Sophie Rousseaux receives Sloan Fellowship

February 16, 2021 by Chris Sasaki

Professor Sophie Rousseaux has received a prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship for 2021.

The research fellowships are awarded annually by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to early career researchers in Canada and the United States “whose creativity, innovation and research accomplishments make them stand out as the next generation of scientific leaders.”

Rousseaux’s research in the area of synthetic chemistry focuses on the development of new methods to access — more efficiently and in a safer manner — biologically active and medicinally relevant small molecules. She is particularly interested in the use of transition metal catalysis to achieve this objective.

Her work is of significant relevance to the synthetic chemistry used in the biotech, agrochemicals and materials sectors. The impact of her work is also evident in the interest paid to it by the pharmaceutical industry. She has been invited to speak at various pharmaceutical companies, and has also consulted and collaborated within the industry.

“It is such an honour to have been selected as a 2021 Sloan Research Fellow in Chemistry,” says Rousseaux. “The fellowship is a recognition of the amazing work the students in my group have been doing and I’m very grateful for their contributions to my research program over the last five years.

“The Sloan fellowship will have a significant impact on my career, allowing my group to develop new synthetic methods to access medicinally relevant small molecules in a more efficient and/or safer manner.”

Rousseaux received her PhD in chemistry from the University of Ottawa, spending the last 17 months of her degrees as a visiting student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She was an NSERC postdoctoral fellow and Glasstone Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, and held a junior research fellowship at St. John’s College. She joined U of T in 2015 as an assistant professor and holds a Canada Research Chair in Organic Chemistry.

Rousseaux is one of four researchers from the Faculty of Arts & Science to receive a fellowship this year.

“I’m thrilled that today four accomplished researchers were named Sloan Research Fellows,” says Melanie Woodin, dean of the Faculty of Arts & Science. “We are very fortunate to have these promising early-career scholars among our faculty. They are, without a doubt, researchers to watch.”

The 2021 cohort of 128 new fellows was selected from 1000 nominees. Each will receive a two-year, $75,000 fellowship to advance their research.