Past Department News Items
Department Welcomes our Newest Faculty Member - Dr. Mathew Vetticatt
Dr. Mathew Vetticatt was welcomed this Fall 2013 as assistant professor of organic chemistry in the department. Mathew received his Ph.D. in physical organic chemistry with Prof. Daniel A. Singleton at Texas A&M University (2005-2009). His doctoral work was focused on the determination of organic reaction mechanisms using a combination of experimental and theoretical approaches. He applied these techniques to enzymatic reactions during his postdoctoral research in mechanistic enzymology and drug design with Prof. Vern L. Schramm at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (2009-2011). Following this, he did postdoctoral research in organic synthesis and asymmetric catalysis with Prof. William D. Wulff at Michigan State University (2011-2013).
2013 Chemistry Department Award Luncheon
The annual Chemistry Department Award Luncheon was held at Tony's on June 13, 2013. Alistair Lees, Professor and acting-Chair of the Department and Wayne E. Jones, Jr., Professor and Interim-Dean of Harupr College, presented each of the following graduate students with a certificate and award. Daniel Mutisya and Corey Mitchell each received the department’s “Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award” which is given to a graduate student demonstrating outstanding teaching abilities. Matthew Fayette and Thomas Zengeya received the department’s “Outstanding Research Assistant Award” which is given to a graduate student demonstrating outstanding research accomplishments. Megan Fegley received the department's "Outstanding Service and Outreach Award" which is given to a graduate student demonstrating exemplar accomplishments in community service and outreach. Steven Boyer received the department's "Lois D. Mackey Award" which is given to an outstanding first-year teaching assistant in general chemistry.
Going Live with Peptide Nucleic Acid
A research paper from Prof. Eriks' Rozner's group in collaboration with Prof. Christof Grewer (Chemistry) and Dennis Mcgee (Biology) is in press at ACS Chemical Biology, a high impact journal covering breakthroughs at the chemistry/biology interface. The scientists report a promising new chemical approach for recognition of biologically relevant RNA that may be applicable in live cells. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/cb400144x
The Materials Science Program, the Chemistry Department and the Binghamton Local Section of the ACS celebrated NanoDays in April 2013.
This annual celebration brought university researchers, graduate and undergraduate students together to create new and unique learning experiences for both children and adults to explore the miniscule world of atoms, molecules, and nanoscale forces. Our NanoDays events combined fun hands-on activities with a presentation on current research.
Our speaker for the Science Café was Ms. Cynthia Giroux, the Corning Optics and Surface Technologies Division Vice President & Research Director. The event was held at the Lost Dog Café on Wednesday April 4th
On Saturday April 6th, we had a afternoon of fun at the Roberson Museum, this event consisted on hands-on science activities and demonstration, there were also small acts with (graduate students) actors, and a movie playing which brought science education to the audience. The other community outreach event was the Oakdale Mall Hands-on and demonstrations on Sunday April 7th. The local community experienced many of these activities firsthand. Visitors made their own nanobots from everyday materials! Other activities included educational videos and Spin the Wheel!
Young Chemists Recognition
At this year's PITTCON Conference & Exposition held in Philadelphia, PA, March 17-22, 2013, Metrohm USA, Inc. also held their Young Chemists Award press conference. Ms. Veronica Okello, a graduate student from Professor Sadik’s Research Group was among those recognized as promising Young Chemists. Veronica was recognized for her green chemistry research entitled, “Reduction of Hexavalent Chromium using Naturally-derived Flavonoids,” which was published in Environmental Science & Technology, 2012, 46, 10743-10751. Subsequent upon her award citation, Ms. Okello was offered a job right on the spot by a representative of the City of Houston’s Public Works & Engineering, Wastewater Operations in Texas. In informing Veronica of this job offer, Marguerite Martakis, Director of Marketing Communications at Metrohm USA, wrote, “This is so exciting for me to have such a great opportunity come out of our press conference...”
