In 2011, Guillermo Bazan, a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, was one of the winners of the GCE grant. Bazan’s award was for the study of how semiconducting molecules that penetrate the membranes of living organisms can facilitate the conversion of wastewater into energy. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was interested in the possibility of using this technology to alleviate the emerging world’s problem with sanitation, which presents a significant health hazard and negatively impacts people’s dignity.

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