Kim Renee Dunbar is Second Female Recipient Ever of ACS’s Top Award for Inorganic Chemistry

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Kim Renee Dunbar Kim Renee Dunbar

Kim Renee Dunbar is a chemistry professor at Texas A&M University who’s gained wide recognition for her and her research group’s extensive work in chemistry. Among many notable achievements, she was the second female chemist in history to receive the American Chemical Society’s award in inorganic chemistry. 


Distinguished chemistry professor Kim Renee Dunbar has made significant contributions to the international scientific community, especially in the field of inorganic chemistry. Her colleagues have described her as an extraordinarily talented and creative inorganic chemist and remark highly on her leadership, research, teaching and mentorship. Through research in structural and synthetic inorganic chemistry, she has helped uncover novel solutions such as the creation of anticancer agents and new conducting materials. 


“Coordination chemistry, which encompasses the fundamental underpinnings of inorganic chemistry, is a vital field from which many applications have emerged, including new types of functional materials,” says Kim Renee Dunbar. “Our research over the past few decades has unearthed fascinating examples of magnetic and conducting coordination compounds, both molecular and extended architectures, and, importantly, it has provided a wonderful vehicle for the training of students at the cutting edge of interdisciplinary science.”


In the 51-year history of the American Chemical Society’s award for inorganic chemistry, Kim Renee Dunbar is the second female recipient ever, marking another major milestone in her illustrious career. 


“She stands as an exemplary role model for young women who aspire to academic positions in chemistry,” said long-time colleague Jeffrey R. Long of the University of California, Berkeley.


The ACS Award in Inorganic Chemistry was created to ‘recognize and encourage fundamental research in the field of inorganic chemistry.’ Each nominee must first have demonstrated accomplishments in the research of the preparation, properties, reactions, or structure of inorganic substances. Independence of thought and originality have also been cited as key criteria when selecting recipients. 


“I am highly honored to receive this award,” Kim Renee Dunbar says. “The many excellent students, postdocs, and coworkers who have contributed to the success of my research program share this award with me. I have been passionate about inorganic chemistry since I was an undergraduate, and I could not imagine another career. 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.”


Kim Renee Dunbar was also the first female chair holder in the College of Science at Texas A&M and was named a Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, the highest academic faculty rank at the university. She’s a two-time recipient of the Texas A&M Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award and received the first ever Texas A&M Women Former Students’ Network Eminent Scholar Award. In addition, Dunbar’s outstanding contributions have earned her fellowships in the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Institute of Chemists, an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship, and a Camille & Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award.