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RCSA Directors Approve 48 Research Awards

The Board of Directors of Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA) has approved a total of $2,445,000 in awards for 48 innovative research projects proposed by early career scientists at American colleges and universities. The awards cover a wide range of research in astronomy, chemistry, and physics.

“RCSA has always been about finding and supporting the next big scientific paradigm, the theory or discovery that will revolutionize and advance an entire field of study,” said RCSA President Robert N. Shelton.

He noted that all RCSA awards are subject to a critical peer-review process, which tends ensure that funding goes to the best and brightest among America’s young academic scientists, the men and women who are likely to be leaders in their fields in the coming decades. Over the past century, 40 scientists receiving RCSA support have also earned the Nobel Prize, and many others have received significant honors in the physical sciences.

In its most recent action, the RCSA Board approved 15 Cottrell Scholar awards, for a total of $1,125,000, and 33 Cottrell College Science Awards for a total of $1,320,000.

The awardees are:

Cottrell Scholar Awards

Aaron P. Esser-Kahn, chemistry, University of California, Irvine, Activation of the Innate Immune System with Light: A Chemical Biology Approach to Improving Vaccination

M. Lisa Manning, physics, Syracuse University, Using Single-Cell Mechanical Properties to Predict Pattern Formation and Mechanical Response in Biological Tissues

Luis M. Campos, chemistry, Columbia University, Development of Polymers for Next-Generation Singlet Fission Solar Cells

Kai-Mei C. Fu, physics, University of Washington, Zinc Oxide Impurity-Bound Electrons for Optics-Based Quantum Information

Emily P. Balskus, chemistry, Harvard University, Chemically-Guided Enzyme Discovery: An Approach to Identifying New Biological Reactions and a Tool for Inspiring Future Scientists

Thomas E. Markland, chemistry, Stanford University, Unraveling Quantum Fluctuations in Charge and Energy Transport

 Jeffery A. Byers, chemistry, Boston College, Redox Switchable Iron Catalysts for the Synthesis of Biodegradable Polymers

Jennifer M. Heemstra, chemistry, University of Utah, Fluorescent Biomolecular Labeling to Image RNA Localization and Promote Independent Learning

Catherine L. Grimes, chemistry, University of Delaware, Remodeling Bacterial Cell Walls and Biochemistry Laboratory Curriculum

Gary A. Baker, chemistry, University of Missouri-Columbia, Tailoring Bacterial Cellulose Ionogels for Diverse Chemical Tasks

 James F. Cahoon, chemistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Designing Photocathode Materials for Solar Fuel Photoelectrosynthesis: From the Lab to the Classroom

Jill E. Millstone, chemistry, University of Pittsburgh, Using Metal-Ligand Chemistry to Understand, Form, and Tailor Nanoscale Alloys

Timothy J. Atherton, physics, Tufts University, Predicting the Stability of Pickering Emulsion through Computer Simulations

Eric S. Toberer, physics, Colorado School of Mines, Embracing Asymmetry - Designing Materials for Thermoelectric Power Conversion

Stefan Stoll, chemistry, University of Washington, Quantifying the Conformational Landscape of Maltose Binding Protein


Cottrell College Science Awards

Jonathan Paul Wrubel, physics, Creighton University, Precision Measurement of the Microwave Fano-Feshbach Resonance in Ultracold 41K Atoms

Kerstin M. Perez, physics, Haverford College, Developing Novel Detectors to Search for the Particle Origins of Dark Matter with the GAPS Experiment

Paul Cadden-Zimansky, physics, Bard College, Quantum Hall Effects in Hybrid Graphene

Tatiana Kuriabova, physics, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, Fundamental Studies in Quasi-two-dimensional Hydrodynamics

Dipannita Kalyani, chemistry, Saint Olaf College, Nickel-Catalyzed Decarboxylative Carbon-Carbon Bond Formation

John M. Antos, chemistry, Western Washington University, Profiling the In Vitro Reactivity of Sortase Homologs for Use in Protein Modification

Moumita Das, physics, Rochester Institute of Technology, The Cell as an Adaptive Composite Material: Mechanics and Force Transmission

Robert P. Owen, physics, Oberlin College, Spin and Horizon Multipoles in Numerical Relativity, and the Visualization of Dynamical Spacetimes

