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Chemist known for building a better molecule named AAAS fellow

November 21, 2016
Daniel Weix in his labDaniel Weix, newly named Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in his lab. (University photo / J. Adam Fenster)

Daniel Weix, associate professor of chemistry at the University of Rochester, has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society.

Election as an AAAS fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers.

“AAAS is one of the most outspoken organizations on behalf of all of science worldwide, so it’s exciting to be recognized by an organization like that,” he says.

Weix is a specialist in organic (carbon-based) synthesis. He works on developing better ways of creating molecules in order to accelerate the discovery of new, useful compounds.

“New molecules are the key to solving many of the challenges we face today,” he says. Advances in medicine, solar energy production, and the detection of explosive devices, have all been made possible through the creation of new molecules.

Weix’s citation is for distinguished contributions in the area of practical metal-catalyzed cross-electrophile coupling reactions. He explains what this means, and the impact his research has already had on the development of pharmaceuticals, here .

Recognition from the AAAS is a testament to the outstanding research environment at the University of Rochester, according to Weix. “I’ve had a series of really outstanding students and postdocs to work with during the past eight years. Without them, none of what we have accomplished would have been possible.”

“We’re thrilled,” says Todd Krauss, chairman of the Department of Chemistry. “The department is very excited and proud of Dan’s accomplishments. We have a history of nurturing our young faculty, so to see him blossom like this is great. He’s an outstanding teacher and scholar and scientist all around. “

Weix earned his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and joined the Rochester faculty in 2008. He’s received numerous honors, including an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, the Novartis Early Career Award, and a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award.

Weix will receive his award on February 18 at a Fellows Forum at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston. The tradition of AAAS fellows began in 1874. This year 391 AAAS members have been named fellows because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.

The organization now honoring him helped further his interest in science at a young age, Weix says. “When I was in grade school the library had copies of Science magazine, put out by [AAAS] that, at the time, I knew nothing about. I could look at the first few pages, which had condensed versions of the actual articles in the back, and that was kind of neat.”

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Category: Science & Technology