NSF Early Career Development Award

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Professor Alexander Spokoyny has received a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation.

UCLA Newsroom (by Stuart Wolpert):

Alexander Spokoyny, a UCLA assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry and member of the California NanoSystems Institute, has received a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation.

The CAREER award is the organization’s most prestigious award in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research.

Spokoyny’s research project has the potential to lead to the next generation of television screens, mobile phone displays and solid-state lighting sources. In this project, he and his UCLA chemistry and biochemistry colleagues are developing new luminescent transition metal-based complexes featuring boron cluster building blocks for use in luminescent lighting applications. The goal of this research is to use these unique boron cluster-based scaffolds to create stable and efficient deep blue emitters for use in organic light emitting diode devices, potentially resulting new, improved television screens and other products and applications.

The project will educate and train scientists at all levels, and will include experimental summer camp science outreach activities for K-12 public school students. Educational outreach to incarcerated students in Southern California as a part of the UCLA Prison Education project will also be a part of the CAREER project.

Spokoyny was among 24 early-career scientists nationally to be selected as a 2018 Cottrell Scholar. He was also awarded a 2017 research fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, presented to early-career scientists and scholars who are the “rising stars of the academic community” and who are “transforming their fields and opening up entirely new research horizons,” said Paul Joskow, former president of the Sloan Foundation. 

Spokoyny takes an interdisciplinary approach, focusing on challenges in chemistry, biology, medicine and materials science. His research reveals new solutions to important problems in science and technology.


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 Professor Chad Mirkin’s group and conducted his postdoctoral research with Professors Stephen Buchwald and Bradley Pentelute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He joined the UCLA Chemistry & Biochemistry faculty in 2014.  
To learn more about Spokoyny’s research, visit his group’s website.