UD Chemistry and Biochemistry Alumnus Receives Prestigious Eli Lilly and Company Award

Photo Dr. J. Michael SaunderDr. J. Michael Sauder, a UofD Chemistry alumnus, recently received Eli Lilly and Company's most prestigious scientific recognition that it awards to its scientists, the Lilly Research Laboratories (LRL) President's Award. The Award recognized Dr. Sauder's contributions to the enablement of structure-based drug design, the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) in use by the company's structural biology group and his project leadership of the New York SGX Research Center for Structural Genomics (NYSGXRC), an industry-academic consortium funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as part of the Protein Structure Initiative.

Dr. Sauder received a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Delaware where he completed his undergraduate research with Assistant Professor Jim Damewood (1984-1990). He received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biophysics from the University of Pennsylvania. Following post-doctoral research at the Fox Chase Cancer Center's Institute for Cancer Research in Philadelphia, he accepted a position at San Diego-based Structural GenomiX, Inc. (SGX) in 2000, which later became SGX Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Following the acquisition of SGX by Eli Lilly and Company in 2008, Dr. Sauder has been working in the Structural Biology group at the Lilly Biotechnology Center in San Diego, part of the Indianapolis-based Lilly Research Laboratories.

On October 4, 2010 he received the Award from LRL President Jan Lundberg, Ph.D. Dr. Sauder was recognized for enabling the determination of the atomic, three-dimensional structures of proteins implicated in various diseases, against which Eli Lilly is designing drugs. This design process is known as structure-based drug design, because it relies on seeing how a potential drug binds to the protein drug target at the atomic scale and improving the potency and selectivity of the drug based on its specific interactions with the protein. With the acquisition of SGX, Eli Lilly is now a leader in structure-based drug design, as well as fragment-based drug design, which is essentially a form of nanoengineering to design drugs starting from small fragments (instead of using high-throughput screening of large libraries of large, complex drug-like molecules). In addition to doing protein engineering to support proprietary drug discovery, Dr. Sauder also designed protein boundaries that resulted in the deposition of hundreds of protein three-dimensional structures in the public Protein Data Bank as part of his work with the NYSGXRC through the Protein Structure Initiative. Dr. Sauder also manages the Bioinformatics group, who maintains and develops the custom LIMS database, which is used to track all the research done by the San Diego Structural Biology group, both for Eli Lilly and for the NYSGXRC.

Professor John Hartwig 6th Annual Heck Lecturship Awardee

Left: Professor Joseph Fox
Right: Professor John F. Hartwig
Photo by: Mike Dao

Professor John Hartwig from the University of Illinois, Urbana- Champaign, was awarded the 2010 Richard F. Heck prize for his seminal contributions to organometallic catalytic methods for organic synthesis. Prof. Hartwig’s research accomplishments include the development of carbon–nitrogen cross-coupling methods, aryl C–H bond functionalizations, olefin hydroaminations and other organometallic catalytic reactions. On Sept. 29, 2010, Prof. Hartwig gave the annual Heck lectureship at the University of Delaware, where he described how his on-going studies toward a fundamental understanding of organometallic catalysis have enabled his research group to develop practical catalytic methods that are broadly used by synthetic chemists today. The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry congratulates Prof. Hartwig and thanks him for his important contributions to the field. The Department also thanks AstraZeneca for their generous support of the Heck Award, which honors the eminent contributions of Prof. Richard Heck to organic synthesis and the development of organometallic chemistry.

Melissa Blackman’s Research Recognized at NISBRE

Graduate student, Melissa Blackman, was recognized for her research at the third biennial National IDeA Symposium of Biomedical Research Excellence (NISBRE), held in Bethesda, Md., June 16-18. The symposium, sponsored by NIH hosted 815 researchers from 24 states. Of nearly 400 submissions, only 20 posters were selected for awards. Her research poster on “A Bioorthogonal Reaction Based on an Inverse Electron Demand Diels-Adler Reaction.” was presented in a highlighted poster session. Ms. Blackman is a doctoral candidate in Joe Fox’s lab.

Read more on UDaily
Learn more about the research going on in Prof. Joe Fox's lab

Professor Donald Watson Helps in Discovery of New Chemical Method

Photo Professor Donald WatsonProfessor Donald Watson helps in the discovery of a new chemical method important to drug design and chemicals used in agricultural production. This work which was recently published in Science, provides a new means to construct aromatic molecules containing trifluoromethyl groups and was part of his postdoctoral research, conducted at MIT under Camille Dreyfus Professor of Chemistry Stephen Buchwald. Watson's effort was in the early stage development of this methodology, he isolated the first compounds critical to the reaction development and demonstrating their effectiveness in key transformations.

Professor Watson came to UD’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in September 2009. His group is currently working on the development of homogeneous transition metal-based catalysts for use in organic chemistry.

Read more on UDaily
Learn more about the research going on in Prof. Donald Watson's lab

NIH Funds Proposal for a New 500 MHz Solution NMR Spectrometer

This proposal funds the acquisition of a 500 MHz NMR spectrometer with a triple resonance probe. To maximize utility across a multidisciplinary user base, the instrument will be equipped with an autosampler and will be networked to the broader campus community. The new spectrometer will serve to meet the routine need for high resolution NMR spectrospopy that has become essential to many research groups at UD

The proposed instrument will provide benefit to a large user base of NIH supported researchers that spans the areas of organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, bioorganic chemistry, biochemistry, materials science, physics and biological sciences. Projects to be facilitated by this grant will have impact on the nation’s health interests in drug discovery, radiochemical imaging, cancer therapy, tissue regeneration and drug delivery. Eight faculty members (Joe Fox, John Koh, Charles Riordan, Xinqiao Jia, Kristi Kiick, Doug Taber, Thomas Epps, Neal Zondlo) contributed research descriptions to strengthen the grant application. Beyond the major user group, the 500 MHz NMR spectrometer will also support the research efforts of more than 20 additional faculty members at UD. This instrumentation will also provide substantive to support several major NIH initiatives centered at the University of Delaware, including a Chemistry Biology Interface (CBI) Program, two Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE), the Delaware IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE), and a Center for Translational Cancer Research.

