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Two Illinois researchers to receive Presidential Early Career Awards

James E. Kloeppel, Physical Sciences Editor


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Two University of Illinois researchers are among 58 young researchers named today (June 13) as recipients of the 2004 Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on young professionals at the outset of their independent research careers. They will receive their awards today in a White House ceremony.

The U of I winners:

Neil L. Kelleher, chemistry, for developing new approaches for analysis of proteins and their post-translational modifications, and for outstanding teaching.

ChengXiang Zhai, computer science, for working on user-centered, adaptive intelligent information access that has far-reaching impact for information technology users.
“These extraordinarily gifted young scientists and engineers represent the best in our country,” President Bill Clinton said when he established the awards in February 1996. “Through their talent, ability, and dedication, they will quicken the pace of discovery and put science and technology to work advancing the human condition as never before.”

The young scientists and engineers receive up to a five-year research grant to further their study in support of critical government missions. The federal agencies involved include the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Energy, Health and Human Services, Veterans Affairs, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation.