John's Bio

John was born in Atlanta, GA in September 1977, and grew up in Newport News, Virginia. He attended Virginia Tech from 1996 – 2000 where he obtained two degrees: a BA in music theory and composition, and a BS in chemistry. John then pursued graduate education in chemistry, attending Texas A&M University from 2000 – 2004 where he worked as an NSF Graduate Research Fellow in the research group of Prof. F. Albert Cotton. His graduate work involved synthetic and experimental studies to elucidate the electronic structure and metal-metal bonding in linear trinuclear molecules that serve as models for molecular wires. John then did postdoctoral work in Germany on a fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.  From 2004 – 2006, he worked with Prof. Karl Wieghardt at the Max Planck Institute for Bioinorganic Chemistry in Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany, on new electrochemical and photochemical routes to unstable high-valent iron intermediates. In 2006, John joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where he has established a vibrant research program tackling fundamental problems in coordination chemistry and bonding. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2012, full Professor in 2015, and in 2016 John was appointed the Lester R. McNall Professor of Chemistry. John’s honors include the Enrst Haage Prize (first recipient, 2006), an NSF CAREER Award (2008), an Alexander von Humbold alumni fellowship (2015), the Vilas Faculty Mid-Career Investigator Award (2016), and the H. I. Romnes Faculty Fellowship (2017), along with two university housing awards for teaching. John is a member of the ACS, AAAS, and the editorial board of Inorganic Chemistry, and is Deputy Editor in Chief for Comments on Inorganic Chemistry. Outside of research, John still enjoys writing music, which he sometimes has occasion to perform on either the violin, viola, or piano.