Chemistry and Biochemistry News


Abby Bartlett has been awarded the Phi Kappa Phi-Susan Stacy Entrenkin Yates Award.

Abby Bartlett has been awarded the Phi Kappa Phi-Susan Stacy Entrenkin Yates Award.


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Jessica Brooks has been selected as the inaugural recipient of the Frank Sturm Memorial Fellowship

Jessica Brooks has been selected as the inaugural recipient of the Frank Sturm Memorial Fellowship.


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Taylor Farmer has been awarded the 2016 Comer Award in Physical Sciences

Taylor Farmer has been awarded the 2016 Comer Award in Physical Sciences


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2016-2017 graduate student awardees

2016-2017 graduate student awardees Congratulations Emily, Manuel, Caroline and Nirmal!


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Dr. Peter Livant was chosen as the recipient of the 2015-2016 Student Government Association Faculty Member of the Year Award for the College of Sciences and Mathematics

Dr. Peter Livant was chosen as the recipient of the 2015-2016 Student Government Association Faculty Member of the Year Award for the College of Sciences and Mathematics!


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COSAM junior named Barry M. Goldwater Scholar

Auburn Professor Jonathan Armbruster is named the new director of the Auburn University Museum of Natural History in the College of Sciences and Mathematics. His term begins April 1. Armbruster joined Auburn in 1998 as an assistant professor. He was named an associate professor in 2003, and an alumni professor in 2007. He has served as curator of the museum’s fish collection where he has grown the collection from 25,000 jars to 65,000, obtained a specimen from every continent and developed online searching capabilities through a database system. His area of research involves the systematics, ecology and functional morphology of fishes, particularly suckermouth armored catfishes, or Loricariidae, the largest family of catfishes in the world, also known as plecos in the aquarium trade. He is also involved in survey work of several regions of South America including Guyana and Venezuela, and also works on local projects involving ecology, behavior and systematics of fishes. Recently, Armbruster has begun collaborative work in a worldwide project, “All Cypriniformes Species Inventory,” which facilitates taxonomic work on minnows. His lab is particularly interested in the barbs of Africa, and relationships of taxa worldwide. As part of this study, he has built a global database of minnow morphology, and will use the information to explore aspects of the evolution of cypriniform ecology and functional diversity. “I have been striving to make the collections at Auburn University into a museum since I arrived in 1998,” said Armbruster. “Now that Dr. (Jason) Bond has ushered us into a new building and upped our community presence, the question becomes what to do next. I hope to begin series of initiatives in teaching and outreach over the next couple of years to further cement the museum’s position in the Auburn University community and beyond.” Armbruster received his bachelor’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Illinois. Before his time at Auburn, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Institution. Throughout his career, Armbruster has secured a number of research grants from the National Science Foundation, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and National Geographic, among many others. Aside from his extensive research, Armbruster has instructed many undergraduate and graduate-level courses including comparative anatomy, evolution and systematics, and systematic ichthyology. Armbruster has guided many graduate students to make new discoveries and publish their own work. Armbruster has given a number of lectures, received numerous awards for teaching and research, participated in many outreach events and has authored dozens of publications. He garnered international media attention in 2015 after naming a previously unknown species of catfish in honor of the Star Wars character, Greedo.


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Easley Honored with 2016 COSAM Young Faculty Scholar Award

Knowles Associate Professor Chris Easley, from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, is the winner of the 2016 COSAM Young Faculty Scholar Award. This award is in recognition of his outstanding scholarly work to date and his promise for the future.


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Congratulations Dr. Patkowski

Dr. Patkowski has been accepted into the Summer 2016 Course (Re)design workshop cohort. http://wp.auburn.edu/biggio/summer-institute/


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Congratulations to Hector H. Corzo

Hector H. Corzo awarded Harry Merriwether Fellowship for 2016-17 academic year


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Congratulations to Michael McKee

Boron, The Fifth Element, edited by Drahomir Hnyk and Michael McKee, has been published by Springer.


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Congratulate Holly Ellis on receiving Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award

Holly Ellis received the Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award, which is awarded to an advisor that has less than 50 percent of their duties as academic advising. She was not only recognized for her advising and teaching skills but for contributing to the awards that several of her undergraduate researchers have received.


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Congratulations to Hector Corzo on winning Best Graduate Student Award

Hector Hernandez Corzo won the Best Graduate Student Award at the 56th Sanibel Symposium at Saint Simons GA on Feb. 18, 2016. This Symposium celebrated the centennial of the birth of its founder, the late Prof. Per-Olov Löwdin of Uppsala University in Sweden. The award was presented by the Director of the University of Florida’s Quantum Theory Project, Prof. Rodney Bartlett, at the symposium banquet.


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Congratulations to Deaniel Seay and Natasha Narayanan

Congratulations to undergraduates Deaniel Seay (Biochemistry, BS) and Natasha Narayanan (Biochemistry, BS) for being a Dean’s Medalist and winning the Outstanding Junior award, respectively.