Research Communication Highlighted as VIP
A research communication from Eriks Rozners’ group was published in Angewandte Chemie and highlighted as a VIP (Very Important Paper) on November 5, 2012 http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.201207925. Angewandte Chemie, a flagship publication of the German Chemical Society, has one of the highest Impact Factors (13.455 for 2011) in the field of chemistry. Only a small number of papers, which receive the highest evaluation from all of the reviewers, are designated as VIP in Angewandte Chemie. The paper describes a discovery made by Thomas Zengeya in Rozners’ group that 2-aminopyridine modified peptide nucleic acids (PNA) form exceptionally stable and sequence selective complexes with double stranded RNA. The modified PNA displays unique RNA selectivity by having two orders of magnitude higher affinity for the double stranded RNAs than for the same DNA sequences. Preliminary results suggest that the modified PNA can bind and recognize complex RNAs, such as double helical precursors of microRNAs. Thus, PNA may have unique and previously underappreciated potential for recognition of biologically relevant RNAs.
The First Annual John Eisch Lectureship in Organic Synthesis
Last year the Department of Chemistry at the State University of New York hosted the very successful John Eisch Organometallic Symposium.
Due to the success of this event, the department is pleased to announce the establishment of an annual John Eisch Lectureship in Organic Synthesis. Its first lecture will be held, Friday, October 26, 2012, and we are delighted to have as our featured speaker the internationally recognized Professor Stephen L. Buchwald, Camille Dreyfus Professor of Chemistry, from the Department of Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His talk is entitled, “Palladium-Catalyzed Carbon-Nitrogen and Carbon-Carbon Bond-Forming Reactions: Progress, Applications and Mechanistic Studies.”
We invite you to join us on October 26th, at 4:00 p.m., Academic Building A, room G-008 for what promises to be an excellent lecture as well as a chance to meet with faculty, alumni and friends.
We are at an exciting time in both the life of the University and the Department of Chemistry here at Binghamton. We hope that you will be able to join us on October 26th!
A program with additional details is available for download (pdf 119 KB).
Department Welcomes our Newest Faculty Member - Dr. Brian Callahan
Dr. Brian Callahan was welcomed this Fall 2012 as assistant professor of biological chemistry in the department. Brian received his undergraduate degree in biology from the SUNY Cortland and his PhD in biochemistry and biophysics from the University of North Carolina. Prior to joining Binghamton he was a post-doctoral fellow at SUNY Albany. His research interests are in the area of chemical mechanisms of organic and enzymatic reactions, therapeutic targeting of protein biogenesis, and the design and implementation of biomolecular sensors for analytical screens and genetic selections.
2012 Green Chemistry GRC Scholarship Recipient - Veronica Okello
Veronica Okello, a current graduate student from Prof. Omowunmi Sadik’s research group, has been awarded a scholarship to fund her attendance at the 2012 Green Chemistry Gordon Research Conference. In addition to the attending the conference, Veronica will also be leading a discussion section at the 2012 Green Chemistry Gordon Research Seminar. Both meeting are to be held in Lucca (Barga), Italy on 07/21- 07/27. Our congratulations go out to Veronica!
The Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) on Green Chemistry is a unique forum for graduate students, post-docs, and other scientists with comparable levels of experience and education to present and exchange new data and cutting edge ideas. The focus of this meeting is designing green chemicals and greener approaches in chemistry. A multidisciplinary showcase, this premier GRS will be bringing together outstanding young researchers pushing the boundaries of green chemistry for a sustainable future. The 2012 Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Green Chemistry will present cutting-edge research and the most important advances relevant to environmentally benign and sustainable chemistry and chemical processing.
2012 Chemistry Department Award Luncheon
The annual Chemistry Department Award Luncheon was held at Tony's on May 12, 2012. Wayne E. Jones, Jr., Professor and Chair, presented each of the following graduate students with a certificate and award. George Ngoje, Paul Tanui, and Eliud Mushibe each received the department’s “Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award” which is given to a graduate student demonstrating outstanding teaching abilities. Rameshwori Loukrakpam and Naumih Noah received the department’s “Outstanding Research Assistant Award” which is given to a graduate student demonstrating outstanding research accomplishments. Rob Congdon received the department's "Outstanding Service and Outreach Award" which is given to a graduate student demonstrating exemplar accomplishments in community service and outreach.
