Professor Kovacs received her Ph.D. from Harvard with Richard Holm and was the recipient of a UC President's postdoctoral fellowship to work at UC Berkeley with Robert Bergman. She joined the faculty in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Washington in 1988, where she is currently a full Professor. She is the recipient of the 2023 Franklin Award at Stony Brook, was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2022, served as Chair of the American Chemical Society’s Division of Inorganic Chemistry in 2020, and Chaired the Metals in Biology Gordon Research conference in 2008. She has been ~continuously funded by the NIH since 1992 raising millions of dollars for research on the UW campus. Kovacs invitations to present Plenary and Keynote lectures at international conferences reflects her standing in the bioinorganic community. Kovacs’ research focusses on the role of iron thiolates in promoting the biosynthesis of biomolecules important to human health. Lively conversations with her father, a theoretical physicist, sparked her interest in science at a very young age. Other than science, Professor Kovacs has a passion for coffee, yoga, meditation, hiking, biking, and snorkeling!
- Dedushko, M. A.; Greiner, M. B.; Downing, A. N.; Coggins, M. K.; *Kovacs, J. A. “Electronic Structure and Reactivity of Dioxygen-Derived Aliphatic Thiolate-Ligated Fe-Peroxo and Fe(IV) Oxo Compounds.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2022,144, 8515-8528
- Toledo, S.; Poon, P. C. Y.; Gleaves, M.; Rees, J. A.; Kaminsky, W.; *Kovacs, J. A. “Increasing Reactivity by Incorporating pi-Acceptor Ligands into Coordinatively Unsaturated Thiolate-Ligated Iron(II) Complexes” Inorg. Chim. Acta. 2021, 524, 12042.
- Dedushko, M.; Pikul, J.; *Kovacs, J. A. “Superoxide Oxidation by a Thiolate-Ligated Iron Complex and Anion Inhibition” Inorg. Chem. 2021, 60, 7250-7261
- Downing, A. N.; Poon, P. C. Y.; Coggins, M. K.; *Kovacs, J. A. “Influence of Thiolate versus Alkoxide Ligands on the Stability of Crystallographically Characterized Mn(III)-Alkylperoxo Complexes.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2021, 143, 6104-6113. (featured in JACS Select)
- Blakely, M. N.; Dedushko, M.; Poon, P. C. Y.; Villar-Acevedo, G.; *Kovacs, J. A. “Formation of a Reactive, Alkyl Thiolate-Ligated FeIII-Superoxo Intermediate Derived from Dioxygen.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 1867-1870
- Dedushko, M.; Schweitzer, D.; Blakely, M. N.; Swartz, R. D.; Kaminsky, W.; *Kovacs, J. A. “Geometric and Electronic Structure of a Crystallographically Characterized Thiolate-Ligated Binuclear Peroxo-Bridged Cobalt(III) Complex” J. Biol. Inorg. Chem. 2019, 24, 919-926
- Poon, P. C. Y.; Dedushko, M. A.; Sun, X.; Yang, G.; Toledo, S.; Hayes, E. C.; Johansen, A. L.; Piquette, M. C.; Rees, J. A.; Stoll, S.; *Rybak-Akimova, E.; *Kovacs, J. A. “How Metal Ion Lewis Acidity and Steric Properties Influence the Barrier to Dioxygen Binding, Peroxo O-O Bond Cleavage, and Reactivity.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 15046-15057
- Fellowships, Awards & Honors: Faculty, Staff & Postdocs - September 12, 2022
- Kovacs and Stoll elected as AAAS Fellows - January 26, 2022
- Zack Herbst wins Partner in Safety Award from UW EH&S - January 11, 2022
- Julie Kovacs elected Chair of the ACS Division of Inorganic Chemistry - April 18, 2019