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.
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.
Fulbright Fellowship for James Barnett
Mr. James Barnett, an undergraduate researcher in the laboratory of our former colleague Dr. Susanne Striegler, has been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship for study in Spain. Later this year, Mr. Barnett will begin to conduct research at the University of Barcelona.
2013 Distinguished Graduate Faculty Lectureship for Emeritus Professor Worley
Auburn University’s Distinguished Graduate Faculty Lecturer for 2013 is Emeritus Professor S. D. Worley, author of over three hundred publications and patents, winner of numerous professional and scientific awards and innovator of antibacterial polymers with extensive commercial and public-health applications. Dr. Worley has maintained an active research group since his retirement from the faculty in 2009.
Auburn Professor Honored by The Journal of Chemical Physics
Professor Marsha Lester of the University of Pennsylvania, Editor of The Journal of Chemical Physics, has announced the top 20 reviewers for this publication in 2012. The list, which is based on the number, quality, timeliness and reliability of reviews, includes J. V. Ortiz, Ruth W. Molette Professor and Chairman of Chemistry and Biochemistry. According to Thompson Reuters, The Journal of Chemical Physics is the most highly cited publication in the fields of atomic, molecular and chemical physics.
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.
Branson Maynard – Seaborg Institute Research Fellowship at Los Alamos National Laboratory
Branson Maynard, a graduate student in the research group of Dr. Anne Gorden, has been awarded a Glenn T. Seaborg Institute Research Fellowship by Los Alamos National Laboratory.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Prof. Duin receives NASA funding
Professor Eduardus Duin is a co-investigator for a project funded by NASA on “Iron-sulfur clusters in the evolution of the Enzymatic Synthesis of RNA” in collaboration with scientists at the University of Arkansas and Ehime University in Japan.
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”.
IGP funding for Professors Easley, Shannon and Simonian
Professors Christopher Easley and Curtis Shannon of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Aleksandr Simonian of the College of Engineering have received funding for their Internal Grant Program proposal entitled “Surface Dynamics of a Highly Sensitive and Versatile Protein Quantitation Method, the Electrochemical Proximity Assay”.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
Auburn representatives at NOBCChE Conference in Washington D.C.
The National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers, or NOBCChE, held the 39th Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. from Sept. 25 to 28. In attendance at this year’s conference were representatives from COSAM, including Vincent Ortiz, Ruth W. Molette Professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry; Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry graduate students Charmaine Tutson, president of the Auburn chapter of NOBCChE, PaviElle Lockhart, vice president of the Auburn chapter of NOBECChE, Dana Lashley, Cheryl Dejournette, Catherine Njeri and Elizabeth Ndontsa; and Bianca Evans, minority programs coordinator for the COSAM Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs. Also at the conference from Au! burn was Zenda Davis, graduate student from the Department of Chemical Engineering.
The theme of the conference was, “STEMulating Innovation and Economic Growth Through Diversity.” At the conference, the team from Auburn University had an opportunity to hear guest lectures pertaining to cutting-edge topics in the fields of health, science and technology, including the keynote address given by Larry Robinson, Ph.D. Earlier this year, the U.S. Senate confirmed Robinson by unanimous consent to serve as assistant secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA. Robinson helps guide policy and program direction for NOAA’s conservation, protection and resource management priorities. The conference also included technical sessions that were meant to foster new ideas, as well as poster presentations.
Also at the conference were more than 60 universities, businesses and industry leaders in the fields of chemistry and chemical engineering that set up information booths. The booths allowed participants the opportunity to interact with representatives from these leading institutions, learn about career options and explore educational opportunities. Included among the leaders in chemistry and chemical engineering education were the representatives from Auburn, who hosted an exhibit, providing information on both COSAM and the College of Engineering, and the diverse opportunities and fields of study both colleges offer.
Additionally, Ortiz and Roberts were recognized with the 2012 NOBCChE President’s Award (pictured is Ortiz). Victor McCrary, president of NOBCChE, presented the awards. Ortiz and Roberts were 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 Chemical Engineering.
New Assistant Professors Gorden and Mansoorabadi
Dr. Steven Mansoorabadi will join the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry as Assistant Professor in August 2012. Dr. Mansoorabadi received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he worked with Prof. George H. Reed at the Institute for Enzyme Research.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Assistant Professor Orlando Acevedo receives Chemluminary Award
Assistant Professor Orlando Acevedo has received the Chemluminary Award from the American Chemical Society for his service in local and regional activities.