Yi Lu, a professor of chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a joint appointee at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), recently received the Joseph Chatt Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC).
The award, which is presented for outstanding multi-disciplinary research in areas that span inorganic chemistry and biochemistry, was presented to Lu for “elucidating design principles of artificial metalloproteins to gain novel and deeper insights into the structure and function of natural systems.”
As a member of PNNL’s Institute for Integrated Catalysis and its fundamental electrocatalysis team, Lu’s research interests are biosynthetic inorganic chemistry, DNAzyme, and aptamer-based sensing and imaging agents, as well as functional DNA nanotechnology. His work addressing fundamental questions about catalysts’ mesoscale behavior that could one day lead to harnessing natural energy sources to produce electricity, fuels, and chemicals.
In a University of Illinois announcement, Lu said he is deeply honored by the award that has been bestowed upon many previous winners whom he has admired for many years. “The award belongs to my past and current group members for their intellectual contributions and experimental demonstrations of the work that has earned this honor,” he said. “We will work even harder to follow Dr. Chatt to advance the field of inorganic chemistry, including the interdisciplinary research between transition metal chemistry and biology.”
The focus of Lu’s research group at the University of Illinois is developing new chemical approaches to provide deeper insight into biological systems. At the same time, they take advantage of recently developed biological tools to advance many areas in chemistry.
“The global chemical sciences community is one that covers many different specialisms, from health and climate change to product development, sustainable transport, and everything in between,” said acting RSC Chief Executive Helen Pain. “In recognizing the work of Professor Yi Lu, we are also recognizing the important contribution this incredible network of scientists makes to improving our lives every day.”
The RSC’s prizes are awarded in recognition of the originality and impact of research, or for each winner’s contribution to the chemical sciences industry or education. They also acknowledge the importance of teamwork across the chemical sciences, as well as the abilities of individuals to develop successful collaborations. As the Joseph Chatt Award winner, Lu will receive a medal and a cash prize from RSC.