M. Christina White was born in Athens, Greece. She received a B.A. degree from Smith College in biochemistry working with Professor Stuart Rosenfeld. After a one-year stint in the Biology graduate program working with Professor Christian Anfinsen, she received her Ph. D. degree from Johns Hopkins University in chemistry working with Professor Gary Posner as an ACS pre-doctoral fellow. She was a NIH postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University with Professor Eric Jacobsen from 1999-2002 and is currently a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The White group aims to study and develop selective allylic and aliphatic C—H oxidation reactions for general use in organic synthesis. They have contributed novel palladium/sulfoxide and iron catalysts that functionalize C—H bonds under preparative conditions with predictable selectivities, even in complex molecule settings- without the requirement for directing groups. These reactions have provided insights into the physical organic properties of C—H bonds that govern their differential reactivity and have led to strategic advances synthesis.

Prof. White has been the recipient of numerous awards: Camille and Henry Dreyfus New Faculty Award (2002), NSF CAREER Award (2006), Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship (2008-2010), Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award (2008), Eli Lilly Grantee Award (2007), BMS Unrestricted “Freedom to Discover” Grant (2008), Pfizer Award for Creativity in Organic Chemistry (2008), Amgen Young Investigator Award (2008), AstraZeneca Excellence in Chemistry Award (2008), Abbott Young Investigator Award (2008), Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals New Investigator Award (2008), Roche Excellence in Chemistry Award (2009), and Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award (2009), Fellow of AAAS (2012), Royal Society of Chemistry, Merck Award (2013).