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Matthew Shoulders wins Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award

Award recognizes talents and leadership qualities of young faculty in the chemical sciences.
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MIT Associate Professor Matthew Shoulders
MIT Associate Professor Matthew Shoulders
Photo: Justin Knight

Whitehead Career Development Associate Professor Matthew D. Shoulders has been named one of 13 young faculty nationwide to be honored with a 2018 Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award by the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation.

"I am humbled to be recognized by this award,” said Shoulders. “As a big believer in the dual roles of faculty as both researchers and teachers, being recognized alongside such a superb group of current and past recipients is a great honor." 

The Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Awards Program supports the research and teaching careers of talented young faculty in the chemical sciences, and, when choosing its Teacher-Scholars, the foundation seeks those who demonstrate leadership in both research and education. As a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar, Shoulders will receive an unrestricted research grant of $75,000. Since its inception in 1970, the Teacher-Scholar program has awarded over $45 million to support emerging young leaders in the chemical sciences.

Following an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellowship at The Scripps Research Institute under Professor Jeffery Kelly, Shoulders joined the MIT Department of Chemistry faculty as an assistant professor in 2012. He was promoted to associate professor without tenure in July 2017. Shoulders also serves as an associate member of the Broad Institute, an investigator at the Center for Skeletal Research at Massachusetts General Hospital, and a member of the MIT Center for Environmental Health Sciences.

Shoulders graduated summa cum laude from Virginia Tech in 2004, earning a BS in chemistry and minor in biochemistry. He earned a PhD in chemistry at the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 2009. Shoulders’ honors include the National Institutes of Health Director's New Innovator Award, the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the 56th Mallinckrodt Foundation Faculty Scholar Award, the Smith Family Foundation Excellence in Biomedical Research Award, and MIT's Committed to Caring Award for Student Mentoring.

The goals of the Shoulders Lab are to understand how protein folding problems are solved in living systems and to discover mechanism-based strategies that can correct pathological protein misfolding. In pursuit of these objectives, they develop and apply new chemical genetic and biochemical methods to elucidate important folding challenges and to illuminate how the interplay between biophysics and cellular proteostasis shapes protein evolution.

The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation is a leading nonprofit organization devoted to the advancement of the chemical sciences. It was established in 1946 by chemist, inventor, and businessman Camille Dreyfus in honor of his brother Henry. The foundation seeks to support the advancement of chemistry, chemical engineering, and related sciences as a means of improving human relations and circumstances around the world.

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