This proposal was prepared by Joe Fox (PI) and Dr. Steve Bai, Director of the UD NMR facility.

15th CHEM/BIOC Graduation Convocation

Graduation Photo 2010Our 15th CHEM/BIOC Graduation Convocation was consummated this past Saturday, May 29th 2010, to the pleasure and satisfaction of all concerned. Indeed, the feeling of unbridled joy oozing from the pores of the extended family members present has to be experienced personally, to be truly appreciated.

Special commendation goes to our speaker, Dr. Michelle Hackley Johnson (UD BA/CHEM '75), Chief of Interventional Neuroradiology at the Yale University School of Medicine, whose remarks were meaningful, moving, and right on target. I will always treasure the moment we recognized the presence of her mother, Ethel, widow of Dr. Brennie Hackley, Jr. (UD Ph.D. '57). The remarkable 57-year career of Dr. Hackley, our first African American chemistry Ph.D. graduate, at the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center of the U.S. Army's Aberdeen Proving Grounds will be forever memorialized in the form of the Brennie E. Hackley, Jr. Award for Excellence in Research, generously endowed by the Hackley family. It was fitting that the first recipient of this Award, Juan Carlos Rodriguez-Reyes, received his doctorate during the ceremony. Completing the noteworthy use of the numbers 5 and 7 is the fact that Ethel (who is also a chemist) and Brennie were married 57 years! Speaker Photo

The turnout by the graduating graduate student contingent, 19 strong, set an all-time record for the occasion. Forty-one of the 51 baccalaureate degree recipients (18 BS/BIOC, 20 BS/CHEM, 13 BA/CHEM) participated.

Finally, the Unsung Heroine Award goes to Debbie Fox, who provided the on-site reception presence usually provided by Susan Cheadle, who was celebrating the graduation of her daughter, Kerry, from the U of D. Debbie and John were faced with the formidable class of post-reception clean-up, which they handled admirably.

Let's do it again on May 28, 2011!



Appreciation is also due to the several among you who made this possible:

  • Susan Cheadle, who, as usual, arranged for the reception and flowers.
  • Burnaby Munson and Hal White, who proved , for the 15th time, that practice makes for perfect Marshalling.
  • Svilen Bobev, Murray Johnston, Sandeep Patel, and Zhihao Zhuang, who successfully ushered the flow of humanity into Pearson Auditorium.
  • Brian Bahnson, Roberta Colman, Joe Fox, Charlie Riordan, and Andrew Teplyakov, who, in the reenactment of the hooding of their doctoral students, made the day extra special for them and their families.
  • Cecil Dybowski, for his robed presence.
  • Doug Taber, for helping with the reception set-up.
  • Klaus Theopold, for his especially relevant closing remarks.

  • Department Holds 37th Annual Silver Symposium

    Silver Award PhotoThe Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry hosted the 37th annual Silver Symposium on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 1:00 p.m. in 219 Brown Laboratory. All of our graduate student participants (see program) gave excellent presentations, with three being singled out as Award winners:

    • 1st Place: Carol Roach [center]
      (Dr. Sharon Neal’s research group)
    • 2nd Place: Vidyadhar Daithankar [left]
      (Dr. Colin Thorpe’s research group)
    • 3rd Place: Obaidur Rahaman [right]
      (Dr. Douglas Doren’s research group)

    A jury composed of representatives of each major research area in the department judged the participants on the basis of both the effectiveness of the presentation and the quality of the research. The Silver award consists of an honorarium supported by the Joel Silver Award Fund (given in memory of Joel L. Silver, a graduate student killed in a traffic accident in his last doctoral year [1971]) and a certificate. We wish to thank all the participants and the jurors and heartiest congratulations to the Award winners.

    Glenn S. Skinner Memorial Award

    Skinner Award PhotoThe 44th annual Glenn S. Skinner Memorial Award was presented to Mr. Andrew DeAngelis on May 17, 2010 at the Departmental Analytical Colloquium. Andrew’s research advisor is Professor Joseph Fox. This award, in honor of Dr. Skinner, is presented for distinction in scholarship, research, teaching and service by a graduate student in the Department. Dr. Skinner was a very active member of the Chemistry faculty from 1928 to 1958. As a recipient of this award, Andrew received a certificate and a check for $2,500.00.

    Left to right: Professor Joe Fox, Andrew DeAngelis and Professor and Director of Graduate Studies Brian Bahnson

    Sue Groh Receives Excellence in Teaching Award

    Teaching Award PhotoThe Faculty Senate, at its May meeting presented four Excellence in Teaching Awards. Professor Sue Groh of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry was the recipient of one of these Awards, which are primarily based on student evaluations. Professor Groh, who has been at UD since 1984, focuses her research on chemical education, centered on the application of problem-based learning in undergraduate education, particularly in general chemistry. Among her many accomplishments and recognitions by the University for her advisement and teaching, she received the College of Arts & Sciences Excellence in Advisement Award in 2008 and the University of Delaware's Excellence in Advising Award in 1999. She has also been recognized by the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society Excellence in Teaching Awards (UD  chapter) in 1994 and 1999, and the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society (national level) Outstanding Advisor  of the Year Award in 2005.

    In addition to teaching a full load, she advises all Honors CHEM/BIOC majors, advises Habitat for Humanity, Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society and the St Thomas More Oratory Student Organization and serves on the Board of Senior Thesis Readers. She is one of the founding leaders of the Institute for Transforming  Undergraduate Education (ITUE), a faculty-based group that offers  workshops to help faculty develop skills in various forms of active  learning, the editor-in-chief of the Problem-Based Learning Clearinghouse,  an online repository for peer-reviewed PBL problems and materials, and isa member of the Honors Affiliated Faculty and the Honors Program  Liaison to the Department.

    Read more on Udaily

    Photo by Ambre Alexander, obtained from UDaily

    UD Awarded Fifth Howard Hughes Medical Institute Grant

    Under the direction of Program Director and Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Professor Hal White the University of Delaware has been awarded its fifth Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) grant. UD is one of only fifty research active universities to be awarded this grant. This $1.2M HHMI grant will provide funding in support of innovative programs to strengthen undergraduate and precollege science education.

