The Marilyn M. Olmstead Inorganic Chemistry Graduate Research Fund will support graduate students who exhibit the qualities and values Marilyn exemplified during her lifetime, and who have demonstrated the potential to conduct outstanding research in inorganic chemistry.
Marilyn Olmstead (1943-2020) was a Professor Emerita of the Department of Chemistry. She revolutionized small molecule X-Ray crystallography and performed groundbreaking structural studies on so-called "Bucky Balls." She helped build a world-class crystallography laboratory where novel chemical compounds continue to be studied. Professor Olmstead was also an extraordinary teacher, mentor, and a trailblazer for women in science. X-ray crystallography is a powerful tool that was used to elucidate the structure of DNA, and its use in current research in inorganic chemistry is leading to the development of safer medical imaging agents, improved energy storage and catalysis, and the synthesis of new materials for environmental cleanup.