Professor Dunbar received her Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from Purdue University in 1984 with
Professor Richard A. Walton and carried out postdoctoral research at Texas A&M University from 1985-86 under the direction of the late F. Albert Cotton. She joined the Texas A&M chemistry faculty in 1999 after being a faculty member at Michigan State University from 1987-1999 where she was served as University Distinguished Professor from 1998-1999. In 2004, she was named a Davidson Professor of Science at Texas A&M University and a joint holder of the Davidson Chair in Science, meriting particular distinction as the first female chair holder in the history of the College of Science.
Kim Dunbar's research in synthetic and structural inorganic chemistry, recently funded by the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, the American Chemical Society-Petroleum Research Fund and the Welch Foundation, is focused on the application of coordination chemistry principles to the solution of diverse problems ranging from new magnetic and conducting materials to anticancer agents.
Major professional honors include an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship, a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, and Fellowships in the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Institute of Chemists. She received a Distinguished Alumna Award from her graduate alma mater Purdue University in 2004 and her undergraduate institution Westminster College in 2000.
She serves her profession as Associate Editor of Inorganic Chemistry and is past Secretary and Chair of the American Chemical Society's Division of Inorganic Chemistry. She has mentored over 60 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers and has worked with over 30 undergraduates. She frequently hosts visiting professors and scholars from all over the world and collaborates extensively with colleagues from Europe and Asia as well as North America.
Dr. Dunbar was recently recognized by Texas A&M University with the inaugural Graduate Mentoring Award from The Association of Former Students at Texas A&M University in 2006. She is the author of over 280 research publications and 16 book chapters or reviews.