Professor Bin Liu FRSC
Winner: 2021 Centenary Prize
National University of Singapore
For the innovative design and synthesis of organic molecules and nanomaterials to advance biomedical research and applications, and for excellence in communication.
Celebrate Professor Bin Liu
Professor Liu’s primary research interest is to innovate chemistry and materials with a focus on the design, synthesis and application of organic molecules and nanomaterials with optimised performance for biomedical applications.
Her team has built a series of technology platforms (e.g. light-up molecular probes, multifunctional nanoparticle probes, and living materials) to advance biomedical research with practical applications in sensing, imaging and image-guided therapy, as well as bacterial detection and ablation. These have been achieved through precise molecular engineering and a thorough understanding of the photophysical properties of materials.
Recently, her research group discovered that impurities can significantly contribute to the optical properties of many carbazole derivatives and other organic compounds. This opens up new opportunities to develop high performance luminescent materials.Read winner biography
Professor Bin Liu is Professor and Vice President for Research and Technology at the National University of Singapore (NUS). She is a Fellow of Singapore National Academy of Sciences, the Academy of Engineering Singapore, the Asia-Pacific Academy of Professor Bin Liu is Professor and Vice President for Research and Technology at the National University of Singapore (NUS). She is a Fellow of Singapore National Academy of Sciences, the Academy of Engineering Singapore, the Asia-Pacific Academy of Materials, and the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Liu received her BSc degree from Nanjing University and PhD from the NUS before her postdoctoral training at the University of California in Santa Barbara. She joined the NUS in late 2005. In 2010, Dr Liu was promoted to Associated Professor, then Dean’s Chair Professor in 2014 and Provost’s Chair Professor in 2017.
Professor Liu’s research is focused on organic functional materials for biomedical and energy applications. She has received many prestigious awards, including the Singapore National Science and Technology Young Scientist Award 2008, the L’Oréal Singapore Women in Science National Fellowship 2011, Asia Rising Star 2013, the Singapore National Institute of Chemistry BASF-SNIC Award in Materials Chemistry 2014, Elsevier Materials In Society Lectureship 2015, the Singapore President’s Science and Technology Awards 2016, the ACS Nano Lectureship Award 2019, and the SNIC-AsCA2019 Distinguished Woman Chemist Award 2021. Liu has been named among the 'World’s Most Influential Minds' and 'Top 1% Highly Cited Researchers' in Materials Science and Chemistry by Thomson Reuters and Clarivate Analytics. She also serves as the Deputy Editor for ACS Materials Letters.
Liu is passionate about nurturing the next generation of research leaders and encouraging more women to pursue careers in science, engineering and nanotechnology.
What has been a highlight for you (either personally or in your career)?
Watching each of my students to grow into a stronger and a more capable person after several years' training in my research group, and start a successful independent career in academia or industry, is always a highlight for me.
What has been a challenge for you (either personally or in your career)?
It is a challenge to balance my career as a researcher and an administrator with being a mother of two young children. I am very grateful for the strong support I received from my family, colleagues, and my research team.
Why do you think teamwork is important in science?
We face many complex scientific challenges today, such as climate change mitigation and sustainable development, which require close collaborations among researchers from various disciplines in different countries to offer solutions.
Can you tell us about a scientific development on the horizon that you are excited about?
I am excited about technologies that can convert CO2 into green fuels at gigaton scale at an affordable price.