Origin Stories: Daniel Mindiola (Video)

The Brush Family Professor of Chemistry on being raised in a bilingual home, his journey from Venezuela to Michigan to MIT, and the importance of mentors.

Origin Stories is a feature of OMNIA in which we highlight the journeys of members of our faculty as they followed their paths from impressionable young students to world-class scholars working at the cutting edge of their fields.

As the child of a Venezuelan father and an American mother, Daniel Mindiola enjoyed the “best of both cultures” growing up in Venezuela. After moving to the United States while in high school, Mindiola attended Michigan State University and discovered his passion for chemistry while working in the lab of Kim R. Dunbar, who allowed him to join her research group as an undergraduate. He would also find mentorship in graduate school at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and at the University of Chicago, where he was a post-doctoral fellow. Mindiola is an internationally recognized inorganic chemist whose research focuses on the design and assembly of reactive metal complexes of early metals and their role in unusual transformations, such as the conversion of natural gas, to more value-added materials with zero emissions and under mild conditions. He is the Brush Family Professor of Chemistry and Graduate Chair in the Department of Chemistry and a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His numerous awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Presidential Early Career Award from the National Science Foundation.