Jessica Lamb joins chemistry faculty

Jessica R. Lamb has joined the Department of Chemistry as an associate professor.

Lamb grew up in Fargo, ND, and graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from the University of North Dakota in 2012. For her undergraduate honors thesis, she worked on the solvent-free synthesis of organometallic complexes in the lab of Professor Irina Smoliakova. She also conducted summer research in the Coatings and Polymeric Materials Department of North Dakota State University with Professor Victoria Johnston Gelling. She then moved to Cornell University for her graduate studies with Professor Geoffrey Coates. As a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, she worked on catalyst development, methodology, and mechanistic investigations of selective epoxide transformations using bimetallic catalysts, culminating in her doctorate in 2017. She was a National Institutes of Health Ruth L. Kirschstein Postdoctoral Fellow in Professor Jeremiah Johnson’s group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology studying photocontrolled polymerizations and complex polymer architectures.

She works at the interface of organic, organometallic, catalysis, and polymer chemistry. Students in her group will learn to apply catalysis and physical organic chemistry to problems in polymer chemistry. This could involve developing new methods and exploring their mechanisms, characterization of new materials, or eventually exploring applications. She also has been inspired by photocatalysis and switchable catalysis and how those have been/could be applied to polymer synthesis. Lamb has co-authored 13 papers and 1 provisional patent.

Lamb has an extensive background of teaching and mentoring experiences and outreach, including outreach through Expanding Horizons and the 4-H Career Explorations as part of the NSF Center for Sustainable Polymer. Her honors and awards include the Philanthropic Educational Organization Scholars Award and Bayer Teaching Excellence Award. Outside of lab, she enjoys swing and ballroom dancing, crafts, reading, and playing board/tabletop games.

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