2020 Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award

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Professor Hosea Nelson is one of ten organic chemists to be selected for the Arthur C Cope Scholar Award by the American Chemical Society (ACS).

An assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, Nelson started his academic career at City College of San Francisco before transferring to the University of California, Berkeley, where he received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 2004. He then joined the Panasonic Energy Solutions Laboratory as a research assistant, where he developed technologies for lithium ion batteries and methanol fuel cells. From 2007-2012 Nelson completed a Ph.D. at the California Institute of Technology with Professor Brian Stoltz as an NSF Predoctoral Fellow and a Ford Foundation Fellow. He then was a UNCF / Merck Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Berkeley with Professor Dean Toste. Nelson joined the UCLA faculty in 2015. 

From UCLA Newsroom (by Stuart Wolpert):

Chemist Hosea Nelson wins 2020 American Chemical Society Award

Hosea Nelson, a UCLA assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, has been named a 2020 recipient of the American Chemical Society’s Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award, which honors excellence in organic chemistry. He will be presented with the award next August at the society’s fall national meeting, where he will present a research lecture.

Nelson’s research focuses on the discovery of chemical reactions that will enable the efficient and environmentally benign syntheses of fuels, materials and medicines. He and his research team take an interdisciplinary approach, exploring chemical concepts that combine organic synthesis, inorganic chemistry and molecular biology.

His laboratory is working to develop artificial systems that can catalyze chemical reactions in response to gene activation inside cells. His long-term goal is to design catalysts that can operate within the body to synthesize specific drugs when and where they are needed.

Nelson was selected among 22 Pew scholars in the biomedical sciences for 2018 and awarded a 2018 Sloan Research Fellowship, was an inaugural member of Chemical and Engineering News magazine’s Talented 12 in recognition for his achievements as a graduate student, postdoctoral scholar and assistant professor. In 2017, he was among 18 outstanding young scientists in the United States to be awarded Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

He and colleagues published in the journal Science last year their discovery of a chemical reaction — that might someday be used to process petroleum into useful compounds — in which non-classical carbocations play key roles.

Nelson and colleagues published research in ACS Central Science reporting their development of a new technique that will enable researchers to easily and quickly determine the structures of organic molecules using very small samples.

Read more about Nelson’s research on his website.

Other UCLA chemistry and biochemistry faculty who have been selected for the Arthur C. Cope Scholar award are Heather Maynard in 2017, Miguel García-Garibay and Neil Garg in 2015, Yi Tang in 2012, Nobel Laureate J. Fraser Stoddart in 1999, Michael Jung in 1995, Christopher Foote in 1994, Fred Wudl in 1993 and Kendall Houk in 1988.