2018 Cottrell Scholar

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UCLA chemist Professor Alexander Spokoyny is among 24 early-career scientists nationwide to be named a 2018 Cottrell Scholar. 

Spokoyny will receive a $100,000 award for his project, “Atomically-Precise Nanomaterials Based on Inorganic Clusters”. Additionally, he will use the award to support the UCLA Prison Education Program, of which he is a faculty team member. The program, launched in 2016, focusses on improving Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) literacy within Southern California prison population. Through the innovate courses created by team members, the program enables UCLA faculty and students to learn from, and alongside, participants incarcerated at the California Institute for Women in Corona and the Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall in Sylmar. 

“The Cottrell Scholar (CS) program champions the very best early career teacher-scholars in chemistry, physics and astronomy by providing these significant discretionary awards,” said by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA) President and CEO Daniel Linzer.

“Alex’s intellect, experimental insight, and fearlessness have enabled him to forge a fundamentally new research direction spanning chemistry, materials science, and chemical biology in less than three years” said Department Chair Professor Catherine Clarke in her nomination letter for the award. 

A true Bruin, Spokoyny received his B.S. in chemistry from UCLA in 2006 conducting research in the lab of inorganic chemistry professor Dr. M. Frederick Hawthorne. He received his Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from Northwestern University in Prof. Chad Mirkin’s group and conducted his postdoctoral research with Profs. Stephen Buchwald and Bradley Pentelute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  

Spokoyny joined the UCLA chemistry and biochemistry faculty in 2014. In 2016, he was named one of Chemical and Engineering News (C&EN) “Talented 12”, he received the 2016 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award, and an American Chemistry Society (ACS) New Investigator grant. In 2017, Spokoyny received a highly prestigious Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA or R35) award from the NIH/NIGMS.

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