is a part of the student leadership council of the Center for Dynamics and Control of Materials: an NSF MRSEC at UT Austin.
Professor Alán Aspuru-Guzik
Alán Aspuru-Guzik was selected for his pioneering contributions to Artificial Intelligence (AI) for accelerated materials design. This research transcends traditional labels, being applied to materials chemistry but also many other fields. Alan holds appointments in a number of departments at the University of Toronto, including Chemistry, Computer Science, Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, and Materials Science. He also is the CIFAR AI Chair for the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence, the CIFAR Lebovic Chair and Program Director for the CIFAR Program on Accelerated Decarbonization, Director of Acceleration Consortium, and a Co-founder for both Kebotix, Inc., and Zapata Computing, Inc.
Dr. YuanQiao Rao
YuanQiao Rao is a senior Research and Development fellow at Dow Inc., specializing in Circularity and Safe Materials. She earned her Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from Tsinghua University in China and subsequently completed her Doctorate in polymer science and engineering at UMass Amherst. In 2018, she redirected her research focus toward circularity and biodegradation due to her strong commitment to sustainability.
Dr. Juliana Vidal
Juliana Vidal is a Program Manager for Beyond Benign, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering the scientific community to achieve a sustainable future through green chemistry. She moved to Canada in 2017 to pursue a Ph.D. at Memorial University of Newfoundland with Prof. Francesca Kerton, with whom she discovered several applications for biochar, a fascinating carbon material obtained from wood waste. She completed her postdoctoral research with Prof. Audrey Moores at McGill University, using mechanochemistry methods to extract value-added products from crustacean shell waste.
Professor Dinesh Shetty
Dinesh Shetty is an assistant professor of chemistry at Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi, UAE. In 2011, he received a PhD in chemistry from Seoul National University, South Korea. From 2011 to 2013, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, USA. He later moved back to South Korea in the year 2013 where he worked as a research fellow at the Center for Self-assembly and Complexity, Institute for Basic Science, POSTECH. In 2016, he moved to New York University Abu Dhabi as a research scientist and worked for 3 years before taking up a faculty position.
Dr. Todd Younkin
Todd Younkin is the President & CEO of the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC), a world-renowned consortium funding ~$95M per year in semiconductor education and research at over 100 universities in 15 countries. Prior to that, TY was a scientist for 19 years at Intel Corporation, leading efforts in novel materials, patterning, and nanotechnologies to drive the manufacturing of next-generation computer chips.
Professor Luisa Torsi
Luisa Torsi is a member of our Editorial Advisory Board. She is leading scientist studying organic semiconductors and their application in electronic devices, having investigated organic field-effect transistors as a postdoctoral scholar at Bell Laboratories. Luisa is presently a professor of Chemistry at the University of Bari in Italy and served as President of the European Materials Research Society.
Dr. Olivia Adly Attallah
Olivia Adly Attallah has spoken on sustainable chemical practices, having obtained her PhD in Pharmaceutical Analytical Chemistry in 2019. She is currently a postdoctoral scientist at the Technological University of the Shannon Midlands (TUS), Ireland. Within her research group, she is leading a project on the chemical recycling of plastic waste within a European Union-China flagship H2020 Project entitled “Bio Innovation of a Circular Economy for Plastic” (BioICEP). She is also a technical consultant of a new project through the Disruptive Technology Innovation Fund called “PerPETual” on the permanent recycling of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) food packaging and a Co-PI of a TP64 Pepsi 3 Project, also focused on recycling of PET bottles.
Dr. Jeff DuBose
Jeff DuBose is currently a Resnick Sustainability Institute Postdoctoral Fellow at Caltech, working with Dr. Karthish Manthiram in the Chemistry and Chemical Engineering division. Prior to his postdoctoral studies, he completed his PhD in Physical Chemistry at the University of Notre Dame and the Notre Dame Radiation Laboratory, advised by Dr. Prashant Kamat. His bachelor’s degree is in Material Science & Engineering from the University of Arizona, where he got his start in research working with Dr. Jeffrey Pyun and Dr. Nicholas Pavlopoulos.
Dr. Sathiya Mariyappan
Sathiya Mariyappan is a regular author in Chemistry of Materials focusing on battery materials. She completed her initial schooling and master studies in a small village near Trichy, India and then completed her doctoral studies at the Central Electrochemical Research Institute (CECRI) of India. She is currently a Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) researcher (chargé de recherche) at the Collège de France, Paris, France.
Professor Ana Flávia Nogueira
Ana Flávia Nogueira is a Professor at the University of Campinas, in the Sao Paulo State of Brazil. She was elected to the Brazilian Academy of Science in 2022 and is the current director of the Center for Innovation on New Energies (CINE), a great partnership between private companies and the state to tackle the energetic transition. She is an Associate Editor at Journal of Materials Chemistry C, publishing regularly in ACS Publications journals, including Chemistry of Materials.
