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Marcetta Darensbourg, PhD


University Distinguished Professor
Department of Chemistry
Member, National Academy of Sciences, 2017

Dr. Marcetta Darensbourg is a leader in developing methods to perfect hydrogen-powered fuel cell technology. Her research currently focuses on biology-inspired chemistry and the simplest of all molecules, hydrogen, in her laboratory’s search for inexpensive, eco-friendly alternative energy options.  Her research group introduces Earth-abundant elements—iron, nickel and sulfur—into molecular catalysts intended to replace platinum as the kick-starter in hydrogen fuel cells.   In 1995, she became the first woman to receive the American Chemical Society (ACS) Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Inorganic Chemistry Award, the society’s top annual honor in this realm. She is an inaugural Fellow of the ACS (2009) as well as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (2014) and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2011) and recipient of the 2013 Fred Basolo Medal for Outstanding Research in Inorganic Chemistry and the 2017 ACS Award in Organometallic Chemistry.  In addition to excelling as a researcher, Dr. Darensbourg is an outstanding teacher and mentor for students at all levels. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in inorganic and organometallic chemistry.  She has directed the dissertations of more than 50 Ph.D. students in chemistry. Dr. Darensbourg has received nearly every teaching and student mentoring award offered at Texas A&M University.