Skip Navigation
OU Public Affairs WebsiteThe University of OklahomaPublic Affairs

University of Oklahoma Professor Named Oklahoma Chemist of the Year

For immediate release

Contact:  Jana Smith, Director
Strategic Communications for R&D
University of Oklahoma

Norman, Okla. — A University of Oklahoma professor of chemistry has been selected to receive the most prestigious award given to chemists within the state of Oklahoma—the 2012 Oklahoma Chemist Award.  Donna Nelson, professor of chemistry in the OU College of Arts and Sciences, will receive the award for outstanding contributions made by a chemist to science and the state on March 17 at the spring Pentasectional Meeting of Oklahoma chemists.

As an OU professor, Nelson has taught organic chemistry to almost 10,000 students. Because of her expertise as a chemist, she has advised Congress, professional organizations and television producers on topics related to chemistry. 

“The OU family is extremely proud of the important cutting-edge research being done by Dr. Nelson,” said OU President David L. Boren.  “She is a true leader in her field and in the university community.”

Nelson’s other honors include being named an American Chemical Society Fellow, a  Fulbright Scholar, a Ford Fellow and an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow.  She also was selected by Women’s eNews among “21 Leaders for the 21st Century,” and as a NOW “Woman of Courage,” in addition to being named recipient of a  , Guggenheim Award, National Science Foundation ADVANCE Leadership Award, NSF Creativity Extension Award, and Sigma Xi Faculty Research Award.

Nelson will be featured in an upcoming issue of Chemical and Engineering News—an ACS publication with worldwide distribution. On November 11, 2011, Nelson was part of an OETA feature on scientists who consult in Hollywood.  Nelson is the consulting chemist on the television series, “Breaking Bad.”  Learn more about Nelson on her website at