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Department News


Compound could transform energy storage for large grids

January 31, 2018

Ellen Matson and Lauren VanGelder at work in Matson's labIn order to power entire communities with clean energy, such as solar and wind power, a reliable backup storage system is needed to provide energy when the sun isn’t shining and the wind doesn’t blow.


Humboldt Research Awards support professors’ collaborations in Germany

December 28, 2017

 William Jones of the Department of Chemistry, left, and Xi-Cheng Zhang of the Institute of Optics.Two University of Rochester faculty members—William Jones of the Department of Chemistry and Xi-Cheng Zhang of the Institute of Optics—have received prestigious Humboldt Research Awards. The awards will enable them to spend up to one year cooperating on a long-term research project with specialist colleagues at a research institution in Germany.


Chemist go 'back to the future' to untangle quantum dot mystery

December 12, 2017

ImageFor more than 30 years, researchers have been creating quantum dots—tiny, crystalline, nanoscale semiconductors with remarkable optical and electronic properties.


Professor Fasan finds new means to "block" cancer cell growth

November 3, 2017

block for cancer growthFasan and coworkers have developed a new class of inhibitors against a notoriously challenging protein target implicated in the Hedgehog signaling pathway, one of the major cell signaling pathways found in human cells.  This work, entitled “Design and Evolution of a Macrocyclic Peptide Inhibitor of the Sonic Hedgehog/Patched Interaction”, was recently published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society and soon after highlighted as a JACS Spotlight paper and in Chemical & Engineering News, the official magazine of the American Chemical Society, as well as shared by the UR Newscenter.


At 85, chemist Donald Batesky makes late-career discovery

October 25, 2017

Donald Batesky is pictured in the lab of chemistry professor Dan Weix.Back in 1959, early in his career as a Kodak chemist, Donald Batesky was lead author of a paper in the Journal of Organic Chemistry. Now, at 85 years old and in his “third career” as a research associate in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Rochester, Batesky is lead author of another paper in the journal—a “featured article,” no less, selected as an “editor’s choice,” and the seventh-most read article in the journal for the previous 12 months.


Robert Boeckman Honored as 50-Year Member at ACS Awards and Recognition Dinner

October 13, 2017

ACS 40, 50, 60 year RecognitionThe local Rochester section of the American Chemical Society honored 50, 60 and 70 year members at their awards and recognition dinner on Wednesday, October 11th.  Prof. Bob Boeckman and his wife, Dr. Mary Delton, were honored as 50-year members of the ACS.  Shown below are each honoree with Dr. Allison Campbell, current president of the ACS and research scientist from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. A big crowd of Rochester chemists came together to celebrate.


Lauren VanGelder Selected as First Prize Winner in the NY-BEST Future Leaders Poster Contest

October 12, 2017

Future Leaders Poster Contest Winner: Lauren VanGelderLauren VanGelder (3rd year graduate student in the Matson Group) was awarded 1st prize in a poster contest at yesterday’s "New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium (NY-BEST) Energy Storage Conference", for her work on Vanadium-oxide Clusters as electrolytes for Redox Flow Batteries.


Summer research that’s totally (nano)tubular

August 11, 2017

Chemistry major Austin Bailey ’18Austin Bailey '18 (T5) at working in the chemisty lab of professor Todd Krauss. (T5) has been able to carry out specialized research to a rare degree for an undergraduate student. As a participant in the National Science Foundation–funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in summer 2015, he was introduced to the world of carbon nanotubes. He’s been studying them ever since.


Light emitting quantum dots could ease synthesis of novel compounds

May 29, 2017

At one time you could wander through the labs of pharmaceutical companies and hardly ever see light being used to mediate chemical reactions. Now “photoredox catalysis” has become an essential way to synthesize novel organic compounds.


Ignacio Franco Selected as Recipient of ACS OpenEye Outstanding Junior Faculty Award

May 17, 2017

franco-ignacioIgnacio Franco, Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Physics, was awarded the ACS OpenEye Outstanding Junior Faculty Award for Fall 2017. The ACS COMP OpenEye Outstanding Junior Faculty Award program provides $1,000 to up to four outstanding tenure-track junior faculty members to present their work in COMP poster session at the Fall 2017, Washington DC ACS National Meeting. The Awards are designed to assist new faculty members in gaining visibility within the COMP community. Award certificates and $1,000 prizes will be presented at the COMP Poster session.


Jones Receives Royal Society of Chemistry Award

May 10, 2017

kara-brenWilliam Jones, the Charles F. Houghton Professor of Chemistry, will receive the 2017 Organometallic Chemistry Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry for finding new methods for converting hydrocarbons into chemicals found in useful, everyday products. 


Antonio Tinoco Selected as Recipient of a Ford Predoctoral Fellowship

May 1, 2017

Antonio TinocoAntonio Tinoco (2rd year graduate student in the Fasan Group) was awarded a Ford Predoctoral Fellowship this past March.  This program is a highly competitive, nation-wide program seeking to increase the diversity of the university faculties by increasing their ethnic and racial diversity, to maximize the educational benefits of diversity, and to increase the number of professors who can and will use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students. Selected students have showcased superior academic achievement and a degree of promise of continuing achievement as scholars and as teachers, along with a personal engagement with underrepresented communities and an ability to bring this asset to learning and teaching at the university level.


