Professor Kay Brummond received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) in 1985. She carried out her graduate studies at UNL and the Pennsylvania State University, earning her Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Penn State in 1991. After two years as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Rochester, she accepted a faculty position in the Department of Chemistry at West Virginia University in 1993. She was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 1999 at WVU and held an adjunct Associate Professor position in the Department of Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences. She was honored by the Chemistry Department with the Outstanding Faculty Award in 1999. In 2001, Brummond joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh as an Associate Professor and was promoted to Professor in 2006. Brummond served as chair-elect and chair in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh from 2014 to 2017. Since 2017, she has served as the Associate Dean of Faculty for the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. She held a Visiting Professorship in the Department of Chemistry at MIT in 2008; a Visiting Professorship at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France in 2010; and a Visiting Fellow at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia in 2011.
Brummond’s research program focuses on the discovery, development, and mechanistic understanding of chemical reactions to overcome synthetic challenges posed by molecularly complex compounds. Her major contributions to science involve both thermal and transition-metal catalyzed cyclocarbonylation and cyclization reactions. Reactions emanating from her labs are valuable to the synthetic preparation of natural products and other bioactives, and constituted a major thrust of the University of Pittsburgh Chemical Methods and Library Development Center (UPCMLD), an NIH Center of Excellence (2002-2013). She and her coworkers have published over 100 journal articles, reviews, perspectives, and book chapters. Brummond has delivered over 200 invited lectures and symposia and her students and postdocs have presented over 60 conference posters at national meetings. Twenty-five graduate students have obtained Ph.D. and M.S. degrees under her direction and she has mentored over forty undergraduates and fifteen postdoctoral fellows.
Brummond has been honored with the 2021 ACS Award for Encouraging Women into Careers in the Chemical Sciences, the 2018 Chancellor’s Distinguished Public Service Award, a 2018 Provost’s Spotlight on Women Leaders, a 2015 American Chemical Society (ACS) Pittsburgh Award, the 2007 ACS Akron Section Award, the 2007 Carnegie Science Center Emerging Female Scientist Award, the 2005 Johnson & Johnson Focused Giving Award, and a 2003 Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award. In 2010, she was appointed as an ACS Fellow for demonstrated excellence and leadership in the chemical sciences and community. She was named the 2016 Diversity Catalyst Lecturer by the Open Chemistry Collaborative in Diversity Equity in recognition of her efforts to enhance their departmental climate for diversity and inclusion through inclusive policies, procedures and actions. She has been recognized in Chemical & Engineering News for her efforts to increase the representation of women among chemistry faculty at PhD-granting universities. She served as the Executive Director of the 45th National Organic Chemistry Symposium, the flagship meeting of the ACS-Division of Organic Chemistry. Since 2010 she has co-organized an annual workshop focused on accelerating reaction discovery through a multidisciplinary approach combining theory and experiment. She completed an eight-year term on the Board of Editors for the Corporation of Organic Synthesis, Inc. culminating in the editorship of Organic Synthesis, Volume 91 in 2015. Brummond is currently serving as a member of ACS Joint Board-Council Committee on Publications (JBCCP).
As an academic leader, Brummond champions strategies that are driven by an overarching goal to close Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion (DEI) gaps in the sciences. She has combined a bottom-up approach, as an active researcher training and mentoring the next generation of chemists, with a top-down approach, implementing DEI strategies at the departmental and school level, providing a far-reaching and powerful platform for broadening participation of underrepresented groups in STEM.