FSU Chemist Named ACS PMSE Fellow

Joe Schlenoff, a distinguished Research Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Florida State University, has been elected as a Fellow of a prestigious national society in recognition of his contributions to the science and engineering of polymeric materials. This honor makes Schlenoff the first FSU faculty member to be granted this distinction.

Schlenoff has been elected as one of three researchers for 2024 to the American Chemical Society Division of Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering (ACS PMSE), an organization that fosters a community of polymer scientists and engineers equipped to solve global challenges through their research. Schlenoff expressed his gratitude for receiving this honor, stating, “I’m joining a distinguished group of scientists, and to be recognized in this way is a tremendous honor. My early education was in England, at the University of Bristol, where awards and prizes weren’t prioritized. Luckily, my colleagues have been persistent in pushing me to pursue awards, and I appreciate the recognition more than I thought I would.”

The American Chemical Society, founded in 1876 and chartered by the U.S. Congress, is one of the world’s largest scientific organizations and aims to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the world’s benefit. The ACS PMSE, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, has recognized Schlenoff’s groundbreaking work in the field.

Schlenoff, who holds the Leo Mandelkern Professorship of Polymer Science, leads the Schlenoff Group at FSU, specializing in polymer and materials science research, and served as chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry from 2007-2011. His research primarily focuses on polyelectrolytes, a type of long polymer formed by repeating units of charged molecules. These polyelectrolytes are water-soluble and are commonly found in various everyday materials such as food, cosmetics, shampoos, and water treatment plants.

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The National Science Foundation has supported Schlenoff’s fundamental research on polyelectrolytes for decades. According to Schlenoff, “Polymers are crucial building blocks in the natural and synthetic world — the structure on the molecular scale determines the properties on a bulk scale. This gives chemists almost unlimited…”.

To know more about Schlenoff’s research and chemistry at FSU, visit chem.fsu.edu.

For details about “zwitterglass,” an anti-fouling coating invented by Schlenoff, visit zwitterglass.co.