Baylor Researchers Share In $22.5 Million Welch Grants

June 5, 2001

by Erika Snoberger, student newswriter

Four professors from Baylor University will receive monetary grants from the Houston-based Welch Foundation, one of the nation's oldest and largest sources of private funding for basic chemistry research.

The foundation, which contributed $22.5 million to Texas chemistry researchers this year, awarded each Baylor researcher a three-year grant. The grants provide a minimum of $150,000 each in funding, an increase over the $135,000 minimum established last year.

Baylor's Welch grant recipients are:

•Dr. Carlos E. Manzanares, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, who will pursue research in laser overtone spectroscopy of van der Waals molecules;

• Dr. Charles M. Garner, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, who will apply the Welch grant to his study on new C2-asymmetric ligands for metal catalysts;

•Dr. Robert R. Kane, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, who will analyze synthetic cofactors of DNA enzymes;

•Dr. Kevin K. Klausmeyer, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, who will research new entries into metallodendrimer and organometallic polymer chemistry using metal alkoxides.

"While major scientific breakthroughs are well publicized, the basic research that serves as the foundation for those breakthroughs too often goes unnoticed, but there is still much to be done and much to be discovered," said Richard J. V. Johnson, chairman of The Welch Foundation. "The Foundation understands that and supports the work of Texas scientists searching for answers to new and deeper questions about the mechanisms of chemical and biochemical reactions. These scientists' dedicated exploration of the most fundamental questions of chemistry enhances and expands our understanding of life -- and ultimately helps improve our world."

The Welch Foundation was established in 1954 by the late oil and mineral entrepreneur, Robert A. Welch. It funds more than 400 investigations at 27 institutions and has contributed more than $441 million to chemical research since its formation.

The foundation focuses on supporting chemistry in education by providing grants to numerous educational institutions in Texas, as well as underwriting 39 academic chairs in chemistry, including one at Baylor. Welch hosts an annual chemical research conference and, in addition to research grants, awards a $300,000 prize for a lifetime achievement in chemistry and a $100,000 prize recognizing young researchers in Texas each year.

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