Pony Yu Wins 2015 Young Scientist Award

By Tien Nguyen
Tuesday, June 16 2015

Pony Yu

Pony Yu, a graduate student in the Chirik lab, has been awarded the 2015 “Young Scientist Award” by the Journal of Labelled Compounds and Pharmaceuticals.

The $1,000 prize is given to four winners every three years. Applicants for the award were first nominated and then judged on the quality of their submitted scientific abstract. The awardees presented their research at the 2015 International Isotope Society Symposia held at Frick Chemistry Laboratory, June 8-12. Yu won an additional $400 award for his poster presentation during the Symposia. 

Yu gave a talk on his work on the “Iron-catalyzed Hydrogen Isotope Exchange of Pharmaceuticals.” Hydrogen isotope exchange catalyzed by soluble metal compounds is one of the most widely used and attractive methods for the radiolabelling of drug and drug-like molecules. The discovery of new transition metal catalysts that rely on earth abundant rather than scarce elements is attractive and remains underdeveloped. In addition to potential cost and environmental benefits, catalysts based on earth abundant elements may enable new reactivity not previously observed with existing catalysts. Yu and colleagues in the Chirik group discovered a family of bis(imidazolylidine)pyridine iron dinitrogen compounds that are active pre-catalysts for the hydrogenation of hindered and unactivated alkenes under mild reaction conditions.

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