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Seminar held for the Chemistry-Biology Interface Program at the Univeristy of Delaware

Professor Kurt W Kolasinski held a seminar for the CBI program at the University of Delaware. The title of his talk was "Radical Surface Chemistry: Oxidation and Spontaneous H2O2 Formation at Nanostructured Silicon Oxide Surfaces." Dr. Kolasinski also held discussions with members of the CBI about building connections between WCU undergraduates and researchers at U Del to increase research opportunities and explore pathways for graduate education.

Seminar held for the Chemistry-Biology Interface Program at the Univeristy of Delaware

Poster Presentation at the Capitol Symposium

Poster Presentation at the Capitol Symposium

Undergraduates Peter Nelson and Ali Azam from Dr. Kwiatkowski's lab presented their research project to Pennsylvania State Senator Carolyn Comitta at the 2024 Undergraduate Research at the Capitol Symposium.

Research Probing Atmospheric Chemistry above Alaska Published

Dr. Tim Starn and collaborators investigated the role of BrO in ozone depletion in this paper published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. Reactive halogen chemistry in the springtime Arctic causes ozone depletion events and alters the rate of pollution processing. There are still many uncertainties regarding this chemistry, including the multiphase recycling of halogens and how sea ice impacts the source strength of reactive bromine. In this study, observations from the CHACHA (CHemistry in the Arctic: Clouds, Halogens, and Aerosols) field campaign based out of Utqiaġvik, Alaska, from mid-February to mid-April of 2022 provided information on the vertical distribution of bromine monoxide (BrO), which is a tracer for reactive bromine chemistry.

Science on Tap

Science on Tap

Dr. Kwiatkowski presented a public research talk on Muscular Dystrophy at the monthly 'Science on Tap' event at Root Down Brewing Co.

WCU Award Dreyfus Lectureship

Congratulations to Drs. Danielle Chirdon and Kimberly Mullane on being awarded the 2023 Jean Dreyfus Lectureship for Undergraduate Institutions!

The Jean Dreyfus Lectureship awards provide a grant to bring Professor Suzanne Bart of Purdue University to give  two lectures in the chemical sciences. One of the lectures should be accessible and promoted to a wide audience that includes the general public. The second lecture will be more technical. A portion of the award is to support two undergraduates in summer research. You can register for the poster session and technical talk on Saturday, April 20th here.

Chemistry Living and Learning Community

This program is geared towards promoting an inclusive community and academic support for students within the WCU Chemistry Department. Find out more here.

Chemistry Living and Learning Community Flyer

Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Leadership and Academic Enhancement Program

The NSF-funded, Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Leadership and Academic Enhancement Program, named in honor of former congressman Louis Stokes, is to support historically underrepresented students pursuing a major in science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics. Keystone LSAMP Scholars will conduct research, participate in academic and professional development (including summer camps and field trips), collaborate with an Alliance-wide community of LSAMP Scholars, and receive financial stipends and travel support. If you have any questions, please contact: Professor Azam. Please go to this website for more details and to access the application link.

Collaboration with Stanford Image

Collaboration with Stanford Reveals Unexpected Reactivity of Silica

Considering the widespread use of mesoporous silica particles in our daily life as well as in medicine, the significant extent of oxidation facilitated by such previously considered chemically inert materials deserves much attention. Oxidation by such particles was studied in detail using nanoelectrospray ionization mass spectrometry. Data showed that more oxidation was measured when molecules have easier access to particle surfaces. The unexpected reactivity found for L-cysteine, glutathione, and D-penicillamine were reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Dr. Yangjie Li and Professor Richard N. Zare, both in the Chemistry Department at Stanford University, working together with WCU's Kurt W. Kolasinski. More about this work is available in this news article published in Chemical and Engineering News.

