SMART Conference Participants
Jim Penner-Hahn is the Associate Dean for Natural Sciences in LSA. He received his B.S. in Chemistry from Purdue University in 1979 and his Ph.D. in chemistry from Stanford University in 1984. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory, he joined the faculty of the University of Michigan in 1985, where he is now Professor of Chemistry and Biophysics. He has served as Associate Chair of the Chemistry, Chair of the Biophysics Research Division, and Associate Vice-President for Research.
Professor Penner-Hahn has published over 170 publications in the peer-reviewed literature. His research interests include Biophysical Chemistry and Physical Inorganic Chemistry. This work centers on spectroscopic investigation of metal site structure in bioinorganic systems, with particular emphasis on biological zinc sites. In addition, he is interested in the development of new techniques in x-ray spectroscopy, including the use of polarization properties in studies of the physical basis of x-ray absorption edge structure. Other work focuses on the correlation of optical and x-ray absorption properties of metal ions, and the relationship of these properties to metal-ion electronic structure. His teaching interests include the development of collaborative, inquiry based laboratory courses for introductory chemistry, the use of networked computers for implementation of discovery based experiments in large courses, and the use of active learning in introductory courses.
He has traveled frequently in China for both research and education projects. In 2007, he co-directed the first bilateral exchange of undergraduate research students in the sciences between the United States and China. One outgrowth of this project is the fact that, in 2008-09, UM science students will begin to have study abroad opportunities at Peking University (PKU).