Chemistry & Biochemistry Alumni Newsletter, Winter 2017

Message from the Chair

I would like to wish you all a happy new year. The past year in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has been exciting. The number of students enrolled in chemistry classes at Ohio University has continued to increase, showing the need and attraction of the chemical sciences as vital 21st century skills. Our faculty continue to innovate in both teaching and research in order to keep these students motivated and excited about chemistry. More.

Graduate students are off to the races in Nanocar Grand Prix

“Divide a meter one billion times, and that’s one nanometer. Our nanocar is four nanometers in length,” explained doctoral students Mersad Raeisi and Kondalarao Kotturi. They are part of an Ohio University team that is working on a “nanocar” that will represent Ohio University at the Nanocar Grand Prix in Toulouse, France, in May 2017. More. Related stories:

Chemistry helps Discovery Museum with student-led STEAM projects

The Ohio Valley Museum of Discovery has been awarded $51,809 from the State Farm Youth Advisory Board for a project on Service Learning with STEAM Technologies in Rural Communities. Chemistry students will work with high school and college students to develop a variety of service-learning projects with themes in science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics. More.

From crime scene to lake sample, STEMstart students dive in

Even before classes started, a group of Biological Sciences and Chemistry & Biochemistry students were able to get a sneak peak of their first semester and a jumpstart on success in the sciences. STEMstart is a new week-long program designed to help students transition from high school into college-level biology, chemistry and math courses. More.

Chemistry gets 1804 grant for Flame Photometers

The Chemistry & Biochemistry Department at Ohio University received an 1804 grant of $17,500 for “Flame Photometers in the Undergraduate Chemistry Teaching Laboratories.” More.

Can you help? Want to get involved?


The Bobcat alumni network is incredibly productive in giving OHIO students a great start on successful career paths. If you could benefit from access to Bobcat career services, or if you know of internship opportunities or want to help your department support students, there are many ways to get involved, both in Athens and from afar. If you’re interested in connecting with the department, educational enrichment, networking, or coming to campus, contact Lisa Cohen.

Faculty News

International Academy of Cardiology awards Malinski for research

Dr. Tadeusz Malinski received the Albrecht Fleckenstein Memorial Award for distinguished work in the field of Basic Research recently from the International Academy of Cardiology during the medical society’s annual scientific sessions in Boston, reports Cardiovascular Business. More.

Masson awarded grant from American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund

Dr. Eric Masson, Associate Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry, was awarded a two-year grant for $110,000 from the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund to study the encapsulation of hydrocarbons into Cucurbiturils, a family of hollow pumpkin-shaped molecules that the Masson group has been investigating since 2008. More.

Chemistry & Biochemistry welcomes new faculty member, Jessica White

Dr. Jessica White has been enjoying getting to know the students in class and around campus this semester. White says she “very quickly felt at home in Athens because the people in this community are so friendly and welcoming.” More.

Chemistry & Biochemistry welcomes new faculty member, Travis White

Dr. Travis White was drawn to the Chemistry & Biochemistry Department by a recent graduate who loved her experience here. White has been enjoying setting up his research lab and is excited to work “with undergraduates and graduates who have a thirst for knowledge and for wandering into the unknowns of chemistry.” More.

Jixin Chen enhancing techniques for molecular structure measurements

When a panorama camera is used to capture a landscape, the object must remain perfectly still. If the object moves during recording, a blurred, distorted image will result. This phenomenon, known as the "blurring effect," can have a similar, problematic impact in advanced molecular visualization measurements. Dr. Jixin Chen, Assistant Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Nanoscale & Quantum Phenomena Institute member, has developed a statistical computer program developed to help researchers account for the blurring effect in single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer (smFRET) measurements. More.

New technique for measuring temperature at the nanoscale

Picture an object that is approximately 1,000 times smaller than a human hair. Now imagine trying to test the temperature of this object you can’t even see. Ohio University Chemistry & Biochemistry professor and Nanoscale & Quantum Phenomena Institute member Hugh Richardson and graduate student Susil Baral, have made this their mission. More.

