Skip to content

Bioconjugate Chemistry Lectureship Award

The Bioconjugate Chemistry Lectureship Award recognizes an outstanding researcher who has made a major impact working at the interface between the biological and human-made worlds.

2022 Award Winner

Dr. Neal K. Devaraj
University of California, San Diego

This year’s recipient is Dr. Neal K. Devaraj at the University of California, San Diego. Professor Devaraj is recognized for groundbreaking contributions to the field of bioorthogonal chemistry and advances in understanding the origins of cellular life.

Neal K. Devaraj is a Professor and Murray Goodman Endowed Chair of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). A major research thrust of his lab is developing chemical reactions for understanding the transition between nonliving and living matter. Along these lines, his research group has developed approaches for the in-situ synthesis of synthetic cell membranes by using bioconjugation reactions to “stitch” together lipid fragments. This work has enabled the demonstration of self-reproducing lipid vesicles and artificial membranes that can remodel their chemical structure. Recently, his lab has developed bioconjugation techniques to synthesize lipid species within living cells, enabling studies that decipher how lipid structure affects cellular function.

For his scientific contributions, Professor Devaraj has been recognized with several awards including the American Chemical Society Award in Pure Chemistry, Blavatnik National Award in Chemistry, the Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry, The Leo Hendrik Baekeland Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship in the Natural Sciences, and the Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award.

Dr. Neal Devaraj will receive the award during the 264th American Chemical Society Meeting in the Fall 2023. He will be presented the award during an evening reception in honor of all PMSE and POLY award recipients during the ACS meeting.

For additional information, read the ACS Axial interview Dr. Devaraj.

Sponsored By

Award Details

This award consists of a $3000 prize, a plaque, registration and $1500 maximum travel allowance to attend the Fall ACS National Meeting for the award presentation and to give a lecture at the “Bioconjugate Chemistry Lectureship and Award Symposium.”  The winner is also expected to submit a review or topical review to Bioconjugate Chemistry, which will be subjected to peer review.

Nominations

A web form is available and advertised on the Bioconjgate Chemistry homepage. The application deadline is February 28th, but subject to change. Nomination packages are considered active for 4 years and should follow package submission guidelines.

Award Selection

The selection will be made by a four-member committee consisting of three individuals selected by the Editor-in-Chief of Bioconjugate Chemistry and two selected by the Chair of the PMSE Division.

Past Recipients

Nominations and Award Process

Rules of Eligibility

The award is granted to emerging or established researchers, and nominations are welcome from all sectors of industry, government and academia.

Nominations Package

Nominations are to be submitted to Vincent M. Rotello through a web form that will be advertised on the homepage. The application deadline is February 28th, but subject to change.

The nomination should be submitted as a single pdf file consisting of the following items: (1) a nomination letter that succinctly describes the impact of the individual’s research accomplishments, (2) a second letter from another individual who is familiar with the nominees works, (3) a five-page CV that should include: education, appointments, honors & awards, and a list of up to 25 relevant publications and (4) a tentative lecture title and abstract (300 words or less).

Award Selection and Award Promotion

This award was established by Bioconjugate Chemistry in 2016.  Bioconjugate Chemistry is a peer reviewed journal published by the American Chemical Society.  In 2016 and 2017, the award was managed through the ACS Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry. The current selection process is made by a five-member committee consisting of three individuals selected by the Editor-in-Chief of Bioconjugate Chemistry and two selected by the Chair of the PMSE Division.

Awardees will be interviewed by ACS Axial for the ACS.org announcement once awarded. The winner is also expected to submit a review or topical review to Bioconjugate Chemistry, which will be subjected to peer review. Awards are given during ACS National Meetings at the PMSE and POLY evening reception.


Full List of Award Winners

2020 – Present

2022 Neal K. Devaraj, University of California, San Diego
Interview at ACS Axial

2021 Chunying Chen, National Center for Nanoscience and Technology (NCNST) of China
Interview at ACS Axial

2020 Jason Lewis, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

2016 – 2019

2019 Heather Maynard, University of California, Los Angeles

2018 Wolfgang J. Parak, University of Hamburg

2017 Matthew Francis, University of California, Berkeley

2016 Xiaoyuan (Shawn) Chen, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, NIH
Topical review: Amphiphilic-Polymer-Guided Plasmonic Assemblies and Their Biomedical Applications