The American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society, has announced Georgia Tech Professor Mostafa El-Sayed as the winner of its highest honor, the 2016 Priestley Medal for distinguished service in the field of Chemistry.
After moving from his native Egypt to the United States for Ph.D. and postdoctoral studies, Dr. El-Sayed began his independent research career at UCLA in 1961, coming to Georgia Tech more than twenty years ago. These two periods were marked by distinguished contributions to two diverse but important areas of research, molecular electronic energy relaxation, and the science and technology of nanoscale objects. In the past several years, he has managed to knit these topics together in pioneering the biological application of nano-plasmonic phenomena and materials. His accomplishments over this 54-year career span the range from the most exciting of fundamental discoveries to the most selfless and creative service to his fellow scientists and the public.
Among many other honors, Prof. El-Sayed was awarded the National Medal of Science in 2007, and continues to serve on the President’s National Medal of Science Selection Committee. An elected member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences as well as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Prof. El-Sayed was Editor-in-Chief of the Jounal of Physical Chemistry for an astounding 24 years, guiding this journal to its preeminent status and helping to shape the entire field. At Georgia Tech, he has anchored the continued development of an internationally renowned physical chemistry division while embodying the Institute’s dedication to interdisciplinary science and technology. He even has a spectroscopy rule named after him!
More than 70 students have earned their Ph.D. degrees in the El-Sayed laboratory, and more than 80 postdoctoral scientists, research scientists, and visiting professors have done research under his direction. The El-Sayed group has been supported by over $18 million in external funding, publishing more than 680 papers. Incredibly, more than half of the 65,000+ citations to his work in the scientific and patent literature have occurred in the past five years, a testament to the cutting-edge nature and practical relevance of his research at Georgia Tech. He currently directs research on nanoparticle-based anticancer therapy in both the U.S. and Egypt.
Professor El-Sayed is Regents’ Professor, Julius Brown Chair of Chemistry, and the Director of the Laser Dynamics Laboratory at the Georgia Institute of Technology. We congratulate him on this well-deserved honor and look forward to his contributions, insight, and boundless enthusiasm for many years to come.