Return to Skip Menu

Main Content

Yifan Dong Wins Global Competition for Graduate Student Award

April 19, 2017 –  

Fourth-year graduate student Yifan Dong, pursuing her Ph.D. in chemistry in Dr. Kevin Edgar’s group, was presented with the first-place graduate student award for 2017 at the American Chemical Society national meeting in San Francisco, California on April 4. Ms. Dong has carried out pioneering research to develop new ways to convert natural sugar-based polymers (polysaccharides), including cellulose from wood and annual crops, into value-added products to serve society. She has focused particularly on new materials to improve the ability of new drugs that are poorly soluble in water to be absorbed com-pletely into the body, thereby reducing drug cost, side effects, and variance in efficacy, and improving convenience for patients. Her work opens doors to a huge variety of materials made from benign and renewable polysaccharides, imparting new properties of value to advanced applications, and doing so in efficient, fast, cost-effective fashion. Ms. Dong is originally from Yuncheng in Shanxi Province, China, and received her B.S. in Material Chemistry (Polymer) from the Beijing Institute of Technology.

The Graduate Student Award is given annually to only one first place winner and is a global competition; the award is administered by the Cellulose and Renewable Materials Division of the American Chemical Society. Students from the Edgar group have now won four times in the past six years; past winners include Dr. Daiqiang Xu, now with Ashland Chemical (2012), Dr. Haoyu Liu, now with AdvanSix (2013), and Dr. Xiangtao Meng, now with Oak Ridge National Lab (2016).

    Cover of newsletter


Spring 2017


Upcoming Events



newsletter logo


Job Opportunities


Course Recommendations:

To help you explore your interest in any of the degrees, we recommend trying some of our introductory courses:

Packaging Science

Sustainable Biomaterials


Workshops and Short Courses

    SBIO Student Organizations

SBIO Student Organizations

Find more information

Students life

Career and Services


Apply to Virginia Tech