Desika Narayanan, astronomy, Haverford College, Forming the Most Luminous Galaxies in the Universe

Rebecca Lyn LaLonde, chemistry, Reed College, Bismuth (III)-Chiral Anion Complexes: Creating an Environmentally-Friendly, Versatile, Chiral Catalyst

 Sudeep Bhattacharyay, chemistry, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, Towards Developing a Computational Inhibitor Screening, Method for Quinone Reductase

Xiaopeng Li, chemistry, Texas State University, San Marcos, Self-Assembly of Supramolecular Fractals with Self-Similarity

Yu Gu, Physics, Saint Joseph's University, Investigation of Magnetoviscous and Viscoelastic Properties of Micro to Nanoliter Ferrofluids

Laura M. Wysocki, chemistry, Wabash College, From Dark to Light: Versatile Synthesis of Fluorogenic Small Molecule Sensors and Enzyme Substrates

Matthieu JP Rouffet, chemistry, Point Loma Nazarene University, Design and Synthesis of Anthrax Lethal Factor Inhibitors Containing a Novel and Specific Zinc Binding Group Based on a 2-2-arylsulfonamidophenylbenzimidazole Backbone

Ashley R. Carter, physics, Amherst College, Optical Trapping Assay to Study Histone Replacement during Spermiogenesis

Stephen C. Doret, physics, Williams College, Thermal Conductivity on the Nanoscale: Measuring Quantum Heat Transport with Chains of Trapped Ions

Michael S. Pierce, physics, Rochester Institute of Technology, In-situ Study of Metal and Metal-oxide Gas Phase Catalysts Using Surface X-ray Scattering

Tanay Kesharwani, chemistry, University of West Florida, Development of Environmentally Benign Electrophilic Chlorocyclization Reactions Using Table Salt and CuSO4 for the Synthesis of Diverse Heterocycles

Louise Charkoudian, chemistry, Haverford College, Characterizing the Molecular Interactions between Carrier Proteins and Oxygenases in Natural Product Biosynthesis

Eliza Kempton (formerly: Miller-Ricci), astronomy, Grinnell College, Exoplanet Science with Grinnell's Grant O. Gale Observatory

Robert F. Berger, chemistry, Western Washington University, Efficient Computational Screening and Chemical Understanding of Oxide Nanostructures for Energy Applications

Grace Brannigan, physics, Rutgers University, Camden, Effects of Cholesterol and Lipid Sorting on Aggregation of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors

Seth Rittenhouse, physics, Western Washington University, Transport and Disorder in Simple Lattices with Overlapping Orbital Impurities

Richard L. Lord, chemistry, Grand Valley State University, Towards a Chemical Rationale for Redox-Induced Electron Transfer

Andre K. Isaacs, chemistry, College of the Holy Cross, Synthesis of Beta-lactams by a Cu-catalyzed Cyclization Reaction of Siloxyalkynes and Ketenimines

John P. Lee, chemistry, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, Acrylic Acid From CO2 and Ethylene Catalyzed By Cyclopentadienyl-Co(III) With Bidentate N-Heterocyclic Carbene Ligands That Contain a Bridging Amine

Jeremy P. Carlo, physics, Villanova University, Neutron Scattering and Muon Spin Relaxation Studies of Geometrically Frustrated Double Perovskites

James Battat, physics, Wellesley College, Improving Directional Dark Matter Detectors through Advanced Tracking and Genetically Multiplexed High Spatial Resolution Readouts

 Rachel M. Mitton-Fry, chemistry, Denison University, Structure-function Studies of RNA Thermosensors Using Selective 2´-Hydroxyl Acylation Analyzed by Primer Extension (SHAPE)

Christopher R. Graves, chemistry, Albright College, Aluminum-nitroxide Complexes: New Redox-Active Aluminum Complexes for Applications in C-H Activation

Jinglin Fu, chemistry, Rutgers University, Camden, An Enzyme-Powered Nanomotor Propelled by Chemical Fuels

Daniel A. Kraut, chemistry, Villanova University, Do Proteasomal Motor Proteins Have Separable Functions? The Effect of Aromatic Paddle Mutations on Proteasomal Processivity


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