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Faculty Research Award

Professor Mary J. Wirth
W. Brooks Fortune Professor of Analytical Chemistry
Mary J. Wirth received her B.S. degree in Chemistry from Northern Illinois University in 1974 and a PhD in Chemistry from Purdue University in 1978.  She works at the interface of chemistry and medicine to create technology for earlier detection of diseases.  The dream of 21st century medicine is that simple lab tests will reveal diseases well before the onset of symptoms, while the disease is easily curable.  She is using nanotechnology to modernize materials used for lab tests and for the discovery of biomarkers to use as targets for lab tests.

Professor Wirth has received numerous awards and recognitions for her work, including the National Science Foundation Creativity Award (1994), Gold Medal Award, NY Section, Society for Applied Spectroscopy (2005), the ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry Award in Spectrochemical Analysis (2006), and the Distinguished Chemistry Alumni Award from Purdue University (2007) and Northern Illinois University (2009).  She was recently elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2009).

She has published approximately 120 technical papers and has 5 patents.  She is a founding member of the Committee on Advancement of Women Chemists (COACh), an organization that promotes involvement of women in chemistry, and that has been a model for similar organizations in other scientific and engineering disciplines.  Professor Wirth currently serves on the editorial board of Analytical Sciences (Japan), and has previously served on the editorial boards of Chemical Reviews and Langmuir.
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