Three BU Professors Win Prestigious Fellowship/Award

February 24, 2011

Three members of the BU faculty have been awarded prestigious Sloan Research Fellowships. The professors are Corey Stephenson, Chemistry; Xue Han, Neuroscience; and Pankaj Mehta, Physics. Awarded annually since 1955, the fellowships are given to early-career scientists and scholars in recognition of achievement and the potential to contribute substantially to their fields.

Corey Stephenson, assistant professor of chemistry at CAS, is interested primarily in the development of new strategies and methodologies for the synthesis of natural products. In particular, his research has focused on the discovery of practical new processes that use the redox chemistry (net electron flow to and from a defined center during a chemical reaction) of visible light-activated metal complexes.

Stephenson holds a BS degree in applied chemistry from the University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada, and a PhD degree in organic chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. He was a postdoctoral fellow at ETH-Hönggerberg, Zürich, Switzerland. He has earned considerable recognition for his work, including the Thieme Synlett/Synthesis Journal Award and the University of Pittsburgh’s Wallace Prize.

Xue Han, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at BU, has focused her research on brain disorders, which represent a largely unmet medical need with many disorders being untreatable, and most treatments presenting serious side effects. Han holds a BS degree in biophysics from Beijing University, China, and a PhD degree in physiology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Pankaj Mehta, assistant professor of physics at CAS, is interested in theoretical problems at the interface of physics and biology. In particular, his research has focused on understanding how large-scale, collective behaviors observed in biological systems emerge from the interaction of many individual molecular elements, and how these interactions allow cells to perform complex computations in response to environmental cues.

Mehta earned a BS degree in mathematics from the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA and a PhD degree in physics (condensed matter theory) from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ. He was a postdoctoral scholar in the biophysics group at Princeton University under the supervision of professors Ned Wingreen, Curtis Callan, and William Bialek." 

Administered and funded by the Sloan Foundation, the Fellowships are awarded in close cooperation with the scientific community. Potential fellows must be nominated for recognition by their peers and are subsequently selected by an independent panel of senior scholars.

The $50,000 fellowships are awarded in chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, evolutionary and computational molecular biology, neuroscience, and physics. In 2012, in recognition of the important work done by Sloan-sponsored researchers working on the Census of Marine Life, the award program will be expanded to include fellowships in ocean sciences.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic, not-for-profit grant making institution based in New York City. Established in 1934 by Alfred Pritchard Sloan Jr., then-President and Chief Executive Officer of the General Motors Corporation, the Foundation makes grants in support of original research and education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and economic performance.


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