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Grace Stokes Named 2018 Cottrell Scholar

Receives $100,000 as one of 24 awardees across the country

Dr. Grace Stokes, assistant professor in Chemistry and Biochemistry, has been named a 2018 Cottrell Scholar by the Research Corporation for Scientific Advancement. The award recognizes the top early career academic scientists in the fields of chemistry, physics and astronomy, and comes with $100,000 to fund research and education. Stokes is one of only 24 academic scientists selected this year.

"I am honored and excited to meet and work with other Cottrell Scholars,” says Stokes. “This award allows me to share and explore innovative methods in teaching and conducting research with undergraduate students."

RCSA is a private operating foundation that aids basic research in the physical sciences. In a news release, RCSA President and CEO Daniel Linzer said, “The Cottrell Scholar program  champions the very best early career teacher-scholars in chemistry, physics and astronomy by providing these significant discretionary awards.” He added that the program is designed to foster synergy among faculty at major American research universities and primarily undergraduate institutions.

Stokes joined Santa Clara University in September 2014 as a Clare Boothe Luce assistant professor. Her research has focused on the interaction between peptoids and human cell membranes. “Peptoids have the potential for use as drugs or therapeutics, but how peptoids interact with human cell membranes is not well understood,” she explains. Today, undergraduate students in the Stokes Lab use a high-powered laser to quantify the thermodynamics of peptoid-lipid interactions.

“Grace has a special way of connecting with her students and imparting the excitement of scientific research,” says Debbie Tahmassebi, Dean of SCU’s College of Arts and Sciences.  “I’m pleased at this important recognition of the work she is doing and the spotlight it puts on her and a department with an excellent reputation for productive undergraduate research.”

Later this summer, Stokes will participate in the Cottrell Scholar Collaborative, an annual networking event aimed at providing scholars further opportunities to share insights and expertise.


About the College of Arts and Sciences at Santa Clara University

The College of Arts and Sciences is the heart of Santa Clara University. Our faculty integrate transformative teaching and innovative scholarship to engage students in the processes of learning, discovery and reflection as members of a community of scholars.

For more information, please email Daniel Iritani or call him at 408-551-3446

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