News

7

December

2021

Treating hypoxia with microporous water – the 2021 Dream Chemistry Award goes to Jarad Mason of Harvard University

The winners of the 2021 Dream Chemistry Award and the TOP 5 Prize have been decided. This year’s Dream Chemistry Award and the financial prize of EUR 10,000 goes to Jarad Mason of Harvard University for his project on treating hypoxia with microporous water. The Scientific Committee also awarded the TOP 5 Prize to Ahmed Badran (Scripps Research), Johannes Bintinger (Linköping University), Luka Đorđević (Northwestern University), Giulio Ragazzon (ISIS, University of Strasbourg), and Ghislaine Vantomme (Eindhoven University of Technology). The Dream Chemistry Award Final took place on December 6 and 7 in Prague (Czech Republic).

The 2021 Dream Chemistry Award goes to Jarad Mason of Harvard University for his project on treating hypoxia with microporous water (Photo: Tomáš Belloň / IOCB Prague)

The Dream Chemistry Award is an international competition like no other – it recognizes young chemists who dream of solving fundamental problems with bold ideas. The competition is organized by the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

“It sounds almost cliché, but that’s the reality – it was extremely difficult to choose this year’s winners, because all five finalists presented truly amazing projects,” says competition co-organizer Prof. Pavel Jungwirth of the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences (IOCB Prague). “But we had to make a decision, so after lengthy discussion, the panel selected a project about an innovative treatment for acute oxygen deprivation (hypoxia) using zeolite-based nanoabsorbents, which was presented by Jarad Mason of Harvard. Congratulations to all, particularly to Jarad,” he adds.

From the left: Pavel Jungwirth, Jarad Mason, Robert Hołyst (Photo: Tomáš Belloň / IOCB Prague)

The founder of the competition, Prof. Robert Hołyst of the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IPC PAS), explains the idea behind it: “The Dream Chemistry Award competition was established in 2013, and from the very start, we knew it was a good move. We all dream, and persistent dreamers change the world. Over the last eight years, we’ve witnessed the need for scientific proposals devoid of bureaucratic restrictions imposed by grant systems. After all, every tremendous scientific achievement starts with a dream and a free imagination. We offer this to all young scientists in the Dream Chemistry Award competition.”

Only scientists who have been nominated by senior colleagues and respected experts in their field can compete. Nominees must have a PhD awarded no more than eight years prior and must not be employed by IPC PAS or IOCB Prague. Eligible candidates are then invited to submit their application.

“The applicants are from all over the world. They want to solve problems that touch upon energy storage and production, mysteries of life, sustainable growth in terms of materials usage, and environmental protection. Some aim to introduce technologies that could make the third world a better place to live. In writing their proposals, they further develop their dream ideas. We hope the competition strengthens their will to pursue their scientific dreams for a better world one day,” adds Hołyst.

From the left: Luka Đorđević (Northwestern University), Robert Hołyst (IPC PAS), Johannes Bintinger (Linköping University), Jarad Mason (Harvard University), Ahmed Badran (Scripps Research), Pavel Jungwirth (IOCB Prague), Giulio Ragazzon (ISIS, University of Strasbourg) (Photo: Tomáš Belloň / IOCB Prague)

The 2021 Dream Chemistry Award goes to:

  • Dr. Jarad Mason of Harvard University (USA) for his project entitled Treating Hypoxia with Microporous Water. Jarad Mason dreams of storing reversibly high densities of gas molecules in aqueous solutions, even if they are poorly soluble in water. One particular example is the storage of oxygen to prevent hypoxia (oxygen deprivation).

The recipients of the Top 5 Prize are (in the alphabetical order):

  • Dr. Ahmed Badran of Scripps Research (USA) for his project entitled Universal Codon Reassignment Using a De Novo Orthogonal Genetic Code. Ahmed Badran would like to expand the function of genetic code and use of artificial amino acids to create new types of proteins with new functions, e.g. enhanced fixation of CO2 for better crop growth.
  • Dr. Johannes Bintinger of Linköping University (Sweden) for his project entitled Star Trek SWITCH. Johannes Bintinger dreams of controlling the release of molecules/drugs with single-molecule precision for clear applications in medicine.
  • Dr. Luka Đorđević of the Northwestern University (USA) for his project entitled The Dark Side of Photocatalysis. Plants use photosynthesis with visible light to convert CO2 into other chemicals and grow. Luka Đorđević would like to do the same at night by storing electrons in the daytime in proper molecules for later use.
  • Dr. Giulio Ragazzon of the Institut de Science et d'Ingénierie Supramoléculaires, University of Strasbourg (France), for his project entitled Endergonic Reactions Enabled by Catalytic Processes. Giulio Ragazzon wants to use driven equilibrium reactions in a similar way to nature (with special dynamic enzymes and energy consumption) to generate products that cannot be obtained through traditional thermodynamic routes – products that can make life better.
  • Dr. Ghislaine Vantomme of the Eindhoven University of Technology (Netherlands) for her project entitled Supramolecular Wires for Brain-Inspired Computing. Ghislaine Vantomme dreams of coupling the human brain to interactive materials and, at the far end, of reading thoughts.

