Colon, Swihart named AAAS Fellows

Mark Swihart and Luis Colon.

UB researchers, Luis A. Colon, left, and Mark T. Swihart, have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Release Date: November 23, 2015 This content is archived.

The honor is bestowed on AAAS members by their peers for their efforts to advance science applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished.

BUFFALO, N.Y. – University at Buffalo researchers Luis A. Colón and Mark T. Swihart have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

The honor is bestowed on AAAS members by their peers for their efforts to advance science applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished.

Colon was recognized for “distinguished contributions to the field of separation science and service to the profession, particularly for the mentoring efforts advancing diversity in the chemical sciences.”

Swihart was honored for “outstanding contributions in advancing fundamental understanding and practical implementation of processes for producing, functionalizing, and creatively applying inorganic nanomaterials.”

Luis A. Colón
A. Conger Goodyear Chair Professor in the Department of Chemistry
Associate Dean for Graduate and Postdoctoral Education

Colón is a prolific researcher who holds eight U.S. patents and has contributed to more than 100 research publications and delivered more than 180 invited lectures on his research worldwide.

His specialty is in the field of analytical chemistry, with particular interest in separation science — the science of separating chemicals in a mixture from one another. His work ranges from the development of materials used in separation techniques to the creation of strategies for separating and analyzing complex chemical or biochemical samples.

He recently received a $490,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop new materials to improve the current analytical technology used in chemical analysis — in particular the separation of chemical components in a mixture.

The proposed research will lead to a universal platform on which different separation media can be prepared, opening up possibilities for their use in specific practical applications and facilitating advances in the chemical, biological and related sciences.

Colón has been recognized with numerous awards and honors for his research, as well as for his work in mentoring and promoting diversity in STEM disciplines. Of particular note, he traveled to the White House this June to meet President Barack Obama, who named Colón as a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.

Since joining the UB chemistry faculty in 1993, Colón has become the quintessential mentor, advising 27 PhD students, 14 master’s students and more than 45 undergraduates. Many of these students are women or from underrepresented groups, including a number from his native Puerto Rico.

Mark T. Swihart
UB Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Executive Director of UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics (CMI)

An acclaimed researcher, teacher and collaborator, Swihart is co-holder of five U.S. patents, co-author of more than 150 research publications, and has delivered approximately 50 invited lectures worldwide.

His research focuses on the creation of new nanomaterials with applications in: optoelectronics, such as light-emitting diodes and solar cells; biomedical imaging and therapy; and diverse energy-related applications. The work is funded primarily by the National Science Foundation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and industry.

As CMI executive director, Swihart leads an administrative and operations team that works to advance UB’s research at the intersection of materials science and informatics and to make that expertise more accessible and more valuable to industry, particularly in the Buffalo Niagara region.

Swihart also guided the university’s diverse nanoscience and nanotechnology research, serving as director of the UB 2020 Strategic Strength in Integrated Nanostructured Systems from 2007-15.

He has received numerous awards recognizing his research, including the 2013 Jacob F. Schoellkopf Medal, given annually by the Western New York section of the American Chemical Society, the J.B. Wagner Young Investigator Award from the High Temperature Materials Division of the Electrochemical Society, and the Kenneth Whitby Award from the American Association for Aerosol Research.

Since joining UB’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences as faculty member in 1998, Swihart served as research adviser to more than 50 graduate students and more than 90 undergraduate researchers. He has been selected four times as “Professor of the Year” by undergraduates in his department and has been honored by the McNair Scholars program and the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation. Earlier this year, he received The President Emeritus and Mrs. Meyerson Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring at UB.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science

It is the world’s largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal, Science ( as well as Science Translational Medicine ( and Science Signaling ( AAAS was founded in 1848, and includes 254 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of 1 million. The non-profit AAAS ( is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, and more. For the latest research news, log onto EurekAlert!,, the premier science-news Web site, a service of AAAS.


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