News 2007

December 2007

Prof. Rudolf Burcl received a $30,177 grant from the Research Corp. ( for a project entitled “Theoretical study of atmospheric reactions involving the hydroxyl radical.”

November 2007

Marisa Rubio, a senior ACS certified major, presented a poster entitled “Conformational Changes and Aggregation States of Amyloid Fibril Intermediates” at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students in Austin, Texas. Twenty-five hundred students presented their work in 10 areas. Her poster was selected as best in the Chemical Sciences division. Marisa did her work with Dr. David Talaga at Rutgers University/UMDNJ as part of its “Research in Science and Engineering” program. Marisa also received a competitive travel award from the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology’s Minority Access to Research Careers program, which is funded by NIH and National Institute of General Medical Sciences.

September 2007

Prof. Michael Castellani and former undergraduate students K. Brian Davis and T. David Harris published a research paper on the “Synthesis and X-ray Crystal Structure of [(C5Ph5)CrCl(μ-Cl)2Tl]2: An Example of the Rare M-X-TlI Linkage (X = Halide)” in Organometallics (2007, volume 36, pp. 4843-4845).  Brian Davis is currently a chemist at Sunoco, while Davy Harris is a fourth year Ph.D. student in chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley.  Other coauthors include Arnold Rheingold and James Golen of the University of California at San Diego.  Dr. Castellani also presented this work at WV EPSCoR’s STaR Symposium in Morgantown.

Professor Norton presented an invited paper at “Optics East”, an annual conference of the SPIE organization in Boston on September 12th.  The paper,  titled “Recent Advances in Molecular Lithography”, had 7 coauthors, including 2 Marshall undergraduates, 3 postdoctoral fellows, 1 staff member, and one collaborator at the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies, a national laboratory associated with Los Alamos and Sandia labs.

Prof. Michael Norton was an invited panelist at the STaR Symposium in Morgantown, WV on Sept 18.  The panel was entitled “The Journey from Successful Research to Commercialization.” In it, scientists and entrepreneurs shared their experiences transferring discoveries in the lab to products for the business and consumer markets.  Other panel members were Profs. Lawrence Hornak and Aaron Timperman of West Virginia University and Dr. Stephan Turner of Protea Biosciences.  Gardiner F.H. Smith of Bowles Rice McDavid Graff & Love LLP moderated the panel. See for addtional information.

Prof. Michael Castellani presented a research seminar entitled “Electronic and Steric Effects in Phenyl Substituted Cyclopentadienyl Transition Metal Complexes” at the University of Richmond on September 28.

August 2007

The Department’s newest member, Dr. Bin Wang, joined us this semester.  Dr. Wang, a native of Beijing, China, received her Ph.D. at Queen’s University, Canada and completed post-doctoral studies at the Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Her position is funded by West Virginia’s EPSCoR grant and represents an expansion of the Department to 14 faculty. Dr. Wang is an analytical chemist whose research interests involve the study of materials at the interface of RNA biochemist-ry and nanotechnology.  Currently she is working on several projects including the development of microdevices fabricated of poly-mers and glass for RNA structural analysis and the application of this microchip-based technology to investigate specifics of RNA-therapeutic drug binding and RNA-protein interactions.

The Department is also pleased to welcome two visiting assistant professors:  Drs. Mohammad Itani and Jennifer Shell.  Dr. Itani received his BS Chemistry degree at the Lebanese University, his MS in Medicinal Chemistry/Biomedical Science at Northeastern University, Boston – MA, as well as his Ph.D. in Medicinal/Analytical Chemistry. In parallel, he worked at the Harvard Medical School as a Bioanalytical Chemist in the Anesthesia Dept. / Clinical Pharmacology Lab. He also held a QC/QA Lab Director and Analytical Leader position at Bayer, Institute – WV.   Dr. Shell received her B.S. in chemistry from the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC, and her Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Emory University in Atlanta, GA.  Prior to her employment at Marshall University, she was a visiting assistant professor at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA.

