April 24, 2024

The Welch Foundation Welcomes Squire J. Booker to the Scientific Advisory Board

HOUSTON, TX – May 1, 2024 – The Welch Foundation, one of the nation’s largest sources of private funding for basic chemical research, welcomes Squire J. Booker of The Pennsylvania State University as the newest member of its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB).

“The Scientific Advisory Board plays a central and vital role to the continued success of The Welch Foundation and works tirelessly to pursue our mission of advancing basic research in chemistry to improve lives,” said Fred Brazelton, Chair, Board of Directors. “Professor Booker is a valuable and welcome addition to the SAB, where he will join some of the world’s foremost chemistry researchers and educators to advance chemistry across Texas and beyond.”

Joining The Pennsylvania State University in 1999, Professor Booker’s time as an independent investigator has focused on exploring the ways in which organisms synthesize various natural products and cellular metabolites, as well as understanding how certain enzymes use chemicals (specifically S-adenosylmethionine and iron-sulfur clusters) to help them carry out chemical reactions in a unique way.

At Penn State, Booker holds the Eberly Family Distinguished Chair in Science and is an Evan Pugh Professor of Chemistry and of Biochemistry. He is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. He holds his BA with a concentration in Chemistry from Austin College (in Texas), his Ph.D. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and held postdoctoral fellowships overseas and at the University of Wisconsin before joining Penn State. Currently, Professor Booker serves as an Associate Editor for the ACS Journal Biochemistry and Deputy Editor for ACS Bio & Med Chem Gold. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has received numerous other professional honors.

"I am thrilled to join this exceptionally talented group of individuals as a member of the SAB for The Welch Foundation. Advancing the Foundation’s mission alongside chemistry’s top minds is something I look forward to, especially within my home state of Texas,” said Professor Booker. “It is a privilege to assist in identifying and honoring the great achievements made within our field on behalf of The Welch Foundation.”

“Professor Booker is a remarkable addition to our team, and we are lucky to have him join us,” said Catherine J. Murphy, Chair, Scientific Advisory Board. “His work in the field of chemistry will prove to be incredibly valuable as we work to pursue and fulfill the Foundation’s mission.”

Since 1954, the Houston-based Welch Foundation has contributed over $1.1 billion to the advancement of chemistry through research grants, departmental research grants, endowed chairs and support for other chemistry-related programs in Texas. In 2023, the Foundation expanded its grant programs to include the Postdoctoral Fellows Grant Program, the Catalyst for Discovery Program Grants, the WelchX Retreat and Pilot Grants, and the Equipment Grant Program. The Foundation also bestows the annual Welch Award in Chemistry, recognizing achievement in basic research internationally, and the Norman Hackerman Award in Chemical Research to early-career Texas scientists.

For more information on the Foundation, please visit www.welch1.org.


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