Michele Parrinello Wins Dreyfus Prize

The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation has announced that Michele Parrinello, Professor at USI Università della Svizzera italiana and ETH Zurich, has won the 2017 Dreyfus Prize in the Chemical Sciences, conferred this year in Theoretical and Computational Chemistry. The international prize, awarded biennially, consists of $250,000, a medal, and a citation. The award ceremony will be held at USI Università della Svizzera italiana in Lugano, Switzerland, in the fall and will include a lecture by Parrinello.

Parrinello is honored for his groundbreaking developments of molecular dynamics simulation methodology and associated landmark studies of chemical, material, and biomolecular systems.

“Innovations in theoretical and computational chemistry underpin our understanding of biological interactions, chemical dynamics and structure, as well as many beneficial chemical technologies. Michele Parrinello is a giant in the field, whose innovations are widely used in chemistry, biology, materials science, and engineering,” stated Matthew Tirrell, Chair of the Dreyfus Foundation Scientific Affairs Committee and Founding Pritzker Director of the Institute for Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago.

The impact of Parrinello’s work is such that he is one of the most cited scientists in the present day. He is renowned for co-devising the Car–Parrinello method for computer simulation of the movements of atoms and molecules. This work brought together, for the first time, the classical approach of molecular dynamics with a quantum theoretical approach for electron densities. This enabled the realistic exploration of a wide range of physical situations. Prior to this Parrinello had become distinguished for developing the Parrinello–Rahman method to study phase transitions in crystals.

More recently, he has developed what is called metadynamics and subsequently announced an efficient variational sampling process. This has allowed the calculation of complicated phenomena such as protein folding, crystallization from a liquid, or the binding of drugs to protein receptors.

Henry C. Walter, President of the Dreyfus Foundation, said, “Michele Parrinello’s contributions to chemistry are immense. The Dreyfus Foundation is proud to honor him with the Dreyfus Prize, and as the first recipient from outside the United States.”

“I am overjoyed and humbled by the honor,” said Parrinello. “I would like to dedicate this prize to my mentor Anees Rahman, the founder of modern atomistic molecular dynamics, a superb scientist, and a great human being. It was my good fortune to have met him as well as the very many talented colleagues and students with whom I had the pleasure to collaborate.”

Born in Messina, Italy, Parrinello received his Italian Laurea in physics from the University of Bologna in 1968. He has received many international honors including the Dirac Medal, the Rahman Prize, the Hewlett-Packard Europhysics Prize (all with Roberto Car), the Schroedinger Medal, the Enrico Fermi Prize, the Swiss Science Prize Marcel Benoist, and the American Chemical Society Award in Theoretical Chemistry. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, Socio corrispondente of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei (Italy), and a Member of the Royal Society (UK), the European Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and others.

The Dreyfus Prize in the Chemical Sciences, initiated in 2009, is conferred in a specific area of chemistry in each cycle. The previous Dreyfus Prize winners are:

2009: George Whitesides, Harvard University, Materials
2011: Tobin Marks, Northwestern University, Catalysis
2013: R. Graham Cooks, Purdue University, Chemical Instrumentation
2015: Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, Carnegie Mellon University, Making Molecules and Materials


2017 Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Awards

The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation has selected 13 Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholars for 2017. These young faculty have each created an outstanding independent body of scholarship and are deeply committed to education. The frontier accomplishments of these award recipients span the broad range of contemporary research in the chemical sciences. Each Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar receives an unrestricted research grant of $75,000.

Chase Beisel, North Carolina State University
Understanding and Exploiting the Biochemical Properties of CRISPR-Cas Immune Systems

Brandi Cossairt, University of Washington
The Synthetic Inorganic Chemistry of Sustainable Technologies

Jason Crawford, Yale University
Decoding Specialized Bacterial Metabolic Pathways in the Human Microbiome

Aaron Esser-Kahn, University of California, Irvine
Chemical Methods to Understand and Improve Vaccines

Alison Fout, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Ligand Influences on Base Metals for Multi-Electron Reactions

Randall Goldsmith, University of Wisconsin-Madison
New Technologies for Single-Molecule Spectroscopy: Optical Microresonators, Fluorescent Catalysts, High Concentrations, and Cancelling Brownian Motion

Robert Knowles, Princeton University
Proton-Coupled Electron Transfer in Organic Synthesis and Asymmetric Catalysis

Julius Lucks, Northwestern University
A Synthetic Approach to Uncovering how RNA Molecules Coordinate the Biochemical Processes of Life

Thomas Markland, Stanford University
Theory and Simulation of Quantum Processes at Interfaces and in Confinement