Undergraduate Chemistry Awards

April 20, 2017

The following seniors have won Chemistry Awards, and will be recognized at this year’s Chemistry Diploma Ceremony, on May 21, 2017.


Chemistry Seniors and Juniors Win University of Rochester Awards!

April 20, 2017

Univ Award Winners


Matson, Wojtovich receive Furth Fund awards

April 17, 2017

kara-brenEllen Matson, assistant professor of chemistry, and Andrew Wojtovich, assistant professor of anesthisiology, are recipients of the 2017 Furth Fund awards from the Provost's Office. 


Bren wins 2017 Curtis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching

March 31, 2017

kara-brenThe University of Rochester has announced that Chemistry Professor Kara L. Bren has been selected as the recipient of the 2017 Edward Peck Curtis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. The award will be presented to Professor Bren at the College Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, May 21, 2017. Kara received strong nomination letters from both current and former colleagues and undergraduate students.  Kara’s students described her enthusiasm for teaching chemistry, and provided passionate testimonials of how she has been an enormous influence in their budding scientific careers. A common thread in all the student letters is that Kara deepened their interest in science, especially Chemistry, and that as a result the interactions between Kara and these students were life-altering.


Joint paper by Krauss and Weix groups on catalysis with Quantum Dots published in JACS

March 27, 2017

krauss-weix-groups-publishedCongratulations to the Krauss and Weix research groups for the March 10, 2017 publication of their Journal of the American Chemical Society(JACS) article entitled “General and Efficient C-C Bond Forming Photoredox Catalysis with Semiconductor Quantum Dots.”  The first paper of the nascent Krauss/Weix collaboration shows, for the first time, that semiconductor quantum dots are actually excellent, long-lived catalysts for a variety of photoredox reactions normally conducted with small molecule dyes (Ir, Ru, organic dyes). This is a nice advance because QDs can be tailored for a purpose, provide many of the advantages of heterogeneous catalysts without the disadvantages, and have excellent photophysical properties. From the Weix group, Dr. Jill Caputo with assistance from undergraduate Norman Zhao, handled the synthetic end while Leah Frenette and Dr. Kelly Sowers, of the Krauss group, supplied custom QDs and helped with measurements.


NSF Graduate Research Fellowships Awarded to UR Students and Alumni. Others Receive Honorable Mention.

March 23, 2017

Lauren VangelderLauren VanGelder, a graduate student working in Prof. Ellen Matson’s lab, has been selected as an awardee for the NSF Graduate Fellowship Award. After graduating from Brockport High School, Lauren attended the University at Buffalo (SUNY), where she obtained degrees in Chemistry (B.S.) and Biomedical Sciences (B.S.). Following graduation, she returned to her hometown to pursue a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Rochester, where she is a founding member of the Matson Lab. Her research focuses on the synthesis of heterometallic polyoxometalate-alkoxide clusters and their applications in small molecule activation.


Prof. Eisenberg featured in a new series called, "Chemistry in Retrospect"

March 7, 2017

The Sceptical Chymist, a blog from Nature Chemistry​, has a new series called “Chemistry in Retrospect”. Check out their inaugural story which features Professor Rich Eisenberg as he recounts the story behind how his group came to develop parahydrogen-induced polarization NMR techniques as a case study in how curiosity can take fundamental research in new and unexpected directions. It serves as a reminder that sometimes you don’t get what you sought out, and a well-prepared mind can capitalize on that.


Building a better microbial fuel cell, using paper

February 8, 2017

The concept behind microbial fuel cells, which rely on bacteria to generate an electrical current, is more than a century old. But turning that concept into a usable tool has been a long process. Microbial fuel cells, or MFCs, are more promising today than ever, but before their adoption can become widespread, they need to be both cheaper and more efficient.


Ellen Matson receives 2017 NSF CAREER Award

February 1, 2017

ImageCongratulations to UR Chemistry Assistant Professor Ellen Matson  who is the recipient of a 2017  CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation for her proposal entitled “Synthesis, Characterization and Reactivity of Iron-Functionalized Polyoxovanadate-Alkoxide Clusters for the Activation of Small Molecules.” The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide program that offers the NSF's most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations. Such support is expected to help build a firm foundation for a lifetime of faculty leadership in integrating education and research.


Austin Bailey wins Research Initiative Award

December 19, 2016

Congratulations to Austin Bailey, who won First Prize in this year's competition for the Research Initiative Award, organized by the Friends of the UR Library.  This annual award recognizes excellence in undergraduate research leading towards a senior thesis, capstone project, or an independent research project.  Applicants must be full-time undergraduate students enrolled at the University of Rochester and be interested in working towards a senior thesis, capstone project, or an independent research project.


Congratulations to Prof. Weix, our new AAAS Fellow!

