Chemistry & Biochemistry Alumni Newsletter, Fall 2017

Message from the Chair

By Stephen C. Bergmeier

This year has seen many advances for our department, setting us on an exciting path for the future. Planning for construction of a new chemistry building and renovations of the existing Clippinger Laboratories has proceeded at an energetic pace the past year, with ground breaking scheduled for late spring of 2018.

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Alumni news

Two chemistry alumni get College Notable Alumni Awards

The College of Arts & Sciences launched the Notable Alumni Awards in 2017, honoring 37 Notable Alumni—including two Chemistry alumni—for broad accomplishments in their careers, a commitment to community service, and valuable contributions to Ohio University, the College of Arts & Sciences, and its students.

Dustin Starkey, Forensic Chemistry '98: He is the senior manager for Abbott Laboratories’ Global Operations Professional Development Program, a rotational leadership program for early-career high-performers in the areas of engineering, manufacturing, quality, and regulatory.
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Richard Couch, Chemistry '84: He is vice president of Global Regulatory CMC (Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls), responsible for a department of approximately 25 scientists covering small molecules, biologics, and cell therapies at Celgene Corp., a global biopharmaceutical corporation.
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Lynn Soby heads up 'The United Nations of Chemistry'

Lynn Soby is the executive director of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), an organization frequently referred to as the United Nations of Chemistry. “It’s global, which I have a passion for and experience with. Also, it’s entrepreneurial,” she says.

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Joseph Kittle's company attacks 'BioFilm' problem

Chances are you’ve developed a bacterial infection at some point in your life, were prescribed standard antibiotics, and quickly returned to normal health. But it’s not always that easy. Bacteria generate a protective hideout called a biofilm that acts as a shield against antibiotics, allowing them to better survive and persist in the body. These biofilms have continued to baffle the medical community, but ProclaRx in Athens, Ohio, is solving the riddle, writes Tech Ohio.

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Alumnus gives $5 million to support Chemistry and Physics departments

Robert Ackley has contributed $5 million to The Ohio University Foundation to benefit students, faculty, and programs in the departments of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Physics & Astronomy. The estate gift represents the largest single contribution ever made to either of the two departments.

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Roenigk lecture features talk on 'Adventures in Self-Assembly'

The department’s 2017 Roenigk Lecture featured Dr. Jonathan L. Sessler from the University of Texas at Austin discussing “Adventures in Self-Assembly: Is There Logic Here?” The Roenigk Lecture is named for Ohio University alumnus Henry H. Roenigk Jr., M.D., FACP.

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Elahu Gosney Sustarsic finds 'dream job' in Denmark

My time at Ohio University with the Molecular and Cellular Biology program prepared me well for my current research. Specifically, the mentorship of John Kopchick, Darlene Berryman and Ed List taught me to think critically, the value of collaboration, and to always love what you do and have fun doing it.

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Arts & Sciences celebrates alumni at Homecoming tent

Bradley McCullough was among the alumni who stopped by the College of Arts & Sciences Tailgate Tent during Homecoming 2017. Alumni had the opportunity to grab a snack, relax and reconnect with faculty and fellow Bobcats.

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Arts & Sciences Career and Networking week

Join Chemistry & Biochemistry alumni and students for the college’s Alumni and Student Networking Reception on Feb. 1. You have valuable experiences to share about career choices, graduate school and internships. Find out how you can help and RSVP now. Come back to Athens to help fellow Bobcats get a jump on their careers. More.

There are many ways to be involved, including networking, one-on-one conversations, resume review, roundtables, or panels. To learn more, contact Lisa Cohen, Director of External Relations, at
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Faculty & research news

At a racetrack in Ohio, the world's biggest tiny car takes a prize

Just a few hours from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway—and deep in NASCAR country—one of the world's tiniest, fastest racetracks was in Athens, Ohio.

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Bobcat Nanowagon is first step toward quantum mechanical engineering

Imagine all the world’s information on one cell phone. That would be a quantum engineering feat, but OHIO researchers are one step closer, thanks to the Bobcat Nanowagon.