Hao Chen group receives Merck Research Laboratories Technology Collaboration Award

In August 2016, Merck Research Laboratories gave a Technology Collaboration Award to Dr. Hao Chen’s group for their collaboration in developing desorption electrospray mass spectrometry (DESI-MS) analytical methodology to study the key stoichiometric and catalytic intermediates in support of mechanistic understanding of organometallic reactions. More.

Peter Harrington authors chapter on big data in "Resolving Spectral Mixture" book

Dr. Peter de B. Harrington authored a chapter in a book titled "Resolving Spectral Mixtures, 1st Edition With Applications from Ultrafast Time-Resolved Spectroscopy to Super-Resolution Imaging." More. Also see “Harrington is section chair at SciX 2016, named editor of Investigative Forensic Science.”

Two Chemistry faculty recognized in Ohio Magazine

Dr. Klaus Himmeldirk and Dr. Lauren McMills are among the more than 65 educators from across the state recognized in Ohio Magazine’s annual “Excellence in Education” issue. More.

New Chemistry lecturer embraces green chemistry

Dr. Heather Hopgood joined the Chemistry & Biochemistry Department this fall with an interest in improving chemistry education. More.

Innovation funding

Alumni News

Congratulations to graduates! Chemistry welcomes 44 new alumni

Congratulations to the 44 Ohio University students who earned chemistry degrees from the College of Arts & Sciences in the 2015-16 academic year. The Chemistry & Biochemistry Department welcomes these new alumni! See list of graduates.

Tera Poole Is first African-American valedictorian at Maryland Dentistry School

Tera Poole '11 gave the valedictorian address May 20 to her fellow graduates of the University of Maryland School of Dentistry. More.

Alumni establish scholarship endowment in place of wedding gifts

Dustin Starkey '98 and Jessie Holtz '06 recently established a scholarship endowment in place of wedding gifts. More.

Chunxi Zeng develops new assay in search for future antibiotics

Dr. Chunxi Zeng Ph.D. ’16 published an article on “Factors that Influence T box Riboswitch Efficacy and tRNA Affinity" in Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry. In the face of increasingly resistant bacterial strains, Zeng’s work with the T box riboswitch provides hope that many life-threatening infections may be eradicated. More.

Milind Deshpande gets entrepreneur award for work on Hepatitis C drug

Dr. Milind Deshpande was one of two recipients of a Connecticut Entrepreneur of the Year Award for his company's work in developing a new drug targeting the Hepatitis C virus. More.

Philip Pellett gets lifetime achievement award from HHV-6 Foundation

Philip E. Pellett, Ph.D. '80 received a lifetime achievement award from the HHV-6 Foundation in November. He is a Professor and Interim Chair of Immunology and Microbiology at the Wayne State University School of Medicine. More.

John Bozzelli followed Purple Heart with leadership in plastics manufacturing

For John Bozzelli ‘72M, owner of Injection Molding Solutions, getting the basics right has always been fundamental to the injection molding process. He has long been a passionate advocate for competitiveness in North American plastics manufacturing. In addition, for the last 20-plus years, he has taught practical techniques for bringing science and technology into the molding process. More.

Travis Kidner honored at alumni awards gala

Travis Kidner, BS ’00 Chemistry Pre-Med and Biological Sciences was honored at the 2016 Alumni Awards Gala at Ohio University. An acclaimed surgical oncologist, he received the Charles J. and Claire O. Ping Recent Graduate Award. More.

Expert Network mames Darwin Conwell as its newest member

Dr. Darwin Conwell​, Director of the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, Department of Internal Medicine at Ohio State University, has joined The Expert Network, an invitation-only service for distinguished professionals. More.

Bo Shim named chief technology officer at Brandmuscle

Ohio University alum Bo Shim '98 has been named chief technology officer at Brandmuscle. Bringing a mix of enterprise technology, digital marketing, and cross-channel integration experience to the Brandmuscle leadership team, Shim's role as CTO will include managing Brandmuscle's entire technology organization while focusing on business growth. More.

David Green sleuths for Lake County Crime Lab

David Green '89 was featured in a Gazette News article on "Crime lab analyzes trace evidence." More.

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