November 28, 2016


AAAS - The American Association for the Advancement of Science​ Council elected 391 members as Fellows of the association, in recognition of their contributions to innovation, education, and scientific leadership. Prof. Weix will receive his award on February 18 at a Fellows Forum at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston.


UR Chemistry completes new NSF-funded Raman facility!

November 16, 2016

The Chemistry Department recently completed construction of its new multi-user Raman spectroscopy facility, funded by a grant to Profs. Neidig and McCamant from the National Science Foundation's Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program. The facility has 11 different CW diode lasers from the ultraviolet to the near infrared, combined with a triple spectrograph and CCD detection system and cryogenic sample handling. Raman spectroscopy can give detailed molecular information about materials by probing their molecular vibrational frequencies.


Congratulations to Prof. Turner on receiving the Poland - U.S. Science Award!

November 11, 2016

TurnerCongratulations to Douglas Turner, professor of chemistry, who, with his collaborator Ryszard Kierzek, a professor at the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry Polish Academy of Sciences, Poznan, has received the Poland – U.S. Science Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Foundation for Polish Science. The award, established in 2013 and given once every two years, honors their collaboration of more than 30 years investigating the thermodynamics, biology, and structure of ribonucleic acid (RNA) and RNA chemical synthesis. Because of their work, AAAS says, it is possible to predict the structure of any RNA based on its sequence. Their research also elucidates RNA folding rules and the use of modified oligonucleotides to modulate biological activity of pathogenic RNAs, such as inhibiting the growth of the influenza virus. Turner is an internationally acclaimed expert on the biophysics of RNA, especially in RNA thermodynamics. The parameters he developed, known as “Turner Rules,” allow for the prediction of RNA folding. He has published more than 230 scientific articles, cited more than 15,000 times. 


Seed grant enables researchers to try new approach to targeting leukemia

November 4, 2016

University researchers hope to improve the odds of surviving acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with a promising drug that traces its lineage to a chemical found in magnolias. They will load the drug into nanoparticles that will target the inner recesses of bone marrow where leukemia stem cells lurk.


Bradley Nilsson Recipient of the 2016 Goergen Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching

September 15, 2016

Bradley NilssonChemistry Professor Bradley Nilsson has been selected to receive the 2016 Goergen Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. The award will be presented at a special award ceremony in the Hawkins Carlson Room located in Rush Rhees Library at 4:00pm on Wednesday October 5, 2016, just before Meliora Weekend.


UR Chemistry volunteers at Horizons!

August 30, 2016


Lauren Bolz (CHM BS ’17) Back from New Zealand

July 13, 2016

Can you be a chemistry major and participate in Study Abroad opportunities? Absolutely! Just ask Lauren Bolz, pictured here in Kaikoura, New Zealand.


Reactions: Ellen Matson

July 11, 2016

Prof. Matson"The Sceptical Chymist", a Nature Chemistry blog, recently featured Ellen Matson, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, in the blog's "Reactions" feature. Marshall Brennan, blog author, interviewed Prof. Matson asking things like, "What made you want to be a chemist?", and "When was the last time you did an experiment in the lab – and what was it?", as well as a few fun and personal questions such as, "Which historical figure would you most like to have dinner with – and why?".


Susan Cardinal Wins Chemistry Department Sandra Beach Award

July 8, 2016

Susan Cardinal


Neidig recognized by Department of Energy

June 24, 2016

Michael Neidig, Wilmot Assistant Professor of Chemistry Michael Neidig, an assistant professor of chemistry, is one of 49 scientists to be recognized this year by the Department of Energy as one of the nation’s “exceptional researchers” in his or her “crucial early career years.”


Chemistry Welcomes New Inorganic Materials Faculty member, Dr. Kathryn Knowles

June 9, 2016

K.KnowlesAssistant Professor Kathryn Knowles will officially join the Department of Chemistry faculty as of July 1, 2016.  Dr. Knowles received a B.S. Chemistry, and a B.A. in Mathematics in 2008 from the University of Rochester.  She completed her Ph.D. at Northwestern University with advisor Prof. Emily Weiss on her thesis entitled: “Decay and Dissociation of Excitons in Colloidal Semiconductor Quantum Dots in the Presence of Small Molecules.”    Dr. Knowles then went to the University of Washington for postdoctoral research.  We are thrilled to have Dr. Knowles return to Rochester and the Department of Chemistry.


Laura Ackerman chosen as finalist of the 2016 Reaxys PhD Prize

June 1, 2016

Laura Ackerman


Professors Fasan, Benoit, and Frisch Receive University Research Award

May 20, 2016

Professor FasanProf. Rudi Fasan, Associate Professor of Chemistry; Danielle Benoit, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering; and Benjamin Frisch, Research Assistant Professor of Medicine (Hematology/Oncology) were recipients of a 2016-17 University Research Award.


Undergraduate Chemistry Awards

May 10, 2016

Several chemistry majors have been awarded Chemistry Awards and will be recognized at this year’s Chemistry Diploma Ceremony, on May 15, 2016.


