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Nobel Laureate starts top talents plan at TJU | Updated: 2017-09-26 18:14

Professor Stoddart hugged everyone goodbye at Tianjin University (TJU), but it was not a sad departure, for he would be back in two months -- with his big plan.

Nobel Laureate starts top talents plan at TJU

Professor Fraser Stoddart (right) and Dean Jay Siegel (left) of the School of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology at Tianjin University

The Nobel- laureate chemical scientist has a "Tianjin University Plan" to establish a world-class platform in Tianjin for research, innovation and talent training, and has settled on the implementation details with TJU.

J. Fraser Stoddart first visited TJU in 2013. He was invited to the university by a friend, Professor Jay Siegel, dean of TJU's School of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology.

During his visit, Stoddart saw TJU’s commitment to scientific research and innovation and accepted an offer to teach at the university.

In 2014, Stoddart, together with three of his students, became an expert under China's 1000 Talent Plan, a national talents recruitment program, and a professor at TJU.

The Tianjin University Molecular Science Center that Stoddart and his two colleagues established in 2013 has now been updated into the Tianjin International Joint Research Center on Molecular Science, focusing on supramolecular research and boasting a team that includes graduates, post graduates and doctorates.

In October, 2016, Stoddart received the Nobel Prize in chemistry for designing and developing molecular machines.

Being awarded the top honor in the scientific world has not satisfied the 74 year old scholar’s sense of ambition.

He has made a five-year plan for his work in Tianjin, the most important aspect of which is establishment of the Fraser Stoddart Research Center that will integrate technological development, industrial transformation and talent training.

Three institutes -- the Molecular Design Institute, the Chemistry Synthesis Institute, and the Molecular Machines Institute -- will be built at the center to promote technological research.

Industrial transformation will be centered on the demands for new drugs, medical devices, new energy and new materials in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei Province.

Stoddart will also take part in talent cultivation. The research team he plans will be comprised of over 100 members, including Noble prize winners, members of Academies of Sciences from the US and the UK, foreign experts from the 1000 Talent Plan and award winners under the Ministry of Education’s Changjiang Scholars Program, the highest academic award program available to an individual in higher education in China.

Stoddart said he hopes the center will attract more talents and experts in molecular science and promote Tianjin as a world-leading city in molecular and health science.

Since talking with officials in Tianjin in February this year he has gained more confidence in the innovative potential of the city. In order to go on with his work, he even declined a lucrative offer from South China.

“I will stay in Tianjin”, said Stoddart, “I have many things to do here.”

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