Dr. Gregory H. Robinson
The formative years of Gregory H. Robinson, a native of Anniston, Alabama, were dramatically influenced by his attendance of an under-funded, over-crowded, racially segregated elementary school. Sixteen years after the landmark 1954 Supreme Court decision ending the “separate-but-equal” doctrine, Robinson began attending a racially integrated middle school in Calhoun County. Robinson was both an honor student and exceptional athlete at Alexandria High School. As a standout in basketball, football, and baseball, Robinson ultimately earned a football scholarship to Jacksonville State University (Jacksonville, AL). Robinson obtained his B.S. in Chemistry (1980) from Jacksonville State University, while he was also a member the Gamecock football team. He collected numerous gridiron accolades while at Jacksonville State including earning All-Gulf South Conference honors, Gulf South Conference Defensive Player of the Year, and UPI All-American-Honorable Mention honors. Robinson was elected to the Calhoun County Sports Hall of Fame in 2016.
Robinson (#57), at linebacker, during a 1979 JSU football game.
Robinson pursued graduate school in Chemistry at The University of Alabama, where he studied synthetic inorganic chemistry under the guidance of Professor Jerry L. Atwood (now Curators’ Professor of Chemistry at the University of Missouri). Upon receiving his Ph.D. in Chemistry (1984) Dr. Robinson joined the faculty of Clemson University (1985) and developed a productive research program emphasizing the organometallic chemistry of the group 13 metals. A decade later Professor Robinson joined the faculty of The University of Georgia (1995), and now holds the title Foundation Distinguished Professor of Chemistry.
Professor Robinson’s research, involving the synthesis, structure, and reactivity of unusual main group molecules, has been described as provocatively innovative. Research highlights include experimental realization of the concept of “metalloaromaticity”—the proposition that metallic ring systems can exhibit traditional benzene-based aromatic behavior (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1995, 117, 7578), synthesis of the first compound possessing a gallium-gallium triple bond (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1997, 119, 5471), synthesis of the first compound containing a boron-boron double bond—the first “diborene” (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2007, 127, 12412), and carbene-stabilization of disilicon (Science 2008, 321, 1069). Recent research accomplishments include carbene-stabilization of elusive silicon oxides (Nature Chem. 2015, 7, 509)—in layman’s terms this work is a major step toward the realization of “molecular sand”, a century’s old quest in chemistry.
Professor Robinson has received numerous awards including the Southern Chemist Award (1998), the Herty Medal (2008), the Humboldt Research Prize (2012), the F. Albert Cotton Award in Synthetic Inorganic Chemistry (2013), and the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Faculty Achievement Award (2014). In 2017, Professor Robinson was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC). Professor Robinson is also a recipient of the Lamar Dodd Creative Research Award (2010)—the highest research award of The University of Georgia. In 2021, Professor Robinson has received the prestigious honor of being elected to the National Academy of Sciences.
B.S., Jacksonville State University, 1980
Ph.D., University of Alabama, 1984
Foundation Distinguished Professor of Chemistry
Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry
Member of the National Academy of Sciences
2018 State of the University Highlights
2018 State of the University Highlights (0:56)