Prof. Ken O’Connor went to an AP Chemistry Lab workshop hosted by Vernier in Arlington, Virginia.  Vernier has just introduced LabQuest, a durable handheld that can be used to collect a wide range of data using over 50 Vernier sensors.  LabQuest also has built in graphing and analysis software, a scientific calculator, a stopwatch and a periodic table.  Over 35 general chemistry experiments have already been developed for use with LabQuest, which retails for approximately $300.  It is our goal to enable students to collect data using state-of-the-art technology and this workshop enabled Ken to investigate what Vernier has to offer.  We will be receiving a Vernier LabQuest in October so Ken can further explore this option.

July 2007

Dr. Miksovska published a paper entitled “The contribution of heme propionate groups to the conformational dynamics associated with CO photodissociation from horse heart myoglobin” in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry (Volume 101, pages 977-986).  Current undergraduate student Marisa Rubio and former undergraduate William Terrell co-authored the manuscript.  Billy is currently a student at Marshall’s medical school.

June 2007

Dr. Castellani attended the 29th annual business meeting of the Council on Undergraduate Research ( at Hamilton College in Clinton, NY.  He was reelected to a third term as a Councilor in the chemistry division and currently serves a chair of the organization’s Outreach Committee.

May 2007

Dr. Anderson presented a poster at the 5th Annual National POGIL Meeting at Washington University in St. Louis entitled “Traditional Lecture vs POGIL in Organic I”

April 2007

Gary Anderson received the University’s Distinguished Service Award.  Dan Babb won the Distinguished Service Award last year.  The award is given to faculty members with at least 20 years at Marshall and who have a distinguished record in both teaching and service.  Dan was recognized for his instrumental role in the creation of both the Yeager Scholars program and Faculty Senate, as well as his long tenure as associate dean and department chair.  Gary has performed countless chemical magic shows for all manner of community groups, but particularly for school children throughout the tri-state region.  He was national president (Grand Master Alchemist, to the initiated) of the Alpha Chi Sigma chemistry professional fraternity and is a current member of the Heritage Council of the Chemical Heritage Foundation.  Gary has also played a central role in the creation of distance learning (ecourses) at Marshall.  Both Dan and Gary are well known for their dedication to student learning. 

Prof. Norton attended the 4th annual Foundations of Nanoscience: Self-Assembled Architectures and Devices conference at Snowbird, UT. Information about the conference may be found at

Danielle Clark, Zach Gambros, and Heather Butts presented their undergraduate research to residents of the Woodlands Retirement Community in Huntington. Marisa is a junior chemistry major working with Prof. Miksovska, while Zach and Heather are Biology majors working with Prof. Norton. Zach and Heather presented a talk entitled “DNA Nanostructures,” while Danielle discussed “Spectroscopic Characterization of Nonenzymatically Glucated Hemoglobin.”

For the past 17 years, Sigma Xi has hosted an Annual Research Day at Marshall.  A large number of chemistry students present the results of their undergraduate research projects to the College of Science each year.  This year two chemistry majors made oral presentations on their undergraduate research projects:

  • Zachary Tackett:  Analysis and Molecular Epidemiology of Common and Resistant Human Pathogens in a Micropolis Population (Prof. Cohenford, ISAT)
  • Danielle Clark:      Spectroscopic Characterization of Nonenzymatically Glucated Hemoglobin (Profs. Miksovska and Cohenford (ISAT))

and 11 presented posters.

