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Gladysz To Present January Frontiers In Texas A&M Science Lecture On Friday

January 25, 2017

Texas A&M Distinguished Professor of Chemistry John A. Gladysz, explaining the reactionary mechanics involved in a molecular elevator at the recent 2016 Nobel Prizes Symposium. (Credit: Gabe Chmielewski.)

Texas A&M University Distinguished Professor of Chemistry John A. Gladysz will deliver a free public lecture this week on the Texas A&M campus highlighting his ongoing research in organometallic chemistry — mixing metals and carbon to create novel molecules — along with recently published applications in this promising multidisciplinary field.

At 4 p.m. Friday (Jan. 27) in the Stephen W. Hawking Auditorium, Gladysz will present “Pushing on the Frontiers of Science With Organometallic Chemistry” as the second installment in a new College of Science lecture series, Frontiers in Texas A&M Science, focusing on Texas A&M Science faculty and their current research. No RSVPs or tickets are required to attend.

Gladysz’ presentation will draw primarily from two subjects currently under investigation in his laboratory: metal-containing molecular devices, including molecular wires and gyroscopes, and new catalysts that are useful in the synthesis of pharmaceutical building blocks and/or are readily recycled — an attribute associated with green chemistry. His lecture will be followed by a brief reception in the first-floor atrium of the George P. and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy.

“Great science can still come from traditional ‘silos’ that fashionistas are fond of pooh-poohing,” Gladysz said. “The trick is to be deeply read in a field, broadly read with respect to important problems, and opportunistic when fate hands you a break. Never sacrifice excellence and your strike capability for platitudes and indecision.”

Gladysz joined the Texas A&M Department of Chemistry faculty in 2007 as a tenured professor and inaugural holder of the Dow Chair in Chemical Invention. He is an expert in organometallic chemistry, which centers around compounds with metal-carbon bonds and spans a wide range of problems across several branches of chemistry with impact in multiple sectors and industries.

“Metals impart many unique properties and reactivities when linked to organic molecules,” Gladysz said. “They were quite rare until the 1950s but were rapidly found to have many applications in organic synthesis, catalysis, materials chemistry and biological chemistry. This drove an exponential growth that continues to this day.”

During his 33-year career, Gladysz has authored more than 450 publications and patents combined, and his many scholarly awards and honors include the 2013 Royal Society of Chemistry Award for Organometallic Chemistry as well as the 1994 American Chemical Society (ACS) Award in Organometallic Chemistry. From 2010 to 2014, he served as only the second all-time editor-in-chief of the journal Organometallics.

Before coming to Texas A&M, Gladysz spent 10 years at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, where he held the Chair of Organic Chemistry. He also had previous faculty positions at the University of Utah (1982-98) and UCLA (1974-82) after earning his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1974.

A fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2004), Gladysz is a longtime member of the ACS, The Chemical Society and the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker. In 2009, he was inducted into Phi Beta Delta, the first honor society dedicated to recognizing scholarly achievement in international education. A past Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow (1980-84) and a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Grant recipient (1980-85), Gladysz also has received an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Award for Senior Scientists (1995) and the ACS’s Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award (1988). He served from 1984 to 2010 as an associate editor of Chemical Reviews, the journal with the highest impact factor in chemistry.

To learn more about Gladysz and his research, visit

For additional information on Friday’s lecture or the Frontiers in Texas A&M Science series, contact the College of Science at (979) 845-7361.

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About Research at Texas A&M University: As one of the world’s leading research institutions, Texas A&M is at the forefront in making significant contributions to scholarship and discovery, including that of science and technology. Research conducted at Texas A&M represented annual expenditures of more than $866.6 million in fiscal year 2015, ranking Texas A&M in the top 20 of the National Science Foundation’s Higher Education Research and Development survey (2015). Texas A&M’s research creates new knowledge that provides basic, fundamental and applied contributions resulting, in many cases, in economic benefits to the state, nation and world. To learn more, visit


Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or or Dr. John A. Gladysz, (979) 845-1399 or

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