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Chemistry Department News:

December 2011

Prof. John Hubbard was acknowledged as one of the Journal of Organic Chemistry's best reviewers.

November 2011

Prof. Michael Castellani served on a West Viginia Division of Science and Research panel that collected information for an update to the state's Vision 2015 strategic plan.

David Arigan, the Department's stockroom manager, accepted a lead position in the University's Receiving Department. We wish him well.

Benjamin Woodworth and Aaron Bailey both were awarded the West Virginia Space Grant Undergraduate Fellowship, which is $1,000 and will support their activities in the spring semester. Ben and Aaron both perform research in Prof. Derrick Kolling's lab. Ben will use the award to continue his research on lipid identification and quantification in Chlorella vulgaris and Aaron will use his award to continue his efforts to isolate PSII-enriched particles from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Ben's work will give us a better understanding of how we may generate biodiesel from Chlorella vulgaris and Aaron' work will allow us to better explore the assembly of the oxygen-evolving complex.

Prof. Derrick Kolling and two of his research students, James Board and Benjamin Woodworth, attended the Midwest/Southeast Photosynthesis Meeting at Turkey Run State Park, IN, from November 11-13. Ben and James presented posters on their research--Ben was awarded best undergraduate student poster and as part of the award, was able to give a talk on his research.

October 2011

In order to increase awareness and visibility of the Undergraduate Research program in the Department of Chemistry, a new Undergraduate Research web page and several subpages were developed and are now available online.

September 2011

The local ACS Section has received a $2000.00 Innovative Project Grant for their application titled "Fostering the Future Involvement of Current Undergraduate Students within the Central Ohio Valley Section by Experiencing a National ACS Meeting." The funds will be used to take a group of research students to the National ACS meeting next fall in Philadelphia.

Profs. Scott Day and Michael Norton coauthored a paper "Thiolated dendrimers as multi-point binding headgroups for DNA immobilization on gold" with Larry Fiegland, Erik Vint, Wanqiu Shen, and John Morris, in Langmuir. Erik graduated with an M.S. in chemistry from Marshall in the spring of 2011. This paper presents the conjugation of dendrimers to DNA for robustly attached DNA monolayers.

August 2011

Dr. Masudur Rahman, a post-doctoral fellow in Prof. Michael Norton's research group, presented a poster at the Microscopy and Microanalysis meeting on August 9 in Nashville, TN entitled "Widefield optical and AFM analysis of few layer graphene nanowires functionalized with DNA."

Dr. Masudur Rahman, a post-doctoral fellow in Prof. Michael Norton's research group, presented a paper entitled, "Multi-layer graphene grid and nanowire fabrication and printing," at the IEEE Nano 2011 Conference on August 17 in Portland, OR.

Dave Harris ('04) was one of eight chemists from across the US selected to present at this year's Division of Inorganic Chemistry's Young Investigator Symposium at the Denver ACS meeting (August 28 - September 1). The DIC symposium honors talented young inorganic chemists, and provides a high-profile forum for them to present their research results. Dave is presenting work from his doctoral studies with Prof. Jeffrey Long at the University of California at Berkeley and is currently a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University.

Prof. Bin Wang presented a paper entitled, "Structural determination of an iron-responsive element in the 5' untranslated region of alpha-synuclein mRNA," in the Division of Analytical Chemistry at the 242nd ACS National Meeting in Denver on August 30.

Prof. Bin Wang presented a poster entitled, "Regulation of iron-related molecules in the rat hippocampus," co-authored by Srinivasarao Thulluri, Miaozong Wu, Eric Blough, Nandini Manne, and Ashley Litchfield, in the Division of Biological Chemistry at the 242nd ACS National Meeting in Denver on August 30.

Prof. Michael Norton presented 4 papers at the Nano-DDS: Nanoelectronic Devices for Defense & Security Conference held from August 29-September 1 in Brooklyn, NY. Marshall undergraduate students Brittany Caudill and Melanie Butt and masters student Dawn Nicholas co-authored one of the presentations (Picomol detection of trichothecin mycotoxins based on dipain induced fluorescence). Two post-doctoral fellows, Masudur Rahman and Hong Zhong, working with Prof. Norton also co-authored presentations.