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Dr. Schneller named the 2016 COSAM Dean's Research Award winner

Dr. Schneller has been named the 2016 COSAM Dean’s Research Award winner. The awards ceremony will be Wednesday, March 30, 3:30 pm in SCC 115. Dr. Schneller will be giving a 30 minute presentation on his current research.


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JACS Article for Merner Group

JACS Article for Merner Group


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Congratulate Chris Easley on the renewal of his NIH R01 Grant

Please join me in congratulating Chris Easley on the renewal of his NIH R01 grant, "Mouse-on-a-chip systems to evaluate pancreas-adipose tissue dynamics in vitro". The grant runs for 4 years with a total budget of $1.5M. Co-PIs are Robert Judd and Doug Goodwin.


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Auburn University unveils $1 million supercomputer, initiates new technology acquisition plan

Auburn University unveiled a new $1 million supercomputer that will enhance research across campus, from microscopic gene sequencing to huge engineering tasks. The university is also initiating a plan to purchase a new one every few years as research needs evolve and expand. The College of Sciences and Mathematics’ Dean Nicholas Giordano, along with Bliss Bailey, chief information officer in the Office of Information Technology, led the effort to bring the new supercomputer to the university.


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Amanda Holland ACS DIC Undergraduate Award in Inorganic Chemistry

Recent alumna Amanda Holland was Auburn’s recipient of the ACS Division of Inorganic Chemistry’s Undergraduate Award in Inorganic Chemistry. http://acsdic.org/wordpress/awards/dic-student-awards/undergraduate/


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Fighting terrorism in the lab: COSAM chemist works to minimize detrimental effects of radioactive materials

A rise in global terrorism in past decades has led to increased preparedness by first responders, especially with respect to the threat of radiologic terrorism. A terrorist attack involving radioactive materials, or any radiation accident for that matter, requires first responders to quickly and efficiently detect and identify harmful agents. Experts are consistently inventing new and better methods of detection, and on the front line of this effort is Anne Gorden, associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.


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Podcast: Graden Kirksey shares memories of Dr. Kosolapoff

Dr. Kirksey visited Auburn on October 30, 2015. He stopped by the office of Dr. Schneller to reminisce about his time at Auburn with Dr. Kosolapoff. 


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COSAM student selected as finalist for Rhodes Scholarship

Auburn University senior Chloe Chaudhury has been selected as a finalist for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship.


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Jernigan named 2015 COSAM Distinguished Alumnus

Dr. John Jernigan '75, has been named COSAM's 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient. Jernigan, a native of Union Springs, Ala., entered Auburn University as its first African American pre-med student.


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Smith receives Chemical Computing Group Excellence Award

Daniel Smith, graduate student in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, has received a Chemical Computing Group Excellence Award from the American Chemical Society.


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Prestigious Graduate Student Award

Daniel Smith will be receiving a prestigious graduate student award from the ACS Division of Computers in Chemistry at the meeting in Boston: http://www.acscomp.org/awards/chemical-computing-group-excellence-award Congratulations Daniel!


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Former Professor Andreas Illies Passes Away

Andreas Illies, a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry from 1984 to 2009, passed away on May 9, 2015 after a long illness. He taught extensively at all levels, including Freshman courses, Concepts of Science, undergraduate-level Physical Chemistry, and graduate-level Physical Chemistry courses.


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Isbell receives Academy of General Dentistry’s Distinguished Service Award

Gordon Isbell, chemistry '76, received the 2015 Distinguished Service Award by the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).


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Instructor Position Opening

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Auburn University anticipates making one Instructor appointment for the 2015-2016 academic year, with a starting date of August 16, 2015.


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COSAM recognizes academic achievement for 2014-2015 academic year

COSAM awarded top students and faculty at the annual Honors Convocation on April 25. This year, the convocation was held in honor of Howard Hargis, former head of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Hargis retired in 2004 after 34 years as a professor at Auburn. During the ceremony, students were recognized for outstanding academic achievement for the 2014-2015 academic year.


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Flipping the Classroom: A new way to teach

Auburn University's College of Sciences and Mathematics is "flipping the classroom" as part of an innovative way to teach Auburn students through a newly constructed Engaged in Active Student Learning, or EASL, classroom. Working with the Office of the Provost, the college is leading Auburn's effort on the unusual design since all Auburn students must take core classes in the college prior to graduating. "In contrast to traditional classrooms where faculty teach 'at' students, often in stadium-style rooms, this room was designed to encourage teacher-student interactions, and student-student collaborations, two aspects which are known to lead to improved learning outcomes," said COSAM Dean Nicholas Giordano. "COSAM faculty spent many months preparing to use the EASL classroom as effectively as possible in their teaching, and the new space was ready to use at the beginning of the fall 2014 semester."