Stan Whittingham named distinguished professor
At the SUNY Board of Trustee’s meeting on Thursday, May 10, Professor M. Stanley Whittingham was promoted to the rank of Distinguished Professor. In his 30+ year career at Binghamton, Professor Whittingham has been a pioneer in the development of Lithium ion batteries and an inspiration to the next generation of chemists and materials scientists. With over 200 publications in leading scholarly journals and 16 patents, he has earned a national and international reputation as a prolific and truly innovative scientist. His research in the area of synthesis and characterization of novel transition metal oxides for energy storage and conversion, separations, or as sensors has been continuously supported since his arrival in Binghamton with over $7M in federal research grants from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy. His “world leading” work in the development of materials for batteries emphasized novel approaches to synthesis, solid state characterization, and unique molecular design. Congratulations Stan! Read more about Stan's achievement at Inside Binghamton University.
Megan Fegley Earns 2012 Excellence in Polymer Graduate Research
Megan Fegley was selected as a 2012 Excellence in Polymer Graduate Research award winner by the American Chemical Society division of Polymer Chemistry. A 3rd year PhD student in Dr. Jones’ research group, Megan gave an oral presentation at the ACS National Meeting’s Excellence in Polymer Research Symposium entitled “Synthesis and Photophysics of Fluorescent Conjugated Polymers as Chemosensors for Iron Cations” on Monday of the meeting. The honored students also participated in a reception along with a poster session at the conclusion of the symposium.
Excellence in Polymer Graduate Research Awardees at the Polymer Division Symposium at the San Deigo, ACS National Meeting.
ACS Career Pathways Workshop – “Finding Your Pathway”
On Saturday, April 21st the Chemistry Department at Binghamton University in conjunction with the Binghamton ACS Local Section hosted an ACS Career Pathways workshop entitled “Finding Your Pathway,” facilitated by Dr. Jodi Wesemann, Assistant Director for Higher Education at ACS. During this four hour workshop, chemistry and biochemistry undergraduate and graduate students learned about the four main career pathways available to chemistry professionals: academic, industry, government, and entrepreneurial careers and why each one may or may not be the right choice for them. In addition to learning about which types of careers are available in each pathway, students also learned about the job market and hiring trends in each pathway to help them make their choice. The workshop allowed time for each participant to inventory their own values, interests, background, strengths, and weaknesses so that they could select which career pathway they would like to explore in full detail.
The workshop also featured guests from each career pathway: Dr. Susan Bane (Binghamton University), Dr. Karen Downey (SUNY Cortland), Dr. Alyssa Thomas (Utica College), Dr. Mark. D. Poliks (Endicott Interconnect Technologies), Brad Galusha and Frank Goroleski (Crysta-Lyn Chemical Company) and Dr. Jared DeCoste (Edgewood Chemical Biological Center). These guests were able to answer key questions which arose during discussion using their personal experience in the particular pathway. Refreshments were served, courtesy of Binghamton University Department of Chemistry and the Binghamton ACS Local Section. The event was organized by graduate students of the chemistry department, Juddy Mwaura, Megan Fegley and Danielle McCarthy.
Dr. Omowunmi Sadik elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute
for Medical and Biological Engineering
Professor Sadik has been elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). There were 107 individuals elected to the College at the Fellows Induction and Awards Ceremony which was held at AIMBE’s 21st Annual Event on February 20, 2012 at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C. The College of Fellows is comprised of the top two percent leaders in science and engineering including medical and biological engineers, research directors, innovators, and successful entrepreneurs. The inductees, who were nominated by their peers, were screened by committees of Fellows within their specialty and were finally elected by the full College as the official College of Fellows Class of 2012. Sadik was elected for her research and development of nano-bioanalytical detection platforms for environmental diagnostics and biological monitoring.
Undergraduate Chemistry Club at the Oakdale Mall a great success
Chemistry Club activities were a great success at Binghamton University Outreach at the Mall Day, Saturday, Feb. 25. Kids and adults alike had a chance to see chemistry in action through hands-on demonstrations showing lack of electrical conductivity in pure water, electrochemical power from metal electrodes in a lemon battery and water purification. On the right, Chem Club Secretary Cedric Moore, Chemistry BS ’12, works with a young visitor at the Chemistry table. On the left, Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger and NY Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo visit the table and talk to Chem Club member Minji Kong, Chemistry BS ‘12 about filtration.
ACS Environmental Chemistry Award Recipient - Veronica Okello
Veronica Okello, a current graduate student from Prof. Omowunmi Sadik’s research group, has been selected for a 2012 Graduate Student Award in Environmental Chemistry. The award is given by the Division of Environmental Chemistry of the American Chemical Society to students who have demonstrated great research productivity and potential for future contributions as a professional in environmental chemistry.
