UC s Up and Coming Chemistry Faculty Get National Science Foundation Recognition

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Pay it forward. So what does Newton's "Third Law of Motion" have to do with a concept espoused by Benjamin Franklin? These two principles combine for some powerful teaching and research in the Chemistry Department at the University of Cincinnati.

Since 1995, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded grants to junior faculty through the

Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award

program. The grants are among the most prestigious awards that junior faculty members can receive. Many faculty at the University of Cincinnati started their careers at the university with such a research boost from the NSF — especially those in McMicken College’s Department of Chemistry.

“Every one of our assistant professor hires, dating back to 1998, has received a CAREER award,” says Pat Limbach, department head. “What’s truly impressive is the consecutive string of assistant professor hires who have received this award.”

Only offered to assistant professors without tenure, the CAREER awards are intended for faculty members who are beginning their careers in tenure-track appointments. UC’s young chemists are studying photons, toxins in food, green chemistry, cytoskelatal protofilaments and more. Two of them have been promoted to associate professor since receiving their awards.

An important component of the award is also advancing education of young students. For example, the CAREER recipients often offer their research groups to mentor the Women in Science and Engineering participants. In the summer of 2009,

Whitney Howard worked in Bill Connick’s lab

studying new materials for chemical sensing as part of the annual

Research Experiences for Women Undergraduates


Limbach is justifiably pleased with the caliber of his department.

“I'm very proud of our young faculty.”

Read about these award-winning chemists:

Associate Professor Anna Gudmundsdottir

, hired in 1998, CAREER award in 2001    

University of Cincinnati News: National Honors for Five Scientists

Anna Gudmundsdottir earned a CAREER award for "Photolysis of Alkylazides in Solution and in Crystals."

Associate Professor William Connick

, hired in 1998, CAREER award in 2002

University of Cincinnati News: Chemist Earns NSF CAREER Award

UC chemist William Connick has found a way to get a single particle of light - one photon - to do twice the expected amount of work.

Former Assistant Professor Theresa Reineke,

hired in 2002, CAREER award in 2005 (moved to Virginia Tech in 2008)    

UC-Developed Technology to Assist Research and Genetic Drug Delivery

Techulon, Inc., and UC sign worldwide exclusive license agreements for novel reagents used for research and therapeutic delivery of nucleic acids.

Assistant Professor James Mack II, hired in 2003, CAREER award in 2006

UC Research, Fall 2006, “Curriculum Vitae”

Assistant Professor Ruxandra Dima

, hired in 2006, CAREER award in 2009

UC Chemist Receives NSF CAREER Award

Ruxandra Dima's five-year award totals more than $600,000 for her research on cytoskeletal protofilaments.

Assistant Professor Suri Iyer

, hired in 2004, CAREER award in 2009

Keeping the Food We Eat Safer

UC chemist receives prestigious NSF CAREER grant to develop toxin-detecting biosensors.

Assistant Professor Hairong Guan

, hired in 2007, CAREER award in 2010    

Career Catalyst: Chemistry Professor Earns NSF CAREER Award

Hairong Guan receives nearly $660,000 from National Science Foundation for research on catalytic reactions.

Assistant Professor George Stan,

hired in 2006, CAREER award in 2010

Continuing the Sequence: Another Chemistry Prof Earns NSF CAREER Award

George Stan and his research on molecular dynamics of proteins garner $660,644 in funding by the National Science Foundation.


About the CAREER Award

CAREER: The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a National Science Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations. Such activities should build a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research. NSF encourages submission of CAREER proposals from junior faculty members at all CAREER-eligible organizations, and especially encourages women, members of under-represented minority groups and persons with disabilities to apply.

About UC’s Department of Chemistry

UC’s Department of Chemistry in the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences is a historically strong department positioning itself for even greater achievements in the 21st century. As a Carnegie Foundation-designated Doctoral/Research-Extensive Institution, the Chemistry Department strives for excellence in both the




education experiences. It is a medium-sized department providing the amenities and resources typically found only in much larger departments, while retaining the closeness and faculty-student interactions characteristic of smaller departments. The world-class


are recipients of numerous regional, national and international awards, and provide leadership in scholarship and research in a variety of areas such as drug design and delivery, green chemistry, chemical and biochemical sensors and biophysical methods, to name but a representative few.

Contact the Department of Chemistry

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