2024 Richard Van Duyne Early Career Award in Experimental Physical Chemistry

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Prof. Justin Caram

The Physical Division of the American Chemical Society has named Professor Justin Caram as the winner of the prestigious 2024 Richard Van Duyne Early Career Award in Experimental Physical Chemistry.

The award recognizes outstanding contributions in experimental physical chemistry by a young investigator. Caram will accept the award and present an award lecture at the 2024 Fall ACS National Meeting.

Caram’s groundbreaking work in the field of shortwave infrared materials and chromophores, utilizing advanced spectroscopy techniques, has significantly contributed to the understanding of chemical physics. Since joining the UCLA faculty in 2017, Caram has demonstrated exceptional achievements. His recent collaborations in molecular quantum information research further highlight his remarkable talent and dedication to advancing the field.

“Justin is an ideal candidate for this award based on his phenomenal early career research and service record, his deep scholarship, and his future promise,” said nominator Distinguished Professor Paul S. Weiss, UC Presidential Chair. “Justin is an excellent colleague, a creative and careful researcher, and an inspired and conscientious teacher and mentor.  His work spans physical and materials chemistry, spectroscopy, and photophysics, and he has already established a world-class research effort in all these areas at UCLA. This award acknowledges his exciting scientific and career trajectories; we are very proud to have him as a colleague.”

Caram’s research program focuses on developing new spectroscopic methods and materials to address fundamental questions in chemical photophysics. His innovative approach, coupled with fearless experimentation, has led to significant contributions published in prestigious journals such as ACS Nano, Nature, and Physical Review Letters. Furthermore, his leadership in reforming the department’s general chemistry curriculum underscores his commitment to both research and education.

Caram is a founding member of the new Center for Quantum Science and Engineering (CQSE), an interdepartmental program focused on advancing education for scientists and engineers in the field of quantum-enabled technology, including developing a terminal master’s degree program in quantum engineering.

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