Texas A&M Distinguished Professor of Chemistry Kim R. Dunbar (right), working in the lab with former graduate student and 2015 Phil Gramm Doctoral Fellowship Award recipient Amanda David.


Texas A&M University Distinguished Professor of Chemistry Kim R. Dunbar has been selected to receive the 2019 Basolo Medal for Outstanding Research in Inorganic Chemistry in recognition of her career achievement across more than 30 years in chemical research.

The award, presented annually by Northwestern University, is co-sponsored by the American Chemical Society Chicago Section and named for the late Northwestern chemist Fred Basolo, who was the Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Emeritus Professor of Chemistry and served as president of the ACS in 1983.

Dunbar, who joined the Texas A&M Department of Chemistry faculty in 1999 and is holder of the Davidson Chair in Science, is an international expert in synthetic, structural and physical inorganic and bioinorganic chemistry. She was named a University Distinguished Professor in 2007 and ranks as the first female chair holder in the history of the Texas A&M College of Science.

"I am deeply honored to receive this medal," Dunbar said. "The list of previous recipients include many of my inorganic chemistry idols, mentors and friends. I knew Fred Basolo quite well, and he took an interest in me when I was a young professor. He and I had many long talks, and he regaled me with stories about the history of coordination chemistry. He was a wonderful role model and an inspiration to me."

Dunbar will be formally presented with the medal next fall in conjunction with her award lecture, set to be delivered during the ACS Chicago Section's meeting at Northwestern University Technological Institute.

Dunbar's research in synthetic and structural inorganic chemistry -- funded by the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, the ACS-Petroleum Research Fund and the Welch Foundation -- is focused on the application of coordination chemistry principles to the solution of diverse problems ranging from new magnetic and conducting materials to anticancer agents and metal-based drugs. Her use of structure and bonding relationships to explain physical and chemical phenomena has redirected and focused the work of researchers worldwide.

In addition to the ACS, Dunbar is a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the American Institute of Chemists and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Her many professional honors include the 2015 ACS Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Inorganic Chemistry, a 2015 National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) President's Award, an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship and a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award. She is also a two-time recipient of the Texas A&M Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award -- the inaugural Graduate Mentoring Award in 2006 and another in Research in 2012. Also in 2012, Dunbar earned the first Texas A&M Women Former Students' Network (WFSN) Eminent Scholar Award. She holds an honorary doctorate degree from her undergraduate alma mater, Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pa. She also was a Wilsmore Fellow and visiting professor at the University of Melbourne, Australia, as well as a visiting professor at the Institut Le Bel, Iniversité de Strasbourg, France, both in 2011.

Dunbar served as an associate editor for the ACS journal Inorganic Chemistry from 2002-2017 and as a member of the advisory boards for numerous prestigious journals during the past three decades. In addition to the Texas A&M chapter of NOBCChE, she is a faculty advisor for the campus' Alliance for Diversity in Science and Engineering (ADSE) chapter.

Prior to coming to Texas A&M, Dunbar served 12 years as a faculty member at Michigan State University (1987-1999) after earning her Ph.D in inorganic chemistry from Purdue University in 1984 and carrying out postdoctoral research at Texas A&M under the direction of the late F. Albert Cotton (1985-1986).

To learn more about Dunbar and her research, visit http://www.chem.tamu.edu/faculty/kim-dunbar/.

For additional information about the Basolo Medal and to see the list of previous recipients, which include fellow Texas A&M chemist Marcetta Y. Darensbourg in 2013 as well as four Nobel laureates, go to https://www.chemistry.northwestern.edu/about/events/basolo.html.

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Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or shutchins@science.tamu.edu or Dr. Kim R. Dunbar, (979) 845-5235 or dunbar@chem.tamu.edu

Hutchins Shana

  • Dr. Kim R. Dunbar

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