High Honor for Young Chemist

March 31, 2016
A drop of liquid hangs from the tip of a glass pipette over an assembly of test tubes.

This year President Obama named just 105 winners of the federal government’s highest award for early-career science and engineering professionals. Erin Carlson was one.

An associate professor of chemistry at the University of Minnesota, she is tackling one of the thorniest problems in modern medical science: how to keep one step ahead of pathogens that are rapidly developing resistance to antibiotics. She targets the mechanisms that control bacterial growth and communication, seeking to discover potent new antibiotics with long-term efficacy.

Besides this work, Carlson’s Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) citation lauded her leadership among chemists in general and female chemists in particular, as well as the hands-on laboratory activities she has developed to interest K-12 students in natural product chemistry.

She will receive the PECASE award at a ceremony in Washington, D. C. this spring.