Faculty Research Highlight: ACS PRF UNI Award Creates New Opportunities in the Vadola Group

PaulVadola255

We are delighted to report that Dr. Vadola was awarded a competitive and prestigious ACS PRF UNI grant earlier this academic year!

The  Vadola Group takes a top down approach to methods development in synthetic chemistry. Dr. Vadola and his research students search for popular structural motifs in complex molecules used in applied fields from materials to pharmaceuticals. Conventional synthetic methods for creating such targets are often labor-intensive, expensive, or hazardous. The Vadola group searches for more direct, streamlined methods to reach these important targets. Taking a page from nature’s playbook, they make targeted changes to the core structure of the molecules, often through a catalytic approach. This powerful approach can create complex chemical structures while reducing both cost and waste, and is amenable to room temperature work with benign reagents. Dr. Vadola’s ambition is to create synthetic tools that allow chemists to use simple, abundant chemicals as if they were Lego blocks, directly constructing complex chemical architectures with useful industrial or medical properties. Ideally these syntheses will be practicable at room temperature, using non-toxic and nonflammable reagents, with high yield and quick processing times.

The ACS PRF UNI award creates exciting new opportunities for students in the Vadola group. The primary objective of the ACS PRF UNI program is to fund student research assistantships, and in this case 60% of all funding from the $55,000 grant will go directly to students in the coming two years. This funding will be distributed in the form of paid research assistantship positions, both during the academic year and over the summer. Students working as paid assistants will be to dedicate substantial time and energy to learning lab techniques and producing new results. This dedicated cadre of students will quickly master advanced lab skills, and their results will launch the next wave of projects in the group.

Graduate and undergraduate students interested in a role in the Vadola group’s research effort during this exciting time are welcome to contact Dr. Vadola by email to arrange a meeting.

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