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Chemist Wins Distinguished Student Award From Foresight Institute

Chuyang Cheng is third Northwestern graduate student in four years to receive award

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Chuyang Cheng, who recently received his Ph.D. in chemistry from Northwestern University, has been awarded the prestigious 2015 Distinguished Student Award from the Foresight Institute, a leading think tank and public interest organization focused on molecular nanotechnology. 

Cheng is the third Northwestern graduate student in four years to receive the annual Distinguished Student Award for notable work in the field of nanotechnology. Cheng received the award -- as a surprise -- Saturday at the Foresight Institute’s annual workshop in Palo Alto, California. 

Cheng, who completed his doctoral defense this month, was cited for his innovative work in the design and construction of the artificial molecular pump. His Ph.D. adviser was Sir Fraser Stoddart, Board of Trustees Professor of Chemistry in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. Cheng is now a postdoctoral fellow in Stoddart’s lab.

Two other young Northwestern alumni have received the Distinguished Student Award since its inception in 1997. Jonathan C. Barnes -- who also studied with Stoddart -- received the 2013 prize, and David A. Walker received the 2012 prize. Both were Ph.D. candidates at the time they received their award. Barnes now is a postdoctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and soon will join the chemistry faculty at Washington University in St. Louis as an assistant professor; Walker currently is a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern in Professor Chad Mirkin’s lab.