DuPont Recognizes Young Professors

DuPont News, July 13, 2012


Douglas Muzyka
Douglas Muzyka

DuPont recently awarded $675,000 to nine young faculty members in the 2012 class of DuPont Young Professors to further advance key research relevant to DuPont.

Since the award’s 1967 inception, 557 young professors from the U.S., Europe, Asia, South America, Canada and Africa have received nearly $49 million in grants.

“The DuPont Young Professor grants fund highly original research early in a professor’s research career,” said DuPont Senior Vice President and Chief Science & Technology Officer Doug Muzyka.  “This program is an excellent way for DuPont to create lasting relationships with emerging research leaders around the world who are attacking some of the world’s greatest challenges.”

The DuPont Young Professor program is designed to provide start-up assistance to promising young and untenured research faculty working in areas of interest to DuPont.  Research by the class of 2012 Young Professors represents key components of DuPont science and includes promising research in the fields of nanotechnology, genomics, system biology, next-generation herbicides, synthesis of natural products, carbon dioxide capture, DNA sequencing and enzymatic synthesis.

The Young Professor grant 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.  Professors are nominated by a member of the DuPont technical staff. The nominator then serves as the liaison between the company and the faculty member.  During the three-year award, each grant recipient is invited to present a seminar on his or her work to the DuPont research community.

The Class of 2012 is the 44th class of DuPont Young Professors. It includes professors from the University of Delaware, University of Texas at Austin, New York University, University of Nebraska, University at Buffalo, California Institute of Technology, Universitat Wurzburg, University of California at Davis and the University of California at Los Angeles.

This year, awards were made to the following promising young faculty:

  • Xiangfeng Duan (UCLA):  three-dimensional hierarchical nanoarchitectures for energy storage;
  • Christopher Ellison (University of Texas at Austin):  production of nanofibers and bio-mimetic fibers;
  • David Gresham (New York University):  genomics of cell growth control,
  • Aaron Lorenz (University of Nebraska, Lincoln):  genomic selection to increase sustainable food production;
  • Andrew Murkin (University at Buffalo, SUNY):  seeking novel starting points for the synthesis of a new generation of herbicides;
  • Sarah Reisman (California Institute of Technology):  synthesis of natural products;
  • Joel Rosenthal (University of Delaware):  carbon dioxide capture and utilization;
  • Jeffrey Ross-Ibarra (University of California at Davis):  understanding and predicting hybrid vigor; and
  • Juergen Seibel (Universitat Wurzburg):  enzymatic preparation of prebiotic oligosaccharides.