Professor Melanie Sanford is currently the Moses Gomberg Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Chemistry at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
She received her B.S. and M.S. degrees at Yale University, graduate studies at the California Institute of Technology and postdoctoral work at Princeton University, before joining the University of Michigan in 2003 as an Assistant Professor of chemistry. She worked her way to the Moses Gomberg Collegiate Professor of Chemistry, and has won a number of awards including the ACS Award in Pure Chemistry, the Sackler Prize, the Blavatnik Award, and a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the ACS. Research in the Sanford Group aims to develop new chemical reactions that enable the production of pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, and fuels in a more efficient and environmentally friendly manner. For example, her research focuses on converting simple and readily available starting materials (for example carbon dioxide, carbon-hydrogen bonds) into much more complex products through the use of transition metal catalysis.