Hanna Reisler grew up in Israel and obtained her B.S. and M.S. degrees from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. After receiving her Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, she was a postdoctoral fellow with Prof. John Doering at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. She then worked for several years as a group leader at the Soreq Nuclear Research Center in Israel, and as a researcher at USC with Prof. Curt Wittig. She was appointed as Associate Professor of Chemistry in 1987 and promoted to Professor in 1991. Her research interests are in the area of chemical reaction dynamics of molecules, free radicals and ions important in the atmosphere and in the solar system, and her group uses a variety of sophisticated laser and imaging techniques in these studies. She is the author of about170 scientific publications and book chapters. She won the NSF Faculty Award for Women Scientists and Engineers in 1991, a Max Planck Research Award in 1994, and the Broida Prize of the American Physical Society in 2005. In 1996 she was elected Fellow of the American Physical Society. She has organized scientific meetings, served on numerous review panels, and has served as Chair of the Chemistry Department. In 2002 she was appointed the first holder of the Lloyd Armstrong Jr. Chair in Science and Engineering partly in recognition of her efforts to advance the careers of women in science and engineering.
Mentoring and teaching are very important to Hanna. In 2000, she was one of the founders of the comprehensive Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) program at USC, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in May 2010 ( Learn More ). She is still serving as Chair of the WiSE Advisory Board and the coordinator of the WiSE faculty network group. Since 2008 she has served as Director for Faculty Development in USC College. She also served on the USC committee on Work and Family Life, as a member, of the Mellon Mentoring Forum, and as a mentor in USC's FUELS (Female Undergraduates Educating and Leading in Science) -- a WiSE supported organization. For her mentoring activities she received in 2007 the USC Remarkable Women Award ( Learn More ) and the Mellon Mentoring Award for faculty-to-faculty mentoring ( Learn More ). In 2010 she was chosen to receive the Provost's Mentoring Award for her mentoring activities with students and faculty ( Learn More ).
In addition to teaching graduate classes, Hanna has taught Freshman Chemistry almost every year since appointed at USC. Her passion is to introduce students not only to the fundamentals of chemistry and its applications but also to the beauty and excitement of scientific research and the scientific method. She encourages undergraduate students to engage in research early on and has hosted numerous undergraduates in her lab.