About Catalina Achim
Catalina Achim is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry. She grew up in Măcin, Romania, a city of ten thousand people on the board of the river Danube, about two hundred miles away from the Black Sea. The two thousand-year old Roman ruins of the city Arrubium can still be seen at the outskirts of Macin. Her parents, both middle school teachers, passed on to her the teaching genes, and both reluctantly and happily, let her follow up her pursuit of Chemistry wherever it took her. She holds a B.S./ M.S. from the Polytechnical Institute of Bucharest, Romania, and a Ph.D. from Carnegie Melon University, both in Chemistry. In 2001 she was hired back by her alma mater to serve as Professor in the Chemistry Department at Carnegie Mellon.
Her research interests lie in the way in which metal ions can change the course of nanotechnology for the better when used discerningly and rationally. In science jargon, graduate and undergraduate students in her lab identify ways in which transition metal ions can be placed in tens of nanometer structures based on nucleic acids to confer special electronic and magnetic properties to these structures.
In 2007, she founded DNAZone, the STEM outreach program of the Center of Nucleic Acids Science and Technology, with the goal of lowering the barriers to educational outreach for the researchers in the Center and to doing science experiments for K-12 students. DNAZone volunteers work yearly with tens of teachers to sow the seeds of interest in science hundreds of students in the Pittsburgh area. The generosity and the passion for education outreach of the CNAST students and faculty, the interest and excitement for science triggered by hands-on experiments in the K-12 students, and the dedication of science teachers and education administrators in schools in Allegheny County and at CMU have made the work in DNAZone easy and rewarding. To paraphrase Andrew Carnegieís core statement “My heart is in my work.”, “DNAZoneís educational work is at the outreach programís heart.”
Member of the American Chemical Society
Member of the Society for Biological Inorganic Chemistry
BS, 1988, University of Bucharest, Romania
About Catalina Achim