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New Chair Announced for Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Dr. David Dearden has accepted an appointment to replace Greg Burton as the Chair of the BYU Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Dearden has named Barry Willardson and Roger Harrison as his Associate Chairs, replacing Adam Woolley and Steven Wood.

“It’s humbling to be here because there have been so many people that I respect so much [that have] been in this office before,” Dearden said. “From the days when I was a student, forward, I’ve known all the department chairs since that time.”

Dearden has watched the department grow since his days as a student and has seen what previous department chairs have accomplished.

“They were really great people and worked hard to build the department to what it is now,” Dearden said.

Dearden wants to continue to improve the department as previous chairs did.

“It’s really humbling to be here and to realize they’ve built all this, and I don’t want to lose what they built, and I want to build on it,” Dearden said. “I feel a sense of gratitude and obligation to the university and the department that just mean you can’t turn a job like this down.”

Dearden received a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from BYU. He completed his Ph.D in Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology. Dearden previously taught at the University of Texas at Arlington and has been a faculty member at BYU since 1994. Dearden’s research is focused on the development and use of state-of-the-art, extremely sensitive chemical analysis tools, particularly for measuring molecules.

Dearden has received several awards, most recently the Reed M. Izatt and James J. Christensen Faculty Excellence in Research Award, awarded by BYU’s Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry. His research was last published in the Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry, titled “Isotopic compositions and accurate masses of single isotopic peaks.”

By Jessilyn Gale Posted on