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COLLEGE STATION --

Dr. François P. Gabbaï, professor and head of the Department of Chemistry and holder of the Arthur E. Martell Endowed Chair in Chemistry at Texas A&M University, has been selected as the 2016 recipient of the American Chemical Society (ACS) F. Albert Cotton Award in Synthetic Inorganic Chemistry.

The award, established by the ACS Board of Directors in 2002 to honor legendary Texas A&M Distinguished Professor of Chemistry Al Cotton (1930-2007), recognizes outstanding synthetic accomplishment in the field of inorganic chemistry -- an area pioneered by Cotton during his 35-year career at Texas A&M and, prior to 1972, at MIT, where at age 31 in 1961, he became the youngest MIT faculty member to attain the rank of full professor.

Gabbaï is cited "in recognition of his work on the synthesis of electron-deficient main group compounds and the study of their anion binding and redox properties."

"Professor François Gabbaï is a leader in the resurgence to prominence of main group element chemistry that has historically defined inorganic chemistry," said fellow Texas A&M chemist and nominator Marcetta Y. Darensbourg, an expert in synthetic and mechanistic inorganic chemistry as well as a contemporary of Cotton's. "He surely ranks among the top handful of world experts in every topic on which he has worked. He has expanded the boundaries of main group chemistry in ways that could only have been dreamed about a few years ago and is a sure bet for future trail-blazing achievements."

Gabbaï is among 78 primarily North American chemists unveiled as ACS Award winners in the August 17 issue of Chemical & Engineering News. He will be presented with his award, which includes $5,000 and a commemorative certificate, next spring at the 253rd ACS National Meeting & Exposition, scheduled for March 13-17 in San Diego.

Gabbaï has been a member of the Texas A&M Chemistry faculty since 1998 and has served as head of the Department of Chemistry since October 2014. He is widely regarded as a world leader in synthetic inorganic chemistry and as one of the world's top experts in the diverse field of main group chemistry.

"I am tickled pink for François," Darensbourg said. "He deserves this recognition, and Al Cotton would be happy for him as well."

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 in spring 2014, he had served as a Davidson Professor of Science and a joint holder of the Davidson Chair in Science since 2008.

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. He and his research group are credited for extraordinary new paradigms with regard to main group compounds, including establishing new structure-property relationships in the field of anion recognition, discovering new bonding modes and opening new horizons in the chemistry of redox-active main group compounds.

Gabbaï is a prolific researcher and author, publishing more than 170 papers in peer-reviewed journals and earning an h-index of 41 with more than 8,000 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.

Beyond serving as department head, Gabbaï also has excelled in his career service to the ACS. In addition to serving as the 2011 chair of the ACS Division of Inorganic Chemistry, he continues to organize symposia within the division and to occupy leadership positions at the local ACS section level. He will chair the 2016 Inorganic Gordon Conference. An associate editor for the journal Organometallics, he recently guest-edited an Inorganic Chemistry issue and is a member of the Board of Inorganic Syntheses.

To learn more about Gabbaï and his research, visit http://www.chem.tamu.edu/faculty/gabbai.

Click here to see a complete list of 2016 ACS Award winners or to learn more about individual awards.

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

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-aTm-

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

  • Gabbaï and his research group, which includes graduate students Anna Marie Delarosa '16 and Masato Hirai '10, are credited for extraordinary new paradigms with regard to main group compounds, including establishing new structure-property relationships in the field of anion recognition, discovering new bonding modes and opening new horizons in the chemistry of redox-active main group compounds.

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