Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Symposium, 2022

The biennial symposium for Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholars was held at premier life sciences space Cure in New York City on October 28, 2022. Recent Teacher-Scholars presented posters of their research and heard scientific talks by five distinguished senior scientists, representing different research areas of chemistry.

The speakers were: Andrew Hamilton (NYU), David Reichman (Columbia), Frank Gupton (Virginia Commonwealth University), Rodney Priestley (Princeton), and Melanie Cooper (Michigan State).

Andrew Hamilton, President, New York University
Leadership from the Perspective of a University President
Chair: Matthew V. Tirrell

Dr. Hamilton became the 16th president of New York University on January 1, 2016. He received a first-class BSc from the University of Exeter, his master’s degree from the University of British Columbia, and his doctorate from the University of Cambridge. He did post-doctoral work at the Université Louis Pasteur. Before coming to NYU, Dr. Hamilton served as the vice chancellor of Oxford University and before that, provost of Yale University. In addition to his record as an academic leader, Dr. Hamilton is an award-winning, widely published chemist, and he has continued to maintain his scholarly work—including an active research laboratory—while holding leadership positions. His area of scholarly interest lies at the intersection of organic and biologic chemistry, with particular focus on the use of synthetic design for the understanding, mimicry, and potential disruption of biological processes. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the recipient of the Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award from the American Chemical Society, and the winner of the International Izatt-Christiansen Award for Macrocyclic Chemistry. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the American Council on Education.

David Reichman, Centennial Professor of Chemistry, Columbia University, and 2002 Dreyfus Foundation
Progress and Challenges in Quantum Chemistry
Chair: Matthew V. Tirrell

Dr. Reichman is the Centennial Professor of Chemistry at Columbia University. He received a B.A. in Physics at the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in Chemistry at M.I.T. where he was an AFOSR Fellow working under the direction of Robert Silbey. He was an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Utah working under the direction of Greg Voth. He started his independent career as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard. He was promoted to rank of John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Natural Sciences in 2003 and the rank of Professor with tenure in 2004, at which point he moved to Columbia University. Dr. Reichman has received an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, and the NSF CAREER award. In 2005 he shared the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Prize in the Physical Sciences with Christopher Jarzynski and Christoph Dellago “for their groundbreaking developments in statistical mechanics and seminal contributions to the dynamics of disordered condensed matter.” The Reichman group’s research deals broadly with the chemistry, physics, and biology of disordered materials.

Frank Gupton, Floyd D. Gottwald, Jr. Chair in Pharmaceutical Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University
Increasing Access to Essential Medicines in a Post-Covid Environment
Chair: Milan Mrksich

Dr. Gupton is an internationally recognized scholar and industry expert. After attending the University of Richmond on a basketball scholarship, he received his master’s degree from Georgia Tech. He earned his doctorate in chemistry at Virginia Commonwealth University. His 31-year industry career included senior positions with the Hoechst-Celanese Corporation and Boehringer-Ingelheim. In 2007, Gupton retired as executive director of process development for Boehringer-Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals. Gupton then joined the VCU College of Engineering faculty and became the Floyd D. Gottwald Junior Chair in Pharmaceutical Engineering in 2016. His research focuses on improving global health care by making pharmaceutical production cleaner and more cost-effective. To help advance these goals, he founded the Medicines for All Institute (M4ALL) with a simple idea: expand global access to lifesaving medications by producing them more efficiently. An inventor on multiple patents, including one for his work to produce nanoparticle catalysts supported on graphene, Gupton is a National Academy of Inventors Fellow. He received the Billy R. Martin Award for Innovation in 2017. For his efforts with M4ALL to develop cost-saving methods to produce the anti-HIV drug nevirapine, he won the 2019 Peter J. Dunn Award from the American Chemical Society (ACS). For that work, he and M4ALL chief technology officer D. Tyler McQuade, Ph.D., also won the 2018 ACS Green Chemistry Challenge Award and the 2018 ACS Award for Affordable Green Chemistry. The institute is working with a manufacturer in South Africa and partnering with the government of Ivory Coast to bring these advances to the places they are most needed.

Watch Dr. Gupton’s talk here:

Rodney Priestley, Dean of the Graduate School, Pomeroy and Betty Perry Smith Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Princeton University, and 2014 Dreyfus Foundation Teacher-Scholar
Supporting University Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Chair: Milan Mrksich

Dr. Priestley is the Pomeroy and Betty Perry Smith Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Princeton University and serves as Dean of the university’s graduate school. He also serves as Associate Director of the Princeton Center for Complex Materials. Work in the Priestley Laboratory applies principles of physics, chemistry and engineering towards nanoscale processing and characterization of polymers and soft matter with particular emphasis on thin films, colloids, and nanocomposites. Priestley holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from Texas Tech University and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University, and he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Matiere Molle et Chimie, ESPCI in Paris, France. His awards and honors include: the ACS Macro Letters/Biomacromolecules/Macromolecules Young Investigator Award and the American Physical Society Dillon Medal in 2020, the World Economic Forum Young Global Scientist in 2018, the Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professor Fellowship in 2017, the AICHE MSED Owens Corning Early Career Award in 2017, the Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award and the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship in 2014, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the UK PPG/APS DPOLY Exchange Lecturer, and Diverse: Issues In Higher Education Emerging Scholar in 2013, the Howard B. Wentz, Jr. Junior Faculty Award and AFOSR Young Investigator Award in 2011 the NSF CAREER Award in 2011 and the ACS Young Investigator Award in 2009.

Watch Dr. Priestley’s talk here:

Melanie Cooper, Lappan-Phillips Professor of Science Education, Michigan State University, and 2009 Dreyfus Foundation Special Grant awardee
What Can Theory and Evidence Tell Us about Teaching and Learning Chemistry?
Chair: Milan Mrksich

Dr. Cooper, professor of chemistry and Lappan-Phillips Professor of Science Education, is a renowned education scholar who has focused her career on improving teaching and learning in large-enrollment general and organic chemistry courses and is a leader in evidence-based curriculum reform. Cooper holds joint appointments in the MSU Departments of Chemistry and Teacher Education, and is a faculty member of the CREATE for STEM Institute. Cooper received her B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Manchester, England. Before joining MSU in January 2013, she conducted postdoctoral work in organic chemistry at Clemson University in South Carolina. Cooper’s dedication to the improvement of teaching chemistry in higher education is evidenced through her involvement in many professional organizations. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Chemical Society (ACS) and the Royal Society of Chemistry, and is a member of the National Research Council Advisory Board on Science Education. Her many honors include the ACS Award for Achievement in Research on Teaching and Learning in Chemistry, the Norris Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Teaching of Chemistry and the Outstanding Undergraduate Science Teacher Award from the Society for College Science Teaching.

Watch Dr. Cooper’s talk here: