Students assist with Professor Ram Mohan's green chemistry research at Illinois Wesleyan.

Mohan Receives Fulbright Award

June 4, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Illinois Wesleyan University’s Beling Professor of Natural Sciences Ram Mohan has been awarded a Fulbright-Nehru award to India where he will teach a special course on the principles of green chemistry at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) at Mohali and other major institutions in that country.

”I am deeply honored and excited to be a Fulbright-Nehru teacher scholar in India,” says Mohan, who will be on sabbatical from Illinois Wesleyan while participating in the Fulbright program in 2012-13. “India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world now and the chemical industry is especially booming, but with this growth come environmental problems that are best addressed using green chemistry principles.”

Mohan’s green chemistry research at Illinois Wesleyan has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund and the Research Corporation for Science Advancement. His work, which has been widely published in scientific journals, focuses on developing environmentally friendly organic synthesis using bismuth and iron compounds. Bismuth and its compounds are remarkably non-toxic and attractive from a green chemistry perspective. In 2011, the Illinois Heartland Section of the American Chemical Society named Mohan Chemist of the Year.

“It is especially exciting to be a U.S. ambassador in India, where I was born and did my schooling before immigrating to the U.S. for higher studies.” Mohan noted. “I hope that my visits to several premier institutes in India will lead to fruitful collaborations and exchanges that will benefit both the host institutes and Illinois Wesleyan.”

With almost 350 universities and over 17,000 colleges, India supports one of the largest and most diverse systems of higher education in the world. The Indian Institute of Science Education and Research was established in 2007 by the Indian government, with a mission to carry out research in frontier areas of science and to provide quality science education at the undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Operating in 150 countries worldwide, the Fulbright program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs. Envisioned by U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright in 1945, the program promotes a mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries. India has grown to be the largest of all Fulbright programs, with 80 or more awards annually made to American scholars and professionals, and in recognition of this, grants to India are now called Fulbright-Nehru awards.

Contact: Matt Kurz (309) 556-3203