Washington University has earned a reputation as being one of the world's leaders in terms of its excellence in research. Much of this tradition was launched in 1946 when Arthur H. Compton (Chancellor at Washington University, 1945-1953) hired six scientists from the Manhattan Project. These distinguished faculty included Joseph Kennedy, Lindsay Helmholtz, David Lipkin, Herbert A. Potratz, Arthur C. Wahl, and Samuel I. Weissman.
Since that time, the department has continued to grow in terms of breadth and expertise. The department currently has 20 research-active tenure track faculty, 4 joint faculty with other departments (such as Biology, Physics, Engineering, and the Medical School), 2 faculty members with executive administrative positions, 2 adjunct faculty, 2 research professors, 1 Professor of the Practice of Arts & Sciences, and 4 emeritus faculty.
The faculty includes members of many prestigious societies including the American Chemical Society, the American Physical Society, the International Society of Magnetic Resonance, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. We have numerous faculty who have won awards from the ACS, the NSF, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the David and Lucille Packard Foundation.
Two of the unique strengths of the Chemistry Department are the interdisciplinary nature of the research programs and the many productive collaborations both in the department and across campus. As a result, it is difficult to categorize the specific research directions of the faculty into distinct, traditional areas. Nevertheless, some of the major focus areas of research currently thriving in the department are shown in the link to the left of this page. A link is also provided to Research Centers, where faculty, postdocs, and students in the department conduct collaborative work across campus.