I am very happy to announce that Wilfred van der Donk and John Rogers have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, which was founded in 1780 and is one of the nation’s oldest scientific academies. They will join other new members in an induction ceremony in October at the Academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Only seven chemists were elected fellows worldwide this year; the other current Illinois chemists who have received this distinction are Peter Beak, Martin Gruebele, Sharon Hammes-Schiffer, Jiri Jonas, John Katzenellenbogen, Jeff Moore, and Ralph Nuzzo.
Wilfred A. van der Donk, the Richard E. Heckert endowed chair in chemistry, received his B.S. from Leiden University, the Netherlands, in 1989 and his Ph.D. from Rice University in 1994. He went on to do postdoctoral work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and joined the faculty at Illinois in 1997, and he carries out a broad and innovative research program in organic chemistry and chemical biology. He is a University of Illinois Scholar and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), the American Academy of Microbiology, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Among his awards are the Emil Thomas Kaiser Award of The Protein Society, the Jeremy Knowles Award of the RSC, the Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry Lecture Award of the RSC, the Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry Lecture Award of the RSC, the Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award in Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, the Cope Scholar Award of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the Pfizer Award of the ACS, the Helen Corley Petit Award of the University of Illinois, the Burroughs-Wellcome New Investigator Award, the Beckman Young Investigator Award, the Research Corporation Innovation Award, and an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship. He also is a Cottrell Scholar and a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar.
John A. Rogers, the Swanlund professor of materials science and engineering, obtained BA and BS degrees in chemistry and in physics from the University of Texas, Austin, in 1989. From MIT, he received SM degrees in physics and in chemistry in 1992 and the PhD degree in physical chemistry in 1995. From 1995 to 1997, Rogers was a Junior Fellow in the Harvard University Society of Fellows. During this time he also served as a Director for Active Impulse Systems, a company based on his PhD research that he co-founded in 1995 and which was acquired by a large company in 1998. He joined Bell Laboratories as a Member of Technical Staff in the Condensed Matter Physics Research Department in 1997, and served as Director of this department from 2000-2002. He currently holds a primary appointment in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and is affiliated with the Beckman Institute, the Materials Research Laboratory as well as the Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical Science and Engineering and Chemistry. He is the winner of numerous awards, most notably election to the National Academy of Engineering.