Professor Bettina Lotsch
Bettina Lotsch is the Director of the Nanochemistry Department at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart, Germany. Prior, she completed her diploma and PhD in Chemistry from the University of Munich, where she also started as an assistant professor after postdoctoral research at the University of Toronto with Geoffrey Ozin. She is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for Chemistry of Materials publishing regularly in the journal on a diversity of topics, with her group’s most recent contribution a Methods manuscript with Sebastian Bette on monitoring intercalation in 2D materials.
Professor David Harding
David Harding is currently an associate professor at Suranaree University of Technology (SUT), in northeastern Thailand. He first moved to Thailand in 2002, after completing his PhD in Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Bristol, working initially in Bangkok. After a few years, he moved to Walailak University in southern Thailand where he was a professor for 18 years. He moved to SUT in 2022, noting that in Thailand it is rare to recruited but his new university – one of Thailand’s strongest technology focused universities – is not afraid to do things differently.
In preparing this interview, he noted that the question he is most often asked is “What is it like to work in Thailand”?
In one word: challenging. Thailand is a developing country and as such the facilities here are not as comprehensive as in more developed research nations. But it’s best to think of this as a test of your ingenuity rather than as an inherent limitation. The one frustration is that our materials and chemistry community is often ignored internationally, despite the increasingly high-quality research that we do.
Dr. Prashant Kumar
Prashant Kumar is currently at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biointerfaces Institute working in the laboratory led by Professor Kotov. He completed his doctoral research at the University of Minnesota in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science.
Professor Vida Jamali
Vida Jamali completed her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology, followed by her Ph.D. studies in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Rice University. She conducted postdoctoral research with Paul Alvisatos at the University of California – Berkeley and Kavli Energy Nanoscience Institute before starting as an assistant professor this academic year (August 2022) in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Professor Angshuman Nag
Angshuman Nag is a member of the journal’s Editorial Advisory Board. He completed an MS from IIT Guwahati and PhD from IISc Bangalore, both in Chemistry. After postdoctoral studies at the University of Chicago, he started his own research group in the Department of Chemistry at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) – Pune, where he is an associate professor. His research has appeared in the journal throughout his career, with studies of doped nanocrystals and, more recently, 2D materials.
Professor Galen Stucky
Galen Stucky is a Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Materials (Engineering) and Biomolecular Science and Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Prof. Stucky has been at the University of California, Santa Barbara for 38 years, and prior to this he received his Ph.D. from Iowa State University and completed a postdoctoral position at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He held positions at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Sandia National Laboratory, and DuPont Central Research before moving to Santa Barbara. He is a two-time member of the journal’s 1k Club which celebrates articles published in Chemistry of Materials that have been cited more than 1,000 times.
Professor Valentyn Chebanov
Valentyn Chebanov is the First Deputy General Director of the State Scientific Institution “Institute for Single Crystals” for the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine as well as the Director of the Division of Chemistry of Functional Materials in this Institution. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Graz (Austria) in the group of Prof. Gert Kollenz. He defended a Doctor of Sciences thesis (habilitation) in organic chemistry in 2010 and became a full Professor in 2012.
Professor Xiao-Xia Xia
Xiao-Xia Xia is currently a professor at the Department of Bioengineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU). Before joining SJTU, she earned her PhD degree in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST) in 2009 and then worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Tufts University. In 2020, she co-authored a manuscript in Chemistry of Materials on dynamic functional hydrogels,4 which was recently highlighted in our Virtual Issue on The Future of Healthcare Materials.
Professor Joya Cooley
Joya Cooley is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at California State University, FullertonShe completed a B.S. in Chemistry and B.A. in Music at Furman University, then a Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of California, Davis before postdoctoral studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has published research in Chemistry of Materials as both a graduate student and postdoctoral scholar.
Professor Mercouri Kanatzidis
Mercouri Kanatzidis is the most published author in Chemistry of Materials.
He earned his B.S. from Aristotle University in Greece before going on to earn a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. He began his academic career at Michigan State University, being a Distinguished Professor there. In 2006, he moved to Northwestern University, where he holds a Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Chair Professor of Chemistry and is a Professor of Materials Science and Engineering. In addition to his academic responsibilities, he is also a Senior Scientist at Argonne National Laboratory.
Professor Yi-Chun Lu
Yi-Chun Lu is a Professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She received her B.S. in Materials Science & Engineering from National Tsing Hua University and a Ph.D. also in Materials Science & Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is a member of Chemistry of Materials’ Editorial Advisory Board, and her work appears regularly in the journal.