Christine Ziegler, Rachel Kasimer and Lauren Bolz win University awards!

May 6, 2016

The 2016 Janet Howell Clark Prize is being awarded to Rachel Kasimer (CHM BS ’16). The Janet Howell Clark Prize is awarded annually to a senior woman who has shown the greatest promise in creative work in astronomy, biology, chemistry, or physics, and who has shown outstanding versatility in the mastery of allied fields. Selection is based on recommendations by the respective departments, which are evaluated by a committee appointed by the Dean of the College. The award consists of a cash prize and recognition at a special senior ceremony the Saturday of commencement. Rachel will also be recognized at the Chemistry Diploma Ceremony.


Professor Michael Neidig Appointed as Wilmot Assistant Professor

May 3, 2016

Professor NeidigAs of July 1, 2016, Professor Michael Neidig will serve for two years as Wilmot Assistant Professor in the School of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering. The announcement was made by Dean Peter Lennie, who explained that this appointment carries with it an annual research fund of $5,000.


NIH Renews Funding for Research on Reductive Coupling

April 27, 2016

Professor NeidigProfessor Daniel J. Weix and his group have been awarded renewed funding of $1.3 million over 4 years by the National Institutes of Health (NIGMS) to develop new reductive cross-electrophile coupling reactions and study their mechanisms. Cross-electrophile coupling reactions were pioneered in the Weix group and are now frequently used at pharmaceutical companies in drug discovery and development.


NSF Graduate Research Fellowships Awarded to Astrid Olivares & Two Chemistry Alums. Others Receive Honorable Mentions.

March 29, 2016

Astrid OlivaresAstrid Olivares, a second-year graduate student working in Prof. Dan Weix’s lab, has been selected as a 2016-2019 NSF Graduate Research Fellow.  Two of our Alumni, Louis Papa (now at MIT), andKevin McClelland (now at Northwestern), also were selected to receive this prestigious award.


Ignacio Franco receives 2016 NSF CAREER Award to Investigate the Fundamental Limits in the Quantum Control of Electrons

March 25, 2016

Ignacio FrancoCongratulations to UR Chemistry Assistant Professor Ignacio Franco who is the recipient of a 2016 CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation for his proposal entitled “Decoherence, Non-Equilibrium Properties and Stark Control of Electrons at the Nanoscale.” The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide program that offers the NSF's most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations. Such support is expected to help build a firm foundation for a lifetime of faculty leadership in integrating education and research.


Chemistry Faculty Receive Awards from Technology Development Fund (TDF)

March 10, 2016

UR Ventures Technology Review reports that after presenting their projects to the Technology Development Fund Executive Committee, Chemistry faculty members are co-investigators on two of the four teams that have received the latest round of awards from the University's Technology Development Fund. TDF funding allows for proof-of-concept experimentation and pre-clinical studies.


Bill Jones Interviewed on WXXI News Radio about "Potentially Better Ethanol"

January 5, 2016

William JonesConnections, a radio show with WXXI News, featured Professor Jones, when their Monthly Science Roundtable asked the question: "What if science could fix one of our country's big energy mistakes?" Evan Dawson, host of Connections with WXXI News, states that: "A decade ago, government was all-in on corn-based ethanol. This produced bad results on a number of levels: environmental, energy efficiency, the impact on food and crop rotation, etc. But now a team led by a researcher at the University of Rochester is zeroing in on a method to make ethanol much more efficient, and much less corrosive. Will it work?"


Weix Group Reveals New Multimetallic-Catalyzed Biaryl Synthesis

September 25, 2015

Professor WeixThe Weix Group recently discovered a new solution to the long-standing challenge of cross-coupling two different aryl electrophiles - a multimetallic cross-Ullman reaction. Graduate student Laura Ackerman, assisted by undergraduate Matt Lovell, developed a method to couple an aryl bromide with an aryl sulfonate ester selectively. The secret is to use a combination of two different metal catalysts, palladium and nickel, along with a simple fluoride salt. Given the abundance of the aryl starting materials and the importance of biaryls in pharmaceuticals and materials, this new reaction could find wide application.


Terrell Samoriski Wins Chemistry Department Sandra Beach Award

June 24, 2015

Terrell Samoriski, Journal of Organic Chemistry Editorial Assistant to Professor Bob Boeckman, is this year's recipient of the Sandra M. Beach Memorial Award for outstanding service to the Chemistry Department.


Chemistry Welcomes Pengfei Huo

April 24, 2015

PENGFEI HUOPENGFEI (FRANK) HUO will officially join our Chemistry faculty in July 2015. Frank received his B.S. in chemistry from Lanzhou University of China in 2007. He then moved to Boston University to pursue his Ph.D. in theoretical chemistry with David Coker. Frank's Ph.D. work focused on developing efficient and accurate nonadiabatic dynamic methods to understand the excitation energy transfer process and the electronic coherence in natural light harvesting systems. In 2012 he joined CalTech as a postdoctoral researcher in the group of Tom Miller where he worked on extending the linearized path-integral method to simulate the electron and excitation transfer dynamics, as well as applying a variety of novel computational methods such as ab-initio molecular dynamics tools and wavefunction-in-DFT embedding approach to explore the fundamental aspects of electron and proton transfer mechanisms in cobaltbased hydrogen evolution catalysts. He was recognized as one of the "top reviewers for The Journal of Chemical Physics" (2012) and received an "ACS PHYS Division Postdoctoral Research Award" (2014). The Huo research group develops and applies multiscale theoretical approaches that combine novel dynamics and methods and scalable electronic structure methods to investigate the complex reaction dynamics associated with solar energy harvesting and storage processes.


