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Hong Wang receives NSF CAREER grant

02/25/2011

Hong Wang
Hong Wang, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Miami University, has been recognized as one of the nation’s top young faculty in her field by the National Science Foundation (NSF) with the award of a CAREER grant from the NSF Faculty Early Career Development Program.

She will receive nearly $550,000 of research funding over five years to develop new bifunctional catalysts for asymmetric organic transformations, which have potential applications in biological science, materials science and the pharmaceutical industry.

“The proposed research will establish a new research area in asymmetric catalysis,” Wang said. “This new approach has the potential to solve some long-standing problems in organic synthesis, which are presently difficult or impossible to achieve by currently available catalysis.”

Wang’s approach to bifunctional catalysts focuses on combining a metal center with an organocatalytic center on a single molecule. The resulting molecular architecture combines sufficient flexibility with rigidity to allow a wide range of organic reactions.

“Asymmetric catalysis is one of the most efficient and atom-economic approaches to building up stereochemical complexity,” Wang explained.
Wang’s project includes integrating results into a new graduate course in catalysis. She will also implement an outreach plan to provide summer research experience for underrepresented undergraduate students and their teachers from Texas A&M University-Kingsville, and to area high school teachers.

Wang joined Miami in 2007. She received her doctorate from the University of California-Davis in 2003 and was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University 2003-2005 and at the Scripps Research Institute 2005-2007.

The NSF CAREER Award is one of the organization's most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who “exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.”

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