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Chemistry Professor Wins Top National Early-Career Honor

Joshua Figueroa

A chemistry professor at the University of California, San Diego was among 96 scientists and engineers named by President Obama today as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. Government on scientists and engineers in the early stages of their independent research careers.

Joshua Figueroa, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, will receive the award at a White House ceremony later this year. Figueroa was nominated for the award by the National Science Foundation, one of nine federal departments and agencies that join together annually to nominate the most meritorious scientists and engineers whose early accomplishments show the greatest promise for assuring America’s preeminence in science and engineering and contributing to the awarding agencies' missions.

Awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach.

Figueroa was recognized, “for innovative use of bulky organic isocyanides to stabilize and isolate transition metal complexes, offering potential applications in alternative energy and sustainable science and technology; and for exemplary teaching, mentoring, and outreach activities.”

“Discoveries in science and technology not only strengthen our economy, they inspire us as a people.” President Obama said in a statement. “The impressive accomplishments of today’s awardees so early in their careers promise even greater advances in the years ahead.”