College of LAS celebrates Ralph Nuzzo, Wilfred van der Donk for election to NAS

Date

06/08/22
From left, Wilfred van der Donk, Ralph Nuzzo, and Cathy Murphy after the NAS celebration at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center.

This Spring, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences joined with the Grainger College of Engineering to celebrate the election of four Illinois faculty members to the National Academy of Sciences, including Ralph Nuzzo, G.L. Clark Professor Emeritus of Analytical Chemistry and Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, and Wilfred van der Donk, Richard E. Heckert Endowed Chair in Chemistry and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. 

Nuzzo and van der Donk were both elected to the NAS in 2021. Due to safety protocols during the pandemic that year, an in-person celebration was delayed until this Spring when the two colleges joined together to celebrate all of the Illinois faculty members elected to the NAS in 2021 and 2022. The College of Engineering celebrated Nancy Sottos, Department Head, Swanlund Endowed Chair and Center for Advanced Study Professor, who was elected to the NAS in 2022, and Nadya Mason, Rosalyn Sussman Yalow Professor of Physics, who was elected in 2021.

University and college officials spoke at the event, including Robert Jones, Chancellor of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; Andreas Cangellaris, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost; Venetria Patton, Harry E. Preble Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences; and Rashid Bashir, Dean, The Grainger College of Engineering. And Cathy Murphy, Larry Faulkner Endowed Chair in Chemistry, and Head, Department of Chemistry, delivered remarks in honor of Nuzzo and van der Donk.

Nuzzo joined the Illinois chemistry faculty in 1991. He also is affiliated with materials research and engineering, the Materials Research Lab and the Holonyak Micro and Nanotechnology Lab at Illinois. His research focuses on developing novel methods of micro and nanoscale fabrication and molecular patterning to provide new capabilities for technology in areas as diverse as lightweight, flexible, photovoltaic energy systems; advanced lighting; optics; batteries, fuel cells, and other electrochemical energy systems; actuators; chemical sensors; and bioanalytical arrays and scaffolds.

Nuzzo is an affiliated faculty member at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the American Chemical Society, the World Innovation Foundation and the American Vacuum Society. He is the recipient of many awards, including the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Award, the ACS Arthur Adamson Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Surface Chemistry and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers George E. Smith Award.

Van der Donk joined the Illinois chemistry faculty in 1997. He also is affiliated with the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology and the Carle Illinois College of Medicine.  His research focuses on using a variety of methods with respect to natural products: genome mining strategies to discover new products;  microbiology and genomic tools to determine their mode of action; chemical biology techniques to study their biosynthesis; and synthetic chemistry to improve their therapeutic properties.

Van der Donk is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences and the American Academy of Microbiology. Among his awards are the American Peptide Society Vincent du Vigneaud Award, the Repligen Award, the National Institutes of Health MERIT Award, the Royal Society of Chemistry Bioorganic Award and the Protein Society Emil Thomas Kaiser Award.

NAS members and NAS celebration speakers stand together in front of an orange Illinois logo screen.
From left: Andreas Cangellaris, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost; Venetria Patton, Harry E. Preble Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences; Wilfred van der Donk; Nancy Sottos; Ralph Nuzzo; Nadya Mason; Rashid Bashir, Dean, The Grainger College of Engineering; and Robert Jones, Chancellor of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

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