The Dream Chemistry Award was established in 2013 by the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IPC PAS) with the aim of supporting young talents in pursuing their scientific dreams. Since 2017, the contest has been co-organized by the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences (IOCB Prague), with the final alternating between Prague and Warsaw.

2021 Dream Chemistry Award trophy
Archive

15

March

2022

Warsaw

Call for Dream Chemistry Award 2022 nominations

We accept nominations for the Dream Chemistry Award 2022. Nominators must hold a PhD and have at least ten years of experience since the publication of their first scientific paper. The nominations are open until July 31.

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22

December

2021

Prague

The organizers and the winner on the Dream Chemistry Award 2021

We asked Jarad Mason, the winner of the 2021 Dream Chemistry Award, about his impressions of the competition and his future research plans; as well as the main organizers of the Dream Chemistry Award, Pavel Jungwirth and Robert Hołyst, what they think about this year's competition and its development in recent years.

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7

December

2021

Prague

Treating hypoxia with microporous water – the 2021 Dream Chemistry Award goes to Jarad Mason of Harvard University

The winners of the 2021 Dream Chemistry Award and the TOP 5 Prize have been decided. This year’s Dream Chemistry Award and the financial prize of EUR 10,000 goes to Jarad Mason of Harvard University for his project on treating hypoxia with microporous water. The Scientific Committee also awarded the TOP 5 Prize to Ahmed Badran (Scripps Research), Johannes Bintinger (Linköping University), Luka Đorđević (Northwestern University), Giulio Ragazzon (ISIS, University of Strasbourg), and Ghislaine Vantomme (Eindhoven University of Technology). The Dream Chemistry Award Final took place on December 6 and 7 in Prague (Czech Republic).

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1

December

2021

Prague

Dream Chemistry Award 2021 Final – Live stream

The final of the Dream Chemistry Award 2021, which takes place on 6–7 December 2021 in Prague, will see five finalists who will present their dream projects.

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1

October

2021

Prague

Finalists of Dream Chemistry Award 2021 selected

The DCA Scientific Committee selected top projects from this year’s submissions. Five finalists are invited to present their projects in person during the contest’s final, which will be held at IOCB Prague on 6–7 December 2021.

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8

December

2020

Warsaw

Dreaming big about the smallest things: Dream Chemistry Award 2020

On the 1 December, the jury has announced the winner of this year's Dream Chemistry Award. Because of the pandemic restrictions, the whole event has been carried online.

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1

February

2020

Emiliano Cortés: “To have big dreams you need to imagine that things can be different and that you can contribute towards that.”

An interview with Emiliano Cortés (Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany), the TOP 5 finalist of the Dream Chemistry Award 2019 with the project “Lighting Up Chemical Reaction Pathways”.

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1

February

2020

Jeffrey Martell: “We need to think expansively to identify research goals that others haven't thought of.”

An interview with Jeffrey D. Martell (University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA), the TOP 5 finalist of the Dream Chemistry Award 2019 with the project “DNA Nano-Scaffolds for Rapid Discovery of Enzyme-Mimicking Catalysts”.

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1

February

2020

Yoeri van de Burgt: “Imagination and the ability to dream is essential. Most other logical and reasonable ideas have already been tried.”

An interview with Yoeri van de Burgt (Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands), the TOP 5 finalist of the Dream Chemistry Award 2019 with the project “Brain-Inspired Organic Modular Lab-on-a-Chip for Cell Classification”.

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1

February

2020

Hannes Mikula: “The Dream Chemistry Award was an amazing experience.”

An interview with Hannes Mikula (Vienna University of Technology, Austria), the TOP 5 finalist of the Dream Chemistry Award 2019 with the project “Double-targeted In Vivo Synthesis of Drugs at the Site of Disease”.

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1

February

2020

Yujia Qing: “The DCA gave me a unique opportunity to distill my abstract thoughts, which emerged during daily research, into a systematic plan.”

An interview with Yujia Qing (University of Oxford, UK), the winner of the Dream Chemistry Award 2019 with the project “Sequencing Life”.

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5

December

2019

Prague

Dream Chemistry Award 2019 goes to Yujia Qing of University of Oxford

Yujia Qing of University of Oxford has won the 2019 Dream Chemistry Award, an international competition for young scientists that took place on 2-3 December 2019, at the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences (IOCB Prague). In addition to the Dream Chemistry Award statuette, the winner also received two monetary prizes totaling €11,000.

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4

December

2018

Warsaw

Dr. Eric Daniel Glowacki with the Dream Chemistry Award 2018

The winner of the global Dream Chemistry Award competition this year is Dr. Eric Daniel Glowacki from the Linköping University. The Scientific Committee awarding the prize praised the laureate's project on catalysts for the production of clean energy from the hydrogen peroxide.

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10

October

2018

Warsaw

Dream Chemistry Award 2018 knows its Finalists

This year’s edition of the Dream Chemistry Award knows its finalists. The Scientific Committee selected top 5 candidates and their projects and invited the authors to Warsaw, Poland, to the finale of the contest which will be held on 3-4 December 2018.

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6

December

2017

Prague

Winning project of the DCA 2017 focuses on new perspectives for cancer treatment

On 4-5 December 2017, the finale of the international scientific contest Dream Chemistry Award was held in Prague, organized by the leading chemistry institutes of the Czech and Polish Academy of Sciences.

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