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Charles Machan (muh-hahn) was born in Madison, WI and grew up in Wauwatosa, WI where he attended Marquette University High School before going to Washington University in St. Louis (WashU). While at WashU he played football for four years as a defensive tackle and majored in Chemistry and German (B.A. 2008). Charles attended Northwestern University for graduate school and completed a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry (2012) under the supervision of Chad A. Mirkin. At Northwestern he served as President of the Alpha Gamma Chapter of Phi Lambda Upsilon, a co-ed chemistry honors fraternity, and received the Edmund W. Gelewitz Award for Outstanding Senior Graduate Student (2012). From 2013-2016 he was a postdoctoral researcher with Clifford P. Kubiak at the University of California, San Diego.

Charles joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Virginia in 2016 as an Assistant Professor. Since 2022, he has been an Associate Professor in the Department, where his research program currently receives funding from NSF and DOE. He received the Bessel Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung in 2024.

In his spare time Charles enjoys hiking with his wife Amanda, his children Harriet, Georgia and Douglas, and their very active Brittany pups Tucker and Reggie, as well as brewing beer and skiing. Walter the cat prefers to stay at home where he can be found sleeping in drawers on clean clothes.