Malcolm D. E. Forbes
Malcolm D. E. Forbes was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and raised in western Massachusetts. He completed his university training at the University of Illinois at Chicago, receiving a double major B.S. degree in Chemistry and Mathematics there in 1983. He undertook doctoral studies at the University of Chicago, working on the study of unstable spin-polarized biradicals. In 1988, Dr. Forbes was awarded a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, which he used to work with Nathan Lewis at the California Institute of Technology on interfacial charge transfer kinetics at silicon/liquid junctions.
In July 1990, Dr. Forbes joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was promoted to the position of Professor of Chemistry in 1999. Professor Forbes has received a number of honors in addition to his 2007-2008 Fulbright Scholar award: the National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award (1993-1998), the John Charles Morrow Junior Faculty Development Award (1994), a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Foreign Fellowship Award (1998-1999), the 2000 Sir Harold Thomson Award from Elsevier. He is co–Chair of the 2008 Gordon Research Conference on Electron Donor–Acceptor Interactions.
Dr. Forbes’ research interests span a wide area of physical organic chemistry. His primary focus is studying free radical structure, dynamics and reactivity using a variety of magnetic resonance techniques. Current projects include the fundamentals of “spin chemistry,” the photodegradation and chain dynamics of polymers including acrylates and methacrylates, the degradation of UV protectants in human eye lenses, and the kinetics and mechanisms involved in the electron donor-acceptor chemistry of amino acids and other small biological molecules. Part of his Fulbright time in Russia will be devoted to writing a textbook on spin chemistry as there is currently no monograph describing the fundamental physical processes of such chemical reactions that is written specifically for graduate students beginning their research in this area.
Dr. Forbes lives in Chapel Hill with his wife Natalia, also a Ph.D. chemist, and sons Matt and Cameron. Together they enjoy swimming, traveling, and home improvement projects.