This award recognizes graduate students who are working in areas related to environmental chemistry. The award is based on student transcripts and record of research productivity, a brief discussion of their future goals, and a letter of recommendation from the faculty advisor. The awardees receive cash and membership in the Environmental Division for one year. The awardees are publicized on the ACS division website and in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.
John Eisch Organometallic Symposium
The Chemistry Department at the State University of New York at Binghamton hosted a special symposium in honor of Distinguished Professor John Eisch October 28/29, 2011. This exciting event celebrated chemistry at Binghamton and Professor Eisch’s distinguished nearly 40-year career at Binghamton. Two Nobel Laureate’s (Negishi, 2010 and Hoffman, 1981) and six alumni provided a fitting recognition of the internationally recognized research program in organometallic chemistry that he created in Binghamton. The symposium was a fitting tribute on the occasion of Professor Eisch’s retirement and 80th birthday.
Read more about the symposium here.
Distinguished Professor John Eisch, second from left, talks with Ordinarius Professor Udo Brinker of the University of Vienna, left, John Gitua PhD '95, and 2010 Nobel Prize winner Ei-ichi Negishi, right, at the Symposium in Old Union Hall. Photo by Jonathan Cohen
2011 Distinguished Alumni Lecture - Dr. John Bisognano
Dr. John D. Bisognano, MD, PhD, delivered this years chemistry department Distinguished Alumni Lecture pon October 7, 2011. A 1987 graduate of the PhD program at Binghamton where he worked with Professor James Dix, he is currently Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology at the University of Rochester and the Director of Cardiology Outpatient Services there. Prior to graduating from Binghamton, Dr. Bisognano attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, for his Bachelors degree. He received a M.A. in chemistry from Binghamton in 1984 prior to receiving his PhD. He subsequently received his M.D. in 1990 from the State University of New York Health Science Center, Syracuse, N.Y.
Dr. Bisognano's lecture was entitled "Chemistry, Hypertension, and Stories from the Every Day Teacher" and was well attended by undergraduate and graduate students. He shared his experiences both at Binghamton including his training as a teaching assistant under the guidance of Mr. Richard Quest and his career in medicine after graduation. During his visit, he also participated in an open forum with undergraduate chemistry club, biochemistry club, and pre-health students interested in learning more about careers in healthcare and life after Binghamton.
In welcoming John back to campus and introducing his lecture, Dean Don Nieman thanked John and other visiting alumni Joe and Terri Natishan for their leadership in helping to initiate the Distinguished Alumni Lecture. He also acknowledged the important role that the alumni can play in helping today's students transition to successful careers.
Welcome to our newest Faculty Member
In fall 2011, we welcomed Dr. Ming An as assistant professor of organic chemistry in the Department. Ming received his undergraduate degree in chemistry and molecular biology from the University of Michigan and his PhD in organic chemistry from Berkeley. Prior to joining Binghamton he also served as a post-doctoral fellow at Yale University. His research interests at Binghamton are in the area of membrane protein-lipid interactions, membrane active peptides for drug delivery, and inhibitor design and synthesis.
Chemistry Major Returns from Summer Research in Japan
Deborah Katz was selected in the summer of 2011 to participate in the University of Tokyo Research Internship Program (UTRIP). Deborah is a BA chemistry major and has studied Japanese while at Binghamton. During her summer research experience she participated in a research conference on Coordination Programming including many top researchers from throughout Japan. Her research involved working with Dr. Miyachi, an assistant professor on the synthesis and purification of 2-(15- bromopentadecyl)-3-methyl-1,4-napthoquinone. In addition to her experience with Japanese culture, she gained experience in organic synthesis, extraction, TLC, and column chromatography.
