David Olson Wins $100K Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award

Professor David Olson

David Olson, assistant professor of chemistry, is one of only 16 early-career researchers nationwide selected for the 2021 Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award by the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation.

The $100,000 unrestricted research grant is awarded to faculty who are deeply committed to both outstanding scholarship and education in the chemical sciences.

Olson’s research focuses on compounds called psychoplastogens, which can potentially treat neurological diseases including depression, anxiety disorders and addiction. Psychoplastogens promote neural plasticity — cellular changes in neurons in the brain, such as boosting connections between nerve cells.

Olson holds a joint appointment in the departments of Chemistry, and Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine. He was a 2018 Hellman Fellow and has received the Jordi Folch-Pi Award from the American Society for Neurochemistry. He earned a doctorate degree in organic chemistry from Stanford University and was a postdoctoral associate at the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard before joining the UC Davis faculty in 2015.

The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation is a leading nonprofit organization devoted to the advancement of the chemical sciences. It was established in 1946 by chemist, inventor and businessman Camille Dreyfus in honor of his brother Henry. The foundation seeks to support the advancement of chemistry, chemical engineering and related sciences as a means of improving human relations and circumstances around the world.

Becky Oskin, content strategist in the College of Letters and Science