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News and Highlights

From the Chemistry Department

Thirumalai Receives 2018 Oesper Award

Professor and Chair Dave Thirumalai is the recipient of the 2018 Oesper Award presented by the University of Cincinnati Department of Chemistry and the Cincinnati Section of the American Chemical Society. The award recognizes outstanding chemists for a lifetime of significant accomplishments in the field of chemistry with long lasting imp...

Martin Named American Chemical Society Fellow

Professor Stephen F. Martin has been named a 2018 American Chemical Society Fellow. The fellows program began in 2009 to recognize ACS members for outstanding achievements in and contributions to science, the profession, and ACS. Professor Martin and the other 2018 Class of ACS Fellows will be honored at the society's national meeting in Augus...

Sessler Receives Thomas Dougherty Award for Excellence in Photodynamic Therapy

Professor Jonathan Sessler received the Thomas Dougherty Award for Excellence in Photodynamic Therapy at the 10th International Conference on Porphyrins and Phthalocyanines (ICPP-10) in Munich, Germany organized by the Society of Porphyrins and Phthalocyanines (SPP). The lifetime acheivement award was presented by Professors Dirk Guldi (Fried...

Atmospheric Chemistry Models Missing Key Mechanism Related to Air Pollution, Says New Study

Atmospheric chemists have struggled for years to explain why our atmosphere has so much nitrous acid, a compound involved in the creation and removal of common air pollutants that impact human health. According to their computer simulations, there should only be about half as much nitrous acid as is actually measured in places like Beijing and Mexi...

ExxonMobil Hosts Graduate Students for Laboratory Safety Workshop

ExxonMobil’s Baytown Technology and Engineering Center recently hosted 80 graduate students from six universities for its annual Partners in Academic Laboratory Safety (PALS) Workshop. Now in its fifth year, the PALS program establishes mentoring relationships between ExxonMobil and faculty, staff and students from partner universities to enhance l...

Exploring Greener Approaches to Nitrogen Fixation

Chemistry professor Richard Crooks co-authored a review article in the May 25 edition of the journal Science, exploring more environmentally friendly ways to produce nitrogen-based fertilizers. About half of the nitrogen in our bodies today comes from bacteria via the enzyme nitrogenase, which converts, or “fixes,” unreactive nitrogen gas in the at...

Kami Hull and Zachariah Page Joining Department

The Department of Chemistry is pleased to announce that Drs. Kami Hull and Zachariah Page will join the University of Texas at Austin in the 2018/2019 academic year. Kami Hull received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan under the supervision of Melanie Sanford. She went on to be an NIH postdoctoral fellow in Barry M. Trost’s laboratory at St...

Olja Simoska Awarded ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry Graduate Fellowship

Graduate student Olja Simoska, member of the Keith Stevenson and Jason Shear research groups, is the recipient of an American Chemical Society Division of Analytical Chemistry Graduate Fellowship sponsored by the Society for Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh (SACP). This competitive fellowship recognizes outstanding research ability ...

LaBrake, Fakhreddine, and Biberdorf Promoted

Congratulations Cynthia LaBrake, Fatima Fakhreddine, and Kate Biberdorf on recent promotions. Drs. LaBrake and Fakhreddine are being promoted to Distinguished Senior Lecturer and Dr. Biberdorf is being promoted to Senior Lecturer. 

Que Group Students Win at 3MT

Two graduate students in Emily Que's research group received top places at the second annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition at the University of Texas at Austin. Rahul Kadakia won the people’s choice award and Kanchan Aggarwal is the first place winner. Kanchan advances to the regional competition in Fayetteville, Arkansas. 3M...

Biberdorf Awarded H-E-B’s Tournament of Champions Charitable Trust Grant

Lecturer Kate Biberdorf is the recipient of a $5,000 grant from H-E-B's Tournament of Champions Charitable Trust. This generous grant will support the Department of Chemistry's outreach program Fun with Chemistry. In addition, Dr. B was invited to give a talk at the Central Texas H-E-B Women’s Conference. H-E-B’s Tournament of Champions C...

Leyah Schwartz and Seung Wook Kim Awarded Summer Internships at Genentech

In connection with the Krische-Genentech collaboration on C-N bond formation, graduate students Leyah Schwartz and Seung Wook Kim of the Krische Group will be performing summer Internships at Genentech in San Francisco, California.

Krische-Genentech Collaboration on C-N Bond Formation

Professor Michael J. Krische and collaborators at Genentech have developed a highly enantioselective method for C-N bond formation. Krische’s signature π-allyliridium C,O-benzoates, which are commercially available and known to catalyze nucleophilic allyl acetate-mediated carbonyl allylation, are now shown to catalyze asymmetric electrophilic amina...

Roberts Research Published in JACS

  Singlet fission is a process wherein an energetically excited electron in an organic crystal uses its energy to excite multiple electrons on neighboring molecules. Singlet fission can potentially be used to boost the performance of light harvesting systems such as solar cells and photocatalysts, yet designing materials that undergo this proc...

Eberlin Receives Changing the Face of STEM (CTFS) Mentoring Grant

Assistant Professor Livia Eberlin is the recipient of a Changing the Face of STEM (CTFS) mentoring grant from the L'Oréal USA For Women in Science program. The program supports former L'Oréal USA For Women in Science (FWIS) fellows in their efforts to inspire the next generation of girls in STEM. In 2014, Eberln receiv...

Shabbir and Roberts Receive Teaching Excellence Awards

Congratulations to Lecturer Shagufta Shabbir and Assistant Professor Sean Roberts, recipients of College of Natural Sciences 2017 Teaching Excellence Awards. This award recognizes faculty who have had a positive influence on the educational experience of our students. 

Graeme Henkelman's 2017 Peter O’Donnell Distinguished Research Award Recognizes Innovative Battery Research

Source: The Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES)The Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES) Graeme Henkelman is a hidden asset in building better batteries--for cars, cell phones, and all manner of energy-saving devices. Henkelman, who leads the Center for Computational Molecular Sciences, and is a pr...

Krische Catalysis Research to Appear in Science

Professor Michael J. Krische and coworkers have developed a ruthenium catalyst that enables insertion of saturated C-H bonds of adjacent diol carbon atoms into C-C σ-bonds to form products of cycloaddition. These processes merge C-H and C-C bond activation, enabling convergent assembly of structural motifs evident in type II polyketides, broadening...

Chemists Create First Bicyclic Aromatic Compound

An international team of researchers including UT Austin chemist Jonathan Sessler has created the first compound that exhibits bicyclic aromaticity in its ground state. These types of compounds had been theorized decades ago but had remained elusive until now. The authors speculate that these compounds “may have a role to play in extending the fron...

Chemistry Library Moves Out for Welch Hall Renovation

Question:  How do you move a library collection of over 70,000 volumes?  Answer:  With lots of careful planning and lots of muscle power.  The Mallet Chemistry Library, founded by UT’s first chemistry professor and faculty chairman John Mallet in 1883, has occupied its current space in Welch Hall since a 1978 building expansion....