2011 Chemistry Department Award Luncheon
The annual Chemistry Department Award Luncheon was held at the Olive Garden on May 12, 2011. Wayne E. Jones, Jr., Professor and Chair, presented each of the following graduate students with a certificate and award as follows: Emilly A. Obuya and Fred W. Wafula each received the department’s “Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award” to a graduate student demonstrating outstanding teaching abilities;” Bridgid N. Wanjala received the department’s “Outstanding Research Assistant Award” to a graduate student demonstrating outstanding research accomplishments; and Paul G. Ogutu received the department’s “Lois D. Mackey Award” to an outstanding first-year teaching assistant in general chemistry.
|Emily Obuyu||Fred Wafula||Bridgid Wanjala||Paul Ogutu|
Robert Congdon, currently a third-year PhD candidate in Prof. Omowunmi Sadik’s research group, has been accepted as a fellow in the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship program (IGERT). This award is administered by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The IGERT program is intended to train graduate students to conduct interdisciplinary research in physical and engineering sciences. This specific IGERT grant collaboration is between Binghamton and Cornell Universities for the development Flexible Electronics For Biological and Life Science Applications (FlexEBio). Currently, Robert is working on developing a sensor for the electrochemical detection of biofilms. Also this summer, Robert is planning to work with Prof. Naresh Kumar of the University of New South Wales in Australia, to develop novel anti-microbial materials for various substrates through the IGERT fellowship.
Boling Deng, a current graduate student from Prof. Omowunmi Sadik’s research group, has received a fellowship of the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program which is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and administered through the Nanobiotechnology Center at Cornell. This IGERT fellowship provides opportunities for U. S. PhD scientists and engineers who will pursue careers in research and education to capitalize on the nascent biodevice revolution enabled by flexible electronics. Boling is pursuing the PhD degree under Prof. Sadik’s in the analytical chemistry field and he is interesting in the development of chemical and biological sensors.
ACS Binghamton Section Awards Ceremony
The ACS Binghamton Section Awards Ceremony was held in Science Library on May 11, 2011. Dr. Zhaoyong Sun, former Chemistry PhD student, received Zapper Award; Dr. Daniel Brennan, former Chemistry Lecturer, received Distinguished Education Award; Daniel McCurri received the Undergraduate Senior Chemistry Major Award; current Chemistry graduate students, Fred Wafula, Daniel Mutisya and Rameshwori Loukrakpam and Daniel McCurry received four of the seven Travel Awards. Following up the awards ceremony, Dr. Richard Eisenberg, a Chemistry Professor of University of Rochester and Editor-in-Chief of “Inorganic Chemistry” presented a talk entitled “A Molecular Approach to Artificial Photosynthesis and the Light Driven Generation of Hydrogen from Water”.
Day at the Mall
Binghamton University held its second annual “Day at the Mall” day-long event April 30 at the Oakdale Mall in Johnson City. Some of our faculty, staff and graduate students contributed through a wide variety of displays, hands-on demonstrations and performances in chemistry. In this issue of INSIDE Binghamton University, senior Dan McCurry is seen operating a calculator powered by electricity generated from metal electrodes in an orange.
Samuel Mwilu Receives NRC Research Associateship Fellowship
Dr. Samuel Mwilu, a recent graduate student from Prof. Omowunmi Sadik’s research group, has received a prestigious National Research Council (NRC) Research Associateship fellowship tenable at the US Environmental Protection Agency (US-EPA) in Las Vegas, Nevada. The international, competitive award is administered by the Research Associateship Programs of the NRC. This NRC fellowship provides opportunities for highly qualified scientists and engineers at the doctoral level to select research problems of their choice at federal laboratories. Dr. Mwilu will be pursuing his approved research proposal in association with Dr. Kim R. Rogers at the US-EPA. We wish him the best of luck in his research endeavors.
Stan Whittingham Receives "Achievements in the Chemical Sciences" Award
Professor M. Stanley Whittingham, who has earned a national and international reputation as a prolific scientist, was awarded the 2010 Northeast Region, American Chemical Society (ACS) Award for Achievements in the Chemical Sciences, because of his outstanding achievements in both “world leading” work in the development of materials for batteries and in his excellent contribution in leading the establishment of a Materials Science program in chemistry, physics and geology at Binghamton University as well. With two prestigious awards recently (the Battery Research Award of the Electrochemical Society 2002 and election as a Fellow of the Electrochemical Society 2004), Stan’s research has been recognized “quite exciting” and “conceptual important” because “it provides new design ideas for materials for electrochemical energy conversion, catalysis, and possibly many other applications.” The Northeast Region established this annually conferred award in 2008 to recognize notably outstanding achievements by a chemist in pure and applied Chemistry in the Northeast Region.
Wunmi Sadik Named Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry
Professor Wunmi Sadik, director of the Center for Advanced Sensors & Environmental Systems at Binghamton University, has been admitted as a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in Britain.
