For almost 25 years, our Department has attracted, nurtured and lost a number of talented professors to pastures that were perceived to be greener. This generally westward migration began with Professor Henry Blount (FAC 70-84, moved to NSF), and has continued apace with Professors Lila Gierasch (79-87, Southwestern (TX) Medical School, now at UMass-Amherst), Garry Rechnitz (78-89, Hawaii), Cynthia McClure (87-94, Montana State), Jean Futrell (86-99, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory), P. Andrew Evans (93-00, Indiana, now at Liverpool), Arnold Rheingold (84-03, UC-San Diego), Dennis Evans (86-04, Arizona), Mary Wirth (86-04, Arizonia), and Yong Duan (00-04, UC-Davis).
The most recent addition to this impressive list is Professor Eugene Mueller, (95-07), who assumed the Charles L. Bloch Endowed Chair (Full Professor) in the University of Louisville’s Department of Chemistry on 8/1/07.
Eugene received his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign in 1987. He earned his doctorate at Harvard in 1992, working with Professor Jeremy Knowles. Following post-doctoral stints at CalTech (with Professor John Bercaw) and MIT (with Professor JoAnne Stubbe), he joined the U of D faculty in 1995, where he proved to be a genuine triple threat in research, teaching, and service.
His work in the area of enzymology has produced over 20 publications, and was recognized by his having been named co-chair of the 2005 Gordon Research Conference on Enzymes, Coenzymes, and Metabolic Pathways. He has given over 40 invited lectures at other institutions.
His teaching efforts in CHEM-527 Introductory Biochemistry, CHEM-641 Biochemistry, and CHEM-644 Mechanisms of Enzyme Catalysis earned extremely high praise from his students. He was especially known for his well organized lectures and his wry wit.
Eugene’s penchant for organization carried over into the three years (2002-2005) that he served as our Director of Graduate Studies. This period was characterized by the greatest growth in graduate student enrollment in our Department’s history due, in no small measure, to his inspired leadership in the area of recruiting.
He will be sorely missed, and we wish him nothing but the best.