The Dreyfus Foundation sponsored a symposium on Chemistry in Support of Human Health, the topic of the 2019 Dreyfus Prize, at the spring 2021 national meeting of the American Chemical Society. Videos of these talks are now available on YouTube, at the following links: Susan Richardson (U. of South Carolina), David Tirrell (Caltech), Carolyn Bertozzi (Stanford), Richard Friesner (Columbia), Chaitan Khosla (Stanford), Peter Schultz (Scripps Research Institute), Sangeeta Bhatia (MIT), and Robert Langer (MIT, recipient of the 2019 Dreyfus Prize).
The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation welcomes Dr. Scott A. Siegel as our new Executive Director. Dr. Siegel succeeds Dr. Mark J. Cardillo, who had served in the position since 2003.
Scott Siegel has spent more than 35 years as a scientific and business leader. Prior to joining the Foundation, Dr. Siegel was VP & Chief Business Officer for ATCC, a non-profit in the life sciences. He founded Milestone Life Sciences, a strategic advisory and partnering firm, and previously held senior leadership roles in public and private companies ranging from start-up to multinational, including COO at Ezose Sciences, VP at Redpoint Bio, and Executive Director at Johnson & Johnson. Dr. Siegel also served as VP for the non-profit Institute for Life Science Entrepreneurship. He has broad international experience, facilitating partnerships across North America, Europe and Asia.
“I am honored to join the Dreyfus Foundation as Executive Director and look forward to continuing our mission and building on a distinguished 75-year history. The chemical sciences play a role in essentially every aspect of our lives, and it is the Foundation’s aim to support the scientific community as it seeks to advance, interpret and disseminate knowledge across the spectrum of chemistry-related disciplines,” Dr. Siegel stated.
“The Board of Directors and I are thrilled that Scott Siegel has joined the Dreyfus Foundation,” said H. Scott Walter, President. “We look forward to Scott’s innovative and impactful leadership as the Foundation continues to strive to make a positive impact on the community we serve. We also thank Mark Cardillo for his substantial contributions to the Foundation’s mission over the past 18 years, a period of significant growth that included establishment of several new programs and events, including the Dreyfus Prize in the Chemical Sciences.”
Dr. Siegel earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from SUNY Downstate Medical Center, completed postdoctoral studies in Pharmacology at Yale University, and spent the early part of his career as an R&D leader in both large multinationals and fast-moving start-ups, including Becton, Dickinson and Co., Centocor and Phytera. He has more than 60 publications and patents and contributed to the development of 3 launched products, including as co-inventor of Remicade®, an anti-TNF therapy that has been used worldwide in the treatment of more than 3 million patients with autoimmune disorders. Dr. Siegel previously served as Adjunct Associate Professor of Microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania and more recently as Lecturer in the MBA Communications Program at the Wharton School.
The mission of the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation is to advance the science of chemistry, chemical engineering, and related sciences as a means of improving human relations and circumstances throughout the world. Since its establishment in 1946 as a non-profit organization, the Foundation has awarded over $150 million in support of these goals. Current Dreyfus programs support young faculty accomplished in both research and teaching, further the exploration of emerging fields such as machine learning, recognize exceptional and original research that has advanced the field with the Dreyfus Prize, and fund lectureships at primarily undergraduate institutions.
Marye Anne Fox, a pioneering chemist and leader in both science and education, passed away on May 10, 2021. Marye Anne’s life of outstanding distinction included tenures as chancellor at the University of California, San Diego, and North Carolina State University. Among her many honors, she received the National Medal of Science in 2009 for her research contributions in the areas of organic photochemistry and electrochemistry and for enhancing our understanding of excited state and charge-transfer processes with interdisciplinary applications in material science, solar energy conversion, and environmental chemistry.
The Dreyfus Foundation was fortunate to benefit from her insight and vision for many years. Marye Anne began her association with the Foundation in 1991 and was elected to the Board in 2002. Among her numerous contributions, she was Chair of the Scientific Affairs Committee from 2008-2016. The Dreyfus Board and staff extend our heartfelt condolences to Marye Anne’s family, friends, and colleagues.
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James G. Anderson, the Philip S. Weld Professor in Chemistry at Harvard University, is the recipient of the 2021 Dreyfus Prize in the Chemical Sciences. The international biennial Prize, which includes a $250,000 award, is conferred this year in Environmental Chemistry. The award ceremony is scheduled to be held at Harvard in the fall.
Anderson received this award for decades of landmark contributions to the field of environmental chemistry. He is honored for pioneering measurements of the free radicals that drive the chemistry of the atmosphere, establishing the foundation for worldwide agreements to protect the stratospheric ozone layer. His work and advocacy have had an enduring impact on scientists, policy-makers, students, and society. He is a towering figure in the field, renowned for his extraordinary abilities to both distill the most important questions that characterize the complex photochemical system of the stratosphere and then to perform the extremely challenging experiments required to address them. He has testified on numerous occasions before both Senate and House committees on national energy and climate issues.
Anderson’s high-altitude measurements of the reaction kinetics of chlorine radicals derived from chlorofluorocarbons, also known as CFCs, directly shaped the Montreal Protocol, a milestone global agreement to protect the stratospheric ozone layer. His work demonstrated conclusively that CFCs were responsible for the massive destruction of stratospheric ozone. As a direct result of Anderson’s research and testimony, CFC emissions harmful to the atmosphere were phased out. The Montreal Protocol, finalized in 1987, was the first treaty to be ratified by all countries in the world.
