Sharon Hammes-Schiffer named the inaugural Kirkwood Professor of Chemistry

Photo of professor Sharon Hammes-Schiffer.
Sharon Hammes-Schiffer

Sharon Hammes-Schiffer, newly named as the inaugural John Gamble Kirkwood Professor of Chemistry, is a renowned theoretical chemist who specializes in modeling and simulation of quantum mechanical processes in systems of relevance to both energy and biological sciences.

Hammes-Schiffer will assume her appointment on Jan. 1, 2018.

Hammes-Schiffer’s research centers on the development and application of theoretical and computational methods for describing chemical reactions in condensed phases and at interfaces. Research is pursued in three general areas: proton-coupled electron transfer reactions, enzymatic processes, and non-Born-Oppenheimer electronic structure methods. Her overall objectives are to elucidate the fundamental physical principles underlying charge transfer processes and catalysis, as well as to assist in the interpretation of experimental data.

A graduate of Princeton University, Hammes-Schiffer earned her Ph.D. in chemistry from Stanford University. She conducted postdoctoral research at AT&T Bell Laboratories before beginning her academic career as the Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of Notre Dame. She held named faculty positions at Pennsylvania State University before joining the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as the Swanlund Professor of Chemistry.

Hammes-Schiffer is co-author of the textbook “Physical Chemistry for the Biological Sciences.” She has published more than 200 peer-reviewed journal articles, including papers in Science and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. She has been awarded grants from private foundations, as well as federal agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Energy.

Hammes-Schiffer is the editor-in-chief of Chemical Reviews and serves on the board of reviewing editors of Science. She is a member of the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship Selection Committee, as well as several research committees at the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.

Hammes-Schiffer’s honors include the 2019 G. M. Kosolapoff Award from Auburn University, the MERIT Award from the National Institutes of Health, and the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science Medal. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The John Gamble Kirkwood Professorship of Chemistry was established through a bequest from the estate of Margaret Kirkwood Philipsborn in memory of Mrs. Philipsborn’s brother, John Gamble Kirkwood, former Sterling Professor of Chemistry, chair of the Department of Chemistry, and director of sciences at Yale.

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