Aaron Esser-Kahn, UCI assistant professor of chemistry, has won a 2017 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists & Engineers, the U.S. government’s highest honor for science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. The grants are bestowed each year by the president as encouragement to federally funded researchers to help advance the nation’s technological goals, solve major problems and contribute to the American economy. “On behalf of my lab mates at UCI, I am honored to have been selected to receive a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists & Engineers,” said Esser-Kahn, whose work is backed by the Department of Defense. “I am particularly pleased to have been included among the final group chosen by President Barack Obama, who has shown such strong support for scientific research during his time in office.” Esser-Kahn’s lab seeks answers at the intersection of chemistry, biology and materials science to such challenges as creating more effective vaccines and fighting global warming by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. More than 100 scientists and engineers will accept their awards in a White House ceremony later this year.