Christian Metallo, University of California, San Diego
Metabolic Regulation of Lipid Diversity

Michelle O’Malley, University of California, Santa Barbara
Deconstructing Microbial Consortia for Sustainable Chemistry

William Tisdale, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Energy Transport in Semiconductor Nanomaterials

Guihua Yu, The University of Texas at Austin
Building Artificial Layered Solids from the Bottom-Up to Enable New Energy Technologies

Dreyfus Foundation 2016 Year in Review

The Dreyfus Foundation 2016 Year in Review is now available. This brief report includes information about the Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar & ACS Presidential symposia, Dreyfus Prize, lectureships at the University of Basel & undergraduate institutions, Teacher-Scholar videos & online forum, 2016 awards, and 2017 program deadlines. Read it by clicking here or on the cover image below.


George Whitesides on Full Frame

George Whitesides, the Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor at Harvard and recipient of the inaugural Dreyfus Prize in 2009, appeared on Full Frame on December 31, 2016. Among the topics discussed was his work with Diagnostics for All, a low-cost diagnostic device designed specifically for use in the developing world. See the program here (note the video may not launch in certain browsers):




2017 Dreyfus Prize Topic Announced


The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation has selected Theoretical and Computational Chemistry as the topic of the 2017 Dreyfus Prize in the Chemical Sciences. The Dreyfus Prize, awarded biennially, recognizes an individual for exceptional and original research in a selected area of chemistry that has advanced the field in a major way. The prize consists of a monetary award of $250,000, a medal, and a certificate.

“Each Dreyfus Prize highlights major accomplishment in a different area of the chemical sciences. We consider, in addition, the promise of benefit to society,” said Matthew Tirrell, chair of the Dreyfus Foundation Scientific Affairs Committee. “Innovations in theoretical and computational chemistry are deeply significant and underpin our understanding of biological interactions, chemical dynamics and structure, as well as many beneficial chemical technologies.”

The deadline for nominations is March 2, 2017. Further details may be found at: http://www.dreyfus.org/Prize/prizenomination.shtml

Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Symposium: October 28, 2016

The fourth biennial symposium for recent Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholars will be held at the New York Academy of Sciences on Friday, October 28. Over 40 of the most recent Teacher-Scholars will present posters of their research, bracketed by talks from four senior Teacher-Scholars. This year’s speakers are: Kristi Anseth, University of Colorado Boulder; Anthony Bishop, Amherst College; Steven Buchwald, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Marsha Lester, University of Pennsylvania.

This year will introduce a special session on communicating chemistry. The invited Teacher-Scholars will each have produced a 2-3 minute video about their research and its potential importance, with much of the content to be aimed at non-scientists. Noted videographers Gino Del Guercio and Stephen Lyons will select segments from these videos and present them with commentary at the symposium. The videos produced by the Teacher-Scholars are posted on the Foundation website.

The talks will stream live at http://www.dreyfus.org/contact/TSS.shtml

9:45am: Kristi Anseth, University of Colorado Boulder
2000 Teacher-Scholar
Cellular Control in a Couple of Clicks
Chair: Matthew V. Tirrell
Kristi S. Anseth is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at University of Colorado Boulder. She earned her B.S. from Purdue University and her Ph.D. from the University of Colorado. She conducted postdoctoral research at MIT as an NIH fellow. Her research interests lie at the interface between biology and engineering where she designs new biomaterials for applications in drug delivery and regenerative medicine. She was the first engineer to be named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. She received the Alan T. Waterman Award, the highest award of the National Science Foundation, for exceptional individual achievement in scientific or engineering research. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine. Anseth has received four University Awards related to her teaching, as well as the American Society for Engineering Education’s Curtis W. McGraw Award. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. She serves on the editorial boards or as associate editor of Biomacromolecules, Journal of Biomedical Materials Research — Part A, Acta Biomaterialia, Progress in Materials Science, and Biotechnology & Bioengineering.

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10:25am: Gino Del Guercio, Boston Science Communications, and Stephen Lyons, Moreno/Lyons Productions
Teacher-Scholar Videos: Communicating Chemistry
Chair: H. Scott Walter
Gino Del Guercio, President of Boston Science Communications, trained as a television producer at WGBH-TV and has 20 years experience producing and directing national award-winning science documentaries, including Transistorized, and Roger Revelle: Statesman of Science. Since 1989, he has directed the majority of Boston Science Communication’s programs and series. He is also an adjunct professor of Journalism at Boston University’s College of Communications. His work has received an Emmy, a CINE Golden Eagle, an AAAS Journalism Prize, and many other awards.