Chitavi Maulloo, Rachel Kasimer and Christine Ziegler win University awards!

April 16, 2015

The 2015 Janet Howell Clark Prize is being awarded to Chitavi Devi Maulloo(CHM BS, BMG BS ’15). The Janet Howell Clark Prize is awarded annually to a senior woman who has shown the greatest promise in creative work in astronomy, biology, chemistry, or physics, and who has shown outstanding versatility in the mastery of allied fields. Selection is based on recommendations by the respective departments, which are evaluated by a committee appointed by the Dean of the College. The award consists of a cash prize and recognition at a special senior ceremony the Saturday of commencement. Chitavi will also be recognized at the Chemistry Diploma Ceremony.


Michael Neidig Receives Sloan Research Fellowship

March 3, 2015

Michael L. Neidig, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, has been named a 2015 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in Chemistry. Professor Neidig’s research focuses on non-precious metal catalysis in organic chemistry, including iron-catalyzed cross-coupling and iron- and cobalt-catalyzed direct C-H functionalization.


Lukiana Anka-Lufford Awarded Division of Organic Chemistry Travel Award!

February 17, 2015

Lukiana Anka-Lufford, a graduate student in Dan Weix’s group, was recently awarded the American Chemical Society (ACS) Division of Organic Chemistry Travel award in the amount of $600. With this award, Lukiana plans on attending the Spring ACS meeting in Denver, CO ( March 22-26, 2015) where she will present a talk on her research entitled: “A new co-catalyst strategy: Cobalt and nickel-catalyzed cross-electrophile coupling of benzyl mesylates and aryl halides.“ Congratulations Lukiana!


Chemistry Welcomes New Inorganic & Organometallic Faculty member: Dr. Ellen Matson

February 17, 2015

Assistant Professor Dr. Ellen Matson will officially join the Department of Chemistry faculty as of July 1, 2015. Dr. Matson comes to Rochester after completing her Ph.D. at Purdue University with advisor Professor Suzanne C. Bart on her thesis entitled: “Synthesis of Low-Valent Uranium Alkyl Complexes: Exploring the Reactivity of the Uranium Carbon Bond for the Activation of Small Molecules.” Dr. Matson then went to the University of Illinois at Urban-Champaign for postdoctoral research in the area of first-row transition metal complexes with Professor Alison R. Fout.


Michael Neidig Receives NSF CAREER Award for Research on Iron- and Cobalt-Catalyzed Direct C-H Functionalization

February 17, 2015

Congratulations to Assistant Professor Michael L. Neidig who is the recipient of a 2015 CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation. The Chemical Catalysis Division will support Professor Neidig’s research by providing $675K over the next five years.


NIH Funds Neidig Research on Iron-Catalyzed Carbon-Carbon Cross Coupling

January 27, 2015

Assistant Professor of Chemistry Michael L. Neidig and his group have been awarded a 5-year, $1.4 million grant by the National Institutes of Health (NIGMS) to study new iron-catalyzed coupling reactions. Their long-term goal is to develop iron-catalyzed C-C cross-coupling to the level of understanding currently present for palladium, thus permitting the rational development of iron chemistry across the spectrum of desired C-C bond forming reactions. The objective of the proposed project is to utilize a novel experimental approach combining inorganic spectroscopies, density functional theory and synthesis to develop molecular-level insight into active catalyst structure and the mechanisms involved in current leading edge iron-catalyzed C-C cross-coupling reactions, and to utilize this insight to develop new catalysts and reaction methodologies with improved catalytic performance. The iron-based cross-coupling reaction studies in this grant utilize low-cost, non-toxic metals that offer the potential for the development of sustainable catalytic systems for use in the health sciences. The proposed research is relevant to public health and the mission of the NIH because it is from these low-cost, sustainable methods that affordable routes to the next generation of pharmaceuticals and molecular probes will be discovered.


Daniel Weix to receive a Novartis Early Career Award

January 15, 2015

Daniel J. Weix, an associate professor of chemistry at the University of Rochester, has been named a recipient of the Novartis Early Career Award in Organic Chemistry. Novartis, a multi-national pharmaceutical company based in Switzerland, honors two scientists each year who are “within 10 years of having established an independent academic research career in the areas of organic or bioorganic chemistry in the broadest sense.” The Novartis Early Career Award comes with a $150,000 grant over three years to continue the recipient’s research. Weix, who specializes in organic (carbon-based) synthesis, is working on developing better ways of creating molecules in order to accelerate the discovery of new, useful compounds, including pharmaceuticals.