    Read more on HHMI Institute News

    Annual Trofimenko Memorial Prize Awarded to Bayrammurad Saparov

    Bayram, Klaus and PerianaThe third annual Trofimenko Memorial Prize was awarded on Wednesday, April 28, 2010 to Bayrammurad Saparov, on occasion of a departmental seminar presented by Prof. Roy Periana of the Scripps Research Institute in Florida. Mr. Saparov is a senior graduate student in the laboratory of  Prof. Svilen Bobev.  The prize recognizes Mr. Saparov's prolific work on the synthesis and structural characterization of intermetallic phases of rare-earth metals and transition metals containing the heavier pnicogens, i. e., antimony and bismuth.  These compounds are typically narrow-gap semiconductors, and they are of interest in the search for more efficient thermoelectric materials.

    Mr. Saparov is a native of Turkmenistan and was a bronze medal winner in an International Chemistry Olympiad.  He received his Diploma in Chemistry (equivalent to an M.S.) from Moscow State University, the foremost University in Russia.  He is also the recipient of the second annual Brennie E. Hackley, Jr. Award for Excellence in Research ( 2010) and he has received an Elizabeth Dyer Award for excellence in teaching  and a Ludo Frevel Crystallographic Scholarship, by the International Center for Diffraction Data.

    This award honors Dr. Swiatoslaw 'Jerry' Trofimenko, who was a visiting scholar associated with the research group of Dr. Klaus Theopold since1996. Dr. Trofimenko remained an active member of the Dr. Theopold's group until his untimely passing in February 2007.

    To honor Dr. Trofimenko's memory, the Department has established the 'Trofimenko Memorial Prize', to be awarded annually to a graduate student for distinguished performance in creative inorganic synthesis. Read More about Dr. Trofimenko

    More on the research going on in the Bobev lab.

    Four UD students awarded Goldwater Scholarships

    Four University of Delaware students -- Amanda Lee Welch, a junior animal science major, Michael G. Napolitano, a senior biochemistry major, Patrick Robert Devlin, a senior mathematical sciences major, and Mark Clayton Weidman, a senior chemical engineering major --have been awarded scholarships by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. Read more on UDaily

    74th Intercollegiate Student Chemists' Covention, U of D

    Twenty-eight papers were presented by students from 11 different schools (Albright (1), Delaware (3), Elizabethtown (5), Franklin and Marshall (1), Gettysburg (3), Lebanon Valley (1),  Lycoming (5), Muhlenberg (3), Penn State-Harrisburg (1), Salisbury (1), Ursinus (4)). Although both the number of papers and the number of schools represented were down from last year's totals at F&M (47/14), the quality level held firm.

    Delaware presenters included:

      Matthew Broda, "Crystal Growth and X-ray Structure Determination of the Ternary Rare Earth Metal Phosphides RECo(2)P(2) and RECo(5)P(3) (RE = La, Ce)" [Mentor: Prof. Svilen Bobev]

      Valerie Shurtleff, "Enantioselective C-H Functionalization of Indoles" [Mentor: Prof. Joseph Fox]

    Sean Hunt, "Density Functional theory Study of Tungsten Carbides as a Low-Cost Substrate Material for Highly Active Monolayer Platinum Hydrogen Evolution Reaction Catalyst" [Mentor: Prof. J. G. Chen (CHEG)]

    Every ISCC requires a team of devoted judges, and ours was no exception. We were fortunate to have enlisted the services of:

    Dr. Katherine A. Bakeev, CAMO Software, Inc.
    Dr. Julie Lloyd Palkendo,  Kutztown University [UD doctoral alumnus]

    Dr. Balwant Chohan, Penn State University - Harrisburg
    Dr. Chadwick Tolman, DuPont Central Research and Development - retired

    Incoming Assistant Professor Research Highlighted in C&EN

    Incoming assistant professor Joel Rosenthal's postdoctoral research study with Professor Stephen Lippard of MIT is highlighted in C&EN. Their research published in J. Am. Chem. Soc., DOI: 10.1021/ja909148v has found a useful way to detect HNO in biological systems.

    Read more about what Joel's lab will be focusing on when he arrives at UD.

    Zhihao Zhuang Named Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award Recipient

    Zhihao Zhuang Photo

    Zhihao Zhuang, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Delaware, has been selected to receive a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program Award funded by NSF Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (MCB).

    Prof. Zhuang was recognized for his research on understanding the non- proteolytic function of ubiquitin in eukaryotic translesion DNA synthesis. This five-year, $783,000 grant will support an integrated research program of developing new chemical methods for efficient protein ubiquitylation and exploring at the molecular level how cells are able to tolerate the damaged DNA through translesion synthesis. Read more on UDaily.

    Read more about the Zhuang Group's research

    New Chemical Method for Protein Ubiquitylation Published in Nature Chemical Biology by Zhuang Group

    Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Zhihao Zhuang and his research group have developed a new chemical method for producing ubiquitylated protein that is important to research on DNA damage response. This work is reported in the April issue of Nature Chemical Biology.

    Learn more about the research going on in the Zhuang lab here.

    Bayram Saparov Named Recipient of Second Brennie E. Hackley, Jr. Award for Excellence in Research

    Brennie Hackley Award PhotoBayrammurad (Bayram) Saparov, a doctoral candidate in Prof. Svilen Bobev’s research group since 2006, was presented the second Brennie E. Hackley, Jr. Award at a Departmental Colloquium on March 12, 2010.

    Bayram received his Diploma in Chemistry (equivalent to our M.S.) from Moscow State University, the foremost University in Russia. He is a native of Turkmenistan, and was a bronze medal winner in the International Chemistry Olympiad.

    His research project focuses on synthetically very challenging intermetallic compounds of the rare-earth metals with the d5 and d10 metals and the heaviest pnicogens (antimony and bismuth). He has already published eight peer-reviewed papers for which he was the first author, and has presented papers at two national ACS meetings, as well as the Mid-Atlantic Inorganic Symposium.

