2014 Distinguished Chemistry Alumni Awards

Clemmer, Murry, and Thatcher
(left to right) David Clemmer, Jerry Murry, and Thomas Thatcher

On April 21, the Department of Chemistry honored three former students as our 2014 Distinguished Alumni.

Professor David Clemmer, Dr. Jerry Murry, and Mr. Thomas Thatcher were honored at a dinner celebrating their successful careers. Over 80 alumni, students, faculty, and friends of the department attended the event.

Clemmer and Murry also gave seminars to the Department during their visit. Clemmer focused on nested IMS-MS measurements while Murry spoke on current challenges and opportunities in biotechnology. Thatcher met with the Honors General Chemistry class to speak about the importance of both chemistry and well-rounded “soft” skills to future career prospects.

The Department is honored to have such great alumni and looks forward to recognizing a select few each year. To recommend a Distinguished Alumni please contact Alyssa Geisler at ageisler@chem.utah.edu or 801-585-7896. Congratulations to our 2014 Distinguished Alumni!

david clemmerProfessor David Clemmer grew up in the southwest and studied Chemistry at Adams State College (B.S., 1987) and the University of Utah (Ph.D., 1992). He spent a year in Japan as a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellow at the Himeji Institute of Technology, and two years as a post-doctoral student at Northwestern University.   He joined the Chemistry faculty at Indiana University in 1995. From 2002 to 2006 he served as the chair of the Chemistry Department. His research involves the development of methods for studying the structures of complex low-symmetry systems in the gas phase. These methods are being applied to several types of problems including elucidation of fundamental issues associated with how a protein folds, as well as studies of complex mixtures of proteins - the emerging field of proteomics. David has published more than 175 papers and his work has been recognized with several awards, including the Fresenius Chemistry Award. He has also been a member of the US Defense Science Study group.

jerry murryJerry A. Murry obtained his Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry at the University of Utah with Professor Gary E. Keck in 1994 and completed an NIH post-doctoral fellowship with Professor David A. Evans at Harvard University. He started his industrial career at Pfizer Central Research in roles of increasing responsibility with a focus on process development supporting numerous preclinical and early development programs. Jerry then worked as the Director of Process Development at Merck Research Laboratories, where, in addition to leading a large functional process development group, he chaired several cross-functional development teams through various stages of drug development. He joined Amgen in 2006, where he is now Vice President of Small Molecule Process and Product Development. In this capacity, Jerry oversees the development of the manufacturing processes, product formulations and analytical methods for all of Amgen's clinical and commercial small molecule programs. During his career, Jerry has authored more than 50 scientific publications, contributed to more than 10 patents and more than 30 regulatory filing documents including 4 NDA’s.

thomas thatcherThomas F. Thatcher received his B.A. in Chemistry from the University of Utah in 1985, along with an emphasis in Japanese. He served as a missionary for the LDS Church in Fukuoka, Japan from 1980 to 1982 in capacity as Assistant to the President. In 1987, he obtained his MBA from Brigham Young University. He worked for 27 years at the Thatcher Company, and was General Manager of Thatcher Pharmaceutical from 1999-2012. Currently, Tom is the founder and CEO of Intuitive Funding, a company focused on helping startups succeed. He has been a member of the Rotary Club since 2006, serving as the Chairman of the International Service Committee and leading humanitarian efforts in Bolivia. He is currently on the Rotary Club’s Board of Directors and is a Paul Harris and Richard L. Evans Fellow. He is a member of the College of Science Advisory Board, the March of Dimes Board of Directors, and the Chairman of the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce Business Board, which bridges the gap between education and business.