Jeremiah Johnson and Heather Kulik among the winners of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s 2024 Materials Chemistry Horizon Prize

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The prize was given for demonstrating the potential and impact of embedded mechanochemical reactivity on the mechanical limits of cross-linked polymer networks.

A. Thomas Guertin Professor of Chemistry Jeremiah A. Johnson and Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry Heather J. Kulik are both members of The National Science Foundation (NSF) Center for Molecularly Optimized Networks (MONET), which was awarded the prestigious 2024 Materials Chemistry Horizon Prize: Stephanie L Kwolek Prize from the Royal Society of Chemistry. The prize was given in recognition of the group’s demonstrating the potential and impact of embedded mechanochemical reactivity on the mechanical limits of cross-linked polymer networks.

MONET brings together researchers from  MIT, Duke University, Northwestern University, and Hokkaido University, spanning multiple areas of chemical expertise.  In addition to Johnson and Kulik, two members of the MONET Team have ties to the MIT Department of Chemistry: Abraham Herzog-Arbeitman, a PhD candidate in the Jeremiah Johnson Group, and Dr. Julia Kalow (a former Jeremiah Johnson Group postdoctoral researcher, now an Associate Professor of Chemistry at Northwestern University).

“The chemical sciences cover a rich and diverse collection of disciplines, from fundamental understanding of materials and the living world to applications in medicine, sustainability, technology and more,” said Dr. Helen Pain, Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry. “By working together across borders and disciplines, chemists are finding solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges.  Our prize winners come from a vast array of backgrounds, all contributing in different ways to our knowledge-base and bringing fresh ideas and innovations. We recognize chemical scientists from every career stage and every role type, including those who contribute to the RSC’s work as volunteers. We celebrate winners from both industry and academia, as well as individuals, teams, and the science itself.  Their passion, dedication and brilliance are an inspiration. I extend my warmest congratulations to them all.” 

The Royal Society of Chemistry’s prizes have recognized excellence in the chemical sciences for more than 150 years. This year’s winners join a prestigious list of past winners in the RSC’s prize portfolio, 60 of whom have gone on to win Nobel Prizes for their work, including 2022 Nobel laureate Carolyn Bertozzi and 2019 Nobel Laureate John B Goodenough.  

The Horizon Prizes highlight exciting, contemporary chemical science at the cutting edge of research and innovation. These prizes are for groups, teams and collaborations of any form or size who are opening up new directions and possibilities in their field, through groundbreaking scientific developments.