The department is pleased to announce that Dr. Elizabeth Papish will join the faculty as an associate professor in August. Dr. Papish’s research interests are focused on the design and application of bio-inspired metal catalysts for organic transformations.
More than 13,000 graduate students applied for the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Seven of those selected represented The University of Alabama, three of those have ties to the College of Arts and Sciences, and one — Jordyn L. Johnson — is a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry.
Jordyn Johnson, originally from Chattanooga, Tenn., studies the regulatory mechanism of the enzyme alpha-isoproplymalate synthase in the lab of Dr. Patrick Frantom, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry. This enzyme serves as a model system for the study of allosteric regulation, where enzyme activity is regulated by the reversible binding of an effector molecule. Regulatory mechanisms such as this allow organisms to respond to changes in their environments. A deeper understanding of these regulatory mechanisms would impact the growing fields of allosteric therapeutics and allosteric biosensors. While an undergraduate student at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Johnson participated in the NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates program at UA where she began work on this project with Frantom.
Awards are up to $121,500 per fellowship and come with annual stipends to be used for research-based graduate studies. Fellowships were awarded to 2,000 students, about 15 percent of those who applied. According to the NSF, the Graduate Research Fellowship Program is part of its overall strategy to develop a globally engaged workforce necessary to ensure the nation’s leadership in advancing science and engineering research and innovation.
Congratulations to the chemistry students receiving degrees at the May commencement ceremony:
- Mier An - Inhibition of an E. Coli Glycosylase, MutM, by Non-Native Metals
Advisor: Dr. Laura Busenlehner
- Franchessa Maddox Sayler - Synthesis and Appilcation of Hierarchically Porous Metal and Metal Oxide Monolithic Materials
Advisor: Dr. Martin Bakker
- Preethi Vennam - Study of Semiquinone Intermediate in Cyctochrome bc1 Complex
Advisor: Dr. Michael Bowman
- Mier An - Inhibition of an E. Coli Glycosylase, MutM, by Non-Native Metals
- ACS-certified BS
- Jeremy Scott Archer, summa cum laude
- Daviod C. Beretta
- Johan Hendrik Both, magna cum laude
- Karson S. Brooks, summa cum laude
- Samuel J. Dotson, summa cum laude
- Nicholas J. Izor, cum laude
- Landon R. Mueller, magna cum laude
- Qunton E. Shockley
- Stephen A. Walker, summa cum laude
- Sarah K. Adams, magna cum laude
- Margaret G. Apperson, summa cum laude
- Andrew J. Mills, IV, cum laude
- Neil Patel
- Francisco D. Paulino, cum laude
- Alexandria C. Sims, cum laude
- Jason R. Snider
Congratulations to the chemistry students who received awards at the UA Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Conference.
Sergei Wallace (Rogers) received second place in the A&S Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NSM) Division Oral presentation competition.
Karson Brooks (Pan) placed third in the A&S NSM poster competition.
UA Chemistry Department to Host STEM Diversity Awareness Conference
The University of Alabama’s chemistry department will host a day-long symposium featuring research contributions of faculty who are traditionally underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
The Saturday, April 27, symposium will be held from 10 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. in 1093 Shelby Hall.
The event’s goal is to “to increase the appreciation of diversity, to encourage students from diverse backgrounds to pursue education in fields in which women and minorities have traditionally been underrepresented, and to strengthen professional and scientific relationships within the region,” according to its website.
The symposium also seeks to open a dialogue on recruitment and retention of under-represented groups. Panel discussions will highlight educational and mentoring support, advantages of a graduate education and research and educational opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.
Undergraduate students conducting research or science, technology, engineering or mathematics-related outreach efforts are encouraged to present posters at the symposium detailing their work.
Registration is free and details are available at the conference’s website, as.ua.edu/chemdiversityconf.
The event, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the UA College of Arts and Sciences and its department of chemistry, is organized by Dr. Laura Busenlehner, UA assistant professor of chemistry, with assistance from Dr. Carolyn Cassady, UA professor of chemistry, and Dr. Patrick Frantom, UA assistant professor of chemistry. [MORE]
Dr. Robert H. Grubbs won the 2005 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his ground-breaking research in developing new compounds with commercial applications. This April, Grubbs visited with students and faculty in the Department of Chemistry.
Grubbs gave a public lecture, “Bugs, Windmills, and Victoria’s Secret: Fundamental Science to Commercial Products,” on Friday, April 19, 2013, at 3:30 p.m. in 1004 Shelby Hall on the UA campus.
Grubb’s visit was the 2013 Arduengo Lecture in Physical Organic and Main Group Element Chemistry and part of the College of Arts and Sciences Leadership Board Nobel Lectureship Series.
Grubbs, the Victor and Elizabeth Atkins Professor of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology, is known for his work in alkene metathesis, a reaction which allows chemists to selectively break certain bonds in molecules and then reassemble the pieces into new molecules. In this way, a molecule can be custom-built with specialized properties. Commercial applications of this method include more efficient preparations of drugs for the treatment of disease and better electrical conducting properties for specialized plastics.
In 1978, Grubbs joined the California Institute of Technology where he began his independent research career by investigating mechanisms of the then-obscure reaction called olefin metathesis, which had been reported separately by Giulio Natta (1963 Nobel Prize) and researchers at DuPont and Phillips Petroleum. His original research eventually led to commercialization of chemical reactions that provided for more durable baseball bats, ballistic shields, and bathroom fixtures and to the commercial preparation of pharmaceuticals and applications in medical diagnostics and materials science.
In addition, Grubbs’ technology enabled the conversion of bulk biorenewable organic compounds into fuels and commodity chemicals. He is now pioneering clever applications of olefin metathesis reactions. His recent investigations include the synthesis of insect pheromones as environmentally friendly pest control agents, the construction of polymeric vapor sensing devices, the preparations of customized lenses and treatments for various ocular disorders, biomedical adhesives and thin films, and drug delivery and molecular imaging agents.
A catalyst developed by Grubbs featured characteristics that were similar to those first prepared by Dr. Anthony J. “Bo” Arduengo III, Saxon Professor of Chemistry at UA. On the faculty of the Department of Chemistry since 1999, Arduengo continues to pioneer research in the areas of main group element chemistry, physical and synthetic organic chemistry, unusual valence structures, carbenes, and materials chemistry. These discoveries by both Grubbs and Arduengo have been commercialized and manufacturers have adopted the technologies for a wide range of practical applications.