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Chemist elected to the Italian National Academy of Sciences

Tobin Marks joins Galileo, Pasteur and Einstein as academy member

Northwestern University chemist Tobin J. Marks has been elected a Foreign Member of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, the Italian National Academy of Sciences. The induction ceremony will take place in Rome in early November.

The academy was founded in 1603 and is the oldest honorific scientific academy in the world. Seated in Rome across the river from the Vatican in Palazzo Corsini, the academy’s illustrious members include Galileo Galilei, Louis Pasteur, Albert Einstein and Enrico Fermi.

Marks, the Vladimir N. Ipatieff Professor of Chemistry in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, has made major contributions in the field of the chemical sciences, specifically catalysts and catalytic processes, opto-electronic materials and organometallic chemistry. He has developed processes for numerous types of recyclable, environmentally friendly plastics, efficient organic displays and transistor circuitry, and organic solar energy cells.

The Italian National Academy of Sciences is limited to 184 members and approximately 40 foreign members. Marks joins Zdenek Bazant and the late Fred Basolo as the only Northwestern faculty members elected to the academy. Of the academy’s foreign members, Marks is one of only five chemists. 

Marks also serves as Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering in Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering and as Professor of Applied Physics in Weinberg College.

Marks’ landmark research is documented in 1,255 peer-reviewed publications and 265 U.S. patents. He has mentored and trained many graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, and he has served the American Chemical Society and international science societies. Marks partnered with the Dow Chemical Company to develop a world-scale $100 billion polymerization process and co-founded the spinoffs Polyera Corp. and Flexterra Corp. to produce materials and products for printed electronics.