PUSKAS, JANA TO BE HONORED BY ACS RUBBER DIVISION

The American Chemical Society Rubber Division will recognize two prominent researchers at UA for the many contributions they have made in their fields.

Dr. Judit E. Puskas, the Joseph M. Gingo Chair Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and professor of polymer science, integrated bioscience and chemistry, will receive the Charles Goodyear Medal, the highest honor given by the organization. She is the first woman chosen to receive the award.

Puskas

Dr. Sadhan Jana, professor and chair of the Department of Polymer Engineering, will receive the George Stafford Whitby Award for Distinguished Teaching and Research. The award honors teachers of chemistry and polymer science, and recognizes innovative research.

Sadhan Jana

Puskas’ research interests include the integration of breast reconstruction and cancer research, green polymer chemistry, and biomimetic processes and biomaterials. She is an inventor or co-inventor of 31 U.S. patents and applications, and has raised more than $10 million in research funding since joining UA in 2004.

One such grant, received in 2014 from the National Science Foundation, provided $749,747 in funding to help Puskas further her creation of a polymer-based cancer-fighting drug. When paired with a rubber polymer prosthetic breast, which she has been developing since 2008, the drug works to target cancer cells.

Jana, who joined UA in 1998, has contributed to the professional development of more than 100 undergraduate students and about 500 master’s and doctoral students pursuing advanced degrees in polymers, chemical engineering and chemistry through classroom teaching, academic advising, mentoring and supervision of thesis research.

His research group’s interests include the synthesis and production of netshape silica and polymeric aerogels, with targeted applications in air and water filtration, thermal insulation and gas separation.

The honors for Puskas and Jana were among several announced this week at the Rubber Division’s International Elastomer Conference in Pittsburgh. The awards will be presented in April at the ACS Rubber Division’s 191stTechnical Meeting in Beachwood, Ohio.