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Haynes appointed Elmore H. Northey Professorship

Christy Haynes has been appointed as the Elmore H. Northey Professor of Chemistry for a five-year term starting, Jan. 1, 2015. This is one of five departmental professorships that recognize and reward the Department of Chemistry's most distinguished faculty.

In his nomination of Haynes for this professorship, her colleague Professor Marc Hillmyer noted that in addition to her outstanding research, Haynes also excels in her commitment to developing a culture of inclusiveness within the Department of Chemistry, in enhancing the visibility of analytical chemistry, and her high level of engagement in departmental activities, particularly outreach to the next generation of scientists.

Haynes joined the University of Minnesota in 2005, was granted early tenure in 2010, and was promoted to professor in 2014. She received her doctorate from Northwestern University and was a post-doctoral associate at the University of North Carolina. As a graduate student and post-doctoral associate, she was recognized by two national American Chemical Society awards: the 2005 Victor K. LaMer Award for graduate research in colloid and surface chemistry and the 2004 Nobel Laureate Signature Award for graduate education in chemistry, which is given annually to the top graduate student in the country.

Haynes’ research training, which combines laser spectroscopy and nanomaterials characterization with electrochemistry and immunology, has enabled her to build a unique research program that addresses questions at the interface of immunology, toxicology, materials science, and chemistry. Her research group is working on a diverse range of problems. In one project, Haynes and her students are developing novel assays to assess nanoparticle toxicity in both physiological and ecological systems. The overarching goal of this work is to formulate a set of predictive design rules to guide the chemists and materials scientists who synthesize nanoparticles to create sustainable nanomaterials. Other projects in her laboratory include single-cell human blood platelet measurements, design and synthesis of multifunctional drug delivery and sensor nanoparticles, and microfluidic assessment of immune cell to immune cell communication.

All of this work is accomplished by the team of researchers that make up the Haynes lab. To date, 10 graduate students have finished their doctorates based on work done with Haynes, and 36 undergraduates have completed research projects in the Haynes lab. Her current group includes 10 graduate students, three post-doctoral researchers, and seven undergraduate researchers. Haynes also has active collaborations with a variety of researchers both on and off campus. You can learn more about the Haynes research group and her collaborations by "liking" her group on Facebook.

In recognition of her outstanding research, Haynes was recently honored with a 2014 College of Science & Engineering's George W. Taylor Award for Distinguished Research. This award honors younger faculty members-within 15 years of earning their doctorates-who have shown outstanding research ability. Her honors and awards also include being named the first ever Kavli Emerging Leader in Chemistry in recognition of her critical role in the emerging field of nanotoxicoloy, a 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award, a Kinship Foundation Searle Fellowship, a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, a University of Minnesota McKnight Land-Grant Assistant Professorship, a National Institutes of Health New Innovator Award, a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, the Society for Electroanalytical Chemistry Young Investigator Award, the Findeis Award for Achievements by a Young Analytical Scientist, a Sloan Fellowship, the Joseph Black Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry, and the Pittsburgh Conference Achievement Award. Her group has published more than 75 manuscripts.

Haynes has a strong interest in teaching, mentoring, advising, and outreach. She has developed educational outreach materials for high school teachers and students that emphasize the scientific diversity necessary to study nanoscale science and the great potential of nanoscale technology. She has developed an innovative exercise for students in the general chemistry course, introduced guided inquiry workshops into the process analytical course, and taught several freshmen seminars that focus on the role of science in dystopian literature. Her graduate level course in analytical spectroscopy had a strong emphasis on encouraging students to engage with the scientific literature and to generate creative scientific proposals. Her more recent efforts teaching honors general chemistry bring response technology and guided inquiry into the classroom. She voluntarily developed a fellowship writing workshop for all incoming chemistry graduate students, focusing on scientific idea development and applying for National Science Foundation graduate fellowships.

Haynes is a featured performer in the department's Energy and U program that brings 10,000 elementary-aged students to the university each year to learn about the first law of thermodynamics through a high energy demonstration show. She also organizes her group's annual "Chemistry Day" for the West 7th Community Center in Minneapolis.