Fellowship is awarded to nominees who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement or application of chemical science or who have demonstrated excellence in the chemical science profession. Sadik serves as nanotechnology editor for the Journal of Environmental Monitoring, which is published by the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Sadik, a Vestal resident who holds three U.S. patents, joined the Binghamton faculty in 1996. She has presented more than 380 scientific papers, book chapters and lectures focused on biosensors, bioelectrochemistry, environmental and materials chemistry. Her team has received more than $5.5 million in funding and contracts from government agencies and the private sector.
Graduate Students Receive Department Awards
The annual chemistry department awards luncheon to honor graduate students in research and teaching was held at Olive Garden on May 14, 2010. This year, Dan Xu and Zhaoyong Sun received the department “Outstanding Graduate Student Research Award” that were established by in 1993 for graduate students demonstrating their outstanding research accomplishments. Elizabeth R. Crew received the department “Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award” for a graduate student demonstrating outstanding contributions teaching in the department. Megan E. Fegley received the department “Lois D. Mackey Award” for “outstanding first-year teaching”. Chair and Professor Wayne E. Jones Jr. presented a certificate and award to each of the four awardees.
On the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, GreentechMedia saluted 40 innovators for their contributions to advancing green technology and helping to “crack thorny scientific problems, devise new business models, or come up with policies that paved the way for the world to adopt renewable energy and/or use our planetary resources more wisely.” Among these 40 pioneers, M. Stanley Whittingham, a professor in our department, was highlighted under the “grid” category. Whittingham led a team at Exxon that resulted in the first lithium ion battery. His titanium sulfide battery opened the door to batteries that greatly advanced storage for portable devices, and soon cars and the grid. Read more about the accomplishments of Whittingham and his fellow pioneers in the Greentech Hall of Fame.
University STAR Award
On March 19, Reneé Sersen, administrative assistant for the Chemistry Department, received a University STAR award for outstanding service. Paul Parker, associate vice president for Research Administration and the STAR committee, presented the March 2010 STAR Award to Sersen. The STAR Award recognizes, affirms and supports a representative faculty or staff member for outstanding service within the University community. Congratulations.
Binghamton University Graduate Student Awards for Excellence in Research 2009-10
Dan Xu and Zhaoyong Sun, Chemistry PhD graduate students working with Professor James Fang, received Binghamton University Graduate Student Awards for Excellence in Research 2009-10. They were recognized for their research achievements in the area of nanomaterials with productive and high-quality publications in peer-reviewed journals. This year the research excellence awards were given to 13 graduate students university-wide. Dan and Zhaoyong were the only two awardees from Chemistry. The Award recipients were honored in Chenango Room on March 16. President DeFleur, Provost Swain, Vice Provost and Graduate Dean Stamp and Vice President Sonnenfeld joined in presenting certificates to the honorees, while Associate Dean Silberstein read brief citations recognizing each winner’s achievements.
Chemistry Club Advocacy Day event
Fifteen members of the Chemistry Club put together a series of hands-on demonstrations for kids as part of the Binghamton University Advocacy Day event at the Oakdale Mall on Saturday, March 6. Brendan Lainhart coordinated the activities, designed to give young children hands-on experiences with chemistry in water filtration, paper chromatography and batteries. The event was coupled with a display on the Go Green Institute which has been coordinated for the past two years in the Science 2 building. Go Green brings top seventh-grade students from 15 area school districts together for two weeks of science instruction and experiments in collaboration with faculty, graduate students and teachers at Binghamton University.
ACS New York Section awards to BU alumni
Two of our alumni received awards from the ACS New York section at the January 16, 2010 section-wide conference held at St. John’s University:
David Sarno, associate professor of chemistry at Queensborough Community College and Binghamton chemistry graduate (BS ’94, MAT ’97, PhD ’02), was the recipient of the ACS New York Section Outstanding Service Award for 2009. Each year since 1976, the ACS New York Section has presented this award for dedicated service in promoting quality programs that contribute to the excellence of the section. Sarno was recognized for his role as general co-chair of MARM 2008 and as chair of the Long Island ACS subsection in 2008. He was presented with an engraved ACS plaque at the NY-ACS General Meeting and Section-wide Conference.
