2020 Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award

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Professor Alexander Spokoyny is among 14 honorees nationwide to receive a 2020 Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award.

The unrestricted $100,000 award will support Spokoyny’s efforts to create hybrid materials and reagents featuring boron-rich clusters. A portion of this award will also support some of educational activities Spokoyny has been spearheading, including the development of a next generation undergraduate laboratory curriculum at UCLA focused on in-class research opportunities. 

“This award is a testament to the tremendous impact Alex has made in chemical research, mentorship, and teaching,” said Department Chair, Professor Neil Garg. “His intellect, experimental insight, and fearlessness have enabled him to forge a fundamentally new research direction spanning chemistry, materials science, and nanotechnology.”

As a UCLA chemistry undergraduate, Spokoyny conducted research in Professor M. Frederick Hawthorne’s group.  After receiving his bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 2006, he went on to Northwestern University for his graduate studies working with Professor Chad Mirkin.  After receiving his Ph.D. in chemistry in 2011, Spokoyny was an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology working with Professors Stephen L. Buchwald and Bradley L. Pentelute. 


Professor Alex Spokoyny in his office with undergraduate students from his 2017 Chemistry 174 course.

Spokoyny joined the UCLA faculty in 2014 and since then has built a world-class research program focused on the fundamental chemistry and practical applications of inorganic cluster molecules.  

The Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Awards Program supports the research and teaching careers of talented young faculty in the chemical sciences who have created an independent body of outstanding scholarship and demonstrated a commitment to education.  

The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, devoted to the advancement of the chemical sciences, was established in 1946 by chemist, inventor and businessman Camille Dreyfus in honor of his brother Henry. Since its inception in 1970, the teacher-scholar program has awarded almost $50 million to support emerging young leaders in the chemical sciences.

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

Penny Jennings, UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, penny@chem.ucla.edu.