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Chemist Chang Named LORD Distinguished Scholar

The NC State Memorial Belltower

The College of Sciences has named Wei-chen Chang, associate professor in the Department of Chemistry, as the Thomas Lord, LORD Corporation Distinguished Scholar at NC State. The distinguished professorship was made possible thanks to a gift from LORD Corporation.

Chang joined the NC State faculty in 2016. He takes an interdisciplinary approach to research, incorporating bioorganic chemistry, bioinorganic chemistry and enzymology to tackle challenges in the field of metalloenzyme catalysis. Chang’s research focuses on comprehending the mechanisms of enzymes involved in natural product biosynthesis in order to develop chemo-enzymatic routes to essential compounds. Currently, he is building upon the molecular understanding of the enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of isonitrile-containing peptides found in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, with the end goal of preparing potential molecules to fight tuberculosis. 

Wei-chen Chang
Wei-chen Chang

At NC State, Chang has secured more than $3 million of external funding to support his research — including a single investigator grant from the National Institutes of Health — and published 24 peer-reviewed articles and four book chapters. He was named an American Chemical Society 2020 Academic Young Investigator in the Division of Organic Chemistry and received the Goodnight Early Career Innovator Award in 2022. In 2019, the National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded Chang a Faculty Early Career Development Award, also known as an NSF CAREER Award. 

Chang received his bachelor’s degree in agricultural chemistry from National Taiwan University. He earned his doctorate in medicinal chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin and completed postdoctoral work at Pennsylvania State University.

The LORD Corporation endowments were established in the College of Sciences by LORD Corporation, a diversified technology and manufacturing company headquartered in Cary, N.C. The Thomas Lord endowment is named for the son of the company’s founder, Hugh C. Lord, to recognize outstanding scholarship and leadership in teaching and research. The company is now a subsidiary of Parker Hannifin.

This post was originally published in College of Sciences News.