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Linda Broadbelt Receives Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Award

November 21, 2006 | by Megan Fellman

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Linda Broadbelt, professor of chemical and biological engineering, has received a Fulbright Award for 2006-07.

During her year as a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar, she will work at Imperial College London with Professor Donna Blackmond and her research group to study asymmetric catalysis using amino acids as organocatalysts. Broadbelt will be applying computational quantum chemical methods to help unravel mechanisms of asymmetric catalytic reactions that are currently being studied experimentally in Professor Blackmond's laboratory.

The study of asymmetric reactions has implications for the pharmaceutical industry, where molecules with a given “handedness” for targeted therapeutic applications are sought, and also addresses fundamental questions about the chemical origin of life on Earth and our homochirality.

Broadbelt joined Northwestern in 1994 and was appointed the Donald and June Brewer Junior Professor from 1994-96. Her research and teaching interests are in the areas of multiscale modeling, complex kinetics modeling, environmental catalysis, novel biochemical pathways and polymerization/depolymerization kinetics.

One main research emphasis is computer generation of complex reaction mechanisms; application areas include biochemical pathways, silicon nanoparticle production and tropospheric ozone formation. Broadbelt is associate editor for Energy and Fuels and currently serves as the chair of programming for the Division of Catalysis and Reaction Engineering of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

Her honors include a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation, appointment to the Defense Science Study Group of the Institute for Defense Analyses and selection as the Ernest W. Thiele Lecturer at the University of Notre Dame and the Allan P. Colburn Lecturer at the University of Delaware.