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Marsha Lester: Edmund J. Kahn Distinguished Professor
October 14, 2008, Volume 55, No. 8



Marsha I. Lester, chair of the department of chemistry, has been appointed the Edmund J. Kahn Distinguished Professor. Dr. Lester’s research has included the use of novel spectroscopic methods to characterize previously uncharted regions of chemical reaction pathways. Her experimental studies and theoretical computations focus on reactions of the hydroxyl radical, the key initiator of oxidation chemistry in atmospheric and combustion environments.

Recently named a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and editor of the Journal of Chemical Physics, Dr. Lester is the recipient of many awards and honors—including a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, the Bourke Lectureship of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award. Dr. Lester received her doctorate from Columbia University in 1981, and joined the Penn faculty in 1982.

Recognizing a scholar of unusual distinction who provides leadership in research and teaching in order to create and sustain academic excellence, the Edmund J. Kahn Distinguished Professorship was established in 1986 by Louise W. Kahn in memory of her husband, Edmund J. Kahn, W’25, who worked in the oil and natural gas industry. The Kahns were philanthropists who gave generously to the University.




Almanac - October 14, 2008, Volume 55, No. 8