Five faculty members from the Eberly College of Science have received Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) awards from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The CAREER award is the NSF's most prestigious award in support of early career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization.
Joseph Cotruvo Jr., Louis Martarano Career Development Professor of Chemistry, received the award in recognition of his work to “understand the coordination of chemistry of lanthanide-binding proteins for rare earth element sensing, capture, and recycling.” The award will support his research to gain a fundamental understanding of how some bacteria are able to bind and use lanthanides—rare earth metals used in smart phones and other technology—even in the presence of more-abundant metals like calcium and iron.
Gerald Knizia, assistant professor of chemistry, received the award in recognition of his work on “quantum embedding of wave function methods as a path to high-accuracy thermochemistry in heterogeneous catalysis.” The award will support his research to develop an accurate and efficient theoretical approach to heterogenous catalysis.
Alexey Silakov, assistant professor of chemistry, received the award in recognition of his structural and mechanistic studies of a novel group of oxygen-tolerant [FeFe] hydrogenases—incredibly reactive enzymes that can produce hydrogen at a staggering rate. The award will support his research to develop new tools to examine the effects of stresses on proteins in live cells and to investigate the factors that enable oxygen tolerance in hydrogenases.
Bharath Sriperumbudur, assistant professor of statistics, received the award in recognition of his work exploring “statistical learning, inference, and approximation with reproducing kernels.” The award will support his research using the kernel method to handle high-dimensional and nonstandard data, which is produced in a variety of scientific fields.
Xin Zhang, Paul Berg Early Career Professor of Chemistry and of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, received the award in recognition of his work to “quantify cellular proteome stress and recovery using chemical methods.” The award will support his research to develop new tools examining the effects of stresses on proteins in live cells.