Renã A. Robinson

Associate Professor of Chemistry, Dorothy J. Wingfield Phillips Chancellor’s Faculty Fellow, Department of Neurology; Vanderbilt Memory and Alzheimer’s Center Training Faculty, Vanderbilt Brain Institute, Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology at Vanderbilt University

Renã A Robinson
Credit: Courtesy of Renã A Robinson

Dr. Renã A. S. Robinson is an Associate Professor of Chemistry at Vanderbilt University and the inaugural Dorothy J. Wingfield Phillips Chancellor’s Faculty Fellow. Dr. Robinson received her B.S. in Chemistry with a concentration in Business from the University of Louisville in 2000 and her Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from Indiana University under the mentorship of Professor David Clemmer. During her graduate studies she developed proteomics methods to study aging in Drosophila (fruit flies) and continued her work in aging as a Lyman T. Johnson Postdoctoral Fellow with Professor D. Allan Butterfield in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Kentucky. During this fellowship she began to focus on neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease and received a UNCF/Merck Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Dr. Robinson joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh as an Assistant Professor in 2009 and received tenure in 2017. She moved to Vanderbilt University in the fall of 2017. Dr. Robinson has a nationally and internationally recognized research program and she is an emerging leader in the field of proteomics for her work in aging, Alzheimer’s disease, and applications relevant to human health. Recently Chemical and Engineering News awarded her with the 2016 Talented Twelve Award, distinguishing her as one of the world’s brightest young minds in the field of chemistry. She is also the recipient of several awards including a Starter Grant Award from the Society for Analytical Chemistry of Pittsburgh, the 2014 Lloyd N. Ferguson Young Scientist Award from NOBCChE, the 2017 Pittsburgh Conference Achievement Award, and 2018 NOBCChE Presidential Award.

Dr. Robinson actively mentors graduate and undergraduate students and trains them with the skills necessary to be effective scientists in academia, industry, government, or other sectors. In addition, she engages high school students in research experiences in her laboratory. She serves as a Board Member-at-Large for NOBCChE and is involved in many outreach activities geared towards increasing diversity and inclusion in the field of chemistry and within academia. Dr. Robinson co-founded the Pittsburgh area student chapter of NOBCChE in 2010 and helped to engage students and professionals in the area about the organization. Dr. Robinson was active in establishing the University of Pittsburgh as a Technology Education Partner with NOBCChE and helped charter the NOBCChE Collaborative under the former leadership of Vice President Kemal Catalan. The Collaborative’s purpose is to develop a pipeline of academic career opportunities for NOBCChE undergraduate, graduate and post doctoral members that helps to achieve NOBCChE’s overall mission and seeks to improve the representation of people of color in academia. She co-organized the Northeast x Midwest (NEXM) Regional Conference in 2017 at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Robinson recently co-founded the Greater Nashville NOBCChE Student and Professional Chapter and has participated in programming and seminars through joint NOBCChE and American Chemical Society partnerships.

Dr. Robinson understands how critical it is for NOBCChE to continue to have a rich legacy and achieve its mission. She is especially interested in growing NOBCChE’s national and international footprint, forging more sustainable partnerships with institutions, organizations, and companies, expanding NOBCChE’s organizational infrastructure, and most importantly, ensuring members are engaged and empowered to achieve change in the demographics of people of color in STEM.