Centenary Prize 2014 Winner

Professor Karen Wooley
Professor Karen Wooley
Texas A&M University

For transforming the field of polymer chemistry through the adaptation of synthetic organic chemistry concepts and the concept of macromolecular engineering.

About the Winner

Karen L. Wooley received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Oregon State University in 1988 and then studied under the direction of Professor Jean M. J. Fréchet at Cornell University, obtaining a Ph.D. in polymer/organic chemistry in 1993.  

She began an academic career as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, was promoted in 1999 to Full Professor with tenure, was installed as a James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor in Arts & Sciences in 2006, and in 2009, Karen relocated to Texas A&M University, where she undertook a professorship in the Department of Chemistry, as the W. T. Doherty-Welch Chair in Chemistry, with a joint appointment in the Department of Chemical Engineering.  She was awarded the title of University Distinguished Professor in 2011, and was granted a joint appointment in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering in 2014.  

Research interests include the synthesis and characterization of degradable polymers derived from natural products, unique macromolecular architectures and complex polymer assemblies, and the design and development of well-defined nanostructured materials.  The development of novel synthetic strategies, fundamental study of the materials’ properties, and their applications for the diagnosis and treatment of disease or for performance as non-toxic anti-biofouling coatings are particular foci of her research activities.  

Recent awards include the Herman F. Mark Scholar Award from the Polymer Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society, in 2009, and the 2014 American Chemical Society Award in Polymer Chemistry.  Karen currently serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of the American Chemical Society, directs a National Heart Lung and Blood Institute-supported Program of Excellence in Nanotechnology, and serves as Chair of the National Institutes of Health NANO study section, among many other advisory roles within the broader scientific community.

Related Links

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Texas A&M University

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