Rich Gandour, professor of chemistry in the College of Science at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title of professor emeritus by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The emeritus title may be conferred on retired professors, associate professors, and administrative officers who are specially recommended to the board by Virginia Tech President Tim Sands in recognition of exemplary service to the university. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board receive a copy of the resolution and a certificate of appreciation.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1993, Gandour made significant research contributions to anti-HIV contraceptives, antimicrobial drug development, and medicinal chemistry through work with Virginia Tech collaborators and others. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for his contributions to molecular recognition.

Gandour also supported the National Institutes for Health by serving on several grant review committees. He also reviewed proposals for other federal agencies and associations, and reviewed manuscripts for high-impact journals. He was an early consultant for Landos Biopharma, a Blacksburg-based company now listed on the NASDAQ.

When he came to Virginia Tech, Gandour was hired to be the head of the Department of Chemistry and he helped modernize the operations of the department. He provided computers for all staff members and established an in-house information technology support team.

He also appointed a committee to write a governance document for transitioning from a head to an elected chair, instituted peer review of faculty activities reports, and with the help of senior faculty members, formed a Department of Chemistry Advisory Council. He served the old College of Arts and Sciences by organizing all department leaders into group known as Heads Acting Responsibly And Sensibly Supporting (HARASS) the Dean, according to Gandour.

In the classroom, Gandour taught both undergraduate and graduate courses in organic chemistry, introduced the flipped-classroom approach to teach large classes, and developed an intensive writing course for chemistry majors. He was the major professor for five master’s degree student theses and eight Ph.D. student dissertations. He also directed the research of nine postdoctoral associates and guided 161 undergraduate research students.

Gandour earned his bachelor’s degree from Wheeling University and a Ph.D. from Rice University.

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