Stephen Lyons is an award-winning writer and producer with 30 years of experience in television, newspapers and magazines. After four years as Senior Editor for Program Development at NOVA, Lyons left WGBH to form Moreno/Lyons Productions with his wife Aida Moreno, another longtime WGBH producer. Since then, he has written and produced two Emmy Award-winning PBS primetime chemistry programs. The first was Forgotten Genius, a two-hour NOVA biography of African American chemist Percy Julian. The second was The Mystery of Matter: Search for the Elements, a three-hour 2015 series about the human story behind the Periodic Table. Both projects were seeded by grants from the Dreyfus Foundation.

1:30pm: Marsha Lester, University of Pennsylvania
1986 Teacher-Scholar
Exploring Uncharted Regions of Atmospheric Reaction Pathways
Chair: Louis E. Brus
Marsha I. Lester is the Edmund J. Kahn Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemistry of the School of Arts & Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her B.A. from Douglass College, Rutgers University, and her Ph.D. from Columbia University. Her research employs novel spectroscopic methods to rigorously characterize important, yet previously uncharted, regions of chemical reaction pathways, including reaction intermediates of environmental significance. She served as Chair of the Department of Chemistry in 2005-09. In 2008, she was appointed Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Chemical Physics, the preeminent journal in her field. Lester has received many honors and awards, including her election to Fellowship in the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the Garvan-Olin Medal of the American Chemical Society, the Bourke Lectureship of the Faraday Division of the Royal Society of Chemistry, a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Chemical Society, and the American Physical Society, an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, and the Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award. In 2016, she was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

3:25pm: Anthony Bishop, Amherst College
2010 Teacher-Scholar
Small-Molecule On/Off Switches for Signaling Enzymes: Target-Specific Inhibition and Activation of Protein Tyrosine Phosphates
Chair: Thomas A. Stephenson
Anthony C. Bishop is a professor in the Department of Chemistry and the Program in Biochemistry and Biophysics at Amherst College. Bishop holds a B.A. in Chemistry/Biochemistry from the University of California, San Diego, and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Princeton University. His lab uses a combination of chemical and biochemical approaches to study cell signaling from a chemical perspective, with a particular focus on the development of novel chemical tools for controlling the activities of protein tyrosine phosphatases with high specificity. He received a Faculty Start-up Grant for Undergraduate Institutions from the Dreyfus Foundation in 2002 and was named a Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar in 2010.

4:05pm: Stephen Buchwald, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1988 Teacher-Scholar
Asymmetric Copper-Catalyzed Hydrofunctionalization Reactions
Chair: John I. Brauman
Stephen L. Buchwald is the Camille Dreyfus Professor of Chemistry at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his Sc.B. from Brown University and his Ph.D. from Harvard University.  He then was a Myron A. Bantrell postdoctoral fellow at Caltech with Professor Robert H. Grubbs. He joined the chemistry faculty of MIT in 1984 and was named the Camille Dreyfus Professor in 1997. His research combines elements of organic synthesis, physical organic chemistry, and organometallic chemistry to devise catalytic processes of use in solving problems of fundamental importance. He has received numerous honors including the Award in Organometallic Chemistry from the American Chemical Society, a MERIT award from the National Institutes of Health, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Distinguished Achievement Award, the American Chemical Society’s Award for Creative Work in Synthetic Organic Chemistry, the Siegfried Medal Award in Chemical Methods which Impact Process Chemistry, the Gustavus J. Esselen Award for Chemistry in the Public Interest, the Arthur C. Cope Award from the American Chemical Society, the Linus Pauling Medal, the Ulysses Medal (University College Dublin), the BBVA Frontiers in Knowledge Award in Basic Sciences, and the William H. Nichols Medal. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the National Academy of Science, and an Arthur C. Cope Scholar. He is the coauthor of over 435 published or accepted papers and 47 issued patents. He serves as a consultant to a number of companies and is an associate editor of Advanced Synthesis and Catalysis.

2016 Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Awards

The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation has selected 7 Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholars for 2016. The award provides an unrestricted research grant of $60,000 to young faculty at primarily undergraduate institutions who are accomplished researchers and committed educators.

