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Carnegie Mellon University
photo of James T. Hynes

James T. Hynes

Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry University of Colorado Boulder

James T. "Casey" Hynes, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Colorado Boulder and CNRS Director of Research Emeritus at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, was born in Miami Beach, Florida. He received an A.B. from Catholic University, his Ph.D. from Princeton with John Deutch, and an NIH postdoctoral fellowship at MIT with Irwin Oppenheim. He then joined the University of Colorado, Boulder faculty in 1971. Since 1999, he has also been a CNRS Director of Research at ENS in Paris.

Hynes' research has focused on the theory of chemical reactions—and allied phenomena such as solvation dynamics and vibrational energy transfer—in solution, at interfaces, and for biomolecular systems. Several highlights include the Grote-Hynes theory for chemical reaction rates and the jump model for water and aqueous solutions. Other contributions include theory for nucleophilic substitutions, proton and electron transfer reactions, interfacial reactions important for the "Ozone Hole" and the origin of life in the Interstellar Medium, dynamical effects in enzyme catalysis, photochemical isomerization, catalyzed water oxidation and carbon dioxide reduction, and intercalation of anti-cancer drugs into DNA.

Hynes has been a visiting professor at Toronto, Oxford, Barcelona, Paris and Harvard, and has held Sloan and Guggenheim fellowships, among others. He has received the Hirschfelder Prize in Theoretical Chemistry and the ACS Hildebrand Award in the Theoretical and Experimental Chemistry of Liquids, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.