Alexander Umanzor recognized as 2024 CAS Future Leader

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (6/5/2024) – Fourth-year PhD student Alexander Umanzor was recently selected to participate in the 2024 Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Future Leaders program. The CAS – a division of the American Chemical Society (ACS) – is an international competition open to PhD students and postdoctoral scholars in chemistry or a related science. Umanzor earned this prestigious distinction as one of the top 35 scientists to apply.

Umanzor, a member of the Roberts Group, joined the University of Minnesota community in Fall 2020 after completion of his undergraduate studies in Chemistry at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research in the Roberts Group is focused on developing regioselective nickel aryne complex difunctionalizations. Outside of the lab, he is an active member of the Chemistry DEI committee and plays a crucial role in organizing the semi-annual CSE Distinguished Scientist Seminar. For his dedication to research, teaching, and service, Umanzor has been previously recognized by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship program, the Outstanding Graduate TA Award from the Council of Graduate Students (2022), the Merck Research Award for Underrepresented Chemists of Color (2023), and the CSE Graduate Student Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award (2024).

"I am deeply humbled to be a part of this amazing cohort of scientists and trailblazers for positive change from around the world. I can’t wait to meet them and embark on this journey together! As a 2024 CAS Future Leader, I will use this opportunity to hone my leadership skills to become a better mentor and advocate for others as I approach the end of my graduate studies and pursue postdoctoral training. This recognition is a product of the endless support I have received throughout my graduate career. I’d like to express gratitude to my advisor, Prof. Courtney Roberts, my research group, the DEI committee, and my friends and family for all their support." – Alexander Umanzor

Founded in 2010, the CAS Future Leader program seeks to provide PhD students and postdocs with, "opportunities to learn leadership skills, engage in scientific discourse, and connect with peer scientists and innovators from around the world." The top 35 scholars who apply for the program are selected to visit the CAS headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, and receive complimentary registration for the ACS Fall Meeting (which is in Denver, CO in 2024) where they will have the opportunity to present their research. Awardees also receive a 3-year ACS membership, a $1,000 honorarium.