van Giessen Earns Science Award – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

van Giessen Earns Science Award

Alan van Giessen, assistant professor of chemistry, was recently awarded a Single-Investigator Cottrell College Science Award. The awards, provided by Research Corporation for Science Advancement, support significant research that contributes to the advancement of science and to the professional and scholarly development of faculty, and their students, at liberal arts colleges and primarily undergraduate universities. van Giessen was awarded $35,000 to support his work, “Multicanonical simulations of protein aggregation: the role of the potential energy surface in oligomer and fibril formation.” This year, scientists were recognized at 48 institutions.

According to Research Corporation, the awards play an important role in the advancement of science because they support research at undergraduate institutions, support early career scientists, providing them with crucial recognition and funding as they establish their own labs, and they require student involvement in the research. 

“Encouraging, and supporting, early career scientists and their students is of crucial national importance, as the United States seeks to maintain its preeminence in scientific innovation,” Dr. James M. Gentile, president and CEO of Research Corporation. “These awards provide ‘seed’ funding for significant research at primarily undergraduate institutions, help early-career faculty establish research programs, and encourage undergraduate students to pursue research interests – all of which are essential to our future as scientific innovators.”

van Giessen joined the faculty in 2008. He earned his B.S. from Purdue University and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Cornell University. He conducted postdoctoral work at Boston University and the University of Leiden. He has received the DuPont Teaching Award for Excellence in Teaching Chemistry and theWentink Prize for Outstanding Graduate Student in Chemistry. van Giessen is a member of the American Chemical Society and Sigma Xi.