Daniel Weix Receives Two Awards for Green Chemistry Research

December 18, 2014

Daniel J. Weix, an associate professor of chemistry at the University of Rochester, was selected to receive a Pharmaceutical Roundtable grant by the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute and was also a recipient of the 2014 Pfizer Green Chemistry Award for his research of non-precious metal catalysis.


Todd Krauss Elected OSA Fellow

November 5, 2014

Professor Todd Krauss has been selected to join the 2015 class of Fellows of the Optical Society(OSA). Todd is being recognized for major contributions to the measurement and understanding of spectroscopy and excited state relaxation dynamics in II-VI semiconductor nanocrystals and carbon nanotubes at both the ensemble and single particle levels. One of his enthusiastic letter writers made the comment, “Todd has clearly distinguished himself as one of the leaders worldwide in the photophysics of nanomaterials. He communicates his ideas very well; he is motivating, enthusiastic and connects with the audience. He has an excellent sense of humor and understands how to capture the attention of the audience. To summarize, Todd’s scientific contributions and service to the Optics community need to be recognized. I strongly support his nomination and hope he’ll soon be a fellow Fellow.” Todd will be inducted as an OSA Fellow during one of the OSA conferences to be held in 2015. Founded in 1916, The Optical Society (OSA) is the leading professional association in optics and photonics, home to accomplished science, engineering, and business leaders from all over the world.


The Art and Science of Organic Chemistry

September 17, 2014

Associate Professor of Chemistry Daniel J. Weix is a scientist, but he nonetheless talks about the creative aspects of chemistry and the art of organic synthesis. Weix specializes in organic (carbon-based) synthesis and is working to develop better ways of creating molecules in order to accelerate the discovery of new, useful compounds, including pharmaceuticals.


Daniel Weix wins Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award

May 6, 2014

Dan earned his B.S. in Chemistry at Columbia University in 2000, and his Ph.D. degree under the direction of Professor Jonathan Ellman at the University of California, Berkeley in 2005. He spent three years as a postdoctoral fellow with Professor John Hartwig at Yale University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign prior to joining our department. On July 1, 2008. Dan came to Rochester with an extremely strong background in synthetic and organometallic chemistry, focusing on the development of new methods for C-C bond formation used in organic synthesis. In recognition of the novelty and importance of his published and ongoing work, Dan has also recently been awarded major NIH research support, a Fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (2013), a Thieme Chemistry Journal Award (2013), and a Green Chemistry Award from the Pfizer-Groton Green Chemistry Team (2012). Dan is also an extraordinarily effective teacher at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and he has developed new curricula for several courses including CHM 435, a graduate level course on synthetic methods, and CHM 210, an honors level organic chemistry laboratory course.


Barbara Snaith and Elly York Win Chemistry Department Award

May 6, 2014

Sandra Beach served as the Department Secretary from 1991 until her tragic death in an automobile accident in 1993. She was an extremely important and well-liked staff member whose cheerful and helpful attitude made her an invaluable asset.


Daniel Everson selected as 2013-2014 Outstanding Dissertation Award Winner in the Natural Sciences for the University of Rochester

May 6, 2014

Congratulations to Daniel Everson, who received his Ph.D. in 2013 under the guidance of research advisor Dan Weix. The title of this thesis was “Nickel-Catalyzed Electrophile Cross-Coupling of Aryl Halides”. Dan received his B.S. in Chemistry in 2007 from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, and is currently working as a postdoctoral associate in the laboratory of Christopher J. Douglas at the University of Minnesota in the Chemistry department. As Wendi Heinzelman, Dean of Graduate Studies for Arts, Sciences and Engineering wrote in her notification letter: This award is testament to your exceptional work as a graduate student at the University of Rochester. We are proud of all your accomplishments. Dan will receive a certificate and a monetary award in recognition of his achievement.


Rochester Distinguished Scholar Award goes to Dr. Yuh-geng Tsay

May 6, 2014

Yuh-geng TsayThe Rochester Distinguished Scholar Award recognizes alumni whose careers in academia, industry, government or the arts have exemplified the values and attributes of the University.


Douglas Turner Wins 2014 UR Lifetime Achievement Award in Graduate Education

March 24, 2014

Douglas TurnerChemistry professor Douglas H.Turner has been recognized by the University for his contributions to graduate education over his 39 year career at Rochester with the 2014 UR Lifetime Achievement Award in Graduate Education. For Doug, this award is the capstone of an outstanding career as a scholar, researcher, teacher and graduate mentor.