    In addition to the Hackley Award, Bayram has already received an Elizabeth Dyer Excellence-in-Teaching Award and a Ludo Frevel Crystallographic Scholarship, one of only 8 given, worldwide, by the International Center for Diffraction Data.

    The Brennie E. Hackley, Jr. Award for Excellence in Research is being given in perpetuity, thanks to a most generous endowment established by his family. Dr. Hackley received his M.S. (1954) and Ph.D. (1957) degrees from the University of Delaware, working with (the late) Professor Betty Dyer. He was the first African-American to receive a doctorate in chemistry from the U of D.

    Dr. Hackley was the Chief Scientist and Scientific Advisor to the Commander of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense, Edgewood Area of the Aberdeen (MD) Proving Grounds. His career encompassed a remarkable 57 years of continuous government service. His 75 scientific publications and 15 U.S. patents contributed significantly to the development of medical antidotes for chemical warfare agents. Following his death on November 5, 2006, he was posthumously awarded the U.S. government’s Exceptional Civilian Service Medal. In addition, on July 17, 2009, the new USAMRICD Collaborative Research Facility at the Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center was dedicated to his memory. The 6,800 square foot facility is designed to serve as a venue to support collaboration with entities external to the USAMRICD, including research partners in industry, academia, and government.

    Dr. Hackley’s widow, Ethel, to whom he had been married for 57 years, also worked at Edgewood. His daughter, Dr. Michele Hackley Johnson, an Associate Professor of Diagnostic Radiology, Surgical Otolaryngology and Neurosurgery at the Yale University School of Medicine, is the Director of Interventional Neuroradiology at the Yale Cerebrovascular Center. She, too, is a UD graduate, having received her B.A. in Chemistry in 1975. She will be our 2010 CHEM/BIOC Graduation Convocation speaker.

    28th Annual Dyer Awards
    Dyer Award Photo
    From left to right: Pavan Mantravadi, Alumni Distinguished Professor and Associate Chair, Director of Graduate Studies and Associate Professor Brian Bahnson, Kaitlin Papson and Professor and Chair Klaus Theopold
    Dr. Brian Bahnson presented the 28th annual Elizabeth Dyer Excellence in Teaching Awards to three outstanding Chemistry and Biochemistry graduate student teaching assistants at the departmental graduate recruitment seminar on March 12, 2010. The graduate students honored were Ms. Kaitlin Papson, Ms. Carol Roach and Mr. Pavan Mantravadi. Kaitlin received her bachelor’s degree from the College of New Jersey and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. with Professor Douglas Ridge. Kaitlin served as a TA in CHEM-111 and 112, General Chemistry, during the fall of 2008 and spring of 2009. Carol received her bachelor’s degree from Temple University and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. with Professor Sharon Neal. Carol served as a TA in CHEM-438, Instrumental Analysis, during the fall of 2008 and CHEM-120, Quantitative Chemistry, during the spring of 2009. Pavan received his master’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras India and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. with Professor John Koh. Pavan served as a TA in CHEM-102, General Chemistry, during the fall of 2008 and CHEM-322, Organic Chemistry, in the spring of 2009. The Dyer Award honors the memory of Professor Elizabeth Dyer, a member of the Chemistry and Biochemistry faculty from 1933-1971. This award has been given to outstanding teaching assistants since 1981.


    Chemistry and Biochemistry Faculty awarded $2.2M NSF Grant

    A research team in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry: Tatyana Polenova (Principal Investigator), Cecil Dybowski (Co-Principal Investigator), and Sharon Rozovsky (Co-Principal Investigator) has received a National Science Foundation award of nearly $2.2M for the acquisition of a 750-megahertz nuclear magnet resonance (NMR) spectrometer.

    The new instrument will be housed in the Departmental recently constructed Magnet Hall, which was erected during the recent renovation project in the Brown Laboratory. Currently the Brown Lab magnet hall houses NMR magnets up to 600-MHz. The new high-field instrument will be a major step forward in the UD infrastructure, and will support multidisciplinary research across many departments on campus and at collaborators' institutions.
    Read More on UDaily

    NYSAS Announces Professor Cecil Dybowski as The Winner of the 2010 EAS GOLD MEDAL Award

    Photo Professor Cecil DybowskiThe New York Society for Applied Spectroscopy (NYSAS) has announced that Professor Cecil Dybowski will be the recipient of their 2010 Eastern Analytical Society (EAS) GOLD MEDAL Award. The EAS GOLD MEDAL Award was established in 1952 to recognize outstanding contributions to the field of Applied Spectroscopy.

    The Gold Medal will be presented at a special award symposium, arranged in his honor at the 2010 Eastern Analytical Symposium to be held in Somerset, N.J. November 15-18. There will be a luncheon in his honor to be attended by the NYSAS officers and speakers in his session. A biography and photograph is to be featured by Eastern Analytical Symposium committee, on the NYSAS Website.

    Read more about Professor Dybowski's research at: http://www.udel.edu/dybowski/dybowski.htm

    Chemistry and Biochemistry Faculty, Sharon Rozovsky and Brian Bahnson, Win UDRF Strategic Initiative Grant

    Assistant Professor Sharon Rozovsky and Professor Brian Bahnson won a UDRF strategic initiative grant to explore the structure and function of selenoprotein K (SelK), which has been shown to reduce internal levels of reactive oxygen species and protect cells against oxidative stress.

    Read more on UDaily

    Bayram Saparov Named Recipients of the 2010 Award for Aspiring Crystallographers

    Graduate student, Bayram Saparov, has been named as one of the recipients of the 2010 award for aspiring crystallographers (given by annually by ICDD in honor of the late L.Frevel). The monetary aspect of the fellowship is also significant - $2500. The award, whose name was recently changed to honor the founder of the scholarship award was established in order to encourage promising graduate students to pursue crystallographically oriented research, the International Centre for Diffraction Data (ICDD).

    Along with his CV and recommendation from his research advisor, Assistant Professor Svilen Bobev, Bayram also submitted a brief 2-page research proposal, as required by ICDD (see the web-page) http://www.icdd.com/resources/awards/frevel.htm.

