Dr. Marcetta Y. Darensbourg, a distinguished professor of chemistry at Texas A&M University, has received the Distinguished Scientist Award for 2011 from the Texas A&M chapter of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society.

Darensbourg, an internationally respected expert in synthetic and mechanistic inorganic chemistry, was honored for her contributions to both fields as well as to general science at the annual Sigma Xi Induction and Awards Banquet, held May 26 at the College Station Hilton. She was presented with a commemorative plaque and a $750 cash prize and also invited to present the "Distinguished Scientist Lecture" on the Texas A&M campus later this fall.

Darensbourg joins a lengthy list of notable past recipients of Sigma Xi's top scientist award from the Texas A&M College of Science, including fellow chemists Dr. D. Wayne Goodman (2009), Dr. Abraham Clearfield (1999) and the late Dr. F. Albert Cotton (1997) as well as physicists Dr. Marlan O. Scully (2010) and Dr. Edward S. Fry (2001).

A member of the Texas A&M faculty since 1982, Darensbourg 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 American Chemical Society's 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 and appointed a distinguished professor of chemistry at Texas A&M in 2010. In April Darensbourg was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and, as such, is one of five current Texas A&M faculty members to be featured in one the country's oldest and most prestigious honorary learned societies.

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.

Sigma Xi is an international, multidisciplinary research society honoring scientists whose work promotes scientific enterprise and rewarding excellence in scientific research. Founded in 1886 at Cornell University, Sigma Xi has grown to include 500 chapters across North America and around the world at colleges and universities. To date, there are about 70,000 active members, more than 200 of which are Nobel Prize winners.

The Texas A&M chapter of Sigma Xi was chartered July 1, 1951, with a mission "recognize, encourage and promote scientific research at Texas A&M University and to honor the community of science scholars."


Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or shutchins@tamu.edu or Dr. Marcetta Y. Darensbourg, (979) 845-5417 or marcetta@chem.tamu.edu

Hutchins Shana

  • Dr. Marcetta Y. Darensbourg

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