Established Main Group Chemist, Dr. Miguel Munoz, joins MSU Chemistry as Associate Professor

Image of Established Main Group Chemist, Dr. Miguel Munoz, joins MSU Chemistry as Associate Professor

Dr. Munoz received his BSc Degree in Chemistry (1992) and his Ph.D. Degree in Chemistry with honors (1997) from the National Autonoumus University of Mexico (UNAM) under the guidance of Prof. Raymundo Cea developing Main Group complexes of As and Sb.  During his Ph.D. studies, he trained as a graduate research fellow at the University of Victoria under Prof. Stephen Stobart.  Dr. Munoz then accepted a Postdoctoral Fellowship (1998) at North Dakota State University (including a lab move to the University of Kentucky) with Prof. David Atwood concerning the design and synthesis of Al and Ga complexes and their use as catalysts for oxirane polymerization.

Dr. Munoz then joined the faculty of the Center of Chemical Research at the Autonomous University of Morelos in Mexico (1999) as Research-Professor (U.S. Assistant Professor equivalent).  In 2010 he was promoted to Professor-Investigador Titular C (U.S. full Professor with Tenure equivalent) where he remains today administering a very productive laboratory exploring Main Group Complexes and their catalytic activity for a range of important polymerization and other industrially relevant reactions.  In addition, he was Visiting Professor at the Laboratory of Coordination Chemistry at Toulouse, France working with Prof. Michel Etienne (2012).

Miguel has contributed exciting new chemistry toward the synthesis and applications of Main Group complexes with particular attention to targets for the important topic of sustainable materials chemistry, including polymerization of renewable resource monomers such as lactides.  Other areas of interest include Diels-Alder catalysts, metallic chalcongenides, and building blocks for supramolecular coordination polymers.  “Miguel brings a rich and diverse array of chemistry to our program which will no doubt be highly competitive and collaborative to our program.”, says Prof. Edwin Webster, inorganic and computational chemistry expert at MSU and Associate Head of Chemistry.

Dr. Munoz has co-authored 81 refereed publications, graduated six Ph.D., six M.S., and ten BSc. students.  He serves on the Scientific and Technological Council of CONACY-Mexico and he is a member of the National System of Researchers (SNI-Mexico, Level 3 out of 3).  Dr. Munoz has enjoyed continuous funding throughout his career including two USA collaborative funded grants, namely, an UCMexUS grant with Professor Phillip P. Power (UC Davis), and an NSF-CIAM grant with Professor Abdessadek Lachgar (Wake Forest University).

In addition to his accomplishments as an international researcher, Miguel joins his wife and children (2018 MSU Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Dr. Virginia Montiel-Palma) and immediately establishes an invaluable team for the promotion of our Department and graduate program to students and collaborators from Mexico and other Spanish speaking countries.

Prof. Dennis Smith, Head of Chemistry states, “Dr. Munoz represents an immediate impact in teaching and research maturity with demonstrated success in mentoring students and faculty.  His teaching experience alone is a much needed drop-in for Main Group and catalyst chemistry not represented currently and his polymerization expertise is a special gift to our materials chemistry programs.”

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