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U. of I. chemist to be inducted into American Academy of Arts and Sciences

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Chemistry professor Sharon Hammes-Schiffer will be among 220 new members inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences on Saturday in Cambridge, Mass.

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10/5/2012 | Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor | 217-244-1073; eahlberg@illinois.edu

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — University of Illinois chemistry professor Sharon Hammes-Schiffer will be among 220 new members inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences on Saturday in Cambridge, Mass.

The academy, founded in 1780, is one of the oldest honorary societies in the nation. Fellowship honors outstanding leadership and scholarship in a variety of fields. New members join the ranks of Albert Einstein, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and other influential Americans.

“We’re so proud to have Sharon as a member of our department,” said Jeffrey Moore, the Murchison-Mallory Professor of Chemistry and interim department head. “Her work has provided fundamental new insight into chemical and biochemical reactions, and it has far-reaching consequences – from understanding the molecular details of how enzymes function to developing chemistry for alternative renewable energy.”

Hammes-Schiffer is a world leader in theoretical and computational chemistry. Her research focuses on chemical reactions in solution, in proteins, and at electrochemical interfaces, particularly the transfer of charged particles driving many chemical and biological processes.
Her group has developed theories that blend classical molecular dynamics and quantum mechanics. This work has applications in catalyst design for solar cells, understanding how enzymes work, protein engineering and drug design.

Hammes-Schiffer earned her doctorate from Stanford University in 1993. She was a faculty member at the University of Notre Dame and Pennsylvania State University before joining the faculty at Illinois in August. She has written more than 150 published papers. Among many other honors, she has received an NSF CAREER award and an Alfred P. Sloan research fellowship and is a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Chemical Society.

The American Academy for Arts and Sciences has more than 4,000 fellows and 600 foreign honorary members, including more than 250 Nobel laureates and 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.

Editor's note: To contact Sharon Hammes-Shiffer, email shs3@illinois.edu.
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