Missouri State University graduates can achieve greatness.
Dr. Lane Baker, ’99 alumnus of the chemistry department at Missouri State, serves as proof of this.
Baker recently received the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) Division of Analytical Chemistry 2021 Award in Electrochemistry.
He shares details of his awarded research and how his student experience at MSU helped shape his career success.
View the full list of 2021 Analytical Division Award Winners
Connecting with chemistry at MSU
Baker was raised on a farm in central Missouri. He attended MSU as first-generation student.
Working directly with faculty in the chemistry program on research exposed him to all the field could offer.
“I went into the program simply knowing that I liked science,” Baker said. “I never expected to find the sciences held so many career opportunities.”
Furthering knowledge of the field
Baker pursued the career of a chemistry professor himself. He now serves in the role at Indiana University Bloomington.
The position allows him to expose graduate students to the opportunities available in the sciences he first encountered at MSU.
“I feel lucky to take on the adventure of teaching and performing research with graduate students,” Baker said. “Training these students to be problem solvers is the most rewarding aspect of my job.”
His group’s research awarded by ACS centered on nanoscale electrochemistry. The work provides key insight related to bioanalytical and materials science.
“We used imaging to capture the movement of ions and molecules at ultrasmall scales,” he said.
Understanding how these particles move through the body leads to greater understanding of health and disease. The team also built instruments to measure these small molecules in novel ways.
Learn more about Baker’s research
Reaching success as students
Baker may study the small scales of chemistry. But building his career has taught him the value of gaining exposure to the larger field.
“Having perspective of chemistry outside the classroom alone can be key to attracting employers. It can also help students place in post-secondary education programs,” Baker said. “I would recommend more than anything that students look for summer research, internships and technical roles to broaden their horizons.”
Chemistry students at MSU can expect their horizons to be bright, Baker shares.
“Completing any program can be tough,” Baker said,” but a degree in chemistry from MSU will open a lot of doors in the future.”