June 2011

Prof. Laura McCunn presented a poster entitled, "Characterization of combustion radicals via matrix-isolation FTIR," at the 32nd Annual Combustion Research Meeting sponsored by the Department of Energy. She also chaired a session on "Radicals and Ions" at the 66th International Symposium on Molecular Spectroscopy.

Prof. Michael Castellani attended the Council on Undergraduate Research's 33rd annual business meeting at Washington University in St. Louis, MO.

Prof. Michael Castellani was a facilitator at the NSF-Workshop Program on Institutionalizing Undergraduate Research for State Systems and Consortia at the University of North Carolina at Asheville sponsored by the Council on Undergraduate Research. The workshop is one of a series designed to assist systems attempting to make undergraduate research part of their university culture. The system participating in this event was the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges.

As you may know, 2011 is the International Year of Chemistry. On June 21, the TV game show Jeopardy! featured an entire show on our discipline. If you didn't have a chance to see it, here is a link to a clip from the show. To learn more about International Year of Chemistry, please click on this link.

Prof. Bin Wang contributed a book chapter entitled, "Nucleic acid nanobiomaterials," to Nanobiomaterials Handbook, edited by Balaji Sitharaman. This book was published by CRC Press on June 22, 2011.

May 2011

Prof. Derrick Kolling was awarded a two-year, $35,000 Single-Investigator Cottrell College Science Award from Research Corporation for Science Advancement. Derrick's award will be used to investigate the light-dependent assembly of the oxygen-evolving complex of photosystem II, which is the source of our atmospheric oxygen. The assembly process will be studied in phototrophs that grow in extreme temperatures (e.g., 65°C and 10°C) and compared to those that function optimally around room temperature. This will provide information about the oxidation states of assembly intermediates, the molecular identity of the activation energy barrier, and provide a more detailed overall mechanism. The oxygen-evolving complex has been used to generate bio-inspired catalysts that are abiotic and more amenable to fuel cell usage; the work described in Derrick's grant will allow further understanding of the system, with the goal of designing more efficient catalysts.

April 2011

Prof. Michael Castellani presented the keynote address at Glenville State College's first Pioneer Creative Arts and Student Research Forum in Glenville, WV on April 5. The talk was entitled "Undergraduate Research and Student Learning."

On Friday, April 8 the Department held it's fourth annual outreach event to local industry. In it chemistry majors and graduate students presented the results of their research to scientists from Alcon, BayerMaterials, Flint Group Pigments, Marathon Petroleum, MATRIC, the Polymer Alliance Zone, and Analytical Associates. We also had a luncheon where faculty, students, and company representatives could chat with each other less formally. Presenters included undergraduates Tiffany Bell, Benjamin Blodgett, Allison Combs, Benjamin Crowder, Rebecca Jamieson, Derrick Lee (chemistry education major), Michael Tanner, and graduate student Dawn Nicholas.

Profs. Scott Day, Derrick Kolling, Laura McCunn, and Ken O'Connor were awarded a grant from ACS Project SEED. Project SEED helps economically disadvantaged high school students expand their education and career outlook by spending a summer conducting hands-on research with a scientist in academic, industry, and government research laboratories. Students receive a fellowship award for their efforts and a chance to receive a SEED college scholarship. Three students will have the opportunity to work with Derrick, Ken, Laura, and Scott for 8 weeks this summer. The grant provides $5,000 for student stipends with an additional $2,500 provided in match by the Central Ohio Valley section of the ACS.

Prof. Michael Castellani attended the Council on Undergraduate Research's Posters on the Hill in Washington, DC on April 13. He is the co-chair of the event planning committee.

On Thursday, April 28 the Department held it's annual awards ceremony. Winners and their awards will be posted on our Scholarships and Awards page. At the ceremony, Professor Emeritus Gary Anderson was also formally inducted into the university's John Marshall Society for his generous support of the Department. Dr. Gary Ellis of Flint Group Pigments, anda Marshall Chemistry alumnus, was the keynote speaker.

