Dr. Pavel Anzenbacher
Dr. Pavel Anzenbacher

Pavel Anzenbacher named Sloan Research Fellow

Dr. Pavel Anzenbacher, photochemical sciences, has received an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, a highly competitive national award designed to identify those who show the most promise of making fundamental contributions to the development of new knowledge in the sciences.

“Sloan Research Fellowships is the oldest program of the Sloan Foundation, though those who receive the grants are among the youngest researchers the foundation assists,” according to the Sloan Foundation.

Fellows receive $45,000 for a two-year period, to be used in setting up laboratories and establishing research projects. The Sloan funds give recipients the freedom to pursue whatever projects they feel are most compelling, and can be put to a wide variety of uses.

The foundation views the assistance of promising young scholars as an investment. “Financial assistance at this crucial point, even in modest amounts, often pays handsome dividends later to society,” it states.

Anzenbacher has indeed shown promise. His research has already been recognized both by the University, with the presentation of the Outstanding Young Scholar Award in 2003, and externally, by his garnering of numerous support grants.

Since coming to BGSU in 2000, he has secured more than $1 million in external grant funding as principal investigator, including three grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) totaling almost $700,000.

The focus of Anzenbacher’s research group is, in general, the development of advanced photonic materials in two main areas: supramolecular materials for sensor applications and materials that can be used in fabrication of flat displays. The researchers use the knowledge they generate for the preparation of optical sensors, and synthesis of artificial dyes and pigments. The group’s second main research area is oriented toward the design and synthesis of new materials capable of generating light of various colors when subjected to electrical potential. Such materials are used in organic light-emitting devices (OLEDs), which in turn constitute the pixels in flat displays and TVs. In collaboration with other scientists, the team is also working on a photodynamic therapy of cancer.

A native of Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic), Anzenbacher received a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague. He completed postdoctoral work at the University of Texas at Austin.

While at BGSU, he has published 25 research articles and reviews in peer-reviewed journals, plus several book chapters; presented a number of posters and lectures at scientific meetings; served as a reviewer for NSF and other foundations and journals, and developed collaborations with American and international research groups. He also is the editor of a book series, Advances in Photochemistry, published by Wiley Interscience.

With the award, Anzenbacher is in good company, noted Dr. Michael Ogawa, chair of the BGSU chemistry department. “Among his class of Sloan Fellows are 23 chemists holding faculty appointments at such prestigious universities as the University of Chicago, MIT, Northwestern University and California at Berkeley. Dr. Anzenbacher is to be congratulated on his inclusion within this highly distinguished list of leading young scientists.”

In addition, 32 Sloan Fellows have gone on to receive Nobel Prizes later in their careers, and hundreds have received other top honors, Ogawa pointed out.

November 14, 2005