News Briefs

Michele Parrinello Wins 2017 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.

Further information HERE.


Zare Receives 2017 Othmer Gold Medal

Richard Zare is the winner of the 2017 Othmer Gold Medal, the preeminent award of the Chemical Heritage Foundation. The medal honors individuals who have made multifaceted contributions to chemistry through outstanding activity in such areas as innovation, entrepreneurship, research, education, public understanding, legislation, or philanthropy. Zare is the Marguerite Blake Wilbur Professor in Natural Science at Stanford University and a Director of the Dreyfus Foundation. Further information HERE.




Arup Chakraborty Selected as an Advisor to the Foundation

Arup Chakraborty, the Robert T. Haslam Professor in Chemical Engineering and Professor of Chemistry and Biological Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has been selected to serve as an Advisor to the Foundation, with his term to begin in April 2017. The central theme of Chakraborty's research is the development and application of theoretical/computational approaches, rooted in physics, chemistry, and engineering, to aid the quest for mechanistic principles in immunology, and then harness this understanding to aid the design of vaccines against mutable pathogens. Among his many awards and honors, he was named a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar in 1994. He will join Louis Brus of Columbia University, David Hansen of Amherst College, and Francois Morel of Princeton University as an Advisor.

Chakraborty group.


Brauman Receives 2017 Charles Lathrop Parsons Award

John I. Brauman, the J. G. Jackson - C. J. Wood Professor of Chemistry Emeritus at Stanford University and Director of the Dreyfus Foundation, has been named as the recipient of the 2017 Charles Lathrop Parsons Award by the American Chemical Society. The award recognizes outstanding public service by a member of the ACS.

In C&E News, Brauman stated, "I'm absolutely delighted. Given that all of my graduate education and all of the support of my research has really come from the public, I fell that it's important to give something back. You also meet interesting people, you deal with interesting problems, and you learn a lot."

Brauman has received many awards, including the 2002 National Medal of Science. Two other Directors of the Dreyfus Foundation, Marye Anne Fox and Richard Zare, have also received this award, in 2005 and 2001, respectively.

Stanford Web page for John Brauman


Dreyfus One-Day Symposium: Making Molecules & Materials


The Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation sponsored a Presidential Symposium on Making Molecules and Materials (the topic of the 2015 Dreyfus Prize) at the Spring national meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Diego on Tuesday, March 15, 2016. The full program is below.

9:00  Introduction: Donna Nelson, ACS President

Chair: Session I – Marye Anne Fox, University of California, San Diego

9:10 Frances Arnold, California Institute of Technology

   Innovating with Evolution: Expanding the Enzyme Universe to Make Molecules and Materials

9:45 Joseph DeSimone, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

   Instead of 2D-printing Over and Over Again: Continuous Liquid Interface Production of 3D Objects

10:20  coffee break (15 minutes)

Chair: Session II – Louis Brus, Columbia University

10:35 Chad Mirkin, Northwestern University

   Making Materials with Programmable Nucleic Acid Bonds

11:10 Moungi Bawendi, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

   Fundamental Science and Applications of Nanocrystals

11:45  Lunch

Chair: Session III – Richard Zare, Stanford University

2:00 Melanie Sanford, University of Michigan

   Development of New C-H Bond Functionalization Reactions

2:35 David Tirrell, California Institute of Technology

   Non-Canonical Amino Acids as Tools for Protein Medicinal Chemistry

3:10  refreshment break (15 minutes)

Chair: Session IV – Matthew Tirrell, The University of Chicago

3:25 Craig Hawker, University of California, Santa Barbara

   Combining Facile Synthetic Strategies and Simple Purification Techniques for the Preparation of Unique Materials

4:10 Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, Carnegie Mellon University

   From Molecules to Materials: Macromolecular Engineering by Taming Free Radicals

4:45 Symposium ends


Krzysztof Matyjaszewski Awarded 2015 Dreyfus Prize

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 will be held at Carnegie Mellon University in the fall and will include 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.

Born in Poland, Matyjaszewski received his doctorate from the Polish Academy of Sciences in 1976. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Florida and worked as a research associate at the Polish Academy from 1978 to 1984. He came to Carnegie Mellon in 1985 and was appointed the J. C. Warner Professor of the Natural Sciences in 1998. He was named University Professor in 2004. Matyjaszewski also directs the Center for Macromolecular Engineering.

Matyjaszewski has received many honors including election to the US National Academy of Engineering, Fellow of the American Chemical Society, the Wolf Prize, the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Medal of the Polish Chemical Society, several ACS awards related to both Polymer Science and Engineering, the inaugural AkzoNobel North America Science award, Japanese Polymer Science and Materials Science awards, as well as other national and international honors.

For additional information: Mark Cardillo, The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, 212-753-1760,


Stanford Lab Explores Fundamental Nature of Cancer Using Mass Spectrometry

photoStanford University Chemistry Department’s Zarelab is pioneering an innovative and multidisciplinary approach to understanding more deeply the biochemical processes related to how cancer begins and progresses. By combining sophisticated analysis at the molecular level using transgenic animal models and cell samples, desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometry imaging, and statistical modeling, it is producing new insights about the relationship between metabolic patterns and oncogene expression. In a research paper recently published .... read entire article: HERE.


2015 Dreyfus Prize Topic is Making Molecules and Materials

photoThe Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation has selected Making Molecules and Materials as the topic of the 2015 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 citation.

"Making molecules and materials is at the core of chemistry," said Dr. Marye Anne Fox, chair of the Dreyfus Foundation Scientific Affairs Committee. "The syntheses of new organic, inorganic, and solid state matter with sought after or novel properties have greatly improved quality of life."

