Rich Gandour Retires from Chemistry | VTx

Rich Gandour, Professor of Chemistry at Virginia Tech’s College of Science, has been awarded the title of Professor Emeritus by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The title emeritus is conferred on retired professors, associate professors and administrators who are highly recommended to the Board of Directors by Virginia Tech President Tim Sands in recognition of exemplary service to the university. Nominees approved by the Board will receive a copy of the resolution and a certificate of appreciation.

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

Gandour also assisted 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 influential journals. He was an early consultant for Landos Biopharma, a Blacksburg-based company now listed on the NASDAQ.

Upon joining Virginia Tech, Gandour was hired as chief of the chemistry department and helped modernize the department’s operations. He made computers available to all employees and established an internal information technology support team.

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

In the classroom, Gandour taught both undergraduate and graduate courses in organic chemistry, introduced the flipped classroom approach to teaching large classes, and developed an intensive writing course for chemistry majors. He was principal professor for five master’s theses and eight Ph.D. student theses. He also directed the research of nine postdocs and mentored 161 undergraduate research students.

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

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