Congratulations to SURI Awardees

A number of students will be in the labs this summer with research funded by the Summer Undergraduate Research Institute (SURI). These researchers include

    • Kacey Durkin and Tyler Czeiner working with Dr. Chirdon
    • Robbie Witikko working with Dr. Ganas on Sustainable Synthesis of Nanocrystalline Cellulose Aerogels
    • Simret Asefa working with Dr. Ganas on Microwave Assisted Synthesis of Carbon Quantum Dots derived from Nanocrystalline Cellulose
    • Peter Nelson and Ali Azam working with Dr. Kwiatkowski
    • Sadie Patterson working with Dr. Voras on Analysis of WCU Andean Headwear Collection

Study on Muscle Membrane Repair Pathways Sheds Light on Origins of Muscular Dystrophy

Dr. Tom Kwiatkowski is part of an international team that has published the results of a study to assess the role of murine Dysf exon 40a in membrane repair and development of dysferlinopathy in mice. Their paper titled "Minimal expression of dysferlin prevents development of dysferlinopathy in dysferlin exon 40a knockout mice" has been published in Acta Neuropathologica Communications.

Dr. Constantinos Pistos invited talk at Chromatography Forum of Delaware Valley

Dr. Pistos gave a talk at the Chromatography Forum of Delaware Valley's (CFDV) 2023 annual Symposium in Claymont, DE on April 20th. His speech was entitled “Green Analytical Toxicology: What is the future in Forensic Toxicology?”.

The Chromatography Forum is an active and engaging organization and fosters a spirit of fraternity among those engaged in chromatography. It promotes practical use and theoretical knowledge for educational benefit and professional development of its members.

Winterthur Conservation Scientists Visit Chemistry Department

We had some visitors from the Winterthur Museum Scientific Research and Analysis Laboratory (SRAL) in the Chemistry Department. Conservation Scientist Catherine Matsen, along with Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation (WUDPAC) graduate student Tammy Hong visited the research lab of Dr. Zachary Voras to investigate the composition of Chinese export miniature paintings.

Dr. Kimberly Mullane spoke at Philadelphia Inorganic Colloquium

Dr. Mullane delivered an Invited talk at the Philadelphia Inorganic Colloquium to be held on 22 April at the College of New Jersey. Her talk is titled "Early (Zr, Hf) and Late (Cu) Transition Metals in Energy Applications." If you would like to attend, registration is now open. Free for all attendees.

The Philadelphia Inorganic Colloquium is a forum for chemists in the Delaware Valley. Each Colloquium features lectures from local researchers and a poster session for undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral scholars. Learn more.

Professor Kurt Kolasinski Named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Kurt Kolasinski, WCU professor of chemistry, has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the Science family of journals. This honor recognizes his lifetime work, specifically “his outstanding contributions to surface science and his efforts to educate others about this field.”

Study on sensor that detects mercury published

Dr. Jingqiu Hu along with WCU undergraduate researchers Matthew Graves, Erica S. Knorr , and John B. Griffith, along with Dr. Michael S. Elioff of Millersville University have published a study in Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy titled "A fluorescent turn-on sensor for mercury (II) ions in near neutral poly(metharylic acid) solution."



Chemistry Scholarships

More information on scholarships can be hound on the Chemistry Departments Scholarships page. Most chemistry scholarships require students to be at least sophomores. Complete the application at the link above to apply for scholarships housed within the Chemistry Department.

Link for application:

Welcome to the WCU Department of Chemistry

Watch a welcome to our department from our Chair, Professor Mahrukh Azam.

NSF Grant for a new Scanning Electron Microscope Awarded

The National Science Foundation has funded our proposal for the purchase of a field emission scanning electron microscope (FE-SEM). The $391,730 grant will be used to purchase an Apreo 2 from ThermoFisher FEI to replace our existing SEM. This instrument, which can image objects with 1 nm resolution and quantify elemental composition, is used in advanced undergraduate laboratory courses as well as research. It will be housed in the Center for Microanalysis and Imaging Research and Training (CMIRT), which is a facility supported by the College of the Sciences and Mathematics. Principle Investigator Dr. Kurt Kolasinski (Chemistry) was joined by Dr. LeeAnn Srogi (Earth & Space Sciences), Dr. Howell Bosbyshell (Earth & Space Sciences), Dr. Brandon Mitchell (Physics) and Dr. John Pisciotta (Biology) in the proposal. These researchers will use the new instrument to probe the structure of nanomaterials and semiconductors, to investigate the interactions of nanoparticles with the environment, and to study microtextures and chemical composition of mineral grains.

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