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2015 SGA Outstanding Faculty Member Award to Goodwin

Congratulations to Dr. Douglas Goodwin, who was recently named COSAM's recipient of the 2015 Student Government Association Outstanding Faculty Member Award.


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Ortiz Wins 2014 Charles H. Stone Award

The Stone Award of the Carolina-Piedmont Local Section of the ACS is given every two years to the most outstanding chemist in the southeastern United States. This prestigious award recognizes contributions to the field of chemistry through activities in the scientific community, public outreach, education, and research. Previous winners from Auburn are Stewart Schneller (2001) and Dave Worley (2004).


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Goodwin wins 2015 COSAM Faculty Service/Outreach award

Professor Doug Goodwin has been awarded the 2015 COSAM Faculty Service/Outreach award based on his leadership role in helping to bring STEM education to prisoners in Alabama under the umbrella of the Auburn Prison Arts + Education Project.


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Gathiaka Selected as Outstanding Doctoral Student

Symon Gathiaka (Acevedo group) was recently chosen by the Graduate School as one of Auburn University’s Outstanding Doctoral students for this year. Congratulations, Symon!


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Ortiz wins COSAM Dean’s Faculty Research Award

Professor Vincent Ortiz from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has been honored with the 2015 COSAM Dean’s Research Award. Ortiz, an internationally respected quantum chemist, has worked at the forefront of internationally regarded research over the entire course of his 30 year career, has given unselfishly to the cause of diversity in STEM, has contributed to student success, and has offered his expertise to professional service. Congratulations Dr. Ortiz!


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Graduate Student from Merner Lab Wins Fellowship

Rolande Meudom, a second year graduate student in the research group of Dr. Bradley Merner, was recently awarded a Cellular and Molecular Biosciences Summer Research Fellowship. Congratulations Rolande!


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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry receives gift from Newman estate

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has received a gift in the amount of $147,000 from the estate of Robert Newman ’54.


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Award to Taylor Farmer at the 47th Southeastern Undergraduate Research Conference at the University of Alabama

Taylor Farmer, who is doing undergraduate research with Dr. Peter Livant, and who is supported by an Auburn University Undergraduate Research Fellowship, gave an oral presentation at the 47th Southeastern Undergraduate Research Conference in Tuscaloosa. I am pleased to report that she was awarded the second place prize in the Organic/Inorganic division. Congratulations, Taylor!


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Kim and Easley Finalists for Innovation Award

Assistant Research Professor Joonyul Kim, working with Associate Professor Christopher Easley, will present his work at the 2015 meeting of the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS 2015). Their presentation was selected as a finalist for the SLAS Innovation Award, a $10,000 cash award given to recognize highly innovative techniques developed in academic or industrial laboratories. Dr. Kim's presentation, entitled "Zero Background in Homogeneous Proximity Assays Using Thermofluorimetric Analysis (TFA) for Quantitation of Attomole Protein Levels in Serum," has been highlighted in the SLAS conference program and website. http://slas2015.org/awards/innovationAward.cfm


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Assistant Professor Patkowski receives “OpenEye Outstanding Junior Faculty Award” from the ACS.

Assistant Professor Konrad Patkowski has been awarded the "OpenEye Outstanding Junior Faculty Award” from the Computers in Chemistry Division (COMP) of the American Chemical Society (ACS). The award will be presented at the Spring 2015 ACS Meeting in Denver, CO and includes a $1,000 prize. The award highlights outstanding tenure-track junior faculty members at the forefront of the computational chemistry field. http://www.acscomp.org/awards/the-comp-acs-outstanding-junior-faculty-award


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Dr. Orlando Acevedo featured on the cover of Journal of Physical Chemistry

A Featured Article from Prof. Orlando Acevedo, the S. D. and Karen H. Worley Associate Professor, was featured on the front cover of the Journal of Physical Chemistry A. The article was also selected as an ACS Editors' Choice. This work was supported by a research grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jp507967z


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Cover Article for Easley and Judd

A recent manuscript from Prof. Christopher Easley’s research group (group page)—in collaboration with Prof. Robert Judd’s group at Auburn’s College of Veterinary Medicine—was featured on the front cover (link) in the latest issue of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s journal, Analyst. The article is entitled “A microfluidic interface for the culture and sampling of adiponectin from primary adipocytes,” and the work was supported by a research grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2015/an/c4an01725k


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Easley's paper in Analyst selected as Hot Article

A recent manuscript from Prof. Christopher Easley’s research group—in collaboration with Prof. Robert Judd’s group at Auburn’s College of Veterinary Medicine—was selected as a “Hot Article” by the Royal Society of Chemistry’s journal, Analyst. The article is entitled “A microfluidic interface for the culture and sampling of adiponectin from primary adipocytes” and is currently featured on the journal’s blog (http://blogs.rsc.org/an/). Free access will be provided to readers for the next several weeks. http://pubs.rsc.org/en/Content/ArticleLanding/2015/AN/C4AN01725K


