Indiana University chemist Yan Yu named Sloan Research Fellow

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Yan Yu. Indiana University

An Indiana University scientist has received a research fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Yan Yu, assistant professor in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Chemistry, has been named a 2017 Sloan Research Fellow, which recognizes early-career scholars whose achievements mark them as the next generation of scientific leaders.

Yu's research focuses on understanding and engineering immune cell functions using nanotechnology. Their research aims to advance the fundamental understanding of nanoscale biological interactions as well as the translation of these understanding into materials that can be used as new treatments and therapies for disease. For example, she recently received support from the National Science Foundation to study whether nanoparticles whose surface possesses two distinct parts with distinct properties -- known as "Janus particles" -- might be useful in the development of drugs that permeate the body's cellular barriers to more effectively deliver treatment.

"The Sloan Research Fellows are the rising stars of the academic community," said Paul L. Joskow, president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. "Through their achievements and ambition, these young scholars are transforming their fields and opening up entirely new research horizons. We are proud to support them at this crucial stage of their careers."

Fields recognized by the Sloan Research Fellowships are chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, neuroscience, ocean sciences and physics. Past Sloan Research Fellows include major scientific figures such as physicists Richard Feynman and Murray Gell-Mann, and game theorist John Nash. Forty-three former fellows have been named recipients of the Nobel Prize, 16 have won the Fields Medal in mathematics, 69 have received the National Medal of Science, and 16 have won the John Bates Clark Medal in economics.

Yu holds a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Peking University. She completed her postdoctoral training at University of California at Berkeley. She joined the IU faculty in 2012.

The 2017 Sloan Research Fellowship was awarded to 126 researchers in the United States and Canada. Each award includes $60,000.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic, not-for-profit grant-making institution based in New York City. Established in 1934 by Alfred Pritchard Sloan Jr., then-president and CEO of General Motors Corp., the foundation makes grants in support of original research and education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and economics.