    Together with longstanding interest due to their promising thermoelectric properties, very recent discoveries of superconductivity in fluorine- and potassium doped pnictides sparked worldwide interest from researchers. The Bobev group are currently working on an entirely new family of oxy- and haloropnictides with unique crystal structures. They have successfully completed synthesis and study of electronic structures of the compounds and are looking forward to carry out physical property measurements on them.

    To learn more about Mr. Saprov and the Bobev's lab research click here.

    Kate Scantlebury Named Fellow of AAAS

    Professor of Chemistry and Secondary Science Education Coordinator, Kathryn Scantlebury one of two UD faculty members to be named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Kate Scanltebury was selected for her distinguished contributions to science education, particularly gender issues in science teacher preparation and in urban schools.
    Read more on UDaily.

    Kate Scantlebury Elected to Receive the Outstanding Mentor Award by ASTE

    Kate Scantlebury Photo

    Professor of Chemistry and Secondary Science Education Coordinator, Kathryn Scantlebury has been selected to receive the Outstanding Mentor Award by The Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE).This award honors and encourages ASTE members who support and encourage pre-service and in-service science teachers and/or new science teacher educators entering our profession and seeks to recognize the valuable contributions of mentors to the profession of science teacher education.She will receive her award during the 2010 Annual ASTE International Conference in Sacramento, CA. Kate Scantlebury will be presented with a plaque recognizing her achievements, and a tribute in the awards issue of the ASTE Newsletter. In recent years, she also received the Outstanding Science Educator and the award for Innovations in Teaching Science Teachers.

    Professor Cecil Dybowski Recognized for Outstanding Achievements in Magnetic Resonance.

    Photo Cecil Dybowski

    Physical chemist, Professor Cecil Dybowski has been named the recipient of the 2010 Eastern Analytical Symposium (EAS) Award for Outstanding Achievements in Magnetic Resonance. Professor Dybowski will receive his award next November at the 2010 Eastern Analytical Symposium.

    Read more on UDaily


    Graduate Student, Wiley Hall, Wins Student Poster Competition at AAAR

    Photo Wiley HallGraduate student, Wiley Hall from Professor Murray Johnston's lab, won a student poster competition award at the 28th Annual American Association of Aerosol Research (AAAR) Conference. The conference was held in Minneapolis, MN, October 26th-30th at the Hyatt Regency. The student chapter meeting convened on Wednesday, October 28th, followed by a student poster session. 111 student posters were judged based on scientific content, graphic display and oral presentation. Mr. Hall was one of 16 winners for his poster on the "Composition and Yield of Biogenic Secondary Organic Aerosol"

    The Johnston lab research is directed toward problems of atmospheric, environmental and biological significance. Mr. Hall's research is on the formation and composition of secondary organic aerosol in the atmosphere.

    A copy of his poster can be found here.

    To learn more about Mr. Hall and the Johnston's lab research click here.

    CHEM/BIOC Graduate Production, 2007-2008

    The Committee on Professional Training of the American Chemical Society has published its annual report on CHEM/BIOC graduate production. This edition deals with the 2007-2008 academic year (CHEMICAL&ENGINEERING NEWS, November 23, 2009, pp. 38-48). For the sixth consecutive year, our Department's number of ACS-certified BS/CHEM + BS/BIOC graduates placed it in the top 2% of U.S.

    schools with ACS-approved bachelor's degree programs - 11th out of 647, to be precise. Almost as impressive is the fact that our total number of BS (certified) + BA (non-certified) graduates has been in the top 7% nationally for fourteen consecutive years, placing 48/647 in the 2007-2008 report. Finally, showing a degree of undergraduate/graduate balance that is rare, our 2008 Ph.D production ranked in the top 19% (38th out of 200).


    Juan Carlos Rodriguez-Reyes Recipient of The Top-Level Hoffman Award from American Vacuum Society

    Mr. Juan Carlos Rodriguez-Reyes has been named recipient of the Dorothy M. and Earl S. Hoffman Award at the 56th International Symposium and Exhibition of the American Vacuum Society (AVS). The Hoffman award, established in 2002 to recognize and encourage excellence in graduate studies in the sciences and technologies of interest to AVS, is the top-level award given yearly to a single graduate student by AVS. Juan Carlos was nominated for this prestigious award by his advisor, Professor Andrew Teplyakov of the University of Delaware’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. After a competitive selection process, five students were selected as top-level graduate student awardees, and the recipient of each award was determined after a presentation and interview before the Awards Committee of AVS at the International Symposium. After this final competition, Juan Carlos was named the recipient of the top-level Hoffman Award,
    which consists of a cash award, a certificate,
    and reimbursed travel support to attend the
    International Symposium.

    Juan Carlos' presentation, entitled "Tuning the chemical properties of surfaces through atomic- and molecular-level modification schemes", summarized the investigations done under the supervision of Prof. Teplyakov over the last five years. His research is focused on understanding and modifying the surface chemical processes taking place in different systems, such as thin films, bare silicon surfaces and functionalized surfaces; it has resulted in several publications.

    During the award ceremony,Juan Carlos was said to receive the award "for his contributions to the understanding of chemical reactions involved in thin film deposition and surface functionalization".

    Photo Carol Roach Mr. Juan Carlos Rodriguez-Reyes accepts the Dorothy M. and Earl S. Hoffman Award from the President of the American Vacuum Society, *Gregory Exarhos (right) and the Chairman of the Awards Committee, Steven George (left)* at the 56th International Symposium of the American Vacuum Society

    In addition, Juan Carlos was recognized as a runner-up in the competition for the Morton M. Traum Surface Science Division Student Award, which is presented annually for the best student poster at the International symposium and exhibition of the American Vacuum Society (AVS). In his poster, entitled "A surface-chemical perspective on the success (and failure) of metalorganic compounds as thin film deposition precursors," Juan Carlos explored the surface reactions of several technologically-relevant metalorganic compounds and proposed a general pathway able to explain the undesired incorporation of carbon into the substrate when these compounds are used as deposition precursors.

