Winners of the 2020 IUPAC-Solvay International Award for Young Chemists

The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry and Solvay announce the winners of the 2020 IUPAC-Solvay International Award for Young Chemists, presented for the best Ph.D. theses in the chemical sciences, as described in 1000-word essays.

The five winners are:

  • Muhammad Jbara (Israel), Ph.D., Technion Israel Institute of Technology
  • Hung VanThanh Nguyen (Vietnam), Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Ron Shah (Canada), Ph.D., University of Ottawa
  • Namrata Singh (India), Ph.D., Indian Institute of Science
  • Qi Zhang (China), Ph.D., East China University of Science and Technology


The winners will each receive a cash prize of USD 1000 and travel expenses to the 48th IUPAC World Chemistry Congress, 13-20 August 2021, in Montréal, Canada.  Each winner will also be invited to present a poster at the IUPAC Congress describing his/her award-winning work and to submit a short critical review on aspects of his/her research topic, to be published in Pure and Applied Chemistry.  The awards will be presented to the winners of the 2020 and 2021 competitions during the Opening Ceremony of the Congress.

The titles of the winners’ theses are:

Dr. Muhammad Jbara: “Chemical Protein Synthesis of Modified Histone Proteins for Biochemical Studies”

Dr. Hung VanThanh Nguyen: “Bottlebrush and Related Polymer Architectures for Biomedical Applications”

Dr. Ron Shah: “Autoxidation and Its Inhibition In Both Industrial and Biological Contexts: New Molecules, Methods & Mechanisms”

Dr. Namrata Singh: “Development of Nanomaterials as Antioxidant Enzyme Mimetics for Cellular Redox Homeostasis”

Dr. Qi Zhang: “Controlled Self-Assembly of Nanoparticles Enabled by Macrocyclic Host-Guest Chemistry and Their Functional Exploitation”


There were 50 applications from individuals receiving their Ph.D. degrees from institutions in 18 countries.  The award selection committee, chaired by Professor Qi-Feng Zhou, IUPAC Past President, comprised members of the IUPAC Bureau and a senior science advisor from Solvay, all of whom have a wide range of experience in chemistry.

In view of the many high-quality applications, the Committee also decided to award three Honorable Mentions to:

  • Aisha N. Bismillah (UK), Ph.D., University of Durham, UK
  • Zhen Liu (China), Ph.D., The Scripps Research Institute, USA
  • Federica Rossi (Italy), Ph.D., Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy


The call for applications for the 2021 IUPAC-Solvay International Award for Young Chemists will open soon.  Eligible candidates must have received a Ph.D. or equivalent degree in any of the countries that have National Adhering Organizations or Associate National Adhering Organizations in IUPAC during the year 2020.

< see originating call

Announcement published in Chem Int July 2020, p. 24

> 2021 Call for applicants

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