Monday, November 7, 2016

Tarr Named Eurofins Professor of Analytical Chemistry

Matt TarrThe University of New Orleans and Eurofins Scientific, Inc. have announced that Matthew Tarr has been named the Eurofins Professor of Analytical Chemistry. The endowed professorship will help drive a curriculum aimed at preparing biotechnology students for productive careers in the bioanalytical arena. The professorship will be funded by Eurofins and matching state funds.

Tarr is the first to hold this position at UNO and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role. The professorship continues the collaboration between UNO and Eurofins, which are working jointly to create a trained laboratory workforce, well-suited for the burgeoning demand for qualified scientists involved in the analytical testing of food products.

Tarr is University Research Professor of chemistry and faculty fellow in UNO’s Advanced Materials Research Institute. He served as chair of the chemistry department from 2009-2015. He started at the University of New Orleans in 1995 after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the Environmental Protection Agency in Athens, Ga. He holds a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from Georgia Tech.

Tarr conducts research in analytical chemistry, environmental chemistry, free radical oxidation of biomolecules, and synthesis and application of nanomaterials for biomarker detection and photocatalysis. He also coordinates outreach programs that provide research experiences for undergraduates, visiting international students, high school students and high school teachers.     

Recent reports show that the food testing industry has been a rapidly growing market over the last 10 years with regulations for food labeling and food safety continuing to drive this growth. This trend has steered food manufacturers to rely more heavily on third-party testing laboratories such as Eurofins for support on verifying the quality, safety and compliance of their products.

By the same token, the food industry has put pressure on these independent laboratories to deliver reliable results to meet these demands with laboratory competence being the most important attribute of the service required by food companies. With this in mind, the collaboration between UNO and Eurofins aims to provide a creative response to the escalating need for well-trained scientists prepared to make meaningful contributions to this industry.

“Through the generosity and support of Michael and Judith Russell and Eurofins, the University of New Orleans has developed a very successful internship and scholarship program in collaboration with Eurofins,” said Steve Johnson, dean of the College of Sciences. “Undergraduate students work during the summer and the school year gaining invaluable, real-life working experience in cutting-edge analytical chemistry. This endowed professorship further deepens our relationship with Eurofins and will ensure that our students are receiving outstanding instruction and skills that will serve them well in the job market.”

John Reuther, president of Eurofins Central Analytical Laboratories said, “Dr. Tarr is an outstanding choice to head this program, with his extensive research in the area of analytical chemistry and the leadership that he has demonstrated over the years in the scientific community. To date, UNO has been an excellent partner for Eurofins since our company moved into the UNO Research and Technology Park. The interns and graduates that we hire from their science programs integrate well into our systems, and they have greatly contributed to the success and record-breaking growth of our laboratory here in New Orleans. All in all, we believe that this relationship will continue to pay dividends for Eurofins, UNO and their students, and the city of New Orleans.”

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Matthew Tarr
University of New Orleans Department of Chemistry