Five College of Science faculty are among seven Texas A&M University faculty recently appointed to the rank of distinguished professor, effective September 1, 2010.

Dr. Donald J. Darensbourg, Dr. Marcetta Y. Darensbourg and Dr. Frank M. Raushel, professors of chemistry; Dr. Ronald A. DeVore, professor of mathematics; and Dr. Edward S. Fry, professor of physics and astronomy, were recognized along with Dr. Murray R. Barrick, professor of management, and Dr. Bjarne Stroustrup, professor of computer science, as the latest recipients of the coveted title, which is the highest academic rank a faculty member can attain at Texas A&M.

The 2010 honorees are the most recent additions to an elite group of 59 currently active distinguished professors at Texas A&M, nearly half of whom are affiliated with the College of Science. All are recognized by their peers as being among the top five percent in their fields worldwide and for making major contributions that have redirected the flow of related research or scholarship.

The college's 2010 contingent, scheduled to be honored with a by-invitation-only reception Tuesday (Sept. 14) from 5 to 7 p.m. at the University Club, ties its record for the largest group honored in a single year, equaling the previous milestone of five set in 2007.

"Once again, this year's group of new distinguished professors is a testament to the strength of the faculty in the College of Science," said Dr. H. Joseph Newton, dean of the College of Science.

Donald Darensbourg, a noted expert in the mechanisms of organometallic reactions -- including carbon dioxide insertion into hydrogen-, carbon- and oxygen-metal bonds -- joined the Texas A&M faculty in 1982 after previous faculty appointments at State University of New York, Buffalo (1969-73) and Tulane University (1973-82). He earned his doctorate in inorganic chemistry from the University of Illinois in 1968. His work has led to the synthesis of biodegradable polymers for use in medical devices, including surgical sutures, internal fixation devices for repair of fractures to small bones, drug-delivery devices and dental implants. A prolific researcher, Darensbourg has more than 330 scholarly publications to his credit, many of which are featured in the most highly ranked international journals in the field, such as Journal of the American Chemical Society, Angewandte Chemie and Chemical Communications. In addition to the 2010 American Chemical Society (ACS) Award in Inorganic Chemistry, his excellence in classroom and laboratory teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels has been recognized with Texas A&M Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Awards in both Teaching (1988) and Research (1990). A current member of five editorial boards, Darensbourg is consistently called upon to serve on advisory and review teams and to lecture at conferences and research institutions all around the world.

Marcetta Darensbourg, who is recognized worldwide for her research in synthetic and mechanistic inorganic chemistry, has been a member of the Texas A&M faculty since 1982. She earned her doctorate in inorganic chemistry at the University of Illinois in 1967 and held faculty appointments at Vassar College (1967-69), State University of New York, Buffalo (1969-71) and Tulane University (1971-82) before coming to Texas A&M. Her research, which focuses on functioning models of catalytic active sites in bioinorganic/organometallic systems, has been recognized with a variety of major awards, including the ACS Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Inorganic Chemistry Award (1995), the ACS Southwest Region Award (1998) and Texas A&M Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Awards in both Research (1995) and Teaching (1986). In addition, she was honored as an inaugural ACS Fellow in 2009. Darensbourg has authored more than 200 refereed papers, co-edited two specialty chemistry books, co-authored a freshman chemistry textbook and given plenary lectures at several prestigious international conferences. In addition to being an in-demand presenter and international symposia organizer, she is active in professional bodies beyond the ACS, including the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and advisory panels for the Petroleum Research Fund. She currently serves on the editorial boards for Inorganic Chemistry, Inorganic Synthesis and Chemical Communications.

DeVore, who is an internationally known expert in approximation theory, numerical analysis, and signal processing, joined the Texas A&M faculty in 2007 as a visiting professor after stints at Oakland University (1968-77) and the University of South Carolina (1977-2005), where he founded the Industrial Mathematics Institute in 1999. He received his doctorate in mathematics from Ohio State in 1967 and has been the inaugural holder of the Dr. Walter E. Koss Endowed Professorship in Mathematics at Texas A&M since 2008. A Fellow of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2001) and the Bulgarian Academy of Science (2007), DeVore has won numerous prizes and awards, including the Bulgarian Gold Medal of Science, the SPIE Wavelet Pioneer Award and an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Award (2002). His research is supported by external grants from several federal agencies and organizations, including the United States Department of Defense and National Science Foundation, that total more than $1 million per year. DeVore has given more than 200 colloquia and 90 conference talks, including plenary addresses at the American Mathematical Society, the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (twice), and the prestigious International Congress of Mathematicians. In addition, he has published three books and more 130 papers in peer reviewed professional journals and currently serves as an editor for four professional journals and on two editorial advisory boards.

Fry, who is a recognized international leader in experimental laser physics, studies of light scattering phenomena and the foundations of quantum mechanics, has been a member of the Texas A&M faculty since 1969, the same year he earned his doctorate in physics from the University of Michigan. He has served since 2002 as head of the Department of Physics and Astronomy and has held the inaugural George P. Mitchell Chair in Experimental Physics since 2005. From 1994 to 1997 he was director of the Texas Laser Laboratory at the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC). A fellow of both the American Physical Society and the Optical Society of America, Fry's research accomplishments include performing a landmark test of local hidden variable theories and developing important instrumentation and experimental techniques for measurements of light scattering and light absorption. He also developed new techniques for narrow linewidth laser operation and made the first observations of lasing without inversion. For his efforts, Fry has been honored with the Sigma Xi Texas A&M Distinguished Scientist Award (2000), the Society for Optical and Quantum Electronics' EG&G Medal (1995), and a Texas A&M Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching (1993). In addition, he has authored or co-authored more than 100 publications and has an extensive record of external funding.

Raushel, an international expert in enzyme-catalyzed chemistry and the dependence on protein structure, joined the Texas A&M faculty in 1980 after earning a doctorate in biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin in 1976 and completing postdoctoral training in biophysics at Pennsylvania State University. He was appointed a Davidson Professor of Science in 2004 and currently holds joint faculty appointments in Biochemistry and Biophysics as well as Toxicology. In addition, he is a faculty member for the Chemistry/Biology Interface Training Program. A fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Raushel has made seminal contributions to the field of enzymology and helped to further our understanding of these processes in biological systems. Among other innovations, his group pioneered the use of the bacterial phosphotriesterase (PTE) as a model system for the activation of water by binuclear metal centers and as a template for the rational redesign of an enzyme active site for the stereoselective hydrolysis of chiral organophosphate nerve agents. Raushel's many honors include the American Chemical Society's Repligen Award (2009), a Texas A&M University Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award in Research (2000) and a National Institutes of Health Research Career Development Award.

For a complete list of distinguished professors at Texas A&M, visit http://dof.tamu.edu/notable/.


Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or shutchins@science.tamu.edu

Hutchins Shana

  • Dr. Donald J. Darensbourg

  • Dr. Marcetta Y. Darensbourg

  • Dr. Ronald A. DeVore

  • Dr. Edward S. Fry

  • Dr. Frank M. Raushel

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