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COLLEGE STATION --

Dr. Tadhg P. Begley, a prominent professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Cornell University, has been appointed as holder of the Robert A. Welch Chair in Chemistry and as the D.H.R. Barton Professor of Chemistry at Texas A&M University.

Regarded as a top chemist who specializes in the field of chemical biology and natural products synthesis, Begley brings with him a vast array of knowledge, experience and acclaim. Renowned for his research on the mechanistic enzymology of complex organic transformations, particularly those found on the vitamin biosynthetic pathways, Begley officially began his new position June 1. His labs will be located in Texas A&M's new Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building, which will be formally dedicated Sept. 24.

Begley, who is widely recognized for his scholarship and creative research, said he has enjoyed his transition to Texas A&M and is honored by his selection to the Robert A. Welch Chair and the D.H.R. Barton Professorship, a position formerly held by the late Dr. A. Ian Scott that has been vacant since Scott's untimely death in April 2007.

"Texas A&M University has an outstanding reputation in organic and natural products chemistry," Begley said. "I am looking forward to interacting with talented new colleagues and to becoming engaged with new collaborative projects.

"I have always had great admiration for the research of the late Professor Ian Scott, who was an internationally renowned researcher on the biosynthesis of vitamin B12. My research is also in the area of vitamin biosynthesis, and I feel privileged to continue with the research traditions that he has so ably established in the department."

Begley's research group at Texas A&M is focused on the biosynthesis of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), menaquinone, molybdopterin, thiamin and pyridoxal phosphate. In 2008 he received a prestigious MERIT (Method to Expand Research in Time) Award from the National Institutes of Health in support of his research. In addition, he has earned the Merck Faculty Development Award and the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award.

Among Begley's many goals for the Department of Chemistry is the development of a biologically relevant chemistry curriculum in the Division of Biological Chemistry -- an effort that Begley said is already "well under way." Thanks to his and fellow chemistry professors Dr. Paul A. Lindahl's and Dr. Coran M. H. Watanabe's combined efforts, the department already is offering four new biological chemistry courses.

"Tadhg will impact the university in ways that go beyond a single department," said Dr. David H. Russell, Applied Biosystems/MDS Sciex Professor of Mass Spectrometry in Chemistry and head of the Department of Chemistry. "He is a devoted teacher, and these new courses will strengthen Texas A&M University programs in the life sciences and in health-related research."

Begley earned his bachelor of science in chemistry from National University of Ireland (1977) and his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the California Institute of Technology (1982). He completed postdoctoral studies at the University of Geneva and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) prior to joining the chemistry faculty at Cornell in 1986.

Begley has written many books and research publications, including The Organic Chemistry of Biological Pathways, which he recently co-authored with John McMurry. He is also the editor of the four-volume Wiley Encyclopedia of Chemical Biology and a volume of Comprehensive Natural Products Chemistry on vitamins and cofactors. In addition, he is a member of the editorial boards for Molecular Biosystems, Vitamins and Hormones, Bioorganic Chemistry, Chemical Biology and Drug Design, Biochimica et Biophysica Acta and Comprehensive Natural Products Chemistry.

-aTm-

Contact: Chris Jarvis, (979) 845-7264 or cjarvis@science.tamu.edu or Dr. Tadhg P. Begley, (979) 862-4091 or begley@mail.chem.tamu.edu

Jarvis Chris

  • Dr. Tadhg P. Begley

    A world-class chemist in the areas of chemical biology and natural products synthesis, Dr. Tadhg Begley's research continues Texas A&M's strong tradition of excellence in vitamin chemistry originated by the late Dr. Ian Scott, whose pioneering research on vitamin B12 established the Department of Chemistry at Texas A&M as an international juggernaut in vitamin research.

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