    Carol Roach Wins Federation of Analytical Chemistry and Spectrocopy Societies Student Poster Award

    Photo Carol Roach

    Ms. Carol Roach of Professor Sharon Neal's research group, won the Federation of Analytical Chemistry and Spectroscopy Societies (FACSS) Student Poster Award. Ms. Roach's presented her poster on "Origin of Multiexponential Tryptophan Decay in Proteins" on Wednesday afternoon, October 21st, in Louisville, KY, at the annual FACSS meeting.

    The FACSS/SAS Student Poster Award was awarded to SAS Student members who presented outstanding papers at the poster session. You may learn more about Ms. Roach's poster at: https://facss.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/35864

    Dorothy M. and Earl S. Hoffman Travel Grant Awarded to Two Chemistry Ph.D. Students

    Ms. Kathryn Perrine and Mr. Juan Carlos Rodríguez-Reyes from the research group of Professor Teplyakov are awarded the Dorothy M. and Earl S. Hoffman Travel Grant to attend the 56th International Symposium & Exhibition of the American Vacuum Society to be held in San Jose,CA, November 8-13, 2009 and to present their research.

    Mr. Rodríguez-Reyes is also selected as one of the five top-level student finalists for the 2009 competitive awards to be awarded at this meeting. The information about these Graduate Student Awards and the list of finalists are published in the Technical Program for the AVS 56th International Symposium and Exhibition.

    2009 Alison Young Scholar Award to Svilen Bobev

    Svilen Bobev, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Delaware, has been selected to receive the Alison Faculty Award. This award is given annually at the University of Delaware by the Francis Alison Society to outstanding assistant professors.

    Prof. Bobev was recognized for the originality of his work in his field of Solid-state and Inorganic Chemistry. He will receive a plaque and a $2000 cash award. This spring he will be asked to give an informal presentation of his work in front of the Provost and the Francis Alison Society.

    Read more about the Bobev Group's research

    Biochemistry Junior Battles Wildfires in the West

    Eric Bugglin-Borer, Honors Biochemistry at the University of Delaware, battled fierce fires that swept west this summer.

    As part of a fire suppression group, Eric spent two weeks of his summer battling blazes in Utah and Southern California.

    Read More on Udaily

    Department Awarded CBI Grant for Fourth Time

    The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has been awarded, for the fourth consecutive time, the Chemistry Biology Interface multidisciplinary training grant. The grant is a five year award of $1.3M funded by the National Institutes of Health.

    This multidisciplinary grant provides funding for additional opportunities for doctoral students to gain exposure to scientific concepts, methods from both chemical and biological sciences.  

    Students funded by this grant enjoy opportunities in training in the Departments of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Chemical Engineering or Biological Sciences while conducting research with any of the forty CBI faculty labs from across campus.  

    Read more on UDaily

    Assistant Professor Donald Watson's Postdoctoral Research Published in Science

    Then postdoctoral researcher Donald Watson and his advisor Professor Stephen L. Buchwald along with other colleagues at MIT have had their research on Flexible Fluorination published in the August 2009 issue of Science and highlighted in August's Chemical & Engineering News. Donald Watson arrived in Delaware July 1, 2009, where he accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Organic Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Delaware.

    Their research publication entitled Formation of ArF from LPdAr(F): Catalytic Conversion of Aryl Triflates to Aryl Fluorides was submitted on June 25, 2009 and accepted by the journal on July 30, 2009, was published online on August 13, 2009.

    Donald had worked for Professor Buchwald since 2006, where he was a postdoctoral researcher, and he studied metal catalyzed processes for C-F bond formation. The Department is delighted to have Professor Donald Watson join their growing family. His experience and background will be a great addition to the Department and its research.

    Read more about Professor Donald Watson here.

    Read more about their research in C&EN News here.

    Read Professor Stephen Buchwald and Professor Donald Watson's paper here.

    Department Welcomes Two New Assistant Professors!

    The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is delighted to announce the long awaited arrival of two new Assistant Professors.

    Assistant Professor Mary P. Watson comes to us from Harvard University, where she completed her Postdoctoral study in the laboratory of Professor Eric N. Jacobsen. She earned her Ph.D. at the University of California, Irvine and her A.B. at Harvard. Mary Watson is setting up shop in 237 Brown Laboratory (office) and 337 Brown Laboratory and can be reached at (302) 831-1529 or mpwatson@udel.edu.

    Research in the M. P. Watson group is centered on the discovery of new catalytic, stereoselective methods for organic synthesis by utilizing the power of both transition metal and Brønsted acid catalysts.

    Assistant Professor Donald A. Watson comes to us from MIT, where he completed his Postdoctoral studies in Professor Stephen L. Buchwald's laboratory. He completed his Ph.D at University of California, Irvine and received his B.S. in chemistry from the University of the California, San Diego. His research program is broadly focused on the development of transition metal catalysts for applications in organic synthesis and alternative energy. He is particularly interested in inventing new reactions for the stereocontrolled introduction of heteroatoms, such as nitrogen, in rapid fashion. He also employs the principles of catalyst design and organometallic synthesis to prepare novel complexes for use as catalysts in alternative fuel preparation and energy storage.

    Donald Watson will be located in 205 Lammot duPont Laboratory (office) and 224 Lammot duPont Laboratory and can be reached by telephone at (302) 831-8728 or by email at dawatson@udel.edu.

    I hope that ALL will be welcoming to our new chemistry and biochemistry family members. And, of course, if you need a bit of a work out, I’m sure neither would turn down the offer of a little help as they get their offices and laboratories ready for their new research groups.

    Laurel Kegel Awarded GRA Predoctoral Fellowship

    Photo Laurel KegelChemistry and Biochemistry Graduate Student, Laurel Kegel (Karl Booksh) has been awarded the Great Rivers Affiliate (GRA) Spring 09 Predoctoral Fellowship by the Research Committee of the American Heart Association (AHA). The award begins 7/1/2009, and has been approved at for two consecutive years. (Period 1 Start Date: 7/1/2009, End Date: 6/30/2010,

    in the amount of $23000 and for Period 2 Start Date: 7/1/2010, End Date: 6/30/2011, for the same amount of $23000.) The research award was made possible by the dedicated work of people of all ages and backgrounds who volunteer their time and talents to fight heart disease through advocacy efforts and fund raising activities.


