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Wilkerson-Hill recognized as 2024 Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar

Wilkerson-Hill recognized as 2024 Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar

May 2, 2024 | UNC-Chapel Hill Chemistry Communication

Sidney Wilkerson-Hill, UNC Chapel Hill Assistant Professor of Chemistry, has been recognized as a 2024 Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar by the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation.  Wilkerson-Hill is one of only 18 recipients to be honored with this award in 2024.  The faculty who are selected as winners must be within the first five years of their academic careers, have each created an outstanding independent body of scholarship, and have demonstrated a deep commitment to education.

The purpose of the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation is to advance the science of chemistry, chemical engineering, and related sciences as a means of improving human relations and circumstances throughout the world. Established by chemist, inventor, and businessman Camille Dreyfus in 1946 as a memorial for his brother Henry, the Foundation is now a memorial to both men since Camille Dreyfus passed in 1956.  Each Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar receives an unrestricted research grant of $100,000 to further the recipients’ research efforts.

Professor Wilkerson-Hill received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 2015, and joined the UNC faculty in 2018.  He has received numerous awards and honors, not limited to a Sloan Fellowship, the FMC Young Investigator Award, the Keynote Speakership of the NC 2024 Science Olympiad State Tournament, and the UNC Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

The Wilkerson-Hill Research Group works to develop new reactions to obtain pyrethroids, small molecules used to combat vectors for malaria (e.g., Anopheles gambiae). They are particularly interested in identifying new small molecule pyrethroids with enhanced photostability, reduced off target toxicological properties to beneficial pollinators, and reduced insect resistance profiles. They are working to do this by developing new routes to orphaned cyclopropanes, a structural motif found in all pyrethroids, by using 1) biomimicry and frustrated Lewis acid-base pairs (FLP’s), 2) reagent-based approaches toward natural product families; and 3) chemotype-centric approaches using sulfones as non-stabilized carbene equivalents. These methods to obtain orphaned cyclopropanes also enable the discovery of new cyclopropane-containing medicines, since they permit rational structure activity relationship studies at the 1,1-dialkyl position – a traditionally understudied portion of chemical space.

Congratulations Professor Wilkerson-Hill for this outstanding achievement!


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