Texas Tech University

2008 - 2015 Departmental News

In Memoriam: David Wayne Purkiss

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry NMR Spectroscopist David Wayne Purkiss died December 2, 2015 at the age of 60. He was the NMR Spectroscopist for the Texas Tech Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry for over 30 years.


He was born November 7, 1956 in Searcy, Arkansas. He earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Central Arkansas in 1980 and his master's degree from Texas Tech University in 1984. Upon receiving his masters degree, David joined the staff at Texas Tech where he operated and maintained the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectrometer and the mass spectrometer.

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Dr. Morales obtained a grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT)

The funded research is to reveal the mechanisms of fundamental reactions occurring during proton cancer therapy (PCT) via computational chemistry methods. In this innovative approach to cancer research, the Morales group is employing the electron nuclear dynamics (END) method to simulate water radiolysis reactions and DNA damage processes. In this way, a better understanding of PCT leading to its rational design can be safely obtained on computers without putting patients under risk.

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Dr. Morales

Horn Professor Nes has been awarded a NIH R21/R33 award titled "Discovery of new anti-amoeba therapeutics"

The funded research is to prepare and test new steroidal inhibitors separately and in combination with medical azoles as potential anti-amoeba agents against corneal blindness and the brain-eating amoebas.

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Dr. Nes

Dr. D'Auria and Dr. Cozzolino receive funding from the Presidential Collaborative Research Grants Program

Dr. D'Auria and Dr. Cozzolino, in collaboration with Dr. Kaye (TTU Physics) and Dr. Zeng (TTUHSC El Paso), will work towards constructing a sensor for the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. This effort brings together elements of solid state physics, surface chemistry, biochemistry and infectious diseases.

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Bacillus anthracis

Dr. Gamez has been awarded the inaugural JAAS Emerging Investigator Lectureship

This Lectureship was launched to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Journal for Analytical Atomic Spectroscopy and will be awarded annually from 2015 to recognize and support an emerging scientist working in the area of atomic spectrometry in the early stages of their independent career. As a winner of this Lectureship, Professor Gamez is invited to present his research at a high-profile international conference.

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Dr. Gamez

Dr. Pappas selected as President's Administrative Fellow

An associate professor of chemistry in the Texas Tech University Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry has been selected as the university's newest President's Administrative Fellow.
Dimitri Pappas, who is chairman of the Institutional Laboratory Safety Committee and maintains an active research group, will begin his new role on Sept. 1.

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Dr. Pappas

Dr. Robert W. Shaw, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry recognized for innovative research

Texas Tech University's Office of Technology Commercialization hosted the West Texas Innovation Showcase to honor TTU/TTUHSC innovators on May 13, 2015. Robert V. Duncan, senior vice president for research at Texas Tech University presented Dr. Shaw with two separate awards for his research on antibiotics.

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Dr. Shaw

Dr. Clemens Krempner has been awarded an NSF grant

Prof. Clemens Krempner has been awarded an NSF grant for his project "Harnessing the Unquenched Reactivity of Novel Frustrated Lewis Pairs for Transition Metal-Free Hydrogenation Catalysis", which competed successfully in the international competition in sustainable chemistry. His co-workers in the tri-lateral research effort are from Germany and China.

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Dr. David Birney

Dr. Birney demonstrates an unexpected reaction pathway

Experimental and theoretical results from Professor Birney's research group, showing that [3,5]-rearrangements of esters are allowed, although predicted to be forbidden by the Woodward-Hoffmann rules, was recently published in JACS and recognized with a "spotlight" by the editors.

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Dr. Birney

Dedicated recognition of alumna, Dr. Ginny S. Lin

The Department extends sincerest thanks to alumna, Dr. Ginny S. Lin, for
generous support of the NMR Spectrometer Facility.

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NMR Spectroscopy

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Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

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