The deadline for nominations is March 2, 2015, with the prize recipient to be announced in May 2015. Additional information: HERE.


Dreyfus Prize Ceremony Honors Graham Cooks

Graham Cooks was awarded the 2013 Dreyfus Prize in the Chemical Sciences at Purdue University on September 24, 2013. Cooks’s talk, “Measuring Molecules: Grocery Stores, Doctors’ Offices, Crime Scenes, Operating Rooms, and Factory Floors,” included a live demonstration of the portable mass spectrometer that he developed (picture).  A video of the entire Ceremony is available HERE.


Louis Brus Selected Advisor

Louis E. Brus, S. L. Mitchell Professor of Chemistry at Columbia University, has been selected to serve as an Advisor to the Foundation, with his term to begin in April 2014.  Dr. Brus is a world-renowned chemist who is widely credited with pioneering the field of nanoscience with his research on semiconductor nanocrystals. He joins David Hansen of Claremont McKenna, Pitzer, and Scripps Colleges, Francois Morel of Princeton University, and JoAnne Stubbe of Massachusetts Institute of Technology as an Advisor.


R. Graham Cooks Wins 2013 Dreyfus Prize

Purdue chemist honored for advances in chemical instrumentation

The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation has announced that R. Graham Cooks, the Henry Bohn Hass Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Purdue University, is the recipient of the 2013 Dreyfus Prize in the Chemical Sciences. The international prize, awarded biennially, consists of $250,000, a citation, and a medal. The award ceremony will be held at Purdue University in the fall and will feature a lecture by Professor Cooks. A video of the entire Ceremony is available HERE.

Graham Cooks is recognized internationally as an innovative giant in the field of mass spectrometry who has enriched analytical chemistry in unparalleled ways. Virtually every pharmaceutical and biotechnology company relies on mass spectrometry at a level that has become possible, in part, through Cooks's innovations.

Mass spectrometry is the science of accurately determining the masses of molecules in a sample from which we can learn the elemental composition of each constituent molecule. Cooks advanced this analytical capability with the introduction of tandem mass spectrometry in which selected ions generated from complex mixtures are further fragmented and the masses of the fragment ions determined. By putting together these pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, a picture emerges of the molecular structure of the parent ion. Cooks has also made groundbreaking advances in ambient desorption/ionization in which ions from a sample at room-temperature in air are introduced into the mass spectrometer for analysis, removing many of the difficulties associated with sample preparation and volatilization in previous, complex mass spectrometric techniques.

In a remarkable accomplishment, Cooks and colleagues have recently created miniature mass spectrometers, enabling the remote deployment of these analytical instruments including under battery power. Mass spectrometers, once roughly as large as an automobile, are now reduced to the size of a shoebox, allowing their widespread use in clinics, homeland security, the military, and food safety. Cooks noted, "We are trying to take powerful and sophisticated instruments out of the lab and into the real environment where, for example, they could monitor fresh produce all along the supply chain, from production to the consumers. This technology has the capability of testing for bacteria in only a matter of minutes as opposed to hours or even days for standard laboratory tests."

Cooks described the Dreyfus Prize as a major career highlight. "I am particularly pleased that the Dreyfus Foundation chose chemical instrumentation as the topic of the prize," Cooks stated, "because it is an emphatic recognition of the importance of instrumentation in the chemical sciences."

Henry C. Walter, President of the Dreyfus Foundation, said, "Chemical instrumentation has shaped human life in a myriad of positive ways. Graham Cooks is a consummate innovator and it is a great pleasure to recognize him with the third Dreyfus Prize."

Richard N. Zare, the Marguerite Blake Wilbur Professor in Natural Science at Stanford University and a Board member of the Dreyfus Foundation, remarked, "Mass spectrometry has had an extraordinary impact on modern science, and Graham Cooks has changed the field in many important ways. He has developed critical new experimental instruments and methods and applied them to solve significant problems." 

R. Graham Cooks received B.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Natal, South Africa, and a second Ph.D. from Cambridge University. He has been at Purdue University since 1971. He is the recipient of many honors. These include the American Chemical Society awards in Chemical Instrumentation, Mass Spectrometry, Analytical Chemistry, and the F.A Cotton Award. He has been recognized internationally with both the Robert Boyle Medal and the Centennial Prize of the Royal Society of Chemistry.


Foundation News

Morel Receives Dickson Prize in Science

Marye Anne Fox Received 2012 Othmer Gold Medal

Matthew Tirrell Awarded 2012 APS Polymer Physics Prize

Marye Anne Fox Awarded 2010 National Medal of Science

New Lectureship Award Program for Undergraduate Institutions

Matthew Tirrell Joins Dreyfus Board, Named Founding Director of Chicago Institute of Molecular Engineering

Morel Receives ACS Award in Environmental Science & Technology

Richard Zare Joins Board of Directors

Dreyfus Foundation Names New Advisors

JoAnne Stubbe Wins 2010 Welch Award

John Tully Awarded Joseph O. Hirschfelder Prize in Theoretical Chemistry

George Whitesides accepts inaugural Dreyfus Prize in the Chemical Sciences

Henry C. Walter elected President of Board of Directors, Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation

A Dreyfus Foundation Symposium on Environmental Chemistry Research


Grantee News

Jean Dreyfus Boissevain Lectureship

Dreyfus Lectureship at University of Basel

Science Friday

"Create a Chemical Reaction" Featured at Museum of Science and Industry

Symposium in Materials Chemistry at the March 2010 ACS meeting

The Efficient Extraction of Carbon Dioxide from Ambient Air

"Chemistry Matters" Videos on

Tufts Chemistry Department Engages in Outreach to Local Schools

K-12 Chemistry a Hit at Science Buddies