Former Stoddart Group collaborator and honorary group member, Rafal Klajn, who is currently an Associate Professor in Chemistry and Head of the Helen and Martin Kimmel Center for Molecular Design at the Weizmann Institute of Science, was named the Blavatinik Laureate in Chemistry in Israel for 2021. Supported by the Blavatnik Family Foundation and co-administered by the New York Academy of Sciences and The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, The Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists seeks to celebrate the innovative achievements of young postdoctoral and faculty scientists aged 42 years or younger. The award is conferred at a formal ceremony in Jerusalem each spring, and the awardees receive $100,000 in unrestricted funds. Rafal joins former UCLA (2005-2008) Stoddart Group Postdoctoral Fellow (now Northwestern Professor in Chemistry), Will Dichtel, who won the US National Blavatnik Award in 2020.
Rafal is being recognized for his research work in harnessing colloidal and organic chemistry to create dynamic nanomaterials that react to external stimuli, and designing nanostructures to probe chemical reactions in confined spaces. The Klajn Group focuses on studying the behavior of chemical species within various types of nanoconfined environments, including on the surfaces of colloidal nanoparticles, cavities within coordination cages, and within the nanopores of porous materials. His research group also investigates self-assembly at the nanoscale, and seeks to develop design principles for systems capable of reversible, dynamic, and dissipative assembly that can rival the complexity and functionality of those found in nature.
Rafal is warmly remembered in the Stoddart Group for his collaborative contributions in developing metal nanoparticles functionalized with molecular and supramolecular switches while working in the laboratory of Bartosz Grzybowski at NU. For joint publication arising from the collaboration, see Publications #834, 845, 854, 863, 870, 880 and 885 on the Group Website.
Pictured below – Laureate of the 2021 Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in Israel Rafal Klajn: