Associate Professor Mary Kraft named Schaefer Faculty Scholar


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Mary L. Kraft, Associate Professor in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, has been named a Robert W. Schaefer Faculty Scholar, a position established by the late Robert Schaefer, a chemical engineering alumnus.

Associate Professor Mary L. Kraft
Associate Professor Mary L. Kraft

Kraft investigates bioimaging, drug delivery, single cell analysis, and multivariate statistics. Her research group is developing new approaches in which compositional signatures acquired from individual cells are used to understand and predict biological function. They use these techniques for applied research, such as detecting stem cell differentiation for tissue engineering, and for basic research on the roles of plasma membrane organization in influenza virus replication and other important biological processes.

“Besides exciting science and method development, Kraft is a suburb teacher and advisor,” said Jonathan Sweedler, director of the School of Chemical Sciences and James R. Eiszner Family Chair of the Department of Chemistry. She was a recipient of the Engineering Council Award for Excellence in Advising and received a 2015 SCS faculty teaching award. In addition, chemical engineering students and the Engineering Council’s Advisors List Selection Committee chose Kraft as one of the top 10 percent of engineering advisors.

Kraft joined the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering faculty in 2007. She graduated with a B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1998 and earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2003. She was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University. The faculty scholar appointment is effective August 16, 2016.

Robert W. Schaefer graduated summa cum laude from Illinois in 1956. After earning his BS in Chemical Engineering, Schaefer served in the U.S. Navy. On release from the Navy, he joined Shell Chemical Company in Houston, Texas, followed by the Monsanto Company in St. Louis, where he spent 28 years. While with Monsanto, he worked in Food and Fine Chemicals, Rubber Chemicals, and on Roundup. He was part of the team which introduced L-Dopa, the breakthrough Parkinson’s Disease drug, to the marketplace.


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This story was published May 10, 2016.