Patrick Holland, professor of chemistry at the University of Rochester, has been named one of five winners of the regional Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists.

The Blavatnik Awards, sponsored by the Blavatnik Family Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences, acknowledge the excellence of noteworthy scientists age 42 or younger who work in New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut.

Holland's work largely focuses on the reactions of iron, cobalt, and nickel. Of special interest is the process of converting nitrogen from the atmosphere into something beneficial, such as ammonia for use in fertilizers. Holland describes his work as "challenging" since nitrogen is an extremely stableŚand unreactiveŚmolecule.

Holland earned his Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from the University of Minnesota in 1997 and joined the faculty at the University of Rochester in 2000. Starting next month, Holland becomes professor of chemistry at Yale University.

This year marks the seventh anniversary of the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists competition. Since its launch in 2007, there have been more than 1000 applicants from more than 70 research institutions in the three-state region. Awards are given in faculty and postdoctoral categories. Faculty winners receive $50,000 in unrestricted funds.