In this series, we're spotlighting each winner of the inaugural ECP Faculty Bridge Grant! Join us in congratulating Bryan James, postdoctoral investigator at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
By ACS Green Chemistry Institute
In 2023, the inaugural ACS Early Career Postdoctoral (ECP) Faculty Bridge Grants awarded funds to six postdoctoral fellows. The winners’ two-year appointments will provide support to postdoctoral fellows or faculty who are in the early stages of establishing research groups. This support is crucial to the development of robust research programs as well as ensuring professional development and mentorship opportunities for the grantees. A unique feature of the program is that it both promotes sustainability research and builds capacity in green chemistry education, addressing a key challenge to the widespread implementation of green chemistry practices.
As a postdoctoral investigator at theWoods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, ECP grant winner Bryan James will pursue his project, “The Rational Design of Nucleic Acids for Use as Multifunctional, Green Additives in Next-Generation Plastics.” In this project, Byran will study the development and application of instrumentation to evaluate the fate, persistence, and toxicity of plastic pollution in the ocean. The findings will inform the design of future materials that are safe for both the environment and human health.
Jointly appointed in the Woods Hole Department of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry and the Department of Biology, Bryan brings combined expertise from his Ph.D. in materials science and engineering (University of Florida) and a National Institutes of Health predoctoral fellowship. His advisor at Woods Hole, Dr. Christopher Reddy, remarked on Bryan’s creative, interdisciplinary approach, “[His] training and research in biomaterials engineering and environmental chemistry give him a unique perspective in designing safer and more sustainable chemicals and materials. Because of this, he has already made groundbreaking advances by developing tools and strategies for designing less persistent plastic products. I am sure he will continue on this steep trajectory, expanding the frontier of green and sustainable chemistry by bridging disciplines.”
Along the same lines, Bryan’s plans to address sustainability as an instructor rise above traditional disciplinary boundaries. “I aim to close [the] sustainability gap in materials education by expanding the discussion of green engineering in materials science and engineering coursework, particularly in materials selection and design courses.” In addition, he plans to teach an elective course that brings together environmental sustainability and medicine.
“Green chemistry and sustainability deeply underlie my research interests in designing materials that are simultaneously functional, sustainable, and benign,” he explained in his application. “Creating materials, products, and processes with those qualities requires adhering to the principles of green chemistry and engineering.”
Join us in whole-heartedly congratulating Bryan on this exciting achievement! Learn more about ACS Sustainability Grants and how you can apply on the ACS website.