Woman named fellow in chemistry

Sara E. Skrabalak, daughter of John P. Skrabalak of Altoona, has been selected by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation as a 2017 Fellow in Chemistry.

Skrabalak, formerly of Altoona and Indiana, Pa., is the James H. Rudy associate professor of chemistry at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., where her Skrabalak Research Group develops new synthetic methods to nanoscale materials and where their size, shape and architecture are precisely controlled.

The group also studies how the local and nanoscale structure of inorganic materials imparts functionality, with an interest in designing materials for applications in catalysis, solar energy conversion, chemical sensing and security.

Skrabalak enjoys communicating science to diverse audiences. Her activities include teaching chemistry for non-science majors; speaking about her experiences as a women in science; lecturing at universities across the world, including in New Zealand through the American Chemical Society’s GREET Program and at the Joint US-Africa Materials Institute in Arusha, Tanzania; and overseeing Sci-ence Ambassadors, a program in which undergraduate researchers return to their former high schools to introduce nanoscience and serve as mentors to students interested in STEM.

She has co-authored more than 70 re-search papers and given more than 100 presentations nationally and internationally.

Besides the Guggenheim fellowship, she has received, among others, a National Science Foundation CAREER Award; Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellow; the Early Career Award, DOE; the 2015 Leo Hendrik Baekeland Award, the Magomedov-Shcherbinina Memorial Prize; and, most recently, a Fulbright Fellowship (Spain), 2017.

Skrabalak has served as the nanoscience chair for the Division of Inorganic Chemis-try at the ACS and is an editorial board member for the journals Chemistry of Materials, ChemNanoMat and Nanoscale.

The 2017 Guggenheim Fellowships were awarded to 173 individuals who have already demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts and sciences, just three of these in chemistry.

The foundation supports only individuals; it does not make grants to institutions or organizations. Fellowships are awarded through two annual competitions: one open to citizens and permanent residents of the U.S. and Canada and the other open to citizens and permanent residents of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Members of the teaching profession receiving sabbatical leave on full or part salary are eligible for appointment, as are those holding other fellowships and appointments at research centers.

Skrabalak spent the spring semester on sabbatical in San Sebastian, Spain.