Chemistry professor named Sloan Fellow, to receive $50,000 for research

Published: February 20 2014

Category:Announcements, InsideUF, Top Stories

Rebecca Butcher

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Rebecca A. Butcher, assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Florida, has received an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, given to early-career scientists recognized as rising stars of the next generation of scientific leaders.

Butcher received her undergraduate and doctoral degrees at Harvard, where she studied chemistry and chemical biology. She joined the faculty at UF in 2010.  Her research group studies chemical signaling in nematodes (microscopic roundworms).

“As many parasitic nematode species control their development and/or behavior using specific pheromones, our work will enable the discovery of chemical tools to interfere with the life cycles of these species and reduce their survival,” Butcher said.

In receiving the Sloan Fellowship, Butcher joins a roster of U.S. and Canadian scientists and intellectuals that includes 42 Nobel Prize winners and dozens of other scholars who have earned elite awards across a range of disciplines. Awarded annually since 1955, the Sloan Fellowship’s recipients include physicist Richard Feynman and game theorist John Nash.

Fellows receive $50,000 each to further their research.

“For more than half a century, the Sloan Foundation has been proud to honor the best young scientific minds and support them during a crucial phase of their careers when early funding and recognition can really make a difference,” said Paul L. Joskow, president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. “These researchers are pushing the boundaries of scientific knowledge in unprecedented ways.”

Awarded in eight scientific and technical fields — chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, evolutionary and computational molecular biology, neuroscience, ocean sciences, and physics — the fellowships are awarded through close cooperation with the scientific community.

Candidates must be nominated by their fellow scientists, and winning fellows are selected by an independent panel of senior scholars on the basis of a candidate’s independent research accomplishments, creativity and potential to become a leader in his or her field.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic, not-for-profit grant making institution based in New York City. Established in 1934 by Alfred Pritchard Sloan Jr., then-president and chief executive officer of the General Motors Corporation, the Foundation makes grants in support of original research and education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and economic performance.

For a complete list of winners, visit


Category:Announcements, InsideUF, Top Stories