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College Welcomes New Departmental Leadership

College Welcomes New Departmental Leadership

The Department of Chemistry will soon have a new department chair. Theoretical chemist Dave Thirumalai, whose research focuses on biophysics, chemical physics, soft matter, and system biology, will assume the role in early January 2016.

Thirumalai received his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Minnesota and his M.Sc. from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, India. He did a stint as a postdoctoral researcher at Columbia University in New York, before joining the faculty at the University of Maryland. There, Thirumalai quickly rose through the ranks to become an award-winning distinguished university professor. He was the founding director of the Biophysics program at Maryland and has published more than 325 peer-reviewed journal articles.

Thirumalai is one of four new College of Natural Sciences departmental chairs. The remaining three new chairs were previously faculty members in the College.

In the Department of Astronomy, a new chair replaced former chair Professor Dan Jaffe, who this week was named the University's new Vice President for ResearchShardha Jogee, who became chair this semester, has been with UT Austin since 2002. She arrived after a stint at the Space Telescope Science Institute. Professor Jogee received her Ph.D. and M.S. from Yale University and her bachelor's degree and M.A. from Cambridge University. Her research focuses on the evolution of galaxies.


The new chair of the Department of Integrative Biology is Claus Wilke, who has been with the department for the past ten years. Professor Wilke spent the last two years as Associate Chair of the department. Wilke received his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of Bochum in Germany. He has pursued biological and biomedical research, especially in the areas of evolutionary biology, bioinformatics, theoretical biochemistry and virology.

The Department of Physics chair is Jack Ritchie, who has been with UT Austin for 17 years. He received his Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Rochester, and his B.S. here at UT Austin. Ritchie's research focuses on experimental particle physics, also known as high-energy physics.

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Monday, 20 November 2017

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