WSU professor wins prestigious national science award


Career recognition is great any time, but for Alexandre Shvartsburg, it has come early in his academic career and from the President of the United States.

The White House announced on July 2 that Shvartsburg, an assistant professor of chemistry, received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. It is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government to outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their independent research careers and showing exceptional promise for leadership in science and technology.

“I stand truly heartened,” said Shvartsburg. “This is indeed a rare honor.”

It is the first time the award has been received at Wichita State and only the third time in Kansas. Shvartsburg studies ion mobility spectrometry, and he believes this is the first time someone in his field has been recognized.

“I feel it is an award to the whole IMS community, which I accept as a powerful recognition of our rapidly expanding science,” said Shvartsburg.

IMS involves the separation of molecules in a mass spectrometer as they float in gasses. Through this process, scientists may learn about cell proteomics and evaluate cellular health and disease states, said Doug English, chair of the department of chemistry. Not only does the award recognize Shvartsburg’s work, but it elevates his visibility and research impact.

“This is the biggest honor a junior faculty member has received in the department,” said English. “More people will learn about his work and he’ll have increased opportunities for collaboration on additional projects.”

Dean Andrew Hippisley agrees about the importance of the award and its significance to Fairmount College.

“I am thrilled for Alex and for the department of chemistry. We have the only awardee in Kansas here in the Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Alex is an inspiration.”

Shvartsburg accepted his award July 25 in Washington DC.