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Emeritus Professor Worley Elected as NAI Fellow

Emeritus Professor S. Davis Worley has been elected to the rank of Fellow by the National Academy of Inventors. According to the NAI Fellows Selection Committee, Professor Worley has "demonstrated a highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society.” Professor Worley will be inducted as a Fellow by Andrew Faile, the Deputy U.S. Commissioner for Patent Operations from the U.S Patent and Trademark Office, at a ceremony to be held at the California Institute of Technology in March, 2015. To put the significance of this award in perspective, it is worth noting that other scientists elected as NAI fellows this year include Steven Chu (Stanford), Emily Carter (Princeton), Graham Cooks (Purdue), and Richard Mathies (Berkeley).


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Acevedo’s article selected as an ACS Editor’s Choice.

A recent article by Dr. Orlando Acevedo, the S. D. and Karen H. Worley Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has been selected as an ACS Editor’s Choice. The article ,“Simulating Chemical Reactions in Ionic Liquids Using QM/MM Methodology”, was recently published in J. Phys. Chem. A.


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COSAM sophomore’s presentation earns top honors at regional conference

If Natasha Narayanan’s performance at the 2014 Southeast Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society is any indication of what lies ahead in her academic and professional career, she is headed toward a consummate future. Narayanan, a COSAM sophomore and Honors College student majoring in biochemistry, gave an oral presentation titled, “Streamlined Chemical Synthesis of Tricyclic Nucleic Acid Analogues for Antisense Technology” during the undergraduate symposium portion of the conference. In recognition of both her research and eloquence, Narayanan’s talk was selected as the best oral presentation in the organic chemistry division out of 60 total presenters.


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Watch Stewart Schneller's recent seminar describing his Ebola virus research efforts

Watch Stewart Schneller's recent seminar describing his Ebola virus research efforts. Auburn chemistry professor Stewart Schneller's recent lecture "Antiviral Drug Design and Discovery: Ebola" is available for viewing on the following website: http://www.lib.auburn.edu/discoverauburn/


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2014 Stanley C. Israel Award to Professor Ortiz

Prof. Vince Ortiz of Auburn University has been selected as the 2014 Stanley C. Israel Award winner for the Southeast Region of the American Chemical Society. The award will be presented at the October 2014 SERMACS meeting in Nashville, TN. In addition to covering his travel expenses and registration for the SERMACS, the award will provide a $1000 honorarium to support Prof. Ortiz’s future outreach efforts. The Stanley C. Israel Regional Award recognizes individuals and/or institutions who have advanced diversity in the chemical sciences and significantly stimulated or fostered activities that promote inclusiveness within the region.


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Associate Professor Chris Goldsmith co-author's paper for the Journal of the American Chemical Society

Associate Professor Chris Goldsmith is the co-author of a paper entitled “A Mononuclear Manganese(II) Complex Demonstrates a Strategy to Simultaneously Image and Treat Oxidative Stress.” The paper will appear in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. The described work resulted from a collaboration between researchers in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, the AU MRI Research Center, and the College of Veterinary Medicine.


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NSF Grant for Shannon

Professor Curtis Shannon, in collaboration with M. Russell, J. Russell, M. Escobar and O. Fasina, has been awarded a 3.5-year grant by the National Science Foundation for a proposal entitled “Collaborative Research: The Tuskegee Alliance to Develop, Implement and Study a Virtual Graduate Education Model for Underrepresented Minorities in STEM”. This research will be performed in collaboration with Tuskegee University and Alabama State University.


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Auburn scientists design leading therapeutic drug in fight against Ebola virus

AUBURN UNIVERSITY—An Auburn University research team has produced a new drug candidate that could one day slow or even stop the deadly Ebola virus. The discovery will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry. The group, led by professor of chemistry and biochemistry Stewart Schneller, has designed a compound aimed at reversing the immune-blocking abilities of certain viruses, including Ebola. “In simple terms, the Ebola virus has the ability to turn off the body’s natural immune response,” Schneller said. “We have made a small tweak in compound structure that will turn that response back on.”


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Research led by Stewart Schneller on Ebola virus featured on Fox News

Excerpt from story on Fox News website: The Ebola virus is able to turn off the body's natural immune response. But researchers at Auburn University believe they've developed an "on-switch." Auburn chemistry professor Stewart Schneller is leading the study. The Auburn team is working in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and plans to publish details of its findings later this month in the journal Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry. Read the online story.


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Three new Lecturers in Fall 2014

Ashley Curtiss, Ria Yngard and Lynn Mandeltort have been hired as Lecturers for the 2014-2015 academic year. Dr. Curtiss and Dr. Yngard formerly held the title of Instructor at Auburn University. Dr. Mandeltort is a former postdoctoral fellow who worked with Associate Professor John Gorden.


