Cheruzel Receives 2019 Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award

Professor Lionel Cheruzel, front left, has received the 2019 Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award for his research with undergraduate students. Here he poses with colleagues involved in a freshmen research initiative. (Photo: Jim Gensheimer)

Professor Lionel Cheruzel, front left, has received the 2019 Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award for his research with undergraduate students. Here he poses with colleagues involved in a freshmen research initiative. (Photo: Jim Gensheimer)

The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation has awarded SJSU Professor of Chemistry Lionel Cheruzel with a 2019 Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award for his commitment to research and teaching with undergraduates.

Nominated by his department chair Prof. Karen Singmaster, Cheruzel is one of eight faculty members nationwide to receive the prestigious award. The honor recognizes the accomplishments of faculty in scholarly research with undergraduates.

Since joining SJSU in 2009, Cheruzel has engaged more than 160 undergraduates in cutting-edge research in light-driven biocatalysis to achieve chemical transformations otherwise challenging to obtain using traditional methods. His scholarly activities have resulted in the publication of 18 manuscripts with more than 35 undergraduate students as coauthors and invitations to more than 50 seminars worldwide. He has also secured 16 internal grants and nine federal grants totaling close to $2 million dollars to support his research endeavors at SJSU.

Last year, he secured a $325,000 grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation to launch a new Freshman Initiative: Research to Engage Students (F.I.R.E.S) program. Through the grant, he and three faculty members encourage freshman students from the Departments of Chemistry and Biology to develop their research interests and integrate research laboratories early in their academic careers.

According to the nomination, Dr. Cheruzel has always shared “a deep enthusiasm for chemistry and discovery with budding scientists.”

As part of the award, Cheruzel will receive an unrestricted research grant of $75,000.