Fadi Bou-Abdallah, State University of New York at Potsdam
Iron Oxidation and Deposition Mechanisms in WT Heteropolymer Ferritins and Ferritin Variants Causing Neuroferritinopathy

Timothy B. Clark, University of San Diego
Metal-Catalyzed Borylation Reactions

Kelling J. Donald, University of Richmond
Weak Interactions and Chemical Bonding Phenomena in Inorganic and Organic Systems: Understanding, Predicting, and Applying

Jane M. Liu, Pomona College
Molecular Understanding and Applications of Bacterial RNAs

Katherine E. Plass, Franklin & Marshall College
Engineering Copper Sulfide Nanoparticles to Modulate Ion Exchange and Photocatalysis

Matthew T. Whited, Carleton College
Exploiting Metal/Main-Group Cooperation in Small Molecule Activation

Liliya A. Yatsunyk, Swarthmore College
Deciphering the Structure and Dynamics of Quadruplex DNA and DNA-ligand Complexes

2016 Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Awards

The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation has selected 13 Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholars for 2016. These faculty are within the first five years of their academic careers, have each created an outstanding independent body of scholarship, and are deeply committed to education. The frontier accomplishments of these award recipients span the broad range of contemporary research in the chemical sciences. Each Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar receives an unrestricted research grant of $75,000.

Andrew Boydston, University of Washington
Functional Materials Across Multiple Length Scales

Luis Campos, Columbia University
Development of Materials for Next Generation Solar Cells

William Chueh, Stanford University
Ion Insertion Electrochemistry at the Molecular- & Nano-scale

Neal Devaraj, University of California, San Diego
Site-Specific Covalent Tagging of RNA for Live Cell Imaging and Affinity Purification

Mircea Dinca, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Teaching Sponges New Tricks: Charge Transport and Heterogeneous Catalysis in Microporous Metal-Organic Frameworks

Naomi Ginsberg, University of California, Berkeley
Elucidating Dynamic Processes in Heterogeneous Condensed Phases at the Nanoscale

Aditya Khair, Carnegie Mellon University
Physico-chemical Transport Processes in Soft Materials and Complex Fluids

Jared Lewis, The University of Chicago
Engineering Proteins for Selective Catalysis

Amanda Morris, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Metal Organic Framework Artificial Photosynthetic Arrays

Eranda Nikolla, Wayne State University
Oxidative Coupling of Methane Using Layered, Nickelate Oxide Catalysts

Michael Pluth, University of Oregon
New Tools for Biological Hydrogen Sulfide Research and Applications to Enhanced Chemical Education

Nathaniel Szymczak, University of Michigan
New Approaches to Develop Catalysts for Energy Relevant Chemical Conversions

Qiu Wang, Duke University
Developing New Strategies and Chemical Probes for Molecular Imaging

2015 Dreyfus Prize Awarded to Krzysztof Matyjaszewski

UA, CM Today, April 24 2014, Krzysztof Matyjaszewski

Krzysztof Matyjaszewski

The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation has announced that Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, the J. C. Warner University Professor of Natural Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University, has won the 2015 Dreyfus Prize in the Chemical Sciences, conferred this year in Making Molecules and Materials. The international prize, awarded biennially, consists of $250,000, a medal, and a citation. The award ceremony was held at Carnegie Mellon University on October 1 and included a lecture by Matyjaszewski.

Matyjaszewski developed the process of atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP), which has proven to be the most important advance in polymer synthesis in half a century. Based on ATRP, he has developed processes for efficiently synthesizing complex structured polymers and co-polymers, as well as many other important new materials. In addition to developing applications of ATRP, he has led this new field in understanding mechanisms and developing new catalysts. For example, his development of new copper complexes, over one million times more active than the original, have allowed catalysts to be reduced to parts per million levels, and has made the ATRP process sufficiently environmentally friendly that Matyjaszewski was awarded the 2009 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award.

In addition to these major advances in polymer chemistry, Matyjaszewski has also been effective at transferring the ATRP process to industry, with applications that include automotive coatings, adhesives, cosmetics, inkjet printing, smart and electronic materials, and many others, with an estimated commercial value exceeding $20 billion. “Kris Matyjaszewski’s work has made free radical polymerization a precision tool for polymer scientists to make controlled macromolecular structures, and has opened new avenues for industry in the control of polymer architecture in practical manufacturing processes,” stated Matthew Tirrell, Dean and Founding Pritzker Director of the Institute for Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago and Board Member of the Dreyfus Foundation.

Henry C. Walter, President of the Dreyfus Foundation, said, “Krzysztof Matyjaszewski’s work in polymer chemistry follows in the tradition of Camille and Henry Dreyfus, who were major innovators in their day in making polymer materials. We are proud to recognize his immense accomplishments with the Dreyfus Prize.”

“I feel very honored and flattered to receive the Dreyfus Prize for making molecules and materials. This recognition addresses not only contributions of my students and collaborators but also all polymer chemists working in the area of controlled/living polymerization focused on the precise synthesis of small molecules and macromolecular materials with controlled architecture and functionality for targeted applications,” said Matyjaszewski.