Hammes-Schiffer elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

April 17, 2012

Sharon Hammes-Schiffer, a professor of chemistry and the Eberly Professor of Biotechnology at Penn State, has been named a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Hammes-Schiffer is an acknowledged world leader in theoretical chemistry whose research spans the fields of chemistry, physics, biology and computer science. Her research has important implications for the development of alternative energy sources such as solar cells, as well as for protein engineering and drug design.

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation's most prestigious honorary societies, also is a leading center for independent policy research. Members contribute to Academy publications and studies of science and technology policy, energy and global security, social policy and American institutions, the humanities and culture, and education. "Election to the Academy is both an honor for extraordinary accomplishment and a call to serve," said Academy President Leslie C. Berlowitz. "We look forward to drawing on the knowledge and expertise of these distinguished men and women to advance solutions to the pressing policy challenges of the day."

Hammes-Schiffer's research program centers on reactions that play a vital role in many chemical and biological processes. She has developed both analytical theories and computational methods to reveal fundamental principles of proton-coupled electron-transfer reactions, which are essential to a wide range of energy-conversion processes. She also has developed methods to elucidate the role of protein motion and hydrogen tunneling in enzyme catalysis. She has applied these approaches to a broad spectrum of experimentally relevant systems. In addition, her research group has developed a nuclear-electronic orbital method to incorporate nuclear quantum effects into electronic-structure calculations.

In 2011, Hammes-Schiffer was awarded a prestigious National Institutes of Health "Method to Extend Research in Time" (MERIT) award, a 10-year research grant to support her work. Also in 2011, she was named a Fellow of the American Chemical Society. In 2010, she was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society and she received an American Chemical Society Akron Section Award in 2008. In 2005, she received the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science Medal and the Agnes Fay Morgan Research Award from the Iota Sigma Pi National Honor Society for Women in Chemistry. In addition, Hammes-Schiffer was recognized with the Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award in 1999, an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship in 1998, a Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award from Oak Ridge Associated Universities in 1998, and a Faculty Early Career Development Award (CAREER) from the National Science Foundation in 1996. She has served as a senior editor for the Journal of Physical Chemistry since 2001, and she was promoted to deputy editor of the Journal of Physical Chemistry B in 2011. In addition, Hammes-Schiffer serves on the editorial advisory boards of Accounts of Chemical Research, the Journal of the American Chemical Society, and the Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation. She is currently the chair for the Physical Division of the American Chemical Society. She was a charter member of a study section for the National Institutes of Health, and she also served as chair of the Theoretical Subdivision of the American Chemical Society. She is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Chemical Society.

Hammes-Schiffer has published numerous scientific papers and has given more than 220 invited talks and seminars. In 2004, she was selected as an Alexander M. Cruickshank Lecturer for the Gordon Research Conference on Isotopes, an Ephraim and Wilma Shaw Roseman Lecturer at Johns Hopkins University, a Lucy Pickett Lecturer at Mount Holyoke College, a Donald Lecturer at McGill University, and a Woodward Lecturer at Harvard University.

Hammes-Schiffer joined Penn State in 2000 as the Shaffer Associate Professor of Chemistry and was promoted to professor in 2003. In 2006, she was named the Eberly Professor of Biotechnology. She earned a doctoral degree in chemistry at Stanford University in 1993 and a bachelor's degree in chemistry, summa cum laude, at Princeton University in 1988.

  • Sharon Hammes-Schiffer, a professor of chemistry and the Eberly Professor of Biotechnology at Penn State, has been named a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

    IMAGE: Penn State
Last Updated January 09, 2015