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UWF chemistry professor receives prestigious Cottrell College Science Award

Dr. Tanay Kersharwani, University of West Florida assistant professor in Chemistry, was one of 33 scientists to be presented the Cottrell College Science Award by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement. This award covers a wide range of research in astronomy, chemistry and physics. Dr. Kesharwani was recognized for his project, Development of Environmentally Benign Electrophilic Chlorocyclization Reactions Using Table Salt and CuSO4 for the Synthesis of Diverse Heterocycles.

“This award will not only provide us funds for chemicals, equipment and other consumables required to pursue further research, but also support students performing research during this upcoming summer semester,” said Kersharwani. “My immediate plan is to expand this project and publish more in this area, and eventually apply for an NSF-CAREER award, which is the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious award for junior faculty.”

RCSA seeks out groundbreaking scientific theories that have been developed by scientists who will be leaders in their fields for decades to come. They are determined through a critical peer-review process to ensure that funding goes to the best and brightest among America’s young academic scientists. Over the past century, 40 scientists who have received support from the RCSA have gone on to earn the Nobel Prize. This award is significant both for Dr. Kersharwani and the entire University.

“I am pleased to say that through this award I will be able to contribute to the mission of the University by providing students rigorous, high-impact and student-oriented learning experiences,” said Dr. Kersharwani. “Undergraduate research is extremely valuable in providing future generations with relevant opportunities to enter the world of discovery as active participants.”

Dr. Kesharwani has a master’s in chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay and a doctorate in organic chemistry from Iowa State University. His research interests include the development of new synthetic methods and their applications toward the synthesis of novel materials and small molecules of biological interest. He won the Iowa State University Teaching Excellence Award in 2005, the Ester C. and George E. Daniel Fellowship from Iowa State University in 2006 and has contributed to a number of chemistry publications.

To learn more, visit http://rescorp.org/news/2015/02/rcsa-directors-approve-48-research-awards.