New Faculty Member and Research on Nanoscale Dynamical Processes: Theory and Computation

February 26, 2014

Ignacio FrancoIgnacio Franco joined the Chemistry faculty at the University of Rochester in July 2013. Ignacio received his B.Sc. in chemistry from the National University of Colombia in 2001. After completing the diploma program in condensed matter physics at The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste in 2002, he moved to the University of Toronto to pursue a Ph.D. in theoretical chemical physics under the guidance of Paul Brumer. Ignacio’s Ph.D. work was in the field of Quantum Control and focused on investigating the use of lasers to induce ultrafast controllable currents along nanoscale junctions. In 2008 he joined Northwestern as a postdoctoral fellow in the groups of Mark A. Ratner and George C. Schatz where he worked on the theory and simulation of single-molecule pulling experiments. He then moved to Berlin to take a position as group leader and Humboldt research fellow in the Theory Department of the Fritz Haber Institute in 2011, where he investigated electronic decoherence processes in molecules.


Ian Goldsmith-Rooney invited to attend the National Conference on Undergraduate Research in April

January 27, 2014

The National Conference on Undergraduate Research is an organization that seeks to promote undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative activity using partnerships with faculty and other mentors as a way to achieve a higher education. Chosen from over 4,000 submissions, Ian will have the opportunity to present his work and interact with other student researchers and faculty from across the country throughout the four day event. The conference also includes graduate school fairs, oral and poster presentations, performing arts presentations, and speeches by renowned innovators such as Kris Kimel, the founder of IdeaFestival, and the president and co-founder of Kentucky Science and Technology Corp.


Dan Weix invited to attend Kavli Frontiers of Science Symposium

November 13, 2013

Professor Daniel J. Weix was invited to attend the 25th annual Kavli Frontiers of Science Symposium held November 7-9, 2013 in Irvine, California. The 80-100 attendees were selected from among recipients of prestigious fellowships, awards, and other honors, as well as from nominations by NAS members and other participants. They are a group of distinguished scientists under 45 who have already made significant contributions in their fields. Since the symposium's inception in 1989, more than one hundred fifty of its "alumni" have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, and ten have been awarded Nobel prizes.


Rich Eisenberg 2013 Oesper Award Recipient

November 1, 2013

The Cincinnati Section of the American Chemical Society and Chemistry Department at the University of Cincinnati recently announced Rich Eisenberg as the 2013 Oesper Award Winner. The Oesper Award is given annually to recognize an outstanding chemist of our time for a lifetime of significant accomplishments in the field of chemistry with long lasting impact on the chemical sciences. Rich just recently received the Award when he spoke at the Symposium held in Cincinnati last week. Congratulations Rich!


Rudi Fasan & Dan Weix chosen to speak at Award Symposium

October 12, 2013

Rudi Fasan and Dan Weix were chosen to speak at the 8th Organic Young Academic Investigators Award Symposium held recently at the ACS National Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana. The intent of the Symposium is to have the program composed of Assistant Professor speakers who are entering their fifth or sixth years and are not yet tenured. Sixteen speakers were invited to give 30-minute presentations on their work.


Chemistry Department Pioneer Wins Top Philanthropy Award

October 12, 2013

Dr. Walter CooperThe Rochester Area Community Foundation recently presented Dr. Walter Cooper, an alumnus of the University of Rochester, with its highest honor in recognition of his many charitable contributions. Cooper received the Joe U. Posner Founders Award at the foundation's annual luncheon at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center on September 18.


Dave McCamant Wins Inaugural Lectureship

October 11, 2013

The Journal of Physical Chemistry and the ACS Physical Chemistry Division created a new Lectureship Award which began in 2013. These awards, which will be held annually, honor the contributions of THREE investigators who have made major impacts on the field of physical chemistry in the research areas associated with each journal section. Dave McCamant was chosen as the winner of the Journal of Physical Chemistry B Lectureship: Biophysical Chemistry, Biomaterials, Liquids, and Soft Matter. The inaugural award Lectureships were held in September at the Fall 2013 ACS National Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana.


Where Does the Energy Go in a Chemical Reaction?

August 20, 2013

Farrar and PeiAnswering the question "Where does the energy go in a chemical reaction?" has been an abiding interest of Jim Farrar and his research group. Recognizing that ion-molecule reactions are among the fastest known gas phase processes has motivated the group to develop crossed molecular beam methods to study energy and angular momentum disposal in these chemical reactions. The experimental observations provide important correlations between reaction motifs and topological features of the underlying potential surfaces that describe the forces experienced by approaching reactants and separating products. The study of gas phase ion chemistry is based on mass spectrometry, with the result that molecular beam methods measure velocity vector distributions of reaction products. Measuring these distributions, generally with an energy analyzer that rotates around the collision center, produces an image of the products in velocity space that provides direct information on the velocities and scattering angles of newly formed reaction products.


Selective C—H functionalization in complex antimalarial drug via fine-tuned P450 catalysts

August 20, 2013

FasanThe ability to construct and manipulate biologically active molecules is central to the discovery of compounds with novel or improved pharmacological properties. Methods for the selective functionalization of aliphatic carbon-hydrogen (C—H) bonds are of particularly high synthetic value, as these chemical bonds are ubiquitous in natural and synthetic bioactive molecules. Performing this transformation with high efficiency and selectivity constitutes however a formidable challenge due to the strength of C−H bonds and the presence of several C−H bonds of similar energy in organic compounds, especially in complex molecules. A research team led by Prof. Rudi Fasan has reported a novel strategy to obtain cytochrome P450-based catalysts useful for the late-stage functionalization of unactivated C—H bonds in artemisinin, a complex natural product of prominent value in the fight against malaria (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012; 134(45): 18695–704). This impressive work was highlighted in the Chemical & Engineering News and selected for the JACS Spotlight "Enzyme Targets Hard-To-Oxidize Chemical Bonds".


