Ramesh Giri, associate professor of chemistry, has been appointed the Weinreb Early Career Professor. The professorship provides support to an outstanding faculty member studying organic chemistry during the critical first years of their Penn State career.
Giri’s research focuses on solving chemical problems that could ultimately change the way that researchers make complex molecules and could have important implications in the fields of energy, materials science, and health. His research group has developed innovative strategies to manufacture molecules by forming more than one bond at a time using sustainable and cost-effective metals, like iron, cobalt, nickel, and copper. Giri’s work has led to a new process that allows for synthetic modifications of two commercial pharmaceutical drugs and has potential to guide the production of renewable diesel fuel.
Giri’s awards and honors include a National Institutes of Health Maximizing Investigator’s Research Award (MIRA) in 2019, a National Science Foundation Career Award in 2016, and a Theme Chemistry Journals Award in 2016. He also has created an outreach program to encourage high school students from underrepresented groups to pursue careers in STEM fields.
Giri was an assistant professor, then associate professor, of chemistry and chemical biology at the University of New Mexico from 2012 to 2019. He was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois from 2009 to 2012. Giri received a doctoral degree in organic chemistry from The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, in 2009, a master’s degree in bioorganic chemistry from the University of Cambridge in 2003, a master’s degree in organic chemistry from Tribhuvan University in Nepal in 1998, and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Trichandra College in Nepal in 1995.
The Weinreb Family Early Career Professorships were established in 2014 by Steven and Nancy Weinreb to support young faculty in the Department of Chemistry. Steven Weinreb, Russell and Mildred Marker Professor Emeritus of Natural Products Chemistry, joined the faculty in the Department of Chemistry in 1978 and served as department head and interim dean of the Eberly College of Science, while his wife Nancy served for many years as a library assistant within the Penn State Libraries.