On Friday, April 29 Marshall University held its 21st Annual Sigma Xi Research Day. Presenters from the Department of Chemistry included undergraduates Cameron Buchman, Allison Combs, Samantha Cotsmire, Benjamin Crowder, Tyler Dickson, Rebekah Jamieson, Sara Lilly, Evan Riley, Matthew Seitz, and graduate student Rebecca Ragland. Tyler Dickson and Rebecca Ragland were the winners of the best poster awards.

March 2011

Ms. Tiffany Bell, a senior biochemistry major, presented a poster "In-vitro galactation of human serum albumin: a first step toward designing a novel assay for classical galactosemia" at Pittcon on March 16th in Atlanta, GA. This presentation was a culmination of her two years of undergraduate research under Prof. Leslie Frost. Prof. Menashi Cohenford of the IST Department also coauthored the poster.

Prof. Michael Castellani presented a seminar at the West Virginia University Department of Chemistry entitled "Electronic and steric effects in phenyl substituted cyclopentadienyl transition metal complexes" on March 16.

Prof. Michael Castellani presented papers entitled "Basic NMR as an introductory lab for high performing freshmen," (co-authored by Prof. John Larson) and "Relationship between college chemistry pass rates/grades and high school grades," (co-authored by James Sottile of the MU College of Education) in the Division of Chemical Education at the 241st ACS National Meeting in Anaheim on March 27 and 31, respectively.

Prof. Bin Wang presented a poster entitled "Characterization and comparison of cytosine-rich RNA domains," in the Division of Analytical Chemistry at the 241st ACS National Meeting in Anaheim on March 30.

February 2011

The Department's mechanism for funding the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship was highlighted in a new book entitled Advancing Undergraduate Research: Marketing, Communications, and Fundraising. It was written by Joyce Kinkead for the Council on Undergraduate Research and highlights innovative ways of promoting research by undergraduate students.

Prof. Laura McCunn did an interview for WV PBS about the MU-ADVANCE program. This is an NSF program whose purpose is to increase recruitment and retention of female STEM faculty at Marshall through faculty development initiatives, enhanced recruitment efforts, and improved institutional climate. It aired on TV on February 25, 2011.

Prof. Ken O'Connor coauthored a paper "An undergraduate organic chemistry laboratory: the facile hydrogenation of methyl trans-cinnamate," with Kimberly Zuspan and Lonnie Berry, in the Journal of Chemical Education. This paper provides students with the ability to monitor the pressure of a hydrogenation reaction in real time. Kimberly graduated in 2008 and Lonnie is in his first year of medical school at Marshall University.

January 2011

On January 25, 2011, two research groups from the Department of Chemistry shared their work with state politicians and fellow scientists at the Eighth Annual Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol. Sara Lilly and Allison Combs presented a poster on work that they had accomplished in Prof. Laura McCunn's lab. Courtney Nichols, Rebecca Mead, Ben Blodgett, Shaheed Elhamdani, and Cameron Buchman presented three posters on work that they had accomplished in Prof. Derrick Kolling's lab.

Prof. Bin Wang coauthored a paper "Effect of aging on cellular mechanotransduction," with Miaozong Wu, Jacqueline Fannin, Kevin M. Rice, and Prof. Eric R. Blough, in Ageing Research Reviews. This paper presents changes in mechanotransduction that are associated with the aging process in several selected physiological systems.

Prof. Bin Wang coauthored a paper "Selective translational control of the Alzheimer amyloid precursor protein transcript by iron regulatory protein-1," with Hyun-Hee Cho, Catherine M. Cahill, Charles R. Vanderburg, Clemens R. Scherzer, Xudong Huang, and Prof. Jack T. Rogers, the head of Massachusetts General Hospital's neurochemistry lab, in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. This paper explores how iron contributes to Alzheimer's Disease, which was selected as a Journal of Biological Chemistry "Paper of the Week."

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