Just graduated with a Ph.D. in Chemistry last December, Irene Abia’s education in the Chemistry Department at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville is truly fruitful. After winning ACS Young Chemistry Award last July, Abia has been recently appointed as an associate to the Committee on Younger Chemists (YCC).
YCC is a committee at the highest level of governance in ACS. It helps formulate policy that impacts, in particular, younger members of the society. Professor David Baker, Abia’s metor, is very proud of her. “Such an important appointment is a testament to Irene’s qualities shown by participation and leadership at ACS and related meetings.” Baker said.
Abia was born in Buea, Cameroon. After graduating from Bilingual Grammar School Buea in 1997, she attended the University of Buea and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry. In 2003, she enrolled in the Medical University of Southern Africa, South Africa where she obtained an Honors Bachelor degree in Chemistry. From 2003 to 2006, she went on to study at the University of Pretoria, South Africa where she conducted research with Professor Kobus Eloff earning a Master’s degree in Medicinal Chemistry. In the fall of 2006, she moved to the United States and joined the research group of Professor David C. Baker at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, where she was conducting research in the synthesis of carbohydrates.
After graduation, Abia did not waste her time at all. She’s expected to join the Chemistry Department at the University of Mississippi this month as Teaching Assistant Professor of Chemistry.