Tom Muir, the Van Zandt Williams, Jr. Class of ‘65 Professor of Chemistry at Princeton, has been named Chair of the Department of Chemistry as of February 1.
He succeeded fellow Scotsman David MacMillan, the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry, who has served as Chair since 2010. MacMillan’s tenure saw the addition of exceptional new faculty members and an abundance of world-class scientific research. Building on its historic commitment to excellence, this renewed effort has further elevated the department’s standing in the chemical community.
“I’m excited to continue on the course that Dave has set us on,” Muir said. He said he plans to continue recruiting outstanding faculty to attract talented graduate students and will also focus on promoting scientific interactions between the faculty and students.
Research in the Muir group centers on elucidating the physiochemical basis of protein functions in biomedically relevant systems. Drawing on techniques from organic chemistry, biochemistry, biophysics and cell biology, the Muir lab has introduced an array of technologies used by chemical biologists worldwide to study the structure and function of proteins in these complex settings.
“Tom is forthright, focused and has great judgment,” MacMillan said. “He’s a great choice for chair because of his natural leadership skills—that and he’s Scottish,” he added.