CHAMPAIGN, lll. — Four University of Illinois chemistry professors are among 213 distinguished scientists elected fellows of the American Chemical Society this year. Thom Dunning, Catherine Murphy, Ralph Nuzzo and Jonathan Sweedler “have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in chemistry and made important contributions to ACS,” the society wrote in its announcement about the new fellows.
Dunning directs the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and holds the Distinguished Chair for Research Excellence in Chemistry at Illinois. His research focuses on the development of techniques for the accurate solution of the electronic Schrödinger equation, and on new computational approaches to enhance scientists’ understanding of, and ability to predict, the structure, energetics and reactivity of molecules.
Murphy is the Peter C. and Gretchen Miller Markunas Professor of Chemistry. Her research explores the overlapping fields of materials chemistry, inorganic chemistry, biophysics and nanotechnology. A primary goal of her research is to develop inorganic nanomaterials for biological and energy-related applications and to understand the chemical interactions of these materials with their environment.
Nuzzo, the G.L. Clark Professor of Chemistry and a professor of materials science and engineering, investigates the chemistry of materials, with a focus on methods to fabricate high-performance devices that integrate materials in new ways. His laboratory explores methods for developing novel lightweight, flexible electronics; photovoltaic energy systems; lighting; optics; batteries, fuel cells and other electrochemical energy systems; chemical sensors; and bioanalytical arrays.
Sweedler directs the Carver Biotechnology Center at Illinois, and holds the James R. Eiszner Family Chair in Chemistry. He is a bioanalytical chemist, with a focus on developing new methods to study the distribution and dynamic release of neurotransmitters and neuropeptides from individual neurons. He has developed a suite of new tools that allow single neurons and small brain regions to be chemically characterized. He also runs the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Neuroproteomics Center on Cell-to-Cell Signaling.
“It is hard to think of four scholars more deserving of this particular recognition,” said Steven C. Zimmerman, who heads the department of chemistry at Illinois. “Each has opened entirely new areas of chemistry, yet also provides a similarly high level of leadership in the service of our discipline.”
The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 163,000 members, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society. The ACS will honor the 2011 fellows at its annual meeting in Denver on Aug. 29.