Steven Borneman, from Byram Hills High School in Armonk, N.Y., and a Binghamton chemistry graduate (BS ’00, MAT ’02, MS ’04), was the recipient of the Nichols Foundation H.S. Chemistry Teacher Award for 2009. This award was established in 1958 by Charles W. Nichols, Sr. to recognize highly effective teaching and inspirational leadership to students in chemistry, and is presented annually to an outstanding high school chemistry teacher in the ACS New York Section. The award, consisting of an engraved ACS plaque and $1,000 funded by the Nichols Foundation, Inc., was presented at the NY-ACS General Meeting and Section-wide Conference.
A New 600 NMR facility to be installed in chemistry
The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently granted an award of $550,000 under a “Major Research Instrumentation Program” led by Eriks Rozners, associate professor of organic chemistry. With this support, the Chemistry Department is prepared to purchase a new 600 NMR spectrometer equipped with solution probes and solid-state NMR accessories. This superb instrumentation will be used to examine the structure, dynamics and function of biologically important macromolecules, which will no doubt further enhance the capability of the department in organic and biochemical investigations. For example, with this new instrument Rozners and his colleagues will be able to challenge advanced structural studies on biopolymers and others, such as the study of ribonucleic acids (RNA). Rozners and his colleagues are also pursuing a project driven by the notion that we’re approaching an antibiotic crisis. They’re looking at how we can recognize RNA molecules in a selective fashion change their structure and control their function. For all of these studies, this state-of-the-art NMR equipment is essential. The new NMR laboratory will be located in Science 2. The instrument purchase is in progress.
PEC Distinguished Service Award received
At the 12th Annual Professional Employees Council (PEC) Recognition Luncheon and Constituency Meeting on October 21, 2009, Alexsa S. Silva received the 2009 PEC Distinguished Service Award for employees with greater than five years of service, recognizing her well-deserved achievement and great service to the department and the University. The PEC Distinguished Service Award is given in two categories annually: one to a professional with five or more years of service and another with less than five years of service. It is an outstanding recognition of our employees who contribute a tremendous service to the University.
Binghamton Foundation Travel Award Received
Dan Xu, a chemistry PhD graduate student working with Associate Professor Jiye (James) Fang, was awarded a “Binghamton Foundation Travel Award” for Fall 2009. The funds which exclusively come from donations to the Binghamton Foundation support travel of excellent Binghamton University doctoral students for attending academic conferences or for dissertation research each semester. This travel award application is given by Graduate School each November and April, as indicated in the web site, http://www.binghamton.edu/grad-school/prospective-students/funding-graduate-studies/foundation-travel-grant.html
Chemistry scholars win ACS (Binghamton Section) awards
The 2009 Binghamton Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS) held its awards ceremony in the Science Library on May 6, 2009. Professor Bruce Bursten, the immediate past president of the ACS and current dean of the college of arts and sciences, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, gave a lecture, offering his opinions concerning the central role of chemistry in advancing basic scientific discovery. His presentation highlighted the challenges and opportunities available to professionals in the chemical sciences, particularly in the areas of communication and education. Four chemistry students and faculty from Binghamton University received ACS (Binghamton Section) awards: Justin Che received the Undergraduate Senior Chemistry Major Award (adviser: Wayne E. Jones); Jie Xiao received the Zappert Award for an Outstanding Graduating PhD Student, (adviser: M. Stanley Whittingham); Alexsa Silva received the Binghamton Local Section Distinguished Service Award; and Mark Poliks, Research Faculty member in the Chemistry Department and Endicott Interconnect Technologies, Inc. (EI), received an ACS Salutes to Excellence Award for support of the chemistry and science olympiads.
Research communication highlighted as VIP
A recent research communication from Jiye (James) Fang's group in the Chemistry Department was accepted by Angewandte Chemie and highlighted as a VIP (Very Important Paper) on Feb. 13, 2008. [link] Angewandte Chemie, a weekly published by Wiley-VCH in Germany, is a leading chemistry journal with the highest Impact Factor (10.232 for 2006) in the field of chemistry. Only a small number of papers in this journal, which receive a high evaluation from all of the reviewers, are designated as VIP. The paper addresses III-V semiconductor nanocrystals as significant materials inspired by a new generation of microelectronics, such as spintronic exploration. Zhaoping Liu et al from Associate Professor Fang's group and A. Kumbhar, a co-author from Clemson University (SC), have successfully developed a novel method to synthesize high-quality colloidal InP nanocrystals through a co-reduction between PCl3 as the P-source and superhydride as the reducing agent. According to their report, this synthetic strategy is able to be extended to the preparation of other III-V nanocrystals with the corresponding pnicogen halides.