    14th CHEM/BIOC Graduation Convocation: Pearson Hall, May 30, 2009

    Hooding Processional

    Hooding 2009

    Charles Bergquist


    CHEM/BIOC Awards - Honors Day, 2009

    One of the pleasures that I look forward to every May, is my annual mining expedition for CHEM/BIOC nuggets in the Honors Day booklet. As usual, I found quite a few in the 2009 edition:


    Harward Fellow:
    Ann E. Benevidez(BS/CHEM/09)

    Phi Beta Kappa Clift and DeArmond Award:
    Valerie W. Shurtleff(BS/CHEM/11)


    American Chemical Society Award in Chemistry: Amy L. Styer (BS/BIOC/10)

    American Institute of Chemists Award in Chemistry: Stephen J. Tereniak(BS/CHEM/09)

    Kevin Scott Beall Memorial Awards: Timothy E. Gilpatrick (BS/BIOC/12),Soma Jobbagy (BS/BIOC/12)

    Wallace H. Carothers Scholarships: Valerie W. Shurtleff (BS/CHEM/11), James L. White (BS/CHEM/11)

    Frank W. Collins Undergraduate Award in Biochemistry: Stephanie L.Myrick (BS/BIOC/09)

    Quaesita Drake Scholarships: Christina H. Antonopoulos (BS/BIOC/09), Ionna H. Antonopoulos (BS/BIOC/09), Heather A. Hartman (BS/CHEM/10), Meghan D. Woods (BS/BIOC/09)


    Plastino Award

    Two years have elapsed since the first class of six Alumni Undergraduate Research Fellows was named. The Program is being underwritten by a generous gift from Mr. David Plastino (BS/CHEM/78), Senior Vice-President for Investments at UBS. Pictured is the third class of Alumni Undergraduate Research Fellows, announced during a dinner in their honor at the Blue and Gold Club on April 29th (from the left):Photo Plastino Award

    Charles J. Polotti, Jr.(BS/CHEM/11) [Research Adviser, Prof. Klaus Theopold]
    Andrew J. Meyer (BS/CHEM/10) [Research Adviser, Prof. Klaus Theopold]
    Patrick J. Straney (BS/CHEM/10) [ Research Adviser, Prof. Douglass Taber]
    David Plastino
    Aditya P. Bose
    (BS/BIOC/10) [Research Adviser, Prof. Xinqiao Jia, Department of Materials Science]
    Valerie W. Shurtleff (BS/CHEM/11) [Research Adviser, Prof. Joseph Fox]
    James L. White (BS/CHEM/11) [Research Adviser, Prof. Joshua Hertz, Department of Mechanical Engineering]

    That the Program is already bearing considerable fruit is evident in the fact that ALL SEVEN U of D presenters at the 73rd Intercollegiate Student Chemists Convention, held at Franklin and Marshall College on April 18th were Plastino Alumni Undergraduate Research Fellows: Douglas Desario (BS/CHEM/09), James Lansing (BS/CHEM/09), Kristin Nuzzio (BS/CHEM/09), Michael Pirnot (BS/CHEM/09), Stephen Tereniak (BS/CHEM/09), Nicholas Zeringo (BS/BIOC/09), and Steven Zucker (BS/CHEM/09). Mr. Tereniak also presented the results of his work with Prof. Charles Riordan at this year's Alumni Undergraduate Research Fellows dinner.



    Svilen Bobev named 2009 ExxonMobil Solid State Chemistry Faculty Fellowship awardee

    Assistant professor, Svilen Bobev, has been named the awardee of the 2009 ExxonMobil Solid State Chemistry Fellowship in Inorganic Chemistry by the ACS. Prof. Bobev's research is studying the relationship between composition, structure and electronic structure in complex intermetallic compounds. He will receive his award at the fall ACS national meeting in Washington DC. The solid state chemistry fellowship recognizes young scientists who have made substantial contributions to the discipline of solid-state chemistry and have the potential to emerge as leaders in the field.

    Two New Assistant Professors Join the Department Ranks!

    The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is pleased to announce that it as been successful in attracting two new faculty members to the Department. Drs. Mary Watson (Ph. D. UC Irvine, currently a postdoc at Harvard) and Don Watson (Ph. D. UC Irvine, currently a postdoc at MIT) will join the Department this fall as Assistant Professors in Organic Chemistry.

    Mary Watson's research program is centered on the discovery of new catalytic, stereoselective methods for organic synthesis by utilizing the power of both transition metal and Bronsted acid catalysts. Her research will focus on selective activation and functionalization of relatively strong bonds; enantioselective transition metal-catalyzed preparation of chiral alkylboranes and alkylsilanes; and the development of new chiral Bronsted acid catalysts to promote reactions of unactivated alkenes. These methods will allow greater efficiency and novel bond constructions in the synthesis of stereochemically complex molecules, with applications that extend to natural products synthesis, drug discovery and process chemistry. The development of these methods will also provide a platform for mechanistic investigations, which will enable insights into questions of fundamental reactivity and catalyst design.

    Don Watson's research program is broadly focused on the development of transition metal catalysts for


    2009 Intercollegiate Student Chemist Convention

    The 73rd Intercollegiate Student Chemists Convention (the oldest meeting of its kind in the US) was held at Franklin and Marshall College, in Lancaster, PA, on Saturday, April 18, 2009. A record number (19) of U of D students and faculty attended: Derek Ahneman, Thomas Bloss, Eric Bugglin-Borer, Douglas Desario, Timothy Gilpatrick, Alyssa Hellereich, Soma Jobaggy, Sarah King, James Lansing, Kristin Nuzzio, Michael Pirnot, Charles Polotti, Valerie Shurtleff, Stephen Tereniak, James White (our official photographer), Nicholas Zeringo, Steven Zucker, Prof. Svilen Bobev, and Prof. John Burmeister.

