Professor James M. Tour, a synthetic organic chemist, received his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Syracuse University, his PhD in synthetic organic and organometallic chemistry from Purdue University with Ei-ichi Negishi, and postdoctoral training with B. M. Trost in synthetic organic chemistry at the University of Wisconsin and Stanford University. After spending 11 years on the faculty of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of South Carolina, he joined the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology at Rice University in 1999.
Professor Tour’s scientific research areas include a wide array of nanomaterials topics involving synthesis, nanomachines, energy and medical application areas. Tour has over 700 research publications and over 130 patent families, with an h-index = 144 with total citations over 100,000.
Tour has been named among “The 50 Most Influential Scientists in the World Today” by TheBestSchools.org every year since 2014. He was inducted into the National Academy of Inventors in 2015; listed in “The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds” by Thomson Reuters ScienceWatch.com, and he was named “Scientist of the Year” by R&D Magazine, 2013. Tour was twice awarded the George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching at Rice University in 2012 and 2007.
He is the founder of 12 currently active companies in the fields spanning materials, medicine and electronics. Two of the 12 are now public companies. He serves as a scientific advisor to the companies, but not an as an officer or director so that he can focus on his academic pursuits.