Former Stoddart Group PhD Student, Albert Fahrenbach, who was just promoted to Senior Lecturer in a continuing position at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney Australia, has now received a prestigious Australian Research Council Future Fellowship. This Future Fellowship will support Albert’s research into origins-of-life chemistry, specifically, how template-directed synthesis could have jump-started Darwinian evolution in virus-like peptide nanocapsules capable of encapsulating RNA.
Albert not only is engaging in world-class research but is also the founding academic of a new undergraduate course at UNSW, the Chemical Origins of Life. Be on the lookout for his Oxford Chemistry Primer on Prebiotic Chemistry set to come out next year!
Albert was also awarded a 2020 Australian Research Council Discovery Project Grant as the chief investigator on the topic of prebiotic RNA synthesis. He was recently a 2021 Top-Five Finalist for the Universal Scientific Education and Research Network (USERN) Prize, and was awarded a UNSW Outstanding Supervisor Award in recognition of his efforts to support his students throughout the pandemic.
Albert is the current President of the UNSW Chemical Society, lead organizer of NASA Astrobiology’s Prebiotic Chemistry and Early Earth Environments (PCE3) Online Seminar Series, is an Assistant Director of the Australian Centre for Astrobiology and a member of the newly established UNSW RNA Institute. Congratulations to Albert and the Fahrenbach Group!
Pictured below — Senior Lecturer Albert Fahrenbach alongside a graphic describing his proposed research on virus-like peptide nanocapsules capable of encapsulating RNA: