Speaker Biographies

Ryan Shenvi (The Scripps Research Institute)

Head shot of Ryan Shenvi

Ryan was born in 1981 in Wilmington, DE. As an undergraduate at Penn State University, he undertook research with Professor John Desjarlais in protein biophysics and Professor Raymond Funk in chemical synthesis. He earned his Ph.D. as an NDSEG predoctoral fellow with Phil Baran at The Scripps Research Institute, and then joined the laboratory of E. J. Corey at Harvard University as an NIH postdoctoral fellow. Ryan began his independent career in 2010 at The Scripps Research Institute and was tenured in 2014. His lab develops new chemistry to quickly access natural product chemical space and interfaces with biological groups to explore function.


Elizabeth Nolan (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

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Elizabeth M. Nolan is a Professor of Chemistry at MIT. She pursued her graduate studies with Professor Stephen J. Lippard at MIT and her post-doctoral studies with Professor Christopher T. Walsh at Harvard Medical School. Her current research interests address the chemistry and biology of human innate immunity and microbial pathogenesis. Her lab employs the toolkits of biological chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and microbiology to decipher the interplay between the human innate immune system and microbes, and to conceptualize and evaluate new strategies for preventing and treating microbial infections.



Paul Chirik (Princeton University)

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Paul J. Chirik is the Edwards S. Sanford Professor of Chemistry and a synthetic chemist with broad interests in catalysis and sustainability. His research group focuses on chemical reactions with reduced carbon footprint, reliance on earth abundant rather than precious elements and new bond disconnections that reduce waste and separations. A native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he obtained his B. S. in chemistry at Virginia Tech where in the laboratory of Joseph Merola, his interest in the chemistry of the transition metals began. Chirik earned his Ph. D. at Caltech under the supervision of John Bercaw and following a brief postdoctoral appointment at MIT, began his independent career at Cornell in 2001. In 2006, he was promoted to Associate Professor and in 2009 was named the Peter J. W. Debye Professor of Chemistry. In 2011, Chirik and his research group moved to Princeton University where he was named the Edwards S. Sanford Professor of Chemistry. His teaching and research have been recognized with an Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award, the Blavatnik Award for Young Scientists, a Packard Fellowship in science and engineering, a Camille Dreyfus Teacher Scholar Award and an NSF CAREER Award. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Organometallics and the recipient of the 2016 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award, the 2017 ACS Catalysis Lectureship in Catalysis Science, the 2019 Eni Environmental Solutions Prize and the 2020 Rylander Prize sponsored by BASF. He is the author of over 200 peer reviewed publications and inventor on more than 15 patent applications.


Samson Jenekhe (University of Washington)

Samson Jenekhe

Samson A. Jenekhe is the Boeing-Martin Professor of Chemical Engineering and Professor of Chemistry at the University of Washington since 2000. He received his engineering B.S. from the Michigan Technological University, and his M.S. in chemical engineering (1980), M.A. in Philosophy (1981), and Ph.D. in chemical engineering (1985) from the University of Minnesota. Prior to his current positions, he was Principal Research Scientist, Honeywell Inc., Corporate Technology Center, during 1984-1987 and Assistant, Associate, and Full Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Rochester during 1988-2000. Jenekhe’s research contributions are in the chemistry, physics, and engineering applications of organic/polymer semiconductors, including materials synthesis, photophysics, charge transport, organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), photovoltaic properties, organic electronics, energy conversion systems, self-assembly, and nanotechnology. He is the author of over 320 research articles in journals, three edited books, and 28 granted US patents. Over 45 graduate students, 25 postdoctoral scholars, and 80 undergraduates have received research training in his laboratory. Jenekhe was awarded the Charles M. A. Stine Award for Excellence in Materials Science and Engineering by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) in 2014. For his pioneering research on the photophysics and charge transport properties of semiconducting polymers, he received the 2021 Polymer Physics Prize from the American Physical Society. Jenekhe is a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK).


Brian Stoltz (California Institute of Technology)

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Brian M. Stoltz was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1970.  After spending a year abroad at the Ludwig Maximilians Universität in München, Germany, he obtained his B.S. degree in Chemistry and B.A. degree in German from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Indiana, PA.  Following graduate work at Yale University in the lab of John L. Wood and an NIH postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard in the Corey lab he took a position at the California Institute of Technology.  A member of the Caltech faculty since 2000, he is currently Professor of Chemistry.  His research interests lie in the development of new methods for general applications in synthetic chemistry and biologically active small molecules. Among his many distinctions, Professor Stoltz has been the recipient of the Arthur C. Cope Scholar and the E. J. Corey Awards from the American Chemical Society, the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering (PECASE) from the White House, the 2009 Raymond and Beverly Sackler Prize in the Physical Sciences for Chemistry, and was the 2015 recipient of the Mukaiyama Award by the Society of Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Japan.  He was named the recipient of the 2018 American Chemical Society Award for Creative Work in Synthetic Organic Chemistry and in 2019 became a Fellow of the American Chemical Society.  Professor Stoltz has trained more than 200 students and postdocs, who have gone on to successful independent careers in industry and academia.  In 2017, he was awarded the Richard P. Feynman Prize for Excellence in Teaching at Caltech, the highest honor for teaching at the institute.