Othmer Gold Medal

The Othmer Gold Medal is the Science History Institute’s preeminent award. Winners are chosen for their extraordinary contributions to the material sciences and are honored each spring.

Founded in 1997, the medal is named after Donald Othmer (1904–1995), a noted researcher, consultant, editor, engineer, inventor, philanthropist, professor, and coeditor of the Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology. The roster of past winners includes some of the most versatile and multitalented individuals in the scientific community.

The Othmer Gold Medal is cosponsored by the American Chemical Society, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Chemists’ Club, and the American Section of the Société de Chimie Industrielle.

2024 Medalist: Paula Hammond

headshot of Paula Hammond

The 2024 Othmer Gold Medal was presented to Paula T. Hammond during an awards ceremony on May 8 at the Institute in Old City Philadelphia.

Hammond is Vice Provost for Faculty and Institute Professor at MIT. She is also a member of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. She is known for her work in nanomedicine, particularly with innovations around drug delivery to combat cancer, and with nanomedicine technologies for bone regeneration and wound healing. In recent years, her work has encompassed nanomaterials systems to treat osteoarthritis as well as staged release systems for the delivery of vaccines.

Hammond was elected to the National Academy of Science in 2019, the National Academy of Engineering in 2017, the National Academy of Medicine in 2016, and the 2013 Class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is also the 2019 recipient of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers Margaret H. Rousseau Pioneer Award for Lifetime Achievement by a Woman Chemical Engineer and gave the Materials Research Society David Turnbull Lectureship in 2019.

Hammond has published more than 330 papers and over 20 patent applications. She is the cofounder and a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of LayerBio, Inc., a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Moderna Therapeutics, and a member of the Board of Alector, Inc. In 2021 Hammond was selected to become a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

The Detroit native received her BS in chemical engineering from MIT and worked for two years in industry. She moved to Atlanta to get an MS in chemical engineering at Georgia Tech, then returned to MIT for her PhD. She held the Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship and was an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at the Harvard University Chemistry Department before returning to MIT as a faculty member.

Previous Winners of the Othmer Gold Medal


    Copy the above HTML to republish this content. We have formatted the material to follow our guidelines, which include our credit requirements. Please review our full list of guidelines for more information. By republishing this content, you agree to our republication requirements.