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PNNL scientist receives presidential award

Wei-Jun Qian given Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers

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September 26, 2011 Share This!

  • PNNL bioanalytical chemist Wei-Jun Qian is receiving a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from the White House.

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RICHLAND, Wash. — A bioanalytical chemist at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is receiving a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

Announced today by the White House, the PECASE award is the highest honor given by the U.S. government to scientists and engineers who are in the early stage of their research careers. A total of 94 researchers are being recognized this year through the award program.

"It is inspiring to see the innovative work being done by these scientists and engineers as they ramp up their careers — careers that I know will be not only personally rewarding but also invaluable to the Nation," President Barack Obama said.

The PECASE recognizes Wei-Jun Qian's work in the field of proteomics.  Proteins are the workhorses of cells and proteomics seeks to understand how cells orchestrate their proteins to perform various functions.

Qian is developing more accurate methods using mass spectrometry to measure protein concentrations, which fluctuate as cells go about their daily tasks. He's also exploring novel ways to detect how and when certain proteins undergo modifications, such as when some protein functions are turned on or off.  This information can help make the biological production of biofuels and other bioproducts more efficient. It can also help improve the way diseases are diagnosed and expand understanding of how diseases progress.

Qian's previous awards include a DOE Early Career Research Award in 2010 and a Director's New Innovator Award from the National Institutes of Health in 2009. He has worked at PNNL since 2002. Qian earned a doctorate in bioanalytical chemistry from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Fla., and a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Nanjing University in China.

Qian performs most of his research at EMSL, DOE's Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory on PNNL's campus.

Qian and his fellow PECASE winners will be honored at a White House ceremony on Oct. 14. All of this year's winners are listed online.

Tags: Awards and Honors

EMSL LogoEMSL, the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, is a DOE Office of Science user facility. Located at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash., EMSL offers an open, collaborative environment for scientific discovery to researchers around the world. Its integrated computational and experimental resources enable researchers to realize important scientific insights and create new technologies. Follow EMSL on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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