2014 Coblentz Award

The Coblentz Society is happy to announce that the 2014 recipient of the Coblentz Award is Dr. Peng Chen

Dr. Chen is the Peter J. W. Debye Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Cornell University. His group has pioneered the development and application of single-molecule fluorescence microscopy for studying catalysis on individual nanoparticles at the single-turnover resolution and nanometer precision. Understanding the structure-activity correlation of nanoparticles is important for developing better catalysts, but hampered by their inherent inhomogeneity. Dr. Chen’s single-molecule microscopy work has uncovered heterogeneous reaction pathways and differential selectivity among individual nanoparticles, as well as their temporal catalytic dynamics. He has discovered surprisingly complex spatial activity patterns within a single crystal facet on a single catalyst particle. He has further developed the single-molecule microscopy approach for scalable, parallel screening of nanoparticle catalytic activity. Moreover, his group pioneered the application of single-molecule fluorescence microscopy in bioinorganic chemistry, in particular on metal homeostatic proteins. He has discovered new mechanisms in metalloregulator-DNA interactions and gained insight into multi-body protein interactions involving metallochaperones. 

            Dr. Chen received his B.S. in chemistry from Nanjing University, China in 1997. After a year at University of California, San Diego with Prof. Yitzhak Tor learning organic synthesis, he moved to Stanford University and did his Ph.D. with Prof. Edward Solomon on spectroscopy of metal active sites in proteins. In 2004, he joined Prof. X. Sunney Xie’s group at Harvard University for postdoctoral research in single-molecule biophysics. He started his faculty appointment at Cornell University in 2005. He has received a Dreyfus New Faculty award, a NSF Career award, a Sloan Fellowship, a Paul Saltman Award, and a CAPA Distinguished Junior Faculty Award.