Established in 1998 and funded by donations to the Karen E. Wetterhahn Memorial Fund, this Fellowship is awarded annually by vote of the faculty of the Chemistry Department to an outstanding chemistry graduate student who is within two years of receiving his or her Ph.D. degree. Whenever possible, preference is given to a woman. The term of fellowship is one year.
This Fellowship is named in honor of Professor Wetterhahn. A research chemist with an international reputation, Wetterhahn was also a dedicated teacher and mentor. She played an integral role in the administration of the sciences at Dartmouth and in making science at Dartmouth representative of both women and men.
Wetterhahn's research and teaching interests spanned the fields of inorganic chemistry, biochemistry, and chemical toxicology. Her work involved understanding how elevated levels of heavy metals interfere with such processes as cell metabolism and the transfer of genetic information. Her particular expertise focused on the way chromium can damage DNA in living systems.
As dean of graduate studies (1990), associate dean of the faculty for the sciences (1990-94), and acting dean of the faculty of arts and sciences (1995), she helped guide the growth and development of the science division and its graduate programs. She was instrumental in initiating our curriculum in structural biology. Wetterhahn's interest in seeing science enriched by the widest range of ideas and experiences led her to co-found Dartmouth's Women in Science Project, which is aimed at increasing the number of women majoring and taking courses in the sciences, including mathematics and engineering.
She received her bachelor's degree, magna cum laude, from St. Lawrence University in 1970 and her doctorate from Columbia University in 1975, where she won the Hammett Award in Chemistry. She joined the faculty of Dartmouth in 1976, following a year as a National Institutes of Health trainee at the Institute of Cancer Research, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Author of more than 85 research papers, Wetterhahn was a member of several scientific societies, an officer of the Women in Cancer Research society, and a past officer of the American Association for Cancer Research.
Last Updated: 6/26/12