Paul Berg Early Career Professor of Chemistry Xin Zhang has been named a 2020 recipient of the CAPA Distinguished Junior Faculty Award by the Chinese-American Chemistry and Chemical Biology Professors Association. Zhang shares this award with Dr. Jia Niu, who is an assistant professor of chemistry at Boston College.
This award recognizes full-time faculty members in chemistry or chemical biology at institutions within the United States at the assistant professor level. The 2020 awards will be presented at the 16th SINO-US Chemistry Professors Conference at the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China.
Zhang’s research at Penn State focuses on the intersection between chemistry and biology. His lab aspires to tackle important biological questions by developing and applying novel chemical tools. In particular, they examine protein misfolding and aggregation that occurs in stressed cells with deficient proteostasis; these molecular events have been associated with a variety of health conditions that are termed as protein misfolding diseases.
Recently, Zhang’s academic achievements have been honored with the Pew Biomedical Scholarship, the Scialog Fellowship, Sloan Research Fellowship, an NSF CAREER award, the CAPA Distinguished Junior Faculty Award, and the Lloyd and Dottie Huck Early Career Award.
Prior to joining the faculty at Penn State, Zhang was a postdoctoral research associate at the Scripps Research Institute. He earned his PhD at the California Institute of Technology.