Born in Jerusalem, Dr. Abu-Omar received his bachelor's of science degree (summa cum laude) in chemistry from Hampden-Sydney College, Virginia, and his Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from Iowa State University. As a professor, he directs a research program aimed at developing metal catalysts for renewable energy and environmental applications. He also studies folding dynamics of metalloproteins relating to disease. He joined the department of chemistry at Purdue University in 2003 and is a member of the executive advisory board of the Energy Center. In 2008, he was named University Faculty Scholar. Dr. Abu-Omar is the author or co-author of 70 original research papers published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.