  • Sara Chadwick:    Investigation of the Occurrence of Antibiotic Resistant and Toxic Hevy Metal Resistance among Native Bacterial Populations of the Guyandotte River (Prof. Somerville, Biological Sciences)
  • Danielle Clark:      Spectroscopic Characterization of Nonenzymatically Glucated Hemoglobin (Profs. Miksovska and Cohenford (ISAT))
  • Nicholas Dean:      Isolation of Carbamoyl Phosphate Synthase I by Benzyloxybenylbromide Polystyrene Resin (Prof. Frost)
  • Nathan Hatfield:    Use of a New Dimethyliminium Protecting Group for 2,2’-Bipyridine (Prof. Morgan)
  • Megan Johnson:    Quenching of Tris-2,2’-Bipyridine Ruthenium(II) Cation (Prof. Morgan)
  • Jacob Kilgore:       Fragmentation Patterns of Complexes Containing Amine-Terminated Polypropylene Imine (PPI) and Hydroxyl-Terminated Polyamido-Amine (PAM-AM) Dendrimers and Divalent Metals (Prof. Price)
  • Rebecca Manck:   The Fluorescence of Scorpions and a Coumarin Compound (Prof. Frost)
  • Marisa Rubio:       Photothermal Study of Urea Release from Caged Urea Compound (Prof. Miksovska)
  • David Sovic:         A Comparison of Two Colorometric Reagents for Measuring b-Lactamase Activity (Prof. Cohenford, ISAT)
  • Zachary Tackett:  Analysis and Molecular Epidemiology of Common and Resistant Human Pathogens in a Micropolis Population (Prof. Cohenford, ISAT)
  • Meredith Vance:   Mass Spectrometry of Second Generation Poly(Propylene Imine) Dendrimers (Prof. Price)

March 2007

Prof. Norton received a $100,000 subcontract entitled “DNA Nanostructures for Top-Down Integration” in NASA’s Innovative Research Technologies for Next Generation Space Exploration program.  He and his group will be developing sensor structures composed of molecular-sized species.  The funds will support a post-doctoral fellow, travel, and supplies.

Prof. Price and graduate student Jason Batchelor presented posters at the American Chemical Society’s 233rd National meeting in Chicago on their work on dendrimers.  They presented posters entitled “Mass Spectrometry of Dendrimer Metal Complexes” and “Gas-Phase Reactions of PPI Dendrimers and Analogs Complexed with Divalent Zinc.”  Former undergraduate Gwendolyn Harbour coauthored the latter poster, while current undergraduates Roy Harmon and Jacob Kilgore co-authored the former.

Two of Dr. Miksovka’s undergraduate students presented posters on their research at the 51th Annual Meeting of Biophysical Society in Baltimore. Danielle Clark’s paper was on “The Effect of Nonenzymatic Glucose Bonding on Structural Properties of Human Hemoglobin”. Natalia Belogortsova and Menashi Cohenford were also coauthors of this paper. Marisa Rubio’s paper was on “Photothermal study of urea release from caged urea compound.” Graduate student Michael McCumbers and Katja Michael were also coauthors on this paper.

February 2007

Sara Chadwick, Danielle Clark, Jacob Kilgore, Marisa Rubio, David Sovic, and Ben Wilson presented their research at the 4th annual Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol.  At this event students present the results of their undergraduate research to members of the state legislature.  Each student has a poster set up in the state Capitol building and members of the legislature are invited to visit them.  Danielle and Marisa worked with Prof. Miksovska, Jacob worked with Prof. Price, and Ben worked with Prof. Castellani.  Sara is a double major who did her research with Prof. Somerville in Biological Sciences and David is a double major who did his research with Prof. Cohenford of Integrated Science and Technology.  In addition, two Biology students Heather Butts and Zach Gambros, presented their research from Prof. Norton’s lab.  The event organizing committee is co-chaired by Prof. Castellani and Dean Keith Garbutt (WVU).  Poster titles include:

  • Sara Chadwick: Investigation of the Distribution of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria in the Ohio River
  • Danielle Clark: The Nonenzymatic Effects of Glucose Binding on the Structural Properties of Human Hemoglobin
  • Jacob Kilgore:  Gas-Phase Chemistry of Hyperbranched Polymers
  • Marisa Rubio: Characterization of the Reaction Mechanism of Urea Release from Caged Urea Compound
  • David Sovic:  A Novel Colorimetric Assay for the Detection of Dehydrogenases
  • Benjamin Wilson: Synthesis of a Tethered Metallocene

We are pleased to announce that David Arigan has returned to the Department as our stockroom manager. David was our stockroom manager in the late 1980’s and, most recently, was an employee in the Receiving Department.

News Archive for 2006 Events