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James Carothers to serve as interim chair of Chemical Engineering

May 16, 2023

On May 16, 2023, Dean Nancy Allbritton shared the following announcement with the College of Engineering community:


I am pleased to announce the appointment of Associate Professor James Carothers as interim chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering. This is a two-year term effective June 15, 2023, subject to the approval of the Provost.

James Carothers

James Carothers, Dan Evans Career Development Associate Professor

James is the Dan Evans Career Development Associate Professor and the Associate Chair for Research and Infrastructure in the Department of Chemical Engineering. He is also the Co-Director of the UW Center for Synthetic Biology, a member of the Molecular Engineering and Sciences Institute and an Adjunct Associate Professor of Bioengineering.

James has extensive experience overseeing large, multi-disciplinary research teams. Since joining the UW faculty in 2012, he has been the lead PI of $22 million of funded awards, out of more than $30 million as PI or Co-PI. Currently, he is the lead PI of a $15 million U.S. Department of Energy project to advance CRISPR gene regulation technologies and improve bioproduction with engineered microbes. Recent work has been supported by multiple grants from the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, and private industry. Previously, James was a postdoctoral fellow at UC Berkeley and the DOE Joint BioEnergy Institute, and earned his Ph.D. at Harvard University. He is a founding member of the scientific advisory board of Wayfinder Biosciences, a seed-funded biotechnology startup. He has received the University of Washington Presidential Innovation Award and the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship. ChemE will benefit greatly from James’ strong record of leadership and collaboration.

I would like to again recognize Jim Pfaendtner and thank him for his exceptional service as ChemE Chair. His leadership has greatly impacted the department as well as the College of Engineering. He has positioned ChemE very well for the future. Jim and James will work together closely in the coming weeks to ensure a smooth transition.

I deeply appreciate James' willingness to serve as leader of ChemE during this interim period. Please join me in congratulating James on his appointment.