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Four Northwestern Faculty Members Honored as Outstanding Early-career Researchers

Four Northwestern University faculty members have been awarded prestigious Sloan Research Fellowships for 2011 from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

The $50,000 fellowships are awarded in the areas of chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, evolutionary and computational molecular biology, neuroscience, and physics.

Recipients from the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences are Toby Gee, assistant professor of mathematics; David McLean, assistant professor of neurobiology and physiology; and Emily A. Weiss, the Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Chemistry.

The fourth recipient is Jiaxing Huang, assistant professor of materials science and engineering at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science.

They are among 118 outstanding early-career scientists and scholars being recognized for their achievements and potential to contribute substantially to their fields. The recipients were chosen from 54 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada.

Gee’s research is in the area of number theory. He works on the Langlands program, studying symmetries of the solutions of equations in whole numbers.

McLean studies the development and plasticity of motor networks. His research on how rhythmic networks develop and produce movements of different speeds and intensities aims to provide insights on disorders that affect the capacity to move, like Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy and spinal injury.

Weiss and her research group focus on the optical and electronic properties of nanostructures and how those properties relate to the chemistry at the surface of the nanostructures. The group currently is concentrating on quantum dots (semiconductor nanocrystals).

Huang’s research group focuses on the fundamental aspects -- synthesis and processing -- of nanomaterials and how they will impact performance and application. One of the materials his group is working on is graphene oxide -- a two-dimensional, single-atomic, sheet-like soft material that has promising properties for energy conversion and storage applications.

The Sloan Research Fellowships have been awarded annually since 1955. Administered and funded by the Sloan Foundation, the fellowships are awarded in close cooperation with the scientific community. Potential fellows must be nominated for recognition by their peers and are subsequently selected by an independent panel of senior scholars.

- Megan Fellman, University Relations