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NSF Grant for Duin

Associate Professor Eduardus Duin has been awarded a three-year grant by the National Science Foundation for his proposal entitled “Collaborative Research: Understanding Electron Bifurcation in Methanogenic Archaea”. This research will be performed in collaboration with Dr. John Leigh of the University of Washington.


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Natassia Buckridge wins poster award

The first place award for posters in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics during Auburn University’s 2014 Research Week was given to Natassia Buckridge, a graduating senior who worked under the supervision of Professor Stewart Schneller.


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NSF Grant for Easley

Dr. Christopher Easley has received a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation for his proposal entitled “Hormone-Responsive Electrodes for Quantitative Discourse with Endocrine Cells”.


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NSF Grant for Acevedo

Dr. Orlando Acevedo’s proposal entitled “Collaborative Research: Protein Arginine Methylation” has been funded by the National Science Foundation. Dr. Acevedo will collaborate with Dr. Joan Hevel of Utah State University on this three-year project.


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NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship for Spencer Kerns

Spencer Kerns, COSAM Dean’s Medalist and Outstanding Senior in Chemistry and Biochemistry in the 2013-2014 academic year, has received an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship and will enter graduate school in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Texas, Austin in the fall semester.


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Young Faculty Scholar Award for Acevedo

Dean Nicholas Giordano announced that Dr. Orlando Acevedo has been selected for the 2014 Young Faculty Scholar Award.


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Chemistry Department Announces Graduate Student Awards

Chemistry Department Announces Graduate Student Awards Chemistry Outstanding International Graduate Student: Catherine Njeri Livant Fellowship: Nick Klann Dow Fellowship: Jessica Brooks,Olive Njumi, and Sanjun Fan Mallone-Zallen Fellowship: Samir Paul


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PNAS article by Christian Goldsmith

Associate Professor Christian Goldsmith is a co-author of an article entitled “Two-photon imaging of Zn2+ dynamics in mossy fiber boutons of adult hippocampal slices” that will appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The latter journal is among the most selective of general-interest science publications.


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Acevedo appointed as first Worley Professor

Associate Professor Orlando Acevedo has been selected to become the first S. D. and Karen Worley Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. The five-year term of this appointment begins on August 16, 2014. Emeritus Professor and Mrs. Worley created this endowed professorship to support superior faculty who teach in the fields of organic, physical or polymer chemistry, to strengthen the research and teaching programs of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and to recognize strong commitment to instruction, research and service of high quality.


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American Chemical Society Award for Symon Gathiaka

Symon Gathiaka, a member of the research group of Associate Professor Orlando Acevedo, has been awarded a Chemical Computing Group Excellence Award for Graduate Students from the Computers in Chemistry Division (COMP) of the American Chemical Society (ACS). A ceremony in honor of Mr. Gathiaka will take place in August during the ACS's national meeting in San Francisco.


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NSF Career Award for Patkowski

Assistant Professor Konrad Patkowski has received a five-year CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation for his proposal, “Towards an accurate and illuminating theory of weak interactions between open-shell systems”. Dr. Patkowski, a theoretical chemist, has been at Auburn University since January 2011 and is an expert on the calculation of intermolecular forces and applications of these computational techniques to a variety of systems of interest in energy research.


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Awards for Njuma and Paul from Alabama Academy of Sciences

Olive Njuma and Samir Paul won first-place and second-place awards in the Chemistry section of the ninety-first meeting of the Alabama Academy of Sciences, held in Auburn on March 12-14, 2014. Ms. Njuma and Mr. Paul are students of Dr. Douglas Goodwin and Dr. Vincenzo Cammarata, respectively.


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Outstanding Graduate Student Award for B. Maynard

Branson Maynard will receive an Outstanding Graduate Student Award from the Graduate Council at its annual awards ceremony on April 21, 2014.


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AURIC Fellowship for A. Dmytrejchuk

Ana Dmytrejchuk, a graduate student in the group of Dr. Bradley Merner, will be an AURIC Graduate Fellow in Cancer Research, effective March 1, 2014. This fellowship is awarded by the Auburn University Research Initiative in Cancer.


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Merriwether Fellowship for S. Gathiaka

Symon Gathiaka, a graduate student working in the research group of Dr. Orlando Acevedo, has been awarded the Merriwether Fellowship for academic excellence by the Graduate School.


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Promotions for G. Mills and J. Gorden

President Gogue has approved the promotion of Associate Professor German Mills to the rank of Professor and the promotion of Assistant Professor John Gorden to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure effective in the fall semester of 2014.


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Associate Professor Dr. Doug Goodwin recognized by the ACS as a 2014 Outreach Volunteer of the Year

Congratulations to Auburn University Associate Professor Dr. Doug Goodwin, recently recognized by the ACS as a 2014 Outreach Volunteer of the Year for his work with the Alabama Department of Corrections. We are very proud of his accomplishments and his service to the Local Section.


