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MRS Press Release

Jacob Klein Selected for 2015 David Turnbull Lectureship Award

November 19, 2015
Press & Public Relations Contact:

Ryan Rebholz
Communications Manager
Materials Research Society

WARRENDALE, PA—The Materials Research Society’s David Turnbull Lectureship Award recognizes the career of a scientist who has made outstanding contributions to understanding materials phenomena and properties through research, writing, and lecturing, as exemplified by the late David Turnbull of Harvard University. This year's award will honor Jacob Klein, Weizmann Institute of Science. Klein is cited “for discoveries which transformed our understanding of soft matter and interfaces, through sustained research, inspirational lecturing, and academic leadership.”

Klein will deliver the David Turnbull Lecture—Soft Matter Across the Millennium: From Reptation to Osteoarthritis—at the 2015 MRS Fall Meeting in Boston on Tuesday, December 1, at 6:00 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the Sheraton Boston Hotel. During the MRS Awards Ceremony on December 2, he will also be presented with the David Turnbull Lectureship Award.

Klein has made landmark discoveries in polymer physics, in the understanding and control of surface forces, and in elucidating friction and lubrication in aqueous systems. His major achievements include the first experimental demonstration of reptation (snake-like motion of entangled polymers), using a novel, self-designed diffusion-measuring technique, together with the theoretical analysis of the onset of reptation and the idea of tube renewal. His findings—extended by further discoveries on dynamics of entangled polymers—firmly strengthened our molecular understanding of the rheology of entangled polymers. An additional major achievement was to first measure molecular attraction and repulsion mediated by polymers at surfaces—years before the advent of atomic force microscopy. Such forces underlie the steric stabilization of colloidal dispersions in myriad natural and synthetic systems. These findings became classic textbook material and played a major role in underpinning the modern understanding of dynamics of entangled polymers and of polymers at surfaces. More recent achievements by Klein include the discovery of confinement induced phase transitions in liquids; the remarkable entropy-based lubrication that can be achieved by polymer brushes; and in particular, the discovery of the hydration lubrication effect, which underlies most lubrication processes in biology.

At his labs in the Weizmann Institute, as well as at the University of Cambridge and at the University of Oxford, Klein has worked with approximately 70 graduate and postdoctoral students, 26 of whom are currently in tenured faculty positions in leading universities in Israel, Europe, China, and North America. In Israel, Klein was one of the pioneers in soft matter research, establishing the first seminar and lecture series in soft matter and interfacial phenomena in the early 1980s, and was later a founder of the Department of Materials and Interfaces at the Weizmann Institute. His awards include the Tribology Gold Medal (2012), the Royal Society of Chemistry Soft Matter and Biophysics Prize (2011), the Israel Chemical Society Prize (2010), and the American Physical Society High Polymer Physics Prize (1995). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Institute of Physics (UK), the American Physical Society, and the European Academy.

About the Materials Research Society

MRS is an organization of over 12,000 materials researchers from academia, industry and government worldwide, and a recognized leader in promoting the advancement of interdisciplinary materials research and technology to improve the quality of life. MRS members are students and professionals hailing from physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics and engineering—the full spectrum of materials research. Headquartered in Warrendale, Pennsylvania (USA), MRS membership now spans 90 countries, with approximately 45 percent of members residing outside the United States.

MRS serves and engages members across generations to advance their careers and promote materials research and innovation. The Society produces high-quality meetings and publications, assuring that members of all career stages can present and publish their most important and timely work to an international and interdisciplinary audience. MRS continues to expand its professional development portfolio, as well as promote diversity and inclusion in the scientific workforce, with career services for researchers worldwide. The Society advocates for the importance of scientific research and innovation to policymakers and the community. And the MRS Awards program honors those whose work has already had a major impact in the field, as well as those whose work shows great promise for future leadership.

For more information about the Materials Research Society visit mrs.org and follow @Materials_MRS.