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Two Yale faculty members honored by President Obama

Mon, 09/26/2011 - 11:21am
Yale UniversityYale University

New Haven, Conn. — Two faculty members affiliated with Yale University are winners of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, the White House announced Sept. 26.

The Presidential Awards are intended to recognize and nurture some of the finest scientists and engineers who, while early in their research careers, show exceptional potential for leadership at the frontiers of scientific knowledge.

President Obama named 94 researchers as recipients of the award, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.

"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 be personally rewarding but also invaluable to the nation," Obama said.

The Yale winners are:

André Taylor, assistant professor of chemical engineering, and Dr. Tanya Fischer, assistant clinical professor in the Department of Neurology.

Taylor, at the Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science, is a leader in the use of nanomaterials to create systems that can renewably improve our quality of life. For instance, Taylor and his team designed a new fuel cell catalyst composed of amorphous nanowire alloys that can double the lifespan of fuel cell devices. He has also created nanocomposites for use as active layers in organic solar cells and batteries.

"André has an exceptional talent for finding innovative ways to apply chemical engineering principles to real-world problems," says T. Kyle Vanderlick, dean of the School of Engineering & Applied Science and the Thomas E. Golden Jr. Professor.

Fischer, now with Bristol Myers Squibb, was recognized for her research done at the Yale Center for Neuroscience & Regeneration Research and at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in West Haven.

In his nominating letter, Dr. Stephen Waxman, the Bridget Marie Flaherty Professor of Neurology, Neurobiology and Pharmacology at Yale, cited Fischer for her research in studying mechanisms of neuropathic pain in diabetes and burn injuries.

"Pain related to dysfunction of the nervous system affects millions of people in the United States, and represents an important unmet medical need," Waxman says. "Dr. Fischer's studies have helped us to understand neuropathic pain."

The awards, established by President Clinton in 1996, are coordinated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President.

 

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