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Curtiss wins COSAM Advisor Award

Dr. Ashley Curtiss has won COSAM’s Faculty Advising Award for the 2013-2014 academic year.


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The COSAM Ph.D. Dean's Research Award for the 2013-2014 academic year Awarded to Branson Maynard

Branson Maynard was awarded the COSAM Ph.D. Dean's Research Award for the 2013-2014 academic year. His research with Professor Anne Gorden involves the investigation of novel actinide cyanometallate compounds.


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Comer Medal for Excellence in the Physical Sciences Awarded to Kristin Zuromski

Kristin Zuromski, a B.S. Biochemistry major, was awarded the Comer Medal for Excellence in the Physical Sciences for the 2013-2014 academic year.


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The COSAM Undergraduate Dean's Research Award for the 2013-2014 Awarded to Ethan McCurdy

Ethan McCurdy, a B.A. Chemistry major, was awarded the COSAM Undergraduate Dean's Research Award for the 2013-2014 academic year. Ethan is performing his undergraduate work with Professor Doug Goodwin evaluating the catalytic interplay of catalytic peroxidase.


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Outstanding Junior for the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry: John (Wesley) Nelson

Outstanding Junior for the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry: John (Wesley) Nelson


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Dean's Medalist for the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry: Spencer Kerns

Dean's Medalist for the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry: Spencer Kerns


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Stanbury, Zhan and Mansoorabadi IGP proposals approved

Internal Grant Program proposals by Professor David Stanbury (“Oxidation of Sulfinic Acids”), Associate Professor Wei Zhan (“Atomic Force Microscope for Characterization of Nanomaterials and Surfaces”) and Assistant Professor Steven Mansoorabadi (“Macromolecular Crystallography at Auburn University”) have been approved for funding by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development.


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Milestone for Mass Spectrometry Laboratory: Sample Number 3000

On January 17, 2014, Dr. Yonnie Wu, Director of the Mass Spectrometry Center, accepted the Center’s three-thousandth sample, which was submitted by a graduate student, Nicholas Klann, a member of Dr. Anne Gorden’s research group.


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Kathryn Milly West wins NACADA Excellence in Advising Award

The National Academic Advising Association has selected Kathryn Milly West for its 2014 Region 4: Excellence in Advising – Faculty Role Award. Ms. West, who has been the Coordinator of the Laboratory Science and Medical Laboratory Science (formerly Laboratory Technology and Medical Technology, respectively) degree programs since 1996, will receive her award at the NACADA regional conference in Savannah GA on April 2, 2014.


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Research Electronics Support Facility joins Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

The Research Electronics Support Facility (RESF) will report to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry effective January 1, 2014. Larry “Autry” May will be the Director of RESF, which will retain its mission of service to the Auburn University campus.


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Ortiz and Auburn Graduate Students Attend Annual Meeting NOBCChE

Dr. Vincent Ortiz, Ruth W. Molette Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the College of Sciences and Mathematics, and five Auburn University graduate students attended the 40th Annual National Meeting of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) in Indianapolis on October 1-6, 2013. The students, Symon Gathiaka, PaviElle Lockhart, Olive Njuma and Selamawit Ghebreamlak from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Zenda Davis from the Department of Chemical Engineering, participated in technical symposia, professional workshops and recruited prospective graduate and undergraduate students. NOBCChE initiates and supports local, regional, national and global programs that assist people of color in fully realizing their potential in academic, professional and entrepreneurial pursuits in chemistry, chemical engineering and related fields and encourages college students to pursue graduate degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Auburn University and NOBCChE currently have a Technology Education Partnership that promotes access to opportunities in research and education.


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NSF Grant for Ellis

Associate Professor Holly Ellis has received a four-year grant from the National Science Foundation for her proposal, “Defining the Mechanistic Strategies of Defulfonation in the Alkanesulfonate Monooxygenase System”.


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Auburn professors develop disease-detection technology, possible key to new handheld detection devices

Two Auburn University professors have developed a disease-detection technology that could be the beginning of handheld, point-of-care devices – a breakthrough that would let health care professionals, first responders and even individuals quickly do blood tests for a variety of illnesses and conditions. Associate Professor Christopher J. Easley and Professor Curtis Shannon, both in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the College of Sciences and Mathematics, led the research team that published its results in the March 27 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.


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Easley and Simonian win NSF grant

Associate Professor Christopher Easley and Alumni Professor Alex Simonian of Mechanical Engineering have received funding from the National Science Foundation for their collaborative project entitled “Development of multi-parametric/multimodal spectroscopy apparatus for characterization of functional interfaces.”


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Knowles Professorship for Christopher Easley

Associate Professor Christopher Easley has been selected as the first C. Harry Knowles Professor for Leadership in Research or Outreach to Enhance Science Teaching and Learning in the College of Sciences and Mathematics. The five-year term of this appointment begins on August 16, 2013.


