DuPont gives grants to young professors developing novel science of company interest

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DuPont gives grants to young professors developing novel science of company interest

WILMINGTON, Del., June 30, 2008 Amadeu Sum, an assistant professor in the Colorado School of Mines chemical engineering department, received a DuPont Young Professor grant.

Sum was recognized for his work in
biological systems, with emphasis on molecular descriptions to understand macroscopic properties and behavior. He will receive a three-year grant for $25,000 or its equivalent in relevant currency. The grants may be used to obtain matching funds through the National Science Foundation or other organizations.

DuPont recognized 17 young professors in all from universities in the United States, China, Spain and India with the annual DuPont Young Professor grant. The grants recognize original research in chemistry, biofuels, miniaturization applications for electronics and medicine, structure and function of proteins, nanocomposites, studies in earth science and climate change.

The DuPont program, which began in 1967, is designed to provide start-up assistance to promising young and untenured research faculty working in areas of interest to DuPont's long-term business.

“The DuPont Young Professor grant program is a way for DuPont to identify promising researchers and promising science early in a new professor’s career,” said Uma Chowdhry, DuPont senior vice president and chief science and technology officer. “It also is an excellent way for the company to create lasting relationships with future academic scientists who can provide the company with unique perspectives on technological challenges, further aiding our R&D process.

The program is significant, not only for the diversity of people, universities and studies represented, but also because it has reached out to the academic community for more than four decades, making it one of the most sustainable programs for academic support in the United States, Chowdhry noted.

Professors are nominated by a member of the DuPont technical staff who agrees to serve as the liaison between the company and the faculty member. The DuPont Fellows Forum, which includes the company’s top scientists, selects the award winners each year. Each grant recipient is invited to present a seminar on his or her work to the DuPont research community.

The DuPont Young Professor’s Class of 2008 includes professors from the University of Delaware; Johns Hopkins University; University of Michigan; the University of Texas at Austin; Rochester University and, Cornell University in New York; Colorado School of Mines; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Duke University; University of North Carolina; Virginia Tech, and; two young professors from the University of California at Berkeley. In addition, young professors from the University of Oviedo in Spain, the Indian Institute of Technology (Mumbia), India, and NanjiingUniversity and the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology in China received grants.

Since the inception of the award 41 years ago, more than 520 young professors from the United States, Europe, Asia, South America, Canada and Africa have received nearly $45 million in grants. Many past award recipients have gone on to gain significant recognition in their chosen field from their scientific peers and colleagues.

Awards also went to the following promising young faculty:

Maciek Antoniewicz for engineering microbial cells for biofuels production, University of Delaware, Newark, Del.;

Cao XiaoFeng for methylation of histone and other amino acids to improve rice production in China and India, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Beijing;

David Gracias for miniaturization in electronics and medicine, JohnsHopkinsUniversity, Baltimore, Md.;

You Lingchong for reprogramming cellular behavior with synthetic gene circuits, DukeUniversity, Chapel Hill, N.C.;

Suljo Linic for direct conversion of bio-fuel chemical energy into electricity, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.;

Jeremy Meyers for transport properties in ionomeric fuel cell membranes, University of Texas, Austin, Tex.;

Bradley Nilsson for study of proteins, University of Rochester, Rochester, N.Y.;

Zhang Y.H. Percival for enzymes, catalysis and biocatalysis, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.;

Richmond Sarpong for complex natural products and synthetic analogs, University of California at Berkeley, Calif.;

Frank Schroeder for response of cellular systems to bioactive small molecules, CornellUniversity, Ithaca, N.Y.;

Heather Stoll for studies of climate change, University of Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain;

Papanasamurthy Sunthar for microfluidic drug encapsulation in vesicles, Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, India;

Krystyn Van Vliet for materials science, biomaterials, nanocomposites, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, Mass.;

Wang Qin for studies in earth science, NanjingUniversity, Nanjing, China;

Xu Ting for hierarchical assembly of supramolecules and nanoparticles, University of California at Berkeley, Calif.;

You Wei for organic volatiles, University of North Carolina, Raleigh-Durham, N.C.

DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.

Contact: Anthony Farina

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