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UT Arlington names expert in analytical chemistry new College of Science dean

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Media Contact: Herb Booth, Office: 817-272-7075, Cell: 214-546-1082, hbooth@uta.edu

News Topics: science

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ARLINGTON, Texas – The University of Texas at Arlington has appointed Morteza Khaledi, professor and chair of the nationally ranked Chemistry Department at North Carolina State University, as dean of the College of Science.

Dr. Khaledi, whose research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and corporate entities is a renowned expert in mechanistic studies and bioanalytical applications of High Performance Capillary Electrophoresis and High Performance Liquid Chromatography. He has chaired the Chemistry Department at the North Carolina State University since 2014 and previously served in the same position from 2005 to 2011.

Morteza Khaledi

Morteza Khaledi has been appointed the new dean of the UT Arlington College of Science.

Under his leadership, the North Carolina State University Chemistry Department has enhanced its national reputation; added multiple endowed chairs valued at $1 million each; increased funded research from federal and state agencies, foundations and corporations; and developed innovative sources of revenue. The department also undertook substantial curricular reforms at the undergraduate and graduate levels and initiated new programs aimed at student access and success.

At UT Arlington, Dr. Khaledi will lead the departments of Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Mathematics, Physics and Psychology. He also will work closely with the Shimadzu Institute for Research Technologies, which offers students, faculty and industry access to the some of the world’s most sophisticated scientific instrumentation, and the University of Texas at Arlington Research Institute. 

He will lead a college that includes more than 100 faculty members with a strong record of external support.

“I am honored to join UT Arlington at a time when the University is clearly on the move,” Dr. Khaledi said. “The College of Science will play a critical role in realizing the vision of the 2020 Strategic Plan and affirming UT Arlington as the model for an urban, public research institution.

“President Karbhari’s vision for enhanced collaboration across disciplines and academic areas will create an even stronger research base and foster a richer experience for students and faculty alike.”

Dr. Khaledi was selected from a highly competitive field of candidates following a national search. He officially joins UT Arlington on Aug. 1.

Ronald L. Elsenbaumer, provost and vice president for academic affairs, said the University is pleased to have attracted a distinguished scholar, researcher and seasoned leader to lead the College of Science.

“Under Dr. Khaledi’s direction, the College of Science will significantly expand its size, reputation and impact, expanding its research portfolio, collaboration with other colleges in support of the four themes of our strategic plan and will increase partnerships with the corporate world and with institutions internationally,” Elsenbaumer said.

Dr. Khaledi’s current research is focused on a new class of coacervates, or tiny droplets of assorted organic molecules. The novel coacervates are effective for extracting and enriching a variety of chemicals from biological and environmental samples. They help in characterization of the proteins within a cell, a process with applications in the areas of drug discovery, biology and biomedicine.

Dr. Khaledi’s research also includes protein identification and characterization, portable biosensing and electrokinetic chromatography.

He also is credited with developing an innovative textbook publishing agreement that generates more than $2 million in revenue for his department. His efforts also have led to increasing graduate program enrollment in chemistry and specifically among Hispanics and women.

Dan Solomon, dean of the College of Sciences at NC State University, said Dr. Khaledi has proven creative in managing a complex department during challenging financial times.

“His calm and straightforward style evokes confidence and trust in others,” Dr. Solomon said. “These traits will serve him well both in leading the UT Arlington College of Science and in engaging external constituencies, which will no doubt be a key part of his new job.”

Robert Kennedy, the Willard Professor of Chemistry and professor of Pharmacology at the University of Michigan, said he has known Dr. Khaledi as a student and professionally.

“Dr. Khaledi is an unquestioned leader in separation science, an important branch of analytical chemistry. In particular, he has performed some of the best fundamental studies of certain separation methods like micellar electrokinetic capillary chromatography, a useful technique for analyzing a wide variety of small molecules,” said Dr. Kennedy, who also is associate editor of Analytical Chemistry and director of the Microfluidics in Biomedical Sciences Training Program at the University of Michigan. “Dr. Khaledi is always examining these methods with a new eye and provides great insight to these techniques allowing them to be improved and made more useful.”

About UT Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of more than 48,000 students in Texas and around the world and is the second largest institution in The University of Texas System. The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked UT Arlington as the seventh fastest-growing public research university in 2013. U.S. News & World Report ranks UT Arlington fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.