Spectroscopy Announces the Winner of the 2017 Emerging Leader in Molecular Spectroscopy Award

April 18, 2017

Russ Algar, an assistant professor in chemistry at the University of British Columbia (UBC), in Vancouver, Canada, has won the 2017 Emerging Leader in Molecular Spectroscopy Award, which is presented by Spectroscopy magazine.

Russ Algar, an assistant professor of chemistry at the University of British Columbia (UBC), in Vancouver, Canada, has won the 2017 Emerging Leader in Molecular Spectroscopy Award, which is presented by Spectroscopy magazine. This annual award recognizes the achievements and aspirations of a talented young molecular spectroscopist, selected by an independent scientific committee. The award will be presented to Algar at the SciX 2017 conference in October, where he will give a plenary lecture and be honored in an award symposium.

Algar received his PhD in 2010 from the University of Toronto in Canada. He then spent two years as a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Bio/Molecular Science Engineering at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, in Washington, D.C., before moving to UBC as a Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in bio/chemical sensing. He has since been honored as a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar, a 2017 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellow in chemistry, and the 2017 winner of the Fred Beamish Award in analytical chemistry from the Canadian Society for Chemistry, among other recognitions. He serves on the editorial boards of the journals Chemosensors, Analytical Chemistry Research, and Nano Reviews & Experiments, and has been a peer reviewer for more than 60 scientific journals. 

At UBC, Algar leads a research group that focus on the development, spectroscopy, and applications of nontraditional fluorescent materials for bioanalysis. Examples of these materials include quantum dots, luminescent lanthanide complexes, and semiconducting polymer dots. Areas of special interest include new strategies and devices for point-of-care diagnostics with smartphones and other portable and mass-produced consumer electronics; the development of multifunctional fluorescent probes toward studying cascaded cell signaling processes; photonic logic; novel Förster resonance energy transfer configurations; understanding and controlling the interfacial interactions between nanoparticles and biological molecules; and the development of new materials and chemistries to support the foregoing research. Algar and his coworkers have authored more than 80 indexed publications that have accrued more than 2800 citations, 11 book chapters, and co-edited a book.

In addition to his research program, Algar is an enthusiast for innovation in chemical education. He has published multiple papers in the Journal of Chemical Education, has led pedagogical research and development projects at UBC, is a co-organizer for the “Teaching Analytical Chemistry” symposium at the annual Canadian Society for Chemistry Conference, and is a member of the board of directors for the Chemical Institute of Canada Chemical Education Fund.

For information about how to nominate a candidate for the 2018 award, please see the call for nominations.