Vietnamese professor wins British royal chemistry prize

By Minh Nga   June 8, 2022 | 04:00 am PT
A Vietnamese professor working in London has been named winner of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)'s 2022 Interdisciplinary Prize.
Professor Nguyen Thi Kim Thanh. Photo courtesy of  Royal Society of Chemistry

Professor Nguyen Thi Kim Thanh. Photo courtesy of Royal Society of Chemistry

Nguyen Thi Kim Thanh, professor at University College London (UCL), is honored with the prize "for outstanding contributions to interdisciplinary research on fundamental understanding of chemical syntheses, physical studies of plasmonic and magnetic nanomaterials for biomedical applications," RSC stated on its website.

Nanomaterials have shown some of their potential in biomedicine. This potentially increases when core materials have exceptional physical properties as well as stability and functionality in biological environments. This can be achieved by the synthesis of nanoparticles with novel optical, magnetic, electronic and catalytic properties in such a way that makes them compatible with biological environments and readily functionalized in a controlled manner.

Professor Thanh is excited by the idea that her research could directly improve the life expectancy of cancer patients, it said.

Thanh graduated from Vietnam National University, Hanoi with a major in chemistry in 1992.

She held a prestigious Royal Society University Research Fellowship (2005–2014) and was appointed Full Professor in Nanomaterials at University College London in 2013. Currently, she is vice dean for Innovation and Enterprise at UCL’s faculty of mathematical and physical sciences.

In 2019, Thanh was honored for her achievements in the field of nanomaterials, and her project proposal was awarded the prestigious Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Medal.

Professor Nguyen Thi Kim Thanh works at a lab in the University of College London.  Royal Society of Chemistry

Professor Nguyen Thi Kim Thanh works at a lab in the University College London. Photo courtesy of the Royal Society of Chemistry

Interdisciplinary Prize 2022 also honors two other scientists: Professor Michael George at the University of Nottingham for pioneering innovations in flow chemistry, reactor engineering and reaction monitoring for continuous chemical processing, and Professor GS Jason Micklefield at the University of Manchester for innovative research spanning organic chemistry to molecular genetics, leading to the discovery, characterization, and engineering of many novel enzymes.

Each winner receives 5,000 pounds ($6,284).

Interdisciplinary Prizes are awarded annually for work at the interface between chemistry and other disciplines.

The spirit of the prize is to recognize research involving both the broad and evolving subject of chemistry and another discipline.

Since 1986, more than 70 scientists have been honored with the prize.

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