Assistant professors receive honors


Five assistant professors in the Wayne State University Department of Chemistry have recently received one or more grants.

• Tom Linz, Zhenfei Liu, and Long Luo received National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Awards. Linz’s award is for his project “Developing Thermal Gel Electrophoresis to Interrogate Higher Order Biological Structure.” Liu’s award will support research and education in computational and theoretical condensed matter and materials physics. Luo will use the award to develop gas bubbles as a new tool identifying surfactants, molecules widely used as detergents, fabric softeners, and wetting agents in many household and industrial products.

• Liu also received a Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award from Oak Ridge Associated Universities to develop novel density functionals based on machine learning to study perovskite.

• Aaron Rury received a $3.3. million award from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Quantum Information Sciences program to study multicomponent cavity polaritons as well as a Young Investigator Award from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research to investigate how the strong coupling of molecules and photons in nanoscale optical cavities affects photochemistry.

• Two National Institutes of Health (NIH) Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award for Early-Stage Investigators valued at $2 million each were granted to Charlie Fehl and Long Luo. The Fehl Lab will track and target sugar signaling in live cells, and the Luo Lab will develop alternating current electrolysis for achieving new chemical reactivities in organic synthesis.

By Mary Iverson

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