Dr. Penny J. Gilmer is the Nancy Marcus Professor Emerita of Chemistry and
Biochemistry at Florida State University.

Dr. Gilmer was born in New Jersey and went to college at Douglass College, graduating as a chemistry major. Next she received her master's degree in organic chemistry from Bryn Mawr College (with research in enzymology at Haverford College) before relocating to University of California-Santa Barbara (where she did research on bio-organic chemistry). In 1972, she received her doctorate in biochemistry in fast reaction kinetics of the mechanism of a transaminase from the University of California-Berkeley. She then served as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University in biophysical chemistry and immunochemistry before accepting a faculty position at Florida State University (FSU). In 2004, Dr. Gilmer completed a second doctoral degree in science education from Curtin University of Technology in Western Australia (and her thesis was action research in a biochemistry class that she taught at FSU).

Dr. Gilmer arrived at Florida State as an Assistant Professor in 1977; was promoted to Associate Professor and tenured in 1984; and subsequently was promoted to Professor in 1996. Gilmer served as Associate Chairperson of Chemistry and Biochemistry for two years and as Interim Associate Dean of Arts & Sciences for one year, all at FSU. She retired at the end of June 2010 and as of July 2010 is the Nancy Marcus Professor Emerita of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Since retirement, she has been active as PI at FSU with the National Science Foundation-funded grant, the Alliance for the Advancement of Florida's Academic Women in Chemistry and Engineering (AAFAWCE). Additionally, Dr. Gilmer is a member of the research team for a three year grant funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences at the Center for Advancement of Learning and Assessment (CALA) at Florida State University.