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ACS Award for Ryan Hasemeier

Ryan Hasemeier, recipient of the Outstanding Graduating Senior Award in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Dean’s Medalist for Chemistry and Biochemistry for the 2012-2013 academic year, has won the Undergraduate Inorganic Chemistry Award of the American Chemical Society. He worked with Associate Professor Holly Ellis on the iron coordination center of the enzyme cysteine dioxygenase and was nominated for this ACS award by Professor David Stanbury and Associate Professor Christian Goldsmith. In the fall semester, he will begin graduate study in chemical biology at Johns Hopkins University.


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Lilly-Lovelace Award for Stephen Swann

Stephen Swann, Laboratory Manager for General Chemistry, has been selected to receive the 2013 Lilly-Lovelace Distinguished Service Award in recognition of 17 years of exceptional service to Auburn University.


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Distinguished Dissertation Award for Elizabeth Ndontsa

Dr. Elizabeth Ndontsa has received one of the three 2013 Auburn University Graduate School Distinguished Dissertation Awards in Biological/Life Sciences. Dr. Ndontsa was a graduate student in the laboratory of Dr. Douglas Goodwin.


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Research by Professors Easley and Shannon highlighted by NSF

Research performed in the laboratories of Dr. Christopher Easley and Dr. Curtis Shannon on Innovative techniques for measuring hormones and other proteins in complex fluids such as blood were featured on a web page published by the National Science Foundation.


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SETCA 2013 at Auburn

More than 80 scientists attended the 2013 meeting of the Southeast Theoretical Chemistry Association at Auburn University on May 9-11, 2013. This meeting was organized by faculty and graduate students in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and was sponsored by Gaussian, Incorporated, the College of Sciences and Mathematics and the Office of the Vice President for Research. Pictures of the conference will be posted at the conference web site.


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SWSM Outstanding Graduate Student Award for Caley Allen

The Society of Women in Sciences and Mathematics has given its Outstanding Graduate Student Award to Caley Allen, who received her Ph.D. at the May commencement. Dr. Allen was a graduate student in the research group of Associate Professor Orlando Acevedo and will soon begin a postdoctoral fellowship at Georgia Tech.


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John Gorden, Honors Professor of the Year

Assistant Professor John Gorden has been named Honors Professor of the Year by AU’s Honors Congress and will accept this award at the Honors Gala on April 19, 2013.


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PGOP Fellowship for Charmaine Tutson

Charmaine Tutson, a graduate student advised by Dr. Anne Gorden, has been selected for a three-year President’s Graduate Opportunity Program Fellowship, according to an announcement by Dr. Overtoun Jenda, Associate Provost for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs.


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Elizabeth Ndontsa, International Graduate Student of the Year

Elizabeth Ndontsa, who recently passed her oral examination for the Ph.D. degree under the supervision of Dr. Douglas Goodwin, has been named International Graduate Student of the Year in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.


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Kathryn Milly West featured on ASCP web site

Kathryn Milly West, Coordinator of the Laboratory and Medical Technology in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, was recently featured on the web site of the American Society of Clinical Pathology.


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Bradley Merner to become Assistant Professor in Fall 2013

Dr. Bradley Merner, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Montreal, will become an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the fall 2013 semester. Dr. Merner, who obtained his doctorate from Memorial University in Saint John’s, Newfoundland, specializes in synthetic organic chemistry, compounds of medicinal importance and carbon nanostructures.


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Nature article by Assistant Professor Mansoorabadi

Assistant Professor Steven Mansoorabadi is a co-author of an article entitled “Mechanistic studies of an unprecedented enzyme-catalysed 1,2 phosphono-migration reaction” which will be published in the April 4, 2013 issue of the prestigious journal Nature. Dr. Mansoorabadi joined the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Auburn University in August 2012.


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Dana Lashley awarded inaugural Livant Graduate Fellowship

Dana Lashley, a Ph.D. student in the research group of Professor Stewart Schneller, has been named the initial recipient of the Peter Livant Graduate Fellowship, which was made possible by the generosity of one of Professor Livant’s former students. This fellowship will be awarded annually to an organic chemistry graduate student. Ms. Lashley’s research is on the organic synthesis of antiviral therapeutic candidates.


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2013 Women of Distinction Faculty Leadership Award to Dr. Anne Gorden

Associate Professor Anne Gorden has received the 2013 Women of Distinction Faculty Leadership Award from the Auburn University Women’s Resource Center and will be honored at their Awards Luncheon on April 5 at the Auburn University Hotel and Conference Center.


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Promotion and Tenure for Christopher Easley and Christian Goldsmith

Auburn University President Jay Gogue has approved promotion to Associate Professor and tenure for Assistant Professors Christopher Easley and Christian Goldsmith, effective in the fall semester of 2013.


