Research Chemist Spiro Alexandratos Named University Dean for Research

The City University of New York has named research chemist Dr. Spiro D. Alexandratos to be University Dean for Research, effective February 1, 2001. His appointment was recommended by Chancellor Matthew and approved by The CUNY Board of Trustees.

Dr. Alexandratos is currently Celanese Professor of Polymer Science at the University of Tennessee (Knoxville), an appointment he has held since 1981. He also holds the joint appointment of University of Tennessee/Oak Ridge National Laboratory Collaborating Scientist, which is the highest appointment within the sciences through a program between UT and the U.S. Department of Energy.

“The University Dean will provide leadership and support as we build major areas of research strength and will be responsible for research development, including the identification of potential sources of funding and the development of large scale multi-campus external funding initiatives,” CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein said.

Dr. Alexandratos’ research has focused on the design of polymer-supported reagents that can be used in environmental remediation and in the preparation of pharmaceuticals through combinatorial chemistry techniques, an area of basic science that is important to both government and industry. He has been awarded $684,000 in research grants over the past three years alone from the Department of Energy.

One example of his work is a new ion exchange resin that was synthesized in the laboratory. He co-founded a company, Eichrom Industries, to manufacture and market the resin. $2 million worth of the resin is currently being used for water treatment and is being evaluated by other companies for the removal of toxic metal ions, including radionuclides, from their process streams.

Dr. Alexandratos and his research team won a Research & Development Award in an international competition with Diphonix, named as one of the 100 most technologically innovative products introduced in 1994. He received the University of Tennessee’s Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer for his work in developing patent rights for the university and establishing methods to protect the university’s intellectual property rights.

Dr. Alexandratos earned his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley and his Bachelor of Science from Manhattan College. He was a Senior Research Chemist at the Rohm and Haas Company for four years before joining the University of Tennessee in order to teach and pursue his own research.

His research on polymer-supported reagents has been the subject of nearly 100 publications and numerous invited presentations. He serves as co-chairman of the 2001-2002 Tenth International Symposium on Polymer-Supported Reagents in Organic Chemistry. He was a member of the International Advisory Boards for the Eighth International Symposium on Polymer-Supported Reagents in Organic Chemistry and the Ninth International Symposium on Polymer-Based Technology over the past three years. He was also elected chairman of the American Chemical Society’s Division of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry and Subdivision of Separation Science and Technology.

As University Dean for Research at The City University of New York, he will play a major role in the Chancellor’s strategic plan to create a flagship environment, which allows the University and the individual colleges to build new levels of excellence and prominence in selected areas. He will also provide oversight for CUNY’s research support programs, including the Office of Technology, Licensing Management and Support; the Office of Research Development, the Graduate Research and Technology Initiative; and the Collaborative Incentive Awards Program. He intends to continue active research in addition to his administrative responsibilities.