Dr. Jay A. Switzer, Donald L. Castleman Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at the University of Missouri-Rolla and a senior investigator in the UMR Materials Research Center, has won the 2006 American Chemical Society Midwest Award. The award will be presented at the ACS 2006 Midwest Regional Meeting in Quincy, Ill., in October.
Switzer’s current research focuses on chiral electrochemical sensors, which could be useful to the pharmaceutical industry.
“Most important drugs on the market are chiral – they exist as either right-handed or left-handed molecules,” Switzer explains. One “hand” of the molecule is effective as a drug, the other is ineffective at best and occasionally toxic. “The chiral surfaces we produce could be used as catalysts to produce the chiral pharmaceuticals or as sensors to measure their concentration, perhaps even as implantable sensors in the human body.”
Other current projects include research into epitaxial electrodeposition of metal oxides, spintronics and electrochemical biomineralization.
Switzer pioneered the electrodeposition of nanostructured metal oxide semiconductors, magnetic materials and catalysts. He is best known for his research on the electrodeposition of ceramic superlattices, epitaxial films, and chiral catalysts. His research has been featured in the journals Science and Nature.
Switzer has served on the editorial board of Chemistry of Materials and is a principal editor of the Journal of Materials Research. He received the Electrodeposition Award from the Electrochemical Society in 2003. Recently, he chaired the 2006 Gordon Research Conference on Electrodeposition.