Dr. François P. Gabbaï has been appointed as head of the Department of Chemistry at Texas A&M University, effective October 1, announced H. Joseph Newton, dean of the College of Science.

Gabbaï, widely regarded as one of the world's top experts in the diverse field of main group chemistry, is holder of the A.E. Martell Endowed Chair and has been a member of the Texas A&M Chemistry faculty since 1998. He replaces Dr. David H. Russell, who had served since 2006 as department head and has returned to full-time research and teaching-related priorities.

"I truly believe Dr. Gabbaï is the right person at the right time to preserve Texas A&M Chemistry's strengths and in fact lead the department to the next level -- with profound impact not only on the department's future, but also that of the College of Science and broader university as well," Newton said. "I know that he will do an excellent job in all related aspects."

Gabbaï earned his doctorate in chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin in 1994 and completed postdoctoral work at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) under concurrent Alexander von Humboldt and Marie Curie Fellowships. Prior to coming to Texas, he studied at the University of Bordeaux, France, earning his master's of science degree in chemistry in 1990. Before being appointed to the Martell Chair this past spring, he had served as a Davidson Professor of Science and a joint holder of the Davidson Chair in Science since 2008.

In a presentation Friday (Oct. 24) to the College of Science's External Advisory and Development Council, Gabbaï outlined the department's vision and several priorities, including creating new concentration areas for undergraduate chemistry majors, reforming graduate curriculum and setting milestones in order to accelerate average graduation rates, and enhancing department-wide dialogue about and efforts toward technology commercialization.

Internationally respected in areas ranging from inorganic chemistry to synthesis to supramolecular chemisty, Gabbaï's research interests revolve around the chemistry of p-block and late-transition-metal elements with applications in both materials chemistry and molecular recognition. During the past decade, he has emerged as a true world leader in the molecular chemistry of heavier main group elements, such as antimony and tellurium, tackling deep fundamental questions at the heart of contemporary understanding of chemical bonding and resulting in ingenious applications of new knowledge to real-life problems.

Gabbaï is a prolific researcher and author, publishing more than 160 papers in peer-reviewed journals and earning an h-index of 39 with roughly 7,000 citations of his research, which is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) and the Robert A. Welch Foundation, among others. A fellow of the American Chemical Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry, his work has been recognized with several prestigious awards, most notably an NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award in 2001 and the North American Dalton Lectureship in 2009. In addition, he served as the 2011 chair of the ACS Division of Inorganic Chemistry and also is an associate editor for the journal Organometallics.

For more information about Gabbaï, visit http://www.chem.tamu.edu/faculty/gabbai.

To learn more about the Texas A&M Department of Chemistry, go to http://www.chem.tamu.edu.


Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or shutchins@science.tamu.edu or Dr. François P. Gabbaï, (979) 862-2070 or francois@tamu.edu

Hutchins Shana

  • Dr. François P. Gabbaï

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