Kim Renee Dunbar Receives ACS Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Inorganic Chemistry

Kim Renee Dunbar

August 20, 2019

Texas A&M University chemistry professor Kim Dunbar has received the ACS Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Inorganic Chemistry. Below, she and her colleagues comment on the announcement and explain the landmark contributions Dunbar has made in the field of chemistry.

Kim Renee Dunbar earned her Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from Purdue University in 1984 and conducted postdoctoral research at Texas A&M. Nearly fifteen years after graduating, she joined the chemistry faculty at Texas A&M after leaving the chemistry department at Michigan State University.

She’s earned a variety of distinctions and awards in her career thanks to her major contributions to chemistry and scientific knowledge as a whole. In 2004, Kim Renee Dunbar was named a Davidson Professor of Science as well as a joint holder of the Davidson Chair in Science, making her the first female chair holder ever in the College of Science. In 2007, she was named a Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, which remains Texas A&M’s highest academic faculty rank.

In addition, she has been honored with an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship in the past, a Camille & Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, and fellowships in both the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Institute of Chemists.

Kim Dunbar is also a two-time recipient of the Texas A&M Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award, receiving the inaugural award in 2006 and another in 2012. Also in 2012, Dunbar earned the first Texas A&M Women Former Students’ Network Eminent Scholar Award ever offered.

“She stands as an exemplary role model for young women who aspire to academic positions in chemistry,” says Jeffrey R. Long of the University of California, Berkeley, who is a longtime colleague.

Kim Renee Dunbar has now won an ACS award for her contributions, making her only the second female recipient ever of ACS’s top award for inorganic chemistry.

“I have been passionate about inorganic chemistry since I was an undergraduate, and I could not imagine another career,” says Kim Renee Dunbar. “I deeply admire the previous recipients of the award, all of whom set the bar very high for all of us in inorganic chemistry and inspired me greatly.”

The research she conducts on synthetic and structural inorganic chemistry employs the principles of coordination chemistry to solve a range of diverse problems. From her research, developers around the world have created new magnetic and conducting materials as well as specialized anticancer agents that will be instrumental in saving lives.

Dunbar was presented with the ACS award and gave an official address before the Division of Inorganic Chemistry.

“I am highly honored to receive this award,” she says. “The many excellent students, postdocs, and coworkers who have contributed to the success of my research program share this award with me.”