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Home > Press > Nanotech researcher receives prestigious award from Sloan Foundation

Abstract:
Chemistry's Zubarev named Sloan Research Fellow

Nanotech researcher receives prestigious award from Sloan Foundation

Houston, TX | Posted on March 11th, 2008

Eugene Zubarev, the Norman Hackerman-Welch Young Investigator and assistant professor of chemistry, has been awarded a prestigious 2008 Sloan Research Fellowship. Zubarev, who specializes in the study of self-organizing molecular structures, joins a distinguished list of Rice faculty members who have won Sloan Research Fellowships, including Nobel laureates Robert Curl and Richard Smalley.

Awarded annually by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Sloan Research Fellowships are intended to enhance the careers of exceptionally promising young faculty members. This year's 118 fellows, who were chosen from more than 600 nominees, represent the disciplines of chemistry, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, computer science, economics, mathematics, neuroscience and physics.

Sloan Research Fellows receive a two-year, $50,000 grant that may be used in a largely unrestricted manner. Sloan Fellowships are among the most highly sought, due both to the lack of restrictions on the funds and the prestige of the awards, which were established in 1955.

"Brilliant faculty researchers need to have a source of money that allows them to pursue risky new ideas, yet that kind of money is hard to come by," said Vice Provost for Research Jim Coleman. "By filling that void, Sloan Research Fellowships can help seed the examination of ideas that ultimately have the potential to lead to some of the world's most significant scientific discoveries."

Zubarev's research group focuses on the synthesis and characterization of functional organic-inorganic nanostructures. He is mainly interested in the self-assembly of these hybrid structures, which can result in the emergence of previously unseen physical and chemical properties.

Since joining Rice in 2005, Zubarev has:

Discovered how to load dozens of molecules of the anticancer drug paclitaxel onto tiny gold spheres — a finding that could help doctors deliver more of the drug to tumor cells.
Found a new method for making tiny gold nanorods spontaneously assemble into ringlike superstructures, a development that could lead to new and highly sensitive optical sensors and lenses.
Pioneered the synthetic assembly of inorganic nanoparticles using the age-old chemical techniques that all living creatures use to construct cell membranes.

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About Rice University
Rice University is consistently ranked one of America’s best teaching and research universities. It is distinguished by its: size—2,850 undergraduates and 1,950 graduate students; selectivity—10 applicants for each place in the freshman class; resources—an undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio of 6-to-1, and the fifth largest endowment per student among American universities; residential college system, which builds communities that are both close-knit and diverse; and collaborative culture, which crosses disciplines, integrates teaching and research, and intermingles undergraduate and graduate work. Rice’s wooded campus is located in the nation’s fourth largest city and on America’s South Coast.

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Contacts:
Jade Boyd
713-348-6778

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