Alumna spotlight: Karen Wooley ’88

Photo of alumna Karen Wooley

Chemistry Alumna Karen Wooley ’88
(Texas A&M University)

Chemistry alumna Karen Wooley’s (’88) exemplary academic career began at Washington University and continued at Texas A&M University where she is the W. T. Doherty Welch Chair in Chemistry. Wooley received her Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1993.

At TAMU, she is the director of its Laboratory for Synthetic-Biologic Interactions and holds joint appointments in the Departments of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science & Engineering. She also directs a National Heart Lung and Blood Institute-supported Program of Excellence in Nanotechnology, is an Associate Editor for the Journal of the American Chemical Society, and has served as Chair of the National Institutes of Health NANO study section, among many other advisory roles within the broader scientific community.

Wooley has won a number of awards from the American Chemical Society—most recently the 2014 American Chemical Society Award in Polymer Chemistry—and the prestigious Royal Society of Chemistry Centenary Prize.

She is noted for her research in polymer chemistry and its many applications in medicine and industry. Wooley traces her interest in polymer chemistry to her time in OSU’s Chemistry honors program.

“The rigorous course of study, provided by exceptionally talented faculty, and research training under the direction of Professor Steven Gould prepared me for further study in chemistry,” said Wooley.

“I was fortunate to experience the polymer chemistry course taught by Professor Richard Thies, which set me on a path to pursue polymer chemistry.”

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