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Wayne State University

Aim Higher

School of Medicine
A. Paul Schaap

A. Paul Schaap, Ph.D.

A. Paul Schaap, Ph.D., graduated from Hope College in 1967 with a major in chemistry and received a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Harvard University in 1970. He joined the at Wayne State University Department of Chemistry faculty that year and was promoted to professor in 1979. 

At WSU, Dr. Schaap received an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, the Gershenson Distinguished Faculty Fellowship, the Sigma Xi Faculty Research Award and the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. He also was elected to the Academy of Scholars. Dr. Schaap was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree by the university in 2010.

Dr. Schaap’s research focused on the study of dioxetanes – high-energy chemical compounds which can be triggered to generate chemiluminescence or light. Dr. Schaap formed Lumigen, Inc. in 1987 to commercialize the dioxetanes developed in his research laboratory. The dioxetanes are now distributed worldwide for use in medical diagnostics because of their sensitivity and stability as detection reagents. Lumigen, a Southfield, Mich., company, was acquired in 2006 by Beckman Coulter, Inc. Dr. Schaap retired from Lumigen in 2007.

Dr. Schaap continues to play an active role at WSU, including serving on boards of the Wayne State University Foundation, TechTown Detroit, C.S. Mott Center for Human Growth and Development, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the School of Medicine. He also is a member of the board of directors at Detroit Merit Academy, a K-8 charter school.

Dr. Schaap’s major contributions to the university have funded the construction of a new lecture hall and a four-story glass-enclosed atrium as part of the $76 million expansion and renovation of the chemistry building, now known as the A. Paul Schaap Chemistry Building and Lecture Hall, as well as the renovation of the Central Instrument Facility, now known as the Lumigen Instrument Center. Dr. Schaap and his wife Carol have funded an endowed chair in chemistry, graduate chemistry fellowships and the Schaap Faculty Scholars program in chemistry. They also contribute to the School of Medicine Board of Visitors Scholarship.