Professor Yi Lu has been named the winner of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Joseph Chatt Award.

The Jay and Ann Schenck Professor of Chemistry won the award for elucidating design principles of artificial metalloproteins to gain novel and deeper insights into the structure and function of natural systems.

Lu said he is deeply honored by this prestigious Royal Society of Chemistry award that has been bestowed upon many previous winners that he has admired for many years.

“The award belongs to my past and current group members for their intellectual contributions and experimental demonstrations of the work that has earned this honor. We will work even harder to follow Dr. Chatt to advance the field of inorganic chemistry, including the interdisciplinary research between transition metal chemistry and biology,” Lu said.

Lu’s research interests lie at the interface between chemistry and biology, and his group is developing new chemical approaches to provide deeper insight into biological systems. At the same time, they take advantage of recently developed biological tools to advance many areas in chemistry.

At the University of Illinois, Lu is also a faculty member of the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, has professorships with Bioengineering, the Beckman Institute, Center for Biophysics and Quantitative Biology, and Materials Science & Engineering and is also affiliated with Biochemistry. Lu is also affiliated with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory as part of its physical biosciences team.

Dr. Helen Pain, acting chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry, said in recognition of the RSC award winners:

“We live in an era of tremendous global challenges, with the need for science recognized now more so than ever – so it is important to recognize those behind the scenes who are making significant contributions towards improving the world we live in. It is our honor and privilege to do that with these awards, which recognize exceptional scientific achievement.

“The global chemical sciences community is one that covers many different specialisms, from health and climate change to product development, sustainable transport, and everything in between. In recognizing the work of Professor Yi Lu, we are also recognizing the important contribution this incredible network of scientists makes to improving our lives every day.”

The Royal Society of Chemistry’s Prizes and Awards are awarded in recognition of originality and impact of research, or for each winner’s contribution to the chemical sciences industry or education. They also acknowledge the importance of teamwork across the chemical sciences, as well as the abilities of individuals to develop successful collaborations. Lu will receive a medal and a cash prize from RSC as the Joseph Chatt Award winner.