UC Berkeley and California Institute of Technology Students Awarded $2,000 for Green Chemistry Research

WASHINGTON, May 11, 2015— Two U.S.-based students have received the 2015 Joseph Breen Memorial Fellowship, administered by the ACS Green Chemistry Institute (ACS GCI). The $2,000 stipend will allow these students to participate in the 19th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference (GC&E) and present their green chemistry research.

The annual award, established in 2000, is administered by the ACS GCI and sponsored by the ACS International Endowment Fund. Applicants are chosen from a large pool of accomplished students for innovative research within the field of green chemistry and engineering.

The students will have opportunities to expand research by attending GC&E and network with some of the leading green chemistry and engineering enthusiast in the world.

The students – chosen from among 16 finalists – will have opportunities to expand their education by attending symposia, networking and presenting their research.

The winners:

Lauren Grant, from South Orange County, California, is an undergraduate Chemistry student at the University of California Berkeley. Grant’s research is about the activation of organic small molecules by transition metal complexes to catalyze the synthesis of important molecules for industrial and pharmaceutical applications. “My research involves the use of inexpensive and earth abundant metals, which is a more economically sustainable method of doing this chemistry than other metals typically used for these chemical transformations, such as gold and platinum."

 Dr. John Arnold, Director of the Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry and Grant’s faculty advisor, stated "Lauren's work aimed at discovering new catalysts based on non-toxic metals may provide new, greener and more sustainable methods to prepare important chemical feedstocks."

Zachary Wickens is a Graduate Student in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology. He is from Madison Wisconsin. Wickens fields of study include Organic and Organometallic Chemistry. His doctoral work focuses on identifying new strategies to build molecules, such as pharmaceuticals or plastics, without generating hazardous chemical waste. Wickens stated this award “provides me the opportunity to attend and present my work at a cutting edge scientific conference. This conference will be attended by leaders in the field and will offer me a broad perspective on the state of the art in chemical synthesis.”

The ACS Green Chemistry Institute® is an impartial, scientific convener promoting the implementation of green chemistry and engineering across the global chemical enterprise. The Institute empowers people to reimagine chemistry and engineering for a sustainable future by offering educational resources, training and development opportunities for students, educators and researchers, and by convening industrial roundtables to promote industry collaboration around green chemistry issues. A part of the American Chemical Society, the Institute holds an annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference (, the longest running conference on green chemistry in the country.

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 158,000 members, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

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