DuPont Young Professors Selected from Across the Globe Focus on New Science

DuPont has awarded $1.3 million to the 2011 class of DuPont Young Professors representing 11 U.S. universities and six from universities across the world.

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The DuPont Young Professor program is a way to identify talented researchers and promising science early in a new professor’s career.

Wilmington, DE (PRWEB) June 16, 2011

DuPont has awarded $1.3 million to the 2011 class of DuPont Young Professors representing 11 U.S. universities and six from universities across the world. This marks the 43rd class of DuPont Young Professors, sponsored globally by the DuPont Fellows Forum, representing the top scientists from throughout the company. Since the inception of the award, some 548 young professors from the United States, Europe, Asia, South America, Canada and Africa have received nearly $48 million in grants.

The DuPont Young Professor program, which began in 1967, is designed to provide start-up assistance to promising young and untenured research faculty working in areas of interest to DuPont's long-term business. Research by the class of 2011 Young Professors centers on solar energy, biomolecular sciences, polymer science, nanotechnology, entomology, chemistry, chemical engineering, statistics, animal biology and life sciences.

Each young professor will receive $75,000 in three annual grants of $25,000, or its equivalent in relevant currency. The grants may be used to obtain matching funds through the National Science Foundation or other organizations.

“The DuPont Young Professor program is a way to identify talented researchers and promising science early in a new professor’s career,” said DuPont Senior Vice President and Chief Science & Technology Officer Douglas Muzyka. “These grants encourage highly original research of value to DuPont while helping the young professors begin their academic research careers.”    

History has shown that the DuPont Young Professor grant creates a lasting relationship with academic scientists who in turn provide the company with unique perspectives on technological challenges, further aiding the DuPont research and development process. The program is significant, not only for the diversity of people, universities and studies represented, but also because it has reached out to the academic community for more than four decades, making it one of the most sustained programs for academic support in the United States.

“In many ways, this is the pinnacle of support by DuPont for Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) education throughout the entire United States education system,” said Muzyka. “STEM is the required education path for the degrees these young professors have earned. DuPont is proud of the support we offer to many STEM education programs. And we see DuPont Young Professors as one of the ultimate prizes for our support of STEM efforts.”

Professors are nominated by a member of the DuPont technical staff. The nominator serves as the liaison between the company and the faculty member. The DuPont Fellows Forum, which includes the company’s top scientists, selects the award winners each year. During the three-year award, each grant recipient is invited to present a seminar on his or her work to the DuPont research community in Wilmington, Del. The DuPont Young Professor program is administered by the DuPont Center for Collaborative Research & Education.

The DuPont Young Professor’s Class of 2011 includes professors from China, the Philippines, Netherlands and Ukraine, Brazil, and Canada; and professors from Iowa State University, Northwestern, University of Tennessee, Virginia Tech, University of Oregon, Columbia University, Yeshiva University, Princeton, Case Western Reserve, University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

This year, awards were made to the following promising young faculty, including a note on the focus of their current research:

  •     Matthias Heinemann, University of Groningen, the Netherlands. Microbial cellular metabolism.
  •     Justin Notestein, Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill. Approaches to atom-precise materials for heterogeneous catalysis and selective adsorption.
  •     Yili Hong, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va. Research in the area of statistical reliability.
  •     Shannon Boettcher, University of Oregon, Eugene, Ore. Nanostructured oxides designed for solar water splitting.
  •     Scott Snyder, Columbia University, New York, N.Y. Synthesis of natural products.
  •     Peng Wu, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University, New York, N.Y. Labeling recombinant proteins and living cells.
  •     A. James Link, Princeton, Princeton, N.J. Applications of unnatural amino acids in proteins and directed evolution of biomolecules.
  •     LaShanda Korley, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. Bio-mimetic approaches to toughening and mechanical enhancement of polymers.
  •     Jonathan Owen, Columbia University, New York, N.Y. Relationship between structure and electronic properties in nanocrystals leading to practical renewable energy technologies.
  •     Christopher Douglas, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn. Preparation of novel materials for organic photovoltaic devices;
  •     Dwight Seferos, University of Toronto, Canada, Conjugated polymers for potential use in low-cost electronic devices.
  •     Iryna Gerasymenko, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine. Effectiveness of plastome engineering to produce proteins and/or agriculture plants.
  •     Aaron Gassmann, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa. Cross-disciplinary research that will combat the threat of pest resistance to transgenic maize.
  •     Juan Luis Jurat-Fuentes, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tenn. Mode of action of Bt toxins and the mechanisms through which insects develop resistance to them.
  •     Jianbing Yan, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, China. Association mapping to study quantitative traits.
  •     Eliseu Jose Pereira, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, Brazil. Molecular characterization of insect pest resistance to genetically modified crops.
  •     Natalia DeLeon, University of Wisconsin, Madison Wis. Maize breeding and genetics.
  •     Bong Salazar, University of the Philippines, College of Agriculture, Los Baños, Philippines. Impact of nutrient cycling and management in agricultural systems.

DuPont (http://www.dupont.com) is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 90 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.

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