Tolman named chair of Department of Chemistry
University of Minnesota chemistry professor William
Tolman has been named
chair of the University of Minnesota Institute of Technology’s Department
of Chemistry effective August 5, 2009. Tolman succeeds professor Jeffrey
Roberts who stepped down as chair to accept an appointment as dean of the
College of Science at Purdue University.
A faculty member at the University since 1990, Tolman is a renowned synthetic
chemist whose work straddles the traditional boundaries separating chemistry's
inorganic, biological, and organic specialty areas. Tolman’s current research,
funded primarily by the National Institute of Health and the National Science
Foundation, focuses on using synthetic chemistry to understand copper sites
in enzymes and new ways to develop biorenewable sources to replace petroleum-based
plastics. Tolman is a researcher in Department of Chemistry’s Center for
Metals in Biocatalysis and the department’s new Center for Sustainable Polymers.
Tolman has received numerous honors and awards including a University of
Minnesota Distinguished McKnight University Professorship, an Alfred P. Sloan
Foundation Research Fellowship, and a Humboldt Foundation Research Award.
In 2006, he was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement
of Science. Tolman has given nearly 200 lectures on his research at various
universities and research labs around the world. He has published more than
150 journal articles or book chapters and also holds a patent related to
polymer synthesis from macrocycles.
Tolman is an active member of several professional organizations including
the American Chemical Society, the Society for Biological Inorganic Chemistry
and the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences. He is the chair-elect
for the Gordon Research Conference "Metals in Biology" in 2011. Tolman also
serves as associate editor of Inorganic Chemistry and is on the Board
of Directors of the Minnesota Academy of Science, a statewide organization
committed to promoting interest in and appreciation of science.
Tolman received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Wesleyan University
in 1983 and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley
in 1987. Tolman also served as a postdoctoral fellow at MIT from 1987 to