Wayne State University

Wayne State University ranks among the top universities with the greatest share of women chemistry faculty

DETROIT—Chemical & Engineering News recently released a survey of the number of women chemistry professors at the top 50 universities identified as having spent the most money on chemical research reported by the National Science Foundation R&D expenditures report.

Of these top 50 universities, there are a total of 1,685 chemistry faculty members, with 281 or 17 percent of women holding tenured or tenure-track positions. Wayne State University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology were tied for fourth place with 25 percent of women chemistry professorships, just below University of California - Los Angeles, University of Puerto Rico - Rio Piedras and Purdue University.

WSU’s Department of Chemistry has 28 professors of chemistry, seven of which are women. According to James Rigby, department chair, this is a reflection of the university’s commitment to excellence in teaching and research. “The chemistry department always strives to hire the very best faculty available and, clearly, we have been very successful attracting and retaining a large complement of talented women chemists,” said Rigby. “This is a testament to the environment of collegiality and communication that prevails among our entire faculty.”

Women faculty in the Department of Chemistry are researching important topics that may have a tremendous impact on our lives and health in the future. Two faculty making great strides in their research are Stephanie Brock and Christie Chow. Brock, professor of chemistry, is researching ways to improve oil refining processes that could lead to gasoline that releases lower quantities of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide, critical to lowering emissions. For more information about Brock’s research, visit http://research.wayne.edu/rwnews/article.php?id=450.

Christie Chow, professor of chemistry, is developing a novel strategy for battling antibiotic resistance by targeting a bacteria cell’s ribosomes and attacking it with a compound the bacteria has never seen before. For more information about Chow’s research, see page 26 of New Science: http://research.wayne.edu/newscience/2009/wsu_ns_vol.17.09.pdf.

To view the full Chemical & Engineering News study, visit http://pubs.acs.org/isubscribe/journals/cen/88/i09/html/8809education.html.

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Wayne State University is one of the nation’s pre-eminent public research universities in an urban setting. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education, and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and throughout the world. For more information about research at Wayne State University, visit http://www.research.wayne.edu.