    Seven of the students presented papers based on their undergraduate research projects:

    Douglas Desario, "Multivariate Analysis of the Fluorescence Decay of 3 Hydoxyflavone", Prof. Sharon Neal, Adviser

    Steven Zucker, "Characterization of Carbonaceous Airborne Particulate Matter in Wilmington, DE", Prof. Murray Johnston, Adviser

    Kristin Nuzzio, "Characterization of Vanadium Haloperoxidase Mutants by V(51) Solid-State NMR Spectroscopy", Prof. Tatyana Polenova, Adviser

    James Lansing, "Stabilization of High Oxidation State Transition Metals", Prof. Klaus Theopold, Adviser

    Stephen Tereniak, "Synthesis and Characterization of a 'PS(2)' Ligand and [PS(2)NiX]BPh(4) (X = chloride, bromide, iodide) for Coordination Chemistry and Bioinorganic Modeling", Prof. Charles Riordan, Adviser

    Michael Pirnot, "Alkylpyridine Anion Chemistry - Progress Towards the Synthesis of Lycopladine A and Monomorine", Prof. Douglas Taber, Adviser

    Nicholas Zeringo, "FT-ICR MS Studies of Metal Sulfide Cluster Formation Using Electrospray Ionization", Prof. Douglas Ridge, Adviser

    Awards for best presentations were received by Douglas Desario (First Place, Analytical Division), Michael Pirnot (Second Place, Organic II Division), and Nicholas Zeringo (Second Place, Physical Division).

    A total of 47 papers were presented by students from 14 colleges and universities in PA, NJ, MD, and DE. Since its inception, in 1936, more ISCC awards (94) have been won by U of D students than any other of the 62 participating schools.

    The 2010 ISCC will be held at the University of Delaware on April 24, 2010 - the 8th time that we will have hosted the meeting (also more than any other school).

    On a more personal note, F&M is my alma mater, and 2009 marks the 50th anniversary of my graduation. I had not seen the campus since the last ISCC held there in 1992. They're still called the Diplomats ("Dips", for short), but little else remained unchanged. Even my old fraternity house, Phi Kappa Sigma, looked rather spiffy, although the walk down James Street seemed to be a lot longer than I remembered it to be. I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with their (relatively) new President, John Fry, who was a colleague of President Harker's at UPenn. Finally, a more perfect spring day could not have been imagined!



    The 43rd annual Glenn S. Skinner Memorial Award

    The 43rd annual Glenn S. Skinner Memorial Award was presented to Radhika Nagarkar on April 6, 2009 at the Wriston Memorial Lecture. Ms. Nagarkar’s research advisor is Professor Joel Schneider. This award, in honor of Dr. Skinner, is presented for distinction in scholarship, research, teaching and service by a graduate student in the Department. Dr. Skinner was a very active member of the Chemistry faculty from 1928 to 1958. As a recipient of this award, Ms. Nagarkar received a certificate and a check for $2,500.00.


    27th Annual Dyer Awards

    The 27th annual Elizabeth Dyer Excellence in Teaching Awards were presented to four outstanding Chemistry and Biochemistry graduate student teaching assistants at the departmental graduate recruitment seminar on March 6, 2009.  The graduate students honored were Brad Bauer, David Gerstenhaber, Bayrammurad Saparov and Xiaochun Zhang.  Brad received his bachelor’s degree from Desales University and is currently working on his doctorate in the laboratory of Professor Sandeep Patel.  Brad served as a TA in CHEM-445, Physical Chemistry, during the fall of 2007. David received his bachelor’s degree from the University of New Hampshire and is currently working on his doctorate in the laboratory of Professor Douglass Taber.  David served as a TA in CHEM-333, Organic Chemistry, during the fall of 2007 and CHEM-334, Organic Chemistry, during the spring of 2008.

    Photo Dyer Award

    Josiah Willard Gibbs (1839 – 1903)

    For the twentieth consecutive year, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has celebrated the birthday of J. Willard Gibbs, in recognition of the American scientist and scholar who, in the late 19th century, presented a unified interpretation of thermodynamics that is the basis for the way the subject is taught in chemistry programs around the world.

    Image Josiah Willard Gibbs
    Josiah Willard Gibbs
    Image Original Source: http://ronispc.chem.mcgill.

    Gibbs, born February 11, 1839, was – at the time of his death in 1903 – one of the pre-eminent American physical scientists. Because of his reserved personality, his fame was restricted to the handful of scholars who were studying similar subjects. Over the years, as his methods became more widely known, his stature as an icon of American science grew until today he is recognized as a true genius who made major contributions to a number of different fields.

    Because of his extensive contributions to physical chemistry, the Division of Physical Chemistry

    Chemistry and Biochemistry's Glass Technologist Highlighted in UDaily

    Chemistry and Biochemistry's Doug Nixon, Glass Technologist, was highlighted in one of UDaily's February 4th, 2009 articles. The Scientific Glassblowing Shop, located in 011 Brown Laboratory, provides a valuable service to the Department's scientific glass needs. As the Glass Technologist, Doug has run the

    Read more on UDaily.
    Learn more about the services offered at the Glassblowing Shop website.

    Bryan Bzdek Awarded Center for Critical Zone Research Fellowship

    Bryan Bzdek wins one of the first four fellowship awards awarded by the University of Delaware’s Center for Critical Zone Research. The Center, founded in 2006 and, is a multidisciplinary program initiative that focuses on the interactions of rock, soil, water, air and living organisms that regulate and populate the natural habitat, the Earth’s “critical zone” and thereby hopes to improve the environmental health of Delaware, nationally and internationally. 

    Read more on UDaily

    Learn more about the Center for Critical Zone Research (CCZR)

    Learn more about the Unidel Foundation

    Professor Murray Johnston Awarded the Benjamin Y. H. Liu Award

    UD’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Professor Murray Johnston is this year’s co-winner of the American Association for Aerosol Research’s Benjamin Y. H. Liu Award. Professor Johnston collaborated with Dr. Daniel M. Murphy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to revolutionize the field of aerosol chemistry through the development of on-line, field transportable mass spectrometers. In particular, the award announcement cites a 1991 publication (Analytical Chem. 63, 2069-2073) describing the successful coupling of laser ablation of airborne particles with mass spectrometry.

    Read more on UDaily

    Read more about the American Association for Aerosol Research (link: www.aaar.org)

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