2016 Tolman Medal

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Weiss Paul UCLA

Professor Paul Weiss has been selected to receive the 2016 SCALACS Tolman Medal.            

The medal is awarded each year by the Southern California Section of the American Chemical Society (SCALACS) in recognition of the medalist’s outstanding contributions to chemistry.  Weiss will be presented with the medal at an award banquet to be held in Los Angeles in Spring 2017.

The Tolman Medal is named in honor of Richard C. Tolman, a pioneering chemist at Caltech during the first half of the 20th century, who made key discoveries on electrons, among other significant scientific findings. Tolman Medal recipients include eight Nobel Prize winners, two from UCLA. The first Tolman Medal was awarded in 1960 to UCLA chemistry professor Dr. William G. Young. (W.G.Young Hall, the department’s main building at UCLA, was named in his honor.) 

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Paul S. Weiss holds a UC Presidential Chair and is a distinguished professor of chemistry & biochemistry and of materials science & engineering at UCLA.  He received his S.B. and S.M. degrees in chemistry from MIT and his Ph.D. in chemistry from UC Berkeley.  He was a postdoctoral member of technical staff at Bell Labo-ratories and a visiting scientist at IBM Almaden Research Center. He served as the director of the California NanoSystems Institute and held the Fred Kavli Chair in NanoSystems Sciences at UCLA from 2009-14. 

Before coming to UCLA, he was a distinguished professor of chemistry and physics at Penn State, where he began his academic career in 1989. His interdisciplinary research group includes chemists, physicists, biologists, materials scientists, mathematicians, electrical and mechanical engineers, computer scientists, clinicians, and physician scientists. They focus on the ultimate limits of miniaturization, exploring the atomic-scale chemical, physical, optical, mechanical, and electronic properties of surfaces, interfaces, and supramolecular assemblies. 

Weiss has been awarded a NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, the BF Goodrich Collegiate Inventors Award, an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship, the ACS Nobel Laureate Signature Award for Graduate Education in Chemistry, a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, a NSF Creativity Award, and the ACS Award in Colloid and Surface Chemistry, among others. He was elected a fellow of:  the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society, the American Vacuum Society, the ACS, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and an honorary fellow of the Chinese Chemical Society. He has been a visiting professor at Caltech, Harvard, the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique, Kyoto University, and the University of Washington, He is the founding and current editor-in-chief of ACS Nano. At ACS Nano, he and his team won the Association of American Publishers, Professional Scholarly Publishing PROSE Award, Best New Journal in Science, Technology, and Medicine, and ISI’s Rising Star Award a record ten times.

Weiss is the 16th UCLA Chemistry and Biochemistry faculty member to be awarded the medal. Previous winners are William G. Young (1960), Francis E. Blacet (1968), Robert L. Pecsok (1970), Howard Reiss (1973), Herbert Kaesz (1980), Nobel Laureate Paul D. Boyer (1981), Nobel Laureate Donald C. Cram (1984), M. Frederick Hawthorne (1986), Mostafa El-Sayed (1989),  Christopher S. Foote (1995), Kendall N. Houk (1998), Fred Wudl (2005), Joan S. Valentine (2008), Richard B. Kaner (2009), Michael E. Jung (2015).

To learn more about Weiss’ research visit his group’s website.

Photo courtesy of Peter Cutts.