Willson Named American Chemistry Society Fellow

Willson Named American Chemistry Society Fellow
One of 99 Scientists Named for 2014

WillsonRichard Willson, a University of Houston professor of biology and biochemistry in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, was named to the 2014 class of American Chemical Society (ACS) Fellows. Willson is also a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at UH.

Only 99 ACS members were included in the 2014 class. The ACS Fellows Program, created in December 2008, recognizes members for outstanding achievements in and contributions to science, the profession and the society. This year’s Fellows were recognized at the ACS National Meeting in San Francisco.

According to the ACS website, the body of Fellows is expected to reach a steady state of 1 to 2 percent of the ACS membership and to reflect not only excellence, but also the diverse contributions made by ACS members. There are currently less than 1,000 Fellows in the U.S.

Willson is the third UH faculty member to be named as an ACS Fellow.

At UH, Willson's research focuses on biomolecular recognition and its applications in separations, such as RNA/DNA purification, and molecular diagnostics, including ribosomal RNA-based identification of bacteria and viruses and genome-based identification of microorganisms.

Upon his selection as an ACS Fellow, the ACS cited Willson’s contribution to the profession as follows:

Characterized biomolecular recognition and chromatography at the fundamental level, and developed novel applications in separations and diagnostics. Developed widely used methods for high-throughput screening of catalysts and affinity separations ligands.

Willson’s involvement with ACS has included leading the Division of Biochemical Technology and serving in numerous roles including program co-chair, area coordinator, webmaster, awards organizer, and as an ACS Councilor. He also served as the president of the International Society for Molecular Recognition.

- Kathy Major, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics