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College of Arts and Sciences

Chemistry professor finalist for Chemical Pioneer Award

By: Yvette Lisa Ndlovu,  A&S Communications
May 1, 2019

Peng Chen, the Peter J. W. Debye Professor of Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology, is among three finalists for the American Institute of Chemists’ 2019 Chemical Pioneer Award.

The Chemical Pioneer Award recognizes chemists, chemical engineers or their associates who have made outstanding contributions that have had a major impact on advances in chemical science and industry and the chemical profession. The award was first given in 1966. Previous winners include pioneering researchers, educators and executives including Robert Langer, Linus C. Pauling, Herbert C. Brown and George Olah. Chen is recognized for his pioneering contributions to the study of catalysis on single nanoparticles.

“It is certainly an honor to be recognized by this award,” Chen said.

Chen’s research focuses on developing and applying single-molecule techniques to understand the function and dynamics of nanomaterials and biomacromolecules. His research focuses on developing better strategies for energy conversion, as well as for curing and preventing diseases. Nanomaterials are chemical substances that are manufactured or occur naturally that have an external dimension of approximately 1-100 nm.

“I especially want to thank my former postdocs and students who fearlessly tackled the scientific challenges,” Chen said.

Founded in 1923, the American Institute of Chemists (AIC) advances the chemical sciences by establishing high professional standards of practice and emphasizing the professional, ethical, economic, and social status of its members for the benefit of society as a whole. The AIC engages in a broad range of programs for professional enhancement through the prestigious Fellow membership category, an awards program, certification programs, and meetings.

 The winner will be announced at the 2019 Chemical Pioneer Symposium May 9 at the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia, Penn. The award winner will deliver a formal lecture on their research at the award ceremony during the 2019 annual meeting of The American Institute of Chemists.