October 20, 2021


Santa Maria History

Texas A&M Chemist Karen Wooley Named 2021 SEC Professor Of The Year

Karen L. Wooley, Texas A&M distinguished professor of chemistry.

Jean Wulfson/Texas A&M University


Texas A&M University Distinguished Professor of Chemistry Karen L. Wooley has been named the 2021 SEC Professor of the 12 months, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey announced Monday.

Wooley, a member of the Nationwide Academy of Sciences and holder of the W.T. Doherty-Welch Chair in Chemistry in the University of Science, is a single of the world’s foremost gurus in supplies and polymer chemistry and in building new elements at the nanoscale level. She is the 2nd Texas A&M receiver of the prestigious honor, the greatest given to professors by the SEC, joining fellow Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Nationwide Academy of Sciences member Marcetta Y. Darensbourg, who was named Texas A&M’s inaugural honoree in 2018.

“The SEC Professor of the Yr award presents a distinctive chance to realize 1 of the numerous college associates who manual our learners by meaningful learning ordeals at every of our 14 member universities,” Sankey mentioned. “As the 2021 SEC Professor of the Yr, Dr. Wooley exemplifies all that we hope and assume a faculty member to be in the Southeastern Meeting, and we are pleased to bestow on her our best school honor.”

Wooley joined the Texas A&M faculty in 2009 as a member of the Section of Chemistry, in which she serves as director of the Laboratory for Artificial-Biologic Interactions and heads up the Wooley Research Group. She was appointed as a distinguished professor in 2011 and named a person of Texas A&M’s 24 inaugural Presidential Affect Fellows in 2017. In addition to a key appointment in Texas A&M Chemistry, she retains joint appointments in the Section of Chemical Engineering and Division of Resources Science and Engineering.

Wooley’s analysis entails the synthesis and characterization of degradable polymers derived from natural products and solutions — pioneering get the job done with common application and affect spanning various disciplines and industries, from the analysis and treatment method of illness to the advancement of anti-icing coatings and eco-welcoming environmental remediation techniques. Her investigation also influences sustainability, ensuing in new bioplastics that have minimized reliance on petrochemicals and crack down the natural way to make biologically valuable and environmentally benign degradation products and solutions.

“Dr. Wooley has been known as the most achieved and most promising polymer chemist of her period,” mentioned Texas A&M Interim President John L. Junkins. “Her analysis has wide implications in a range of fields, ranging from sustainability to nanoscience to the procedure and prognosis of disorder. In addition to remaining an internationally renowned researcher, she is also a sought-following mentor to woman college students and junior college who admire her for her potential to detect their interests, build on their strengths and assistance them create personalised development designs.”

The SEC Professor of the Yr Award has been supplied annually since 2012 to one SEC faculty member whose file of instructing and study areas him or her among the the elite in bigger instruction. Winners are picked by the SEC Provosts from among the 14 SEC College Achievement Award recipients. In recognition of the honor, the SEC will supply Wooley with a $20,000 honorarium.

“These remarkable honors of currently being named, originally, as Texas A&M University’s choice for the SEC College Achievement Award and, in the long run, as the SEC Professor of the Year are definitely unbelievable,” Wooley claimed. “Since being recruited to Texas A&M additional than a 10 years back, I have been regularly astounded by and appreciative of the aid from all concentrations of the administration, colleagues, personnel and pupils. I credit history my achievements and results to them, specially my exploration crew more than the earlier 3 a long time, and to my loving and supportive spouse and children.”

Karen Wooley in the lab with three students

Wooley’s investigation will involve the synthesis and characterization of degradable polymers derived from organic products and solutions.

Robb Kendrick/Texas A&M Foundation


Texas A&M Interim Provost and Government Vice President Mark H. Weichold mentioned Wooley’s contributions to her discipline and college simply cannot be overstated. He describes her as 1 of the most influential and impressive researchers in the polymer science community and an fantastic trainer and mentor who has developed a program that is extra than 50 percent feminine in the typically male-dominated subject of chemistry. She recently served on the President’s Commission on Range, Equity and Inclusion at Texas A&M and also was recognized as an Advance Range Winner in 2020.

“Dr. Wooley’s impactful achievements in natural and organic polymer chemistry, in parallel with her recognition as a preeminent educator and mentor, truly set her aside from her friends,” Weichold stated. “Her record is a shining example of how one particular particular person can excel concurrently at exploration, teaching and company. Dr. Wooley is unquestionably most deserving of recognition as the SEC Professor of the 12 months for 2021.”

Wooley is co-founder and president of Sugar Plastics, LLC and chief technological innovation officer of Teysha Technologies, LTD. In addition, she has served as a technical advisor and advisor for various businesses, from Fortune 500 enterprises to get started-ups and legislation corporations. She is an executive editor and associate editor for the Journal of the American Chemical Society and has a potent record of services to the Countrywide Science Basis, Nationwide Institutes of Wellbeing and the Dutch Biomedical Resources System. She also functions to aid the exchange of knowledge and kind collaborative interactions across her area by arranging national and global conferences.

“Dr. Wooley is between the most notable chemists in earth,” claimed Texas A&M Dean of Science and Distinguished Professor of Statistics Valen E. Johnson. “She serves as a contributor and advisor to a lot of scientific corporations, which includes the Countrywide Science Foundation’s Countrywide Nanoscale Infrastructure Network and the Nationwide Institutes of Health’s Nanomedicine Advancement Facilities. She has built a sizeable effects not only via her research, but also by means of her initiatives in teaching and mentoring of graduate college students. Her exercise in advertising science in just Texas A&M University and in the broader nationwide neighborhood have been exceptional and will have a lengthy-expression impression on scientific research and education.”

Wooley is a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (2014), American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2015), Nationwide Academy of Inventors (2019), American Institute for Medical and Organic Engineering (2020) and American Association for the Improvement of Science (2020). Her significant profession awards to day consist of the Royal Modern society of Chemistry’s 2014 Centenary Prize as effectively as the American Chemical Society’s 2015 Oesper Award and 2002 Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award in Natural and organic Chemistry. No stranger to trailblazing accomplishment, she formerly created heritage in 2014 as the to start with girl to acquire the ACS Award in Polymer Chemistry, a prestigious accolade honoring exceptional fundamental contributions and achievements toward addressing world needs for state-of-the-art polymer methods and resources. In 2016, she was recognized with a Texas A&M Association of Previous Students Distinguished Achievement Award for Investigate.

A indigenous of Oakridge, Oregon, Wooley earned her bachelor of science in chemistry from Oregon Condition College in 1988 and her Ph.D. in polymer/natural chemistry from Cornell University in 1993. She commenced her unbiased academic profession that similar year as an assistant professor of chemistry at Washington University in St. Louis. She was promoted to professor with tenure in 1999 and named a James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor in Arts & Sciences in 2006 prior to getting a joint appointment in the School of Medication, Division of Radiology in 2007.

For much more information and facts on Wooley and her investigate, visit https://www.chem.tamu.edu/rgroup/wooley/.

About SEC Educational Initiatives: The Southeastern Convention supports and promotes collaborative programs and routines made to spotlight the teaching, investigate, and company achievements of SEC learners, college, and workers, together with linked successes within just the Conference’s intercollegiate athletics packages. It showcases these achievements on regional, countrywide and international concentrations making use of electronic and social media platforms. To master extra, hook up with the SECU online.