A number of Chemistry Department students, both undergraduate and graduate, are recognized annually for excellence in the classroom and research laboratory. Acknowledgment of their accomplishment can come from departmental, collegial, national, or international levels, as well as from the Department’s industrial sponsors.
However, each year, the Department bestows three very special awards on an equally special group of undergraduate and graduate students. Read about the exceptional individuals behind these honors and see list of recent award recipients.
Brian Lawrence Gray Prize
The Brian Lawrence Gray Prize for Outstanding Undergraduate Scholar in Chemistry was established in 2010 in memory of the late Brian Lawrence Gray by his parents, Melvin and Marie Gray of Garden City, New York. Brian, who received his B.S. in Chemistry from Boston College in 2001, was an exceptionally gifted young scientist and scholar. In the laboratories of Professor Amir Hoveyda, Brian co-authored scientific papers and was a co-inventor on the discovery of an important catalyst for olefin metathesis that is now used worldwide by chemists in industry as well as academia. It is income from that patent that funds the prize bearing his name.
After graduation, Brian spent two years as a British Marshall Scholar at the University of Cambridge, where he carried out research in the laboratories of Professor Steven Ley. Brian then returned to Massachusetts and enrolled at Harvard University’s Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology as a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow and a member of Professor Stuart Schreiber’s research team. Brian had completed the writing of his doctoral thesis at the time of his passing.
Brian Lawrence Gray Prize Winners
Julia Curley, Henry Dieckhaus, Chun (Alice) Li, Erik Liu, Kaitlin Malley, Dongmin Xu
John Kozarich Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship
In 2008, Dr. John Kozarich BS ’71, endowed the summer fellowship program that bears his name, as a tribute to the undergraduate research experience in the Chemistry Department at Boston College, which he credits with planting the seeds for his own astounding career in academic and pharmaceutical research. The Kozarich Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship provides fellowships to undergraduate Chemistry majors to work in faculty research laboratories along with Boston College graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.
Dr. Kozarich received his B.S. in Chemistry summa cum laude from BC and his Ph.D. in biological chemistry from MIT. He was an NIH postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University. He currently serves as chairman and president of ActivX Biosciences, Inc. and was formerly vice president at Merck Research Laboratories. Dr. Kozarich has also served on the faculty at the University of Maryland and Yale University Medical School. He has over 125 publications and holds three patents.
Recognized for his work to identify protein kinase and protease targets for screening drug candidates, Dr. Kozarich received the Distinguished Scientist Award from the American Chemical Society San Diego Section in October 2009.
Kozarich Summer Undergraduate Research Fellows
Gretchen Brown, James McCoy, Lauren Tran, Johnny Wang, Nicholas Wong
LaMattina Family Graduate Fellowship in Chemical Synthesis
Established in 2005-06 with a pledge of $1 million by John and Mary LaMattina, the LaMattina Family Fellowship in Chemical Synthesis, supports the graduate program through the provision of fellowships to doctoral students in the area of synthetic organic chemistry.
Dr. John LaMattina, BS ’71, P’03 received his doctorate from the University of New Hampshire and spent two years as a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University. He joined Pfizer in 1977 and held positions of increasing responsibility for Pfizer Central Research. He retired as senior vice president for worldwide development in 2007. Currently, he is a Senior Partner at PureTech Ventures.
Presently Dr. LaMattina is serving as an officer on the Boston College Board of Trustees. Among the many honors he has received during his career are the 1998 Boston College Alumni Award of Excellence in Science and the American Chemical Society’s Earle B. Barnes Award for Leadership in Chemical Research Management in 2010.
LaMattina Family Fellowship in Chemical Synthesis Recipients
Ashley Biernesser, Andres Baggett, Jessica Chan, John Coombs, Zachary Giustra (Scholar), Jacob Ishibashi, Hwanjong Jang, Gabriel Lovinger (Fellow), Tyler Mann, Jesse Myhill, Thach Nguyen (Fellow), Bowman Potter, Miao Qi, Ying Shi, Yong Wang (Scholar), Liang Zhang, Yuanzhe Zhang