Rudi Fasan wins Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award

July 3, 2013

Congratulations to Rudi Fasan for winning the 2014 Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award in the Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry field (a second award is given for the field of Organic Synthesis). These two awards were created in 2005 by the Executive Board of Editors and the Publisher of Tetrahedron Publications and are presented to two individuals who have exhibited "exceptional creativity and dedication" in the fields Bioorganic/ Medicinal Chemistry and Organic Synthesis respectively.


Pat Holland wins Blavatnik Award for Young Scientists

June 21, 2013

The Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists competition has announced the results of their 2013 regional competition, naming Professor Pat Holland, Synthetic Bioinorganic and Organometallic Chemistry, one of five faculty winners. These exceptional scientists, along with two postdoctoral fellows and five finalists, were selected from a pool of more than 160 nominations across 35 scientific disciplines, submitted by 43 research institutions in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.


Sarah Koniski and Louis Papa Awarded DAAD RISE Scholarships for research in Germany!

May 10, 2013

Congratulations to Sarah Koniski ('14, BS Chemistry, Bren group) and Louis Papa ('14, BS Chemistry, Fasan group) who will be spending their summer conducting research in German laboratories through the German Academic Exchange Service-Research Internships in Science & Engineering Scholarship (DAAD-RISE) program.


Undergraduate Research Expo and Writing Contest Awards

May 8, 2013

David George, '13 (BS Chemistry, Weix group), won the President's Award for Undergraduate Research in the Natural Sciences at the recent Undergraduate Research Symposium held in April. Pictures of the event, including David with University President, Joel Seligman, are located in the second row down, #3, 4, 5 (left to right) at:!i=2473181660&k=B2jXKd8


Chemistry Alums, Katherine Garner, Matthew DeMars, II, and Jonathan Goldberg Receive Honors!

May 7, 2013

Chemistry alumna Katherine Garner, '11/T5, (BS, Chemistry; minor, ASL) has won a 2013-14 Carnegie Junior Fellowship. She is the first-ever UR student or alumna to receive this prestigious and extremely competitive fellowship. Only 8-10 Carnegie Junior Fellows are chosen each year. Kate will serve as a research assistant to a senior fellow in the Energy & Climate Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, DC, where she will help produce policy papers, op ed pieces, briefs for Congressional committees, and interact with government and international officials. More about Kate can be found on the University website using the link to the right.


Ben Hafensteiner named Professor of the Year in the Natural Sciences

April 5, 2013

Congratulations to Ben Hafensteiner on being named this year’s Professor of the Year in the Natural Sciences. This award is bestowed on behalf of the University of Rochester Students’ Association who determined, after a careful screening of the pool of nominations, that Ben best fulfilled the criteria for this high honor.


Kim Manbeck awarded the Edward Peck Curtis Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student

April 4, 2013

Kim Manbeck has been chosen as one of the recipients of the 2013 Edward Peck Curtis Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student. Awardees are selected by the Dean of Graduate Studies and a University faculty committee, based on evidence of outstanding teaching, such as TA student and faculty evaluations, faculty letters of support and student recommendations. With this award, Kim is recognized for her outstanding performance as a teaching assistant in a wide variety of chemistry courses, her dedication and commitment to students, and her exceptional service to the Department of Chemistry. We will be having a get together (day/time to be announced) during which a member of the Dean's staff will present her award. Great job Kim! Our sincerest congratulations on this well-deserved honor!


Dan Weix Receives Sloan Research Fellowship

February 14, 2013

Dan Weix, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, has been named a 2013 Sloan Research Fellow. According to Chemistry Chair Robert Boeckman, Jr., "There is no question the breadth and depth of Dan's research program, developed in a mere four years, ranks him at the very top of his cohort of young faculty working in the area of organometallic synthesis methodology."


Dan Weix Receives 2013 Thieme Chemistry Journal Award

January 11, 2013

Dan Weix is the recipient of a 2013 Thieme Chemistry Journal Award! This award, established in 1999 with the aim to encourage young scientists, is granted to prospective chemists who have been recognized as high-potential researchers in the field of synthetic organic chemistry by the editorial board members of SYNTHESIS, SYNLETT and SYNFACTS. Congrats!


The Weix group is chosen for "Green" Award!

January 11, 2013

Pfizer Worldwide Research & Development in Groton, Connecticut, actively promotes the twelve principles of green chemistry amongst their staff. One of the key components of the program facilitated by their Green Chemistry Team is internal recognition through the “Groton Labs Green Chemistry Award.” Annual awards are presented to Pfizer scientists who demonstrate outstanding performance by incorporating green chemistry into pharmaceutical research and development activities.


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