Anderson’s results are widely considered to be the gold standard for reaction rate data and in situ observations of free radicals, reactive intermediates, and isotopes in the stratosphere. The reactions that he identified in the atmosphere were then studied rigorously in his laboratory by developing ultrasensitive laser and detection techniques. The laser-based systems he developed, to measure concentrations as low as 1 part in 1014, provided the ability to quantitatively establish the rate of catalytic loss of ozone that allowed the direct testing of models of stratospheric chemistry.
Recently, Anderson made a revolutionary link between the decrease of stratospheric ozone and global climate change. The increase in violent thunderstorms, particularly in the Midwestern United States, transports water vapor into the relatively dry stratosphere. Anderson’s work has shown that the radicals that originate from this increased water concentration contribute substantially to a loss of this protective layer of ozone.
Anderson’s influence is further amplified by his transformative work as an educator. Many of his students and postdoctoral fellows have become distinguished faculty at top-ranked universities. Anderson’s latest book, University Chemistry: Frontiers and Foundations from a Global and Molecular Perspective (MIT Press), provides a blueprint to teach introductory chemistry concepts within the larger context of technology, global energy, and climate. His novel approach motivates students by using real-world problems that can be solved by chemistry, and is the foundation of a widely popular course at Harvard.
“Jim Anderson has created the tools and the instrumentation to understand the mechanistic links among the chemistry, radiation, and dynamics in the atmosphere that control climate,” stated Matthew Tirrell, Chair of the Dreyfus Foundation Scientific Affairs Committee and Dean of the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering at The University of Chicago.
Anderson was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1992. He is a Fellow of the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Geophysical Union. His many awards and honors include the Lichtenberg Medal from the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the Polanyi Medal of the British Royal Academy of Chemistry, the Benton Medal for Public Service by The University of Chicago, and the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award in the Physical Sciences. He received the Harvard University’s Ledlie Prize for Most Valuable Contribution to Science by a Member of the Faculty; the United Nations Vienna Convention Award for Protection of the Ozone Layer; the E.O. Lawrence Award in Environmental Science and Technology; and two American Chemical Society awards: for Chemistry in the Public Interest and for Creative Advances in Environmental Science and Technology.
H. Scott Walter, President of the Dreyfus Foundation, remarked, “Jim Anderson’s contributions to our understanding of environmental chemistry are extraordinary and profound. We have all benefited from his work. The Foundation is thrilled to recognize his accomplishments with the Dreyfus Prize.”
Anderson stated, “Increasingly, private scientific foundations are driving innovation within rapidly developing, multidisciplinary, scientific initiatives of critical importance to both expanded educational opportunities and unprecedented research opportunities. For seventy-five years the Dreyfus Foundation has pioneered innovation in chemistry and chemical engineering in the context of coupling research and education to societal responsibility, and to solve global scale issues that sustain the human endeavor. Thus, I am deeply moved by receiving the Dreyfus Prize in the Chemical Sciences.”
The Dreyfus Prize in the Chemical Sciences, initiated in 2009, is conferred in a specific area of chemistry in each cycle. It is the highest honor of the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation. The previous Dreyfus Prize winners are:
2019: Robert Langer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Chemistry in Support of Human Health
2017: Michele Parrinello, USI Universita della Svizzera italiana and ETH Zurich, Theoretical and Computational Chemistry
2015: Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, Carnegie Mellon University, Making Molecules and Materials
2013: R. Graham Cooks, Purdue University, Chemical Instrumentation
2011: Tobin Marks, Northwestern University, Catalysis
2009: George Whitesides, Harvard University, Materials
The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation announces the selection of 16 Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholars for 2021. 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. Each Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar receives an unrestricted research grant of $100,000.
John Anderson, The University of Chicago
Leveraging Unorthodox Bonding Effects in Transition Metal Molecules and Materials
Carlos Baiz, The University of Texas at Austin
Ultrafast Dynamics at Heterogeneous Liquid-Liquid Interfaces
Christopher Bates, University of California, Santa Barbara
Phase Behavior of Statistical Bottlebrush Copolymers
Osvaldo Gutierrez, University of Maryland, College Park
New Paradigms in Sustainable Catalysis
Julia Kalow, Northwestern University
Harnessing Reactivity-Property Relationships for Polymer Discovery
Markita Landry, University of California, Berkeley
Plant Transport Phenomena to Optimize Plant Photosynthesis
Song Lin, Cornell University
An Electrocatalytic Approach to Organic Reaction Discovery
Nikhil Malvankar, Yale University
Biogenic Production of Robust and Scalable Nanomaterials with Genetically Tunable Electronic, Optical, and Mechanical Functionalities
Karthish Manthiram, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Electrification and Decarbonization of Chemical Synthesis
David Olson, University of California, Davis
Chemical Tools for Controlling Neuroplasticity
Brenda Rubenstein, Brown University
Accurate and Efficient Stochastic Electronic Structure Algorithms for Materials Design
Ian Seiple, University of California, San Francisco
Chemical Synthesis to Enable Biological Discovery
Luisa Whittaker-Brooks, University of Utah
Designer Hybrid Organic-Inorganic Interfaces for Coherent Spin and Energy Transfer
Xiaoji Xu, Lehigh University
Development of the Next Generation of Multimodal Chemical, Optical, and Electrical Scanning Probe Microscopy
Mingxu You, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Nucleic Acid-Based Cellular Imaging and Analysis
Joel Yuen-Zhou, University of California, San Diego
Polariton Chemistry: Controlling Molecules with Optical Cavities