Professor Sharon Hammes-Schiffer to Receive the 2021 Willard Gibbs Award

courtesy of the Chicago Section of the American Chemical Society

The Chicago Section of the American Chemical Society is pleased to announce that Professor Sharon Hammes-Schiffer, John Gamble Kirkwood Professor of Chemistry, Yale University, has been selected to receive the 2021 Willard Gibbs Award. The Award Dinner and hybrid Medal Celebration will be held on Friday, September 17, 2021, at Meridian Banquets, 1701 Algonquin Rd., Rolling Meadows, IL, and remotely using Zoom. Prof. Hammes-Schiffer will present the award lecture on Proton- Coupled Electron Transfer: Moving Together and Charging Forward.

Registration by September 13 (on-site) or September 17 (no-cost remote Zoom) is required to attend this hybrid meeting. Reservations may be made at the Chicago Section ACS Web Page ( or by calling the Chicago Section’s Office (847-391-9091).

The Willard Gibbs Award recognizes exceptional individuals whose pioneering work has opened new fields of chemical research. Hammes-Schiffer is being recognized for breakthrough research on proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET) reactions and enzymatic processes, which have led to new strategies for designing light harvesting solar energy assemblies. Though development and application of theoretical and computational methods that describe chemical reactions in condensed phases and at interfaces, her work models the excited state properties of inorganic complexes and has broad implications for artificial photosynthesis, charge transfer dynamics, and quantum mechanical effects in chemical, biological, and interfacial processes.

Prof. Hammes-Schiffer earned a B.A. in Chemistry from Princeton University in 1988, a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Stanford University in 1993, and then worked for two years at AT&T Bell Laboratories. Moving to academia, she then was appointed Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor at the University of Notre Dame from 1995-2000, Eberly Professor of Biotechnology at The Pennsylvania State University until 2012, and Swanlund Professor of Chemistry at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Since 2018, she has held the position of John Gamble Kirkwood Professor of Chemistry at Yale University. Hammes- Schiffer’s research centers on investigating proton-coupled electron transfer, nonadiabatic dynamics, and quantum mechanical effects in chemical, biological, and interfacial processes. Her work encompasses the development of analytical theories and computational methods, as well as their application to experimentally relevant systems. She is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, American Chemical Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Biophysical Society. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science. She has received the American Chemical Society Award in Theoretical Chemistry, the Royal Society of Chemistry Bourke Award, and the Joseph O. Hirschfelder Prize in Theoretical Chemistry.

Prof. Hammes-Schiffer is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Chemical Reviews and is on the Board

of Reviewing Editors for Science. She has over 300 publications and has given more than 430 invited lectures.


Contact: Russell Johnson 630-212-4501;

Chicago Section ACS Public Relations Committee

Article by Anna Sromek