Two College of Science faculty are among the five Texas A&M University faculty appointed to the rank of university distinguished professor, effective September 1, 2012.

Dr. Paul S. Cremer, professor of chemistry, and Dr. David M. Lee, professor of physics and astronomy, have been recognized along with Dr. Christopher Layne (George Bush School of Government and Public Service), Dr. Timothy Phillips (College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences) and Dr. Guoyao Wu (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences), who were announced Monday (Apr. 30) as the latest recipients of the coveted title, which is bestowed in perpetuity and awarded to a maximum of five Texas A&M faculty members each year.

The 2012 honorees join a select group of 64 currently active distinguished professors at Texas A&M, nearly half of whom are affiliated with the College of Science. All are recognized as being among the top 2 percent of active researchers in his or her field by peers in top-ranked academic institutions throughout the world.

"University Distinguished Professors represent the highest level of achievement for our faculty," said Karan L. Watson, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. "Their scholarship will have a lasting impact on their respective fields of study for many generations to come, and it demonstrates to the world the high quality of scholarship underway at Texas A&M University."

The Texas A&M Foundation will host a reception on May 1 recognizing the five new university distinguished professors and honoring all of the distinguished professors. The foundation generously provides funding for the annual $5,000 bursary that each of the new university distinguished professors will receive each of the next five years.

Cremer, professor and holder of the Arthur E. Martell Chair of Chemistry, joined the Texas A&M Department of Chemistry faculty in 1998. He earned a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. He was an American Chemical Society Sigal Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University. Cremer has a national and international reputation in the field of biological surface science, which is considered to be one of the broadest, most interdisciplinary and fundamentally important fields of chemistry and biology. Cremer's work is key to unraveling the mysteries of why water is essential to making biology and life possible. The impact of this work will continue well into the future because his very fundamental studies of intermolecular interactions in biology and life are at the core of understanding how life works, how to improve the process for drug design and how to think about toxicity. In addition to his novel contributions in research, Cremer is one of the youngest chemists to serve as an editor for the Journal of the American Chemical Society. He also has been honored with numerous awards, including the O'Donnell Award from The Academy of Medicine, Engineering, and Science of Texas (TAMEST) and The Robert A. Welch Foundation Norman Hackerman Award in Chemical Research. He is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Lee, professor of physics and astronomy and a co-recipient of the 1996 Nobel Prize in Physics, joined the Texas A&M Department of Physics and Astronomy in 2009 as part of the department's condensed matter group. He also is the James Gilbert White Distinguished Professor of the Physical Sciences Emeritus at Cornell University. He earned a B.A. from Harvard, an M.S. from the University of Connecticut and a Ph.D. from Yale. Lee has made many noteworthy discoveries during his 50-plus-year career studying liquid and solid helium at low temperatures. He also was involved in studies of superconducting tunneling and in the discovery of nuclear spin waves in spin-polarized atomic hydrogen gas. Lee shared his Nobel Prize with fellow Cornell physicist Robert C. Richardson and Stanford University's Douglas D. Osheroff for their 1972 discovery of superfluidity in helium-3 (He-3). As a result of their breakthrough discovery, superfluid He-3 is now one of the richest systems in condensed matter physics, with exotic order parameters that exemplify a whole new set of physical concepts that impact many other areas, including cosmology. During the course of the trio's Nobel experiment, they also performed one of the first physics magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) experiments involving magnetic field gradients on the He-3 sample -- imaging work applied to subsequent biological sampling techniques and later to the human body in disease detection and diagnosis. In addition to being an in-demand international speaker, Lee has received numerous honorary degrees, and his students can be found on the faculties of the top universities and in top industrial positions around the world.

For a complete list of distinguished professors at Texas A&M, visit http://dof.tamu.edu/node/569.


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

Sawtelle Nancy

  • Dr. Paul S. Cremer

  • Dr. David M. Lee

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