Gustavus John Esselen Award for Chemistry in the Public Interest
Each year students and faculty head off to Harvard University to attend the annual Esselen Award lecture. This award is given each year by the Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society (NESACS).
The Esselen Award for Chemistry in the public interest is one of the most prestigious honors provided by the Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society. The award annually recognizes a chemist whose scientific and technical work has contributed to the public well-being, and has thereby communicated positive values of the chemical profession. The Awardee should be a living resident of the United States or Canada at the time of nomination, and the significance of this work should have become apparent within the five years preceding nomination.
More on the Esselen Award can be found at the NESACS website.
2011 Esselen Award
Dr. Arthur J. Nozik received the 2011 Esselen Award.
Dr. Nozik is a Senior Research Fellow at the U.S. DOE National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Professor Adjoint in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and a founding Fellow of the NREL/University of Colorado Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute. Dr. Nozik's research interests include size quantization effects in semiconductor quantum dots and quantum wells, including multiple exciton generation from a single photon; the applications of unique effects in nanostructures to advanced approaches for solar photon conversion to electricity and solar fuels; photogenerated carrier relaxation dynamics in various semiconductor structures; photoelectrochemistry of semiconductor-molecule interfaces; photoelectrochemical energy conversion; photocatalysis; optical, magnetic and electrical properties of solids; and Mössbauer spectroscopy.
He lectured on: Prospects and Novel Approaches for the Low Cost Power Conversion of Solar Photons to Electricity and Solar Fuels
Recent Esselen Award Winners
Stephen L. Buchwald, Camille Dreyfus Professor of Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) received the 2010 Esselen Award for Chemistry in the Public Interest.
Professor Buchwald’s selection recognizes his major impact on medicinal chemistry, due to his development of palladium and copper catalyzed processes to form carbon-nitrogen and carbon-oxygen bonds. These catalysts are used daily by the discovery groups of nearly every major pharmaceutical company worldwide. His catalysts have enabled the synthesis of novel promising small molecule drugs targeting a very wide range of diseases. His catalysts have also been instrumental in developing novel organic semiconductors and a wide range of other non-medicinal chemical syntheses.
He lectured on: Pd- and Cu-Catalyzed Processes for the Synthesis of Pharmaceuticals
The 2009 Esselen Award was given to Chad Mirkin of Northwestern University for his work with nanotechnology and medicine. He is the founder of two companies , Nanosphere and NanoInk, which are commercializing nanotechnology applications in the life science and semiconductor industries. He is listed as one of the top five most cited chemists in the world and is the most cited nanomedicine researcher in the world.
He lectured on: Nanostructures in Chemistry, Biology, and Medicine