Department News

Matson, Wojtovich receive Furth Fund awards

April 17, 2017

kara-brenEllen Matson, assistant professor of chemistry, and Andrew Wojtovich, assistant professor of anesthisiology, are recipients of the 2017 Furth Fund awards from the Provost's Office. 

The Furth Fund, established through the generosity of Valerie and Frank Furth, was created to provide early career scientists with $10,000 in research funds. These funds are used to promote the research activities of the faculty member, which may include the purchase of new equipment or support for graduate students or postdocs. 

Research in the Matson group focuses on probing cooperative reactivity between non-traditional ligand platforms and first-row transition metals, specifically their ability to facilitate chemical transformations of industrial, environmental, and biological significance. Extending the definition of "ligand" to bound moieties capable of intimately participating in reactivity, the Matson group is itnerested in the development of new ligand platforms with unique steric and electronic properties. 

"Dr. Matson is internationally recognized for her research as a graduate student and a postdoctoral fellow in the field of synthetic inorganic chemistry. Her established track record of productivity is exemplified by her multiple national recognitions (ACS Division of Inorganic Chemistry Young Investigator Award, Iota Sigma Pi Anna Louise Hoffman Award for Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Research) and over 25 publications in scientific journals,” says Todd Krauss, professor and chair of chemistry. “Dr. Matson was recently named a recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER award, receiving this prestigious award after only her first submission."

The Wojtovich lab focuses on the roles of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in mitochondrial physiology and stress signaling. The lab uses model organisms and optogenetic tools to control the site and timing of ROS production. With these tools, the lab investigates complex ROS biology in order to gain a better understanding of ROS on a nano-scale. The lab uses a wide variety of approaches and translates findings from C. elegans to mammals. The expected outcome is a framework for developing targeted antioxidant therapies to overcome the obstacles that have led to so many clinical trial failures for existing antioxidant drugs.

"Even before reaching the faculty level he (Wojtovich) had achieved a strong track record of attracting extramural funding,” says Michael Eaton, the Denham S. Ward Professor and Chair of Anesthesiology.  “More recently, he has cemented this record by getting his very first R01 application funded on the first round (9th percentile); this is quite a spectacular achievement.  At age 33, he is nearly a decade ahead of the typical age at first RO1. In addition to his strong funding track record, Andrew also has an impressive publication record for someone so early in his career."

Related Links...