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IGP grant for Professors Goodwin and Calderon

Professor Douglas Goodwin and Professor Angela Calderon of Pharmacal Sciences have received funding for their Internal Grant Proposal, “Toward new antitubercular drugs: Uncovering mechanistically appropriate inhibitors of Mycobacterium tuberculosis shikimate kinase from natural products”.


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Prison Outreach Award for Prof. Goodwin

Dr. Douglas Goodwin and his collaborators Ms. Kyes Stevens and Dr. Alan Wilson have received a Competitive Outreach Scholarship Grant Award for their proposal entitled “Bridging a Curriculum Gap in Prisoner Education: A Collaboration of Colleges Innovating Solutions”.


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Featured article by Prof. Acevedo

An article on Hepatitus C Virus by Professor Orlando Acevedo and his former graduate student Sambasivarao Somisetti has been highlighted by the Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling in a special issue on HCV therapies.


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GFE Award for Ruychev

The Provost’s office has selected Dr. Veselin Ruychev’s General Fee Equipment proposal for funding. To create a more interactive and safer environment for organic chemistry laboratory courses, Dr. Ruychev proposed the installation of a centralized multimedia system. Video monitors in each laboratory will be connected to a computer through which graduate teaching assistants can efficiently interact with many students simultaneously.


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Drs. Shannon and Stanbury receive endowed Professorships

President Jay Gogue, Provost Timothy Boosinger and Interim Dean Charles Savrda presided at a ceremony on October 10, 2012 to recognize the award of several endowed professorships to members of the faculty. Among those honored were Professor Curtis Shannon and Professor David Stanbury of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Dr. Shannon now holds the Andrew T. Hunt Professorship and Dr. Stanbury now is the J. Milton Harris Professor.


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NOBCChE President’s Award for Ortiz and Roberts

Vincent Ortiz, Ruth W. Molette Professor and Chairman of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Christopher Roberts, Uthlaut Professor of Chemical Engineering and Dean of Engineering, will receive 2012 President’s Awards from the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE). Dr. Victor McCrary, President of NOBCChE, will present these awards to Ortiz and Roberts at this organization’s Annual Conference in Washington DC on September 28, 2012. Roberts, formerly Chairman of Chemical Engineering, and Ortiz will be recognized for initiating and supporting the Technology Education Partnership between Auburn University and NOBCChE and for providing increased opportunities and a more receptive environment for under-represented students to pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry and of Chemical Engineering.


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NIH Grant for Assistant Professor Easley

Dr. Christopher Easley has received an R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health for a project entitled “Interrogating Dynamics of Acute Secretion of Adiponectin Multimers from Adipose Tissue” in collaboration with Dr. Robert Judd, Associate Professor of Pharmacology.


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Outstanding Dissertation Award

For the second time in three years, a graduate student affiliated with Emeritus Professors S. D. Worley of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Emeritus Professor Royall Broughton of the Department of Polymer and Fiber Engineering has won the Graduate School’s Outstanding Dissertation Award. This year’s winner is Idris Cerkez, who obtained his undergraduate degree in Turkey. The previous winner was Hasan Kocer, who now has an academic position in Turkey.


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COSAM Graduate finalist for Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship

Two former Auburn student athletes are among six finalists for the 2012 Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship, the NCAA's highest academic award: 2010 COSAM honors graduate in chemistry Dan Mazzaferro; and Mary "Katy" Frierson, women's soccer, who graduated in 2011 from the College of Liberal Arts.


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Gorden awarded Intramural Grant

Anne Gorden, associate professor of Chemistry, received an intramural grant from Auburn University’s Office of the Vice President for Research for $160,000. The grant was awarded based on her proposal, “Ultraviolet-visible/ Fluorescence Microspectrophotometer.” Collaborators on the grant include assistant professor Christian R. Goldsmith and associate professor German Mills, both of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, as well as Virginia A. Davis, associate professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering. Funding from the grant will be used money to purchase an ultraviolet-visible/ fluorescence microspectrophotometer for the University to be housed in Chemistry. Gorden notes that not only will this machine be available for use by other departments, many of which have already shown interest, but it will also help attract additional funding to the University.


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Dr. Christopher Easley discusses his diabetes research

Diabetes is a disorder of the endocrine system signified by high levels of blood glucose resulting from defects in insulin production, insulin action, or both. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. and results in $174 billion in direct and indirect medical costs per year. Indeed, medical costs are more than two times greater for those with diabetes, due in part to a host of health problems that can result from the disease including: blindness and eye problems, kidney failure, limb amputation, heart disease, stroke, hypertension, pregnancy complications and depression.


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Jingyuan Xiong receives Alabama-EPSCOR Graduate Research Fellowship

Graduate student Jingyuan (Bear) Xiong has been awarded an Alabama-EPSCOR Graduate Research Fellowship. Mr. Xiong's advisor is Dr. Holly Ellis.


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