Hosea Nelson, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry in the UCLA College, has been named a 2020 recipient of the American Chemical Society’s Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award, which honors excellence in organic chemistry.

Nelson’s research focuses on the discovery of chemical reactions that will enable the efficient and environmentally benign syntheses of fuels, materials and medicines. He and his research team take an interdisciplinary approach, exploring chemical concepts that combine organic synthesis, inorganic chemistry and molecular biology. His laboratory is working to develop artificial systems that can catalyze chemical reactions in response to gene activation inside cells. His long-term goal is to design catalysts that can operate within the body to synthesize specific drugs when and where they are needed.

Nelson was selected among 22 Pew scholars in the biomedical sciences for 2018 and awarded a 2018 Sloan Research Fellowship, was an inaugural member of Chemical and Engineering News magazine’s Talented 12 in recognition for his achievements as a graduate student, postdoctoral scholar and assistant professor. 

He will be presented with the award next August at the society’s fall national meeting, where he will present a research lecture.

Other UCLA chemistry and biochemistry faculty who have been selected for the Cope award are Heather Maynard in 2017, Miguel García-Garibay and Neil Garg in 2015, Yi Tang in 2012, Nobel Laureate J. Fraser Stoddart in 1999, Michael Jung in 1995, Christopher Foote in 1994, Fred Wudl in 1993 and Kendall Houk in 1988.