Kami Hull and Josh Vura-Weis have both been selected to receive Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Awards and grants from the National Science Foundation to support their research program. The prestigious award provides up to five years of funding to junior faculty members who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education, and the integration of education and research. Professor Hull's award is based on her research: Rhodium-Catalyzed Oxidative Functionalization Reactions. Professor Vura-Weis's award is based on his research: Tabletop Extreme Ultraviolet Spectroscopy of Femtosecond Spin Crossover Dynamics.
Professor Hull received her B.A. degree in chemistry from Macalester College in 2003. She obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 2009, while there she received a ACS Division of Organic Chemistry Fellowship and the Roche Award for Excellence in Organic Chemistry. Upon graduation, she moved to California as an NIH postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University from 2009–2012. Professor Hull joined the faculty at the University of Illinois in the fall of 2012, and her research focuses on the development of and mechanistic studies on transition metal catalyzed reactions. In 2015 she was named one of the nation’s “Talented 12” by Chemical and Engineering News. She was also named as a 2016 Sloan Research Fellow by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
Professor Vura-Weis received his B.S. degree in Chemistry from Stanford University in 1999, then worked for several years as a software developer. The call of the lab beckoned, so he interned with Prof. Ed Solomon for a year to learn how electronic structure calculations can complement sensitive experimental techniques. He them moved to Northwestern University, where he worked with Profs. Mike Wasielewski and Mark Ratner as an NSF Graduate Research Fellow. After receiving his Ph.D. in 2009 he moved to Prof Steve Leone’s lab at UC Berkeley as an NSF ACC-F Postdoctoral Fellow. In 2012 he was awarded the ACS Physical Division Postdoctoral Research Award. He joined the University of Illinois faculty as an Assistant Professor in Fall 2013. His group uses advanced laser techniques to study the excited-state electronic and vibrational dynamics of inorganic and organometallic systems.