Professor Nicola Pohl was elected as a 2020 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The AAAS notes “Election as a Fellow honors members whose efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications in service to society have distinguished them among their peers and colleagues.”
Dr. Pohl earned her B.A. at Harvard University in 1991. She earned her PhD in organic chemistry under the direction of Prof. Laura Kiessling at University of Wisconsin, Madison and subsequently carried out postdoctoral studies under the direction of Prof. Chaitan Khosla at Stanford University. Prof. Pohl joined the Department of Chemistry at Iowa University in 2000, where she rose to the rank of Professor. In 2012 she moved to Indiana University, where she is the Joan and Marvin Carmack Chair of Bioorganic Chemistry, associate dean of natural and mathematical sciences in the Indiana University Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Chemistry, and Co-director of the Graduate Training Program in Quantitative and Chemical Biology. She was a Radcliffe Institute Fellow at Harvard University during Academic Year 2017-2018, and she has been a recipient of numerous awards including the Horace S. Isbell Award and the Melville L. Wolfram Award from the ACS Division of Carbohydrate Chemistry.
Prof. Pohl’s research focuses on developing synthetic, analytical and automated methods to understand and exploit the differential reactivity and shapes of carbohydrates. She has distinguished herself by contributions to the automation of oligosaccharide synthesis, production of noncovalent fluorous-interaction-based microarrays, and de novo mass spectrometry analysis of isobaric sugars. One of the major long-term goals of her research group is to rationally design therapeutic interventions, such as vaccines and glycoproteins, based on a deeper knowledge of the role of carbohydrates.