St. Louis Section of the American Chemical Society


Joseph Ackerman

portrait: Joseph and Brenda Ackerman

Joseph and Brenda Ackerman. Joe is in the 2015-2017 Chair Succession

2017 Immediate Past Chair

Contact Information

Joseph J H Ackerman, PhD, is the William Greenleaf Eliot Professor, Department of Chemistry at Washington University in Saint Louis. Resident at WU for the past 35 years, Ackerman was Chair of Chemistry for 22 years. He holds joint appointments in the departments of Radiology and Internal Medicine of the WU School of Medicine, is Chief of the Biomedical Magnetic Resonance Laboratory at Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, and is Director of the Small-animal Cancer Imaging Core of the Alvin J Siteman Cancer Center.

Ackerman received his undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Boston University, served in the US Navy, and received his graduate degree from Colorado State University. As an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, he worked in the Biochemistry Department laboratory of George Radda and Rex Richards at the University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Ackerman is a Gold Medal awardee and Fellow of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM). He is a winner of the Saint Louis Award from the Saint Louis Section–ACS and the William Simpson Award for Excellence in Experimental Oncology from the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology and Oncology, Wayne State University. He is a Fellow of the Saint Louis Academy of Science.

Ackerman currently serves on the Boards of the ISMRM, the World Molecular Imaging Society (WMIS), the Dan Broida/Sigma-Aldrich Scholarship Foundation (as its President), and the Sigma-Aldrich (Charitable) Foundation. He is Associate Editor of the Journal of Magnetic Resonance, a position he has held for the past decade. Ackerman was Vice-chair in 2006 and Chair in 2008 of the In Vivo Magnetic Resonance Gordon Research Conference. He served on the Boards of the Academy of Molecular Imaging prior to its merger with the Society of Molecular Imaging to form the WMIS, and the Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, a predecessor society to the ISMRM.

Ackerman has trained and mentored numerous undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students, many of whom now hold senior positions in academe and industry. In addition to having oversight responsibilities for a laboratory whose members range from full professor to high school summer student, his own research efforts are broadly directed toward the development and implementation of MR imaging and spectroscopy techniques to provide a more complete understanding of the complex microstructure and governing biophysical, physiologic, and metabolic determinants of cells, tissues, and organisms in the intact, functioning state.

On a personal note, Ackerman is married to a patient, understanding, and supportive wife, Brenda, whose warm sense of humor and superb cooking skills have served to create a much needed refuge from the increasingly frenetic world of academics. He is proud of his two children, Joe and Stephanie, who have real jobs and have moved out of the house.