2017 School News
(continued from the SCS home page)Kami Hull has won a 2017 Amgen Young Investigator Award. The award recognizes young chemists who are making significant contributions to the field of organic chemistry and pharmaceutical research. Chemistry News. Sharon Hammes-Schiffer has been selected as the winner of the 2019 G.M. Kosolapoff Award by the Auburn Local Section of the American Chemical Society and Auburn University. David Flaherty and Daniel Bregante are working on a greener way to produce plastic and resin precursors that are derived from fossil fuels. U of I News Bureau. Wilfred van der Donk will receive the Vincent du Vigneaud Award from the American Peptide Society. du Vigneaud studied chemistry at the University of Illinois and later became a faculty member. He was awarded the 1955 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on peptide hormones. Postdoctoral researcher Fengjiao Zhang and Professor Ying Diao developed devices for sensing disease markers in breath. U of I News Bureau. The Martin Burke group and collaborators have developed molecular prosthetics, small molecules that can treat protein deficiencies. These have the potential to treat incurable diseases such as anemias and cystic fibrosis. LAS News. Cosmos. Through modifying a drug used against gram-positive bacteria, the Hergenrother group found a much needed broad-spectrum antibiotic. They did so using multi-approach methods of computation, screening and modification of natural product libraries. UIUC News Bureau. SCS undergraduates Jerome Davis, Dongkwan Lee, and Kang Yong Loh, were awarded Beckman Institute Awards to do summer research. Ashley Lenhart received a Janssen Family Undergraduate Research Award, and Michael Jorgensen was awarded a Neurotechnology for Memory and Cognition Award. LAS News. Prashant Jain has won a 2017 Campus Distinguished Promotion Award. This award is given each year to a very few of the faculty on campus whose contributions were truly exceptional in terms of quality of work and overall achievement. . Jeffrey Moore, the Murchison-Mallory Professor of Chemistry, a professor of materials science and engineering, and a long-time Beckman faculty member, has been named director of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. LAS News.
Chemistry graduate students, Sudharsan Dwaraknath, Lucas Hernandez, Erin Nissen, and Yusef Shari'ati have received 2017 NSF Graduate Research Fellowships. Seven other Chemistry students received honorable mentions. Chemistry News article.Martin Gruebele with colleagues Peter Wolynes and Eduardo Berrios have simulated reactions in two dimensions that, if extrapolated to three, could lead to a viable path to controlled nuclear fusion. Rice University News article. ChBE graduate students, Jason Adams, Raul Sun Han Chang, Jason Madinya, and Aleczandria Tiffany have been awarded prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships. ChBE News article. Beckman Postdoctoral Fellow, Semin Lee (Moore), designed a method for synthesizing conjugated nanohoops, which are reminiscent of the shortest segment of a carbon nanotube. Beckman Institute News article. Chemistry researchers Wilfred van der Donk and Chad Rienstra along with their MCB collaborators are highlighted in Spring LAS News magazine article about basic medical research on campus. LAS News article. Alumna Allene Rosalind Jeanes (PhD '38, Adams, R.) will be inducted posthumously into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in May for, in part, creating a blood plasma extender used by medics in the Korean and Vietnam wars. LAS News article. The Douglas Mitchell research group reports the development of a tool that searches through microbial genomes, identifying clusters of genes that indicate an organism’s ability to synthesize therapeutically promising molecules. IGB News article. Yang graduate student, Thao Ngo was selected to participate in the 67th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting this summer. She is a NSF Graduate Research Fellow whose research focuses on studying the growth and dissolution of Pt-based nano catalysts using in situ electron microscopy and x-ray based techniques. ChBE News article. Martin Gruebele is the recipient of the ACS 2017 Nakanishi Prize. The ACS award is given biennially to recognize and stimulate significant work that extends chemical and spectroscopic methods to the study of important biological phenomena. Prashant Jain’s research group found that ultrasmall nanoclusters of copper selenide could make superionic solid electrolytes for next-generation lithium-ion batteries. UIUC Bureau News article, Smithsonian Magazine article. Paul Hergenrother is the recipient of a 2017 Cope Scholar Award. He was cited for innovative use and application of organic synthesis to solve critical problems at the frontiers of chemical biology and translational drug discovery. ACS News listing. Brendan Harley and Ji Sun Choi are developing biomaterials that show promise in treating hematopoietic cancers and for understanding the process of bone marrow failure and other hematopoietic diseases. They reported their findings in Science Advances. UIUC News Bureau article.
Jefferson Chan, David Sarlah and Josh Vura-Weis have been selected to receive 2017 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowships. UIUC News Bureau article.Jinqi Li and Martin Burke will receive the ACS Nobel Signature Award for Graduate Education in Chemistry. They were cited for transforming iterative cross-coupling with MIDA boronates into a powerfully simple and increasingly general automated platform for complex natural products synthesis. Huimin Zhao and graduate student Behnam Enghiad have fashioned a tool that can create highly active artificial enzymes of great specificity, enabling the production of a desired biological function or reagent. Their research was reported in ACS Synthetic Biology. IGB News article. Hyunjoon Kong was selected as an American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) Fellow. He was elected for his outstanding contributions to the fields of biomaterials, bioimaging contrast agents and tissue engineering. ChBE News article. David Sarlah is the recipient of a 2017 NSF CAREER Award for his proposal "New Dearomative Methods and Strategies for Organic Synthesis". SCS Alumni David V. Boger (PhD '65, Westwater) and Jennifer Holmgren (PhD '86, Shapley, J.) were elected members of the National Academy of Engineering. Boger was cited for his discoveries and fundamental research on elastic and particulate fluids and their application to waste minimization in the minerals industry. Holmgren was cited for developing technologies to improve our energy future, from renewable energy and chemicals to combinatorial chemistry and materials discovery. ChBE News article. Charles Sing was awarded a 2017 NSF CAREER Award for his proposal, "Developing the design rules of charge sequence to inform polymer self-assembly". ChBE News article. Postdoc Lydia Kisley was featured in the Forbes Under 30 List for 2017. She is the first Beckman-Brown Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Fellow and works with Profs. Leckband, Gruebele, and Braun. ChBE News article. Jeff Moore, Nancy Sottos and Scott White, pioneers in the field of self-healing polymers, have published an extensive review of state-of-the-art autonomous polymers and lay out future directions for the field in Nature. Beckman Institute article. SCS News — 2016