Student from ACS Binghamton Section selected for U.S. International Chemistry Olympiad team
The U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad Program (USNCO) recently announced four finalists who have earned spots on the elite United States team that will compete in the 41st International Chemistry Olympiad at the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England from July 18 to 27, 2009. One of the four Alpha Beta Team members is Colin Lu, 17, from Vestal High School, a student from the ACS Binghamton section. The remaining finalists are Nathan Benjamin (Harrison High School, IN) from the ACS Purdue Section; Brian Seifried (Chamblee High School, GA) from the ACS Georgia Section; and Yixiao Wang (Westfield High School, NJ) from the ACS North Jersey Section. The top four students at the camp -- based on written exams and laboratory work -- made the American team (Alpha Beta Team). Teams from more than 65 countries are competing in the event. Congratulations to all the students, their teachers and their ACS Local Section USNCO coordinators.
Three graduate students Received Department awards
A luncheon to honor three graduate student award winners of the Department, Jun Zhang, Jared B. DeCoste and Corey Mitchell, was held at Olive Garden on May 28. This year, Jun Zhang received “Outstanding Graduate Research Assistant Award” that was established by the department in 1993 in order to recognize and encourage continued superior performance in research by a graduate student; Jared B. DeCoste received “Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award” that recognizes a graduate student who demonstrates outstanding teaching abilities. Both Jun and Jared received award certificates and $200.00 checks. Corey Mitchell received a certificate of the third award, Lois D. Mackey Award, due to his outstanding first-year teaching assistant performance in general chemistry. He is also honored with one-year subscription of the “Journal of Chemical Education”. Chair and Professor Alistair J. Lees presented the prize to each of the three awardees. TA directors and research advisers of the awardees also attended the luncheon.
Distinguished Dissertation Award from Binghamton University for 2009
Stephanie Lim, a chemistry PhD recipient in 2008 who worked with Professor C.J. Zhong has received the Distinguished Dissertation Award from Binghamton University for 2009. Her graduate work on nanostructures has earned her the distinction of being one of only seven Dissertation Awardees from the University this year and the only one in Science. Congratulations to Lim.
Binghamton University Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Teaching 2008-09
Jared DeCoste, a chemistry PhD student working with Professor David Doetschman, has been awarded a Binghamton University Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Teaching 2008-09. This award is given once a year to 10-15 graduate students from select departments across the university. The criteria considered for this award include laboratory evaluations, SOOT results, faculty input and other items that illuminate achievements in teaching and supporting student learning. DeCoste was unanimously nominated by the faculty in the department and selected from a competitive pool of nominees from across the University.
Binghamton University Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Research 2008-09
Jun Zhang, a chemistry PhD student working with Professor James Fang, has been awarded a Binghamton University Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Research 2008-09.The research awards are given once a year to 10-15 graduate students university-wide. Jun was unanimously nominated by the faculty in the department and selected from a competitive pool of nominees from across the university. In particular, he was recognized for his research in the area of nanomaterials including six publications that have already appeared in peer-reviewed journals.
Nian Du has been awarded one of Binghamton University’s first NSF Multi-institutional Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) fellowships. Professors Omowunmi Sadik and Bahgat Sammakia are the co-PIs on the NSF IGERT Flex-E-Bios grant in collaboration with Cornell University. Du received her BS degree from Wuhan University - Branch Campus in 2001. She joined the Chemistry Department at Binghamton in 2006 to pursue her PhD degree after teaching for five years in China. Currently, she is working in the Biosensor Group under the supervision of Sadik. Du will join other IGERT fellows (Cornell, Binghamton, Wadsworth /UA) institutions via videoconferencing, exchange visits, electronic communication and periodic meetings. IGERT fellows receive 12-month stipends of $30,000 renewable for up to five years, plus tuition and fees. Their PhD dissertations have a chemical, biological or life sciences focus, with linkages to the other disciplines. A semester in residence with one of industrial partners ((DuPont, Endicott Interconnect, GE, Kodak and Rohm & Haas) involves Fellows with problem-solving activities.