Dr. David H. Russell, professor of chemistry and Applied Biosystems/MDS Sciex Professor of Mass Spectrometry in Chemistry at Texas A&M University, has been appointed head of the Texas A&M Department of Chemistry, effective October 1, 2006, announced H. Joseph Newton, dean of the College of Science.

Russell, who also serves as director of the Laboratory for Biological Mass Spectrometry and the co-director of the Center for Structural Biology, has been a member of the Texas A&M faculty since 1980. During his 26-year career at Texas A&M, he has earned an international reputation as a first-rate expert in mass spectrometry and analytical chemistry.

Newton said Russell's selection was the result of an extensive search process lasting more than a year to replace Dr. Emile A. Schweikert, professor of chemistry, who previously had served as head of the nationally ranked department since 1994 and recently returned to full-time teaching and research duties.

"I truly believe that Dr. Russell is the right person at the right time to preserve Chemistry's strengths and, in fact, lead the Department to the next level -- with profound impact on not only the Department's future, but that of the College and University as well," Newton added.

Described as someone whose career "illustrates high-quality analytical chemistry in action," Russell is equally heralded in university circles for his collaborative efforts to stimulate interdisciplinary research in the life sciences by sharing both his expertise and equipment to leverage research and resources for the larger community. As Russell has pioneered in his own fundamental and applied research, he has formed significant collaborations with colleagues in Texas A&M's Colleges of Science, Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Science, and Agriculture and Life Sciences as well as other institutions across the United States, helping to enhance the University's national visibility as an institution on the forefront of cutting-edge research.

"Without Dave, we would only be reading about what goes on at other universities, instead of blazing the trails ourselves," one Texas A&M collaborator noted.

As head of Chemistry, Russell has administrative responsibility for the Department, which includes curriculum, faculty and program development. He also will oversee its external relations as he works to attract additional sources of funded research and financial support.

"Texas A&M University has a long history of strength in Chemistry, currently ranked 15th in the United States, and my goal is to continue the process of building one of the top ranked chemistry departments in the world," Russell said.

A Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Russell is a past recipient of a National Science Foundation Foreign Travel Award as well as a Two-Year Extension for Special Creativity. In 2004, he received an Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award in Research, Texas A&M's highest recognition for excellence in that category.

Russell served as a co-editor for Journal of Cluster Science for more than a decade. A past member of the editorial boards for several mass spectrometry journals, he currently serves on the editorial board for Journal of Mass Spectrometry. In addition, he has authored more than 200 scholarly publications in peer-reviewed journals and has three patents as well as five pending patent applications.

Russell earned a bachelor's of science degree from the University of Arkansas and a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska.

To learn more about Texas A&M Chemistry, visit www.chem.tamu.edu.

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Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or shutchins@science.tamu.edu or Dr. David H. Russell, (979) 845-2011 or russell@mail.chem.tamu.edu

Hutchins Shana

  • New Chemistry Head

    Dr. David H. Russell, professor and head of chemistry and Applied Biosystems/MDS Sciex Professor of Mass Spectrometry in Chemistry at Texas A&M University

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