Christy L. Haynes ’98

2013 Young Alumni Award

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Chemistry professor Christy Haynes is an oft-honored researcher whose Haynes Research Group at the University of Minnesota applies new methods in analytical chemistry to the fields of toxicology and immunology.

Haynes has helped develop the field of nanotoxicology, in which she investigates the environmental and biological impacts of newly engineered nanomaterials. Little study has been done on nanomaterials, which are used in thousands of products from electronics to suntan lotion to stain-resistant clothing.

Haynes began her research career in Professor Becky Hoye’s lab. She earned a PhD at Northwestern University, where she published 27 articles from her graduate work with chemist Richard Van Duyne. In 2005 Haynes began her independent research career at the University of Minnesota, where her research group now includes 16 graduate and undergraduate coworkers.

In 2012 Popular Science magazine named Haynes one of its “Brilliant 10” young scientists. She also received the American Chemical Society’s Nobel Laureate Signature Award, presented for the country’s most outstanding PhD thesis. Only one is given each year, and the citation is signed by every living Nobel laureate in chemistry. Her other awards include the National Science Foundation’s CAREER grant; a National Institute of Health’s New Innovator Award; the Joseph Black Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry; and an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship.

Haynes and her husband, Charles Burdick ’99, have two children, and their commitment to the next generation doesn’t stop there. Haynes has appeared on PBS’s Dragonfly TV science education program for kids. She organizes an annual Chemistry Day for urban families in St. Paul and has presented “Energy and U” shows to more than 9,000 children per year, encouraging them to consider science careers.