Marsha Lester named Editor of Journal of Chemical Physics

Marsha I. Lester, chair of the Chemistry Department at the University of Pennsylvania, has been named editor of The Journal of Chemical Physics, effective Jan. 1, 2009.

The Journal publishes reports of significant research in methods and applications of chemical physics, including innovative research in traditional areas such as spectroscopy, kinetics, statistical mechanics and quantum mechanics. In addition, emerging areas of research such as polymers, materials, surfaces and interfaces, information theory and systems of biological relevance are of increasing importance. The Journal is published by the American Institute of Physics.

Lester, a professor in the natural sciences, has received many honors and awards, including her 2008 election to Fellowship in the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Her research group at Penn has developed innovative methods for generating open-shell complexes between free radical and reactive partners, now known as "entrance channel complexes" and for stabilizing intermediates of key chemical reactions. Lester employs novel spectroscopic methods, including pump-probe and double resonance techniques, to rigorously characterize important, uncharted regions of chemical reaction pathways. Her pioneering experimental studies and closely coupled theoretical computations focus on reactions of the hydroxyl radical, the key initiator of oxidation chemistry in atmospheric and combustion environments.

"I see a wonderful opportunity to expand the reach of the Journal in interdisciplinary and emerging fields, in part, by adding new associate editors that complement existing strengths and engaging the community in the process of reinvigorating the journal," said Lester. "It will be exciting to interact with colleagues worldwide who are participating in the expansive and ever-changing field of chemical physics."

"Marsha Lester was recommended for editor-in-chief on the basis of her very substantial research accomplishments, her demonstrated leadership in the chemical physics community, and her obvious passion to further enhance The Journal of Chemical Physics," said W. Carl Lineberger, professor of chemistry at the University of Colorado at Boulder and chair of the editor search committee. "Her vision for the future and her obvious dedication to the Journal set her apart in a very distinguished field of candidates. The members of the search committee feel confident that the journal will thrive under her able leadership."