Bachas to the Future

‘Brilliant’ biochemist is new Arts and Sciences dean

Leonidas G. Bachas, previously the Frank J. Derbyshire Professor of Analytical and Biological Chemistry and chair of the chemistry department at the University of Kentucky (UK), assumed leadership of UM’s College of Arts and Sciences on July 1.

Dean Leonidas G. Bachas

University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala calls Bachas “a highly respected scientist with a strong background in education and administration.” Thomas J. LeBlanc, UM’s executive vice president and provost, characterizes the prize-winning chemist as “a brilliant strategic thinker and a problem solver with a keen analytic mind.”

In addition to serving as associate dean of research and academic programs at UK’s College of Arts and Sciences from 2004 to 2009, Bachas was active in formulating the college’s strategic plan and on committees devoted to educational policy and commercialization of intellectual property.

Bachas’s multidisciplinary studies in the areas of nanoscience, biological chemistry, microfabricated analytical systems, and tissue regeneration have garnered nine patents and more than 70 grants totaling more than $40 million from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, NASA, and other major sources.

After earning a B.S. degree at the University of Athens, Greece, Bachas went on to the University of Michigan for master’s degrees in chemistry and engineering (oceanic sciences) as well as a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry and a postdoctoral appointment. He joined UK’s faculty in 1986. He is married to Sylvia Daunert, the Gill Eminent Professor of Analytical and Biological Chemistry in UK’s College of Arts and Sciences. Daunert will become the Miller School of Medicine’s chair of biochemistry and molecular biology.

At UM, Bachas says he plans to build interdisciplinary collaborations that “expand and blur the boundaries of knowledge, address and solve world issues, and prepare worldready citizens.”