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Faculty host Midwestern Universities Analytical Chemistry Conference

Chemistry & Biochemistry professors hosted the recent Midwestern Universities Analytical Chemistry Conference, a well-known conference for analytical chemists across 10 states in the Midwest area.

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Chen named OHIO Presidential Research Scholar

Chemistry’s Dr. Hao Chen is one of five faculty members named 2017 Ohio University Presidential Research Scholars. Chen is an expert in mass spectrometry, a technology that helps scientists study the characteristics of molecules. More.
  • Chen’s team also was selected for an I-Corps project to commercialize a devise designed to expand the capabilities of a chemical analysis methodology. More.
  • And he and his graduate students used mass spectrometry to capture visible light photoredox reaction intermediates. More.

Malinski and Chen honored for inventions

Dr. Tadeusz Malinski and Dr. Hao Chen were among the OHIO inventors honored at the Ohio University Inventors Dinner.
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Stender organizes symposia on careers, microscopy at SciX 2017

Dr. Anthony S. Stender organized and presided over two symposia at SciX 2017, an annual conference organized by the Federation of Analytical Chemistry and Spectroscopy Societies.
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Barlag's 'electrifying' Upward Bound class helps students succeed

Dr. Becky Barlag led an exciting Upward Bound chemistry course and lab for area high school students over the summer. The students extracted DNA from a banana, tested beverages for electrical conductivity, examined food calorie content, and experimented with a variety of other chemical processes, interactions, and reactions.
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Holub publishes article on developing miniature protiens as therapeutic agents

Dr. Justin Holub authored an article on "Small scaffolds, big potential: Developing miniature proteins as therapeutic agents" in Drug Development Research Journal.
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Cimatu toying with molecular interfaces

Dr. Katherine Cimatu recently published a series of papers describing the roles of various functional groups in the molecular conformation of monomers and polymers at different interfaces. More.
  • With four graduate students in her lab, she also published articles in Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics and the Journal of Physical ChemistryMore.

Wu studies therapeutic properties of natural products, including cannabis

Dr. Shiyong Wu is a co-investigator on a five-year study of the therapeutic properties of natural products, including cannabis, to determine their effectiveness for treating medical conditions ranging from neurological disorders to diabetes to cancer. More.
  • He also received a Baker Fund award for his work on "The Role of Carnosol in Preventing Skin Cancer Development." More.

Hines receives Baker Fund Award

Dr. Jennifer Hines received a Baker Fund Award of $12,000 for research on "Biogenic Amine Modulation of Regulatory RNA Function."

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Richardson's team probes temperature at the nanoscale

Nanoscale heat localization and thermosensing has a number of potential applications including cancer therapeutics and nanoelectronics. Dr. Hugh Richardson and Ph.D. student Susil Baral are working to develop this novel technology.

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Collaborative research receives NIH Grant, strives to prevent disease

An interdisciplinary team including Dr. Stephen Bergmeier and Dr. Jennifer Hines received a nearly $450,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to fund research that could potentially help mitigate serious diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
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Student News

Undergraduate researcher investigates new potential therapeutic for brain cancer

Senior neuroscience major Dakota Brockway is characterizing the properties of a compound that may one day be used as a natural alternative treatment for glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain cancer.
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Nail Polish and Dynamite: Chemistry undergrads develop science communication skills

Over the summer, students in Chemistry & Biochemistry’s Summer Undergraduate Research program participated in a Science Communication and Public Engagement workshop.
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Biochem major probes cancer in internship at St. Jude

Senior Amy Grube, a biochemistry major in the Honors Tutorial College, spent the summer fulfilling a lifelong goal: interning at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
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Undergrad helps shed a 'bright light' on invisible needs

Kim Dominguez, a third-year student at Ohio University studying Forensic Chemistry, is an accessibility liaison who has struggled with hearing deficiencies for the last 11 years of her life.
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Undergrads get summer research internships in Germany

Two chemistry majors and a biology major were selected for three-month summer research internships at top German universities through the nationally competitive DAAD Research Internships in Science and Engineering program.
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Chemistry student receives honorable mentions for Goldwater Scholarship

Ohio University sophomore Addy Kruse received an honorable mention for the nationally competitive Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation.
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Athens, Ohio 45701-2979

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