He graduated in Chemistry from the Wesleyan University in 1983 and completed his PhD in 1987 from the University of California. Toman spent 27 years at the University of Minnesota, where he was “Distinguished McKnight University Professor” and Director of the Department of Chemistry, between 2009 and 2017. In 2018, he moved to the Washington University, where he is Professor of Chemistry. In addition, he is Editor-in-Chief of the magazine ACS (American Chemical Society) for Inorganic Chemistry.
His research group focuses on the use of synthetic chemistry to study the functioning of enzymes made up of copper, in order to develop new methods of preparing bio-renewable and sustainable polymers, having already more than 200 articles published in major magazines such as the American Chemical Society and American Association for the Advancement of Science.
He received several awards, including the Research Award, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (2004), Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Award (2004), Charles E. Bowers Teaching Award (2012), the American Chemical Society Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Inorganic Chemistry (2017).