Northern Illinois University

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Narayan Hosmane
Narayan Hosmane


Humboldt Foundation extends
rare second invite to NIU’s Hosmane

July 30, 2007

by Tom Parisi

There must be good chemistry between NIU’s Narayan Hosmane and his German colleagues.

So much so that the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, in an uncommon move, is asking the professor of chemistry and biochemistry to return to Germany for three months in 2008 to advance collaborations with its scientists.

Hosmane, a distinguished research professor at NIU, first received the coveted Humboldt Research Award for senior scientists (with a stipend of about $70,000) in 2001. The prestigious award is presented annually to scientists worldwide as a tribute to their lifelong accomplishments.

Only a small percentage of Humboldt Award winners are invited back for further collaborations.

“Awards such as the Humboldt are important both for the research they advance and for the recognition they bring,” said Christopher McCord, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “I’m very pleased for Dr. Hosmane and for the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.”

Hosmane said he has worked closely in recent years with four German colleagues, producing more than 10 publications in prestigious German and American journals on new theories and development of new materials in boron chemistry and nanoscience.

“I am extremely happy that the Humboldt Foundation has recognized my academic achievements and contribution to academic collaboration with German colleagues,” Hosmane said. “The foundation has been very satisfied with our research productivity.”

Hosmane’s work in boron chemistry has wide-ranging potential applications, including the development of new cancer treatment drugs and ways to make better plastics.

His current work is a publication with Nobel laureate William Lipscomb of Harvard University and Professor Wolfgang Kaim of the University of Stuttgart in Germany. Kaim initiated the request for Hosmane’s latest invitation from the Humboldt Foundation.

Earlier this year, Hosmane’s research program won a National Science Foundation grant of $396,000 over three years. During his tenure at NIU, 17 post-doctoral students, six Ph.D. candidates, four master’s-level students and 18 undergraduates have worked as members of his research team, often publishing academic papers with their professor.

In September, the NRI Institute – an international non-governmental organization focusing on Indian issues and achievements – will present Hosmane with its Pride of India Gold Award, recognizing his outstanding accomplishments. The award will be presented in Bethesda, Md., at the launch of the NRI Institute’s Washington, D.C., chapter.