Chemistry and Biochemistry News


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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Patent for Emeritus Professor Worley

The US Patent Office recently issued US Patent No. 8,821,907, entitled "Biocidal N-Halamine Epoxides to Dr. Worley and co-inventors.


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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 & 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, recently 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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