Texas Tech University

2017 Departmental News

Prof. Jorge A. Morales to be Visiting Professor at University of Pernambuco, Brazil

MoralesProf. Jorge A. Morales has received a visiting Professor position at the level of full Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the Federal University of Pernambuco, Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil. This is a six-month position starting on June 1, 2018. During his stay in Brazil, Prof. Morales will conduct theoretical chemistry research with several groups in the University of Pernambuco and will teach a graduate course on theoretical chemistry.

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Congratulations to the Fall 2017 Dean's List and President's List Recipients

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Dean's List
President's List



Brandon Watson places first in the 2017 ACS SWRM Undergraduate poster session

TTU LogoDuring the 2017 ACS SWRM meeting held here in Lubbock, Texas, undergraduate student Brandon T. Watson presented his research conducted in Dr. Cozzolino's lab, along 108 other undergraduate students from across the region. His poster was titled the "Design of Moisture Stable Antimony (III) Compounds for Self-Assembly through Secondary Bonding Interactions" and was the culmination of a year of research within the Cozzolino group. His research focused on the synthesis of stable, tripodal antimony (III) and bismuth (III) thiolates in hopes of being able to further construct self-assembled supramolecular spherical structures. To read more about the happenings in Dr. Cozzolino's research group, please click on the following link: Cozzolino Group 

The Chemistry & Biochemistry Department Research Poster Session

TTU LogoThe Chemistry & Biochemistry Department Research Poster Session Event was held on Aug 25, 2017. Each poster was judged by at least 2 judges. This year three prizes were given to the best undergraduate posters and three prizes were awarded to the best graduate posters. This year winners were:

Graduate Students
• 1st Place - Collin Borcik: Insane in the Membrane: The functional interplay between lipids and a full-length inward-rectifier potassium channel via solid-state NMR
• 1st Place - Babak Tahmouresilerd: Strategies for Supporting Iodine Catalytic Sites in Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs)
• 3rd Place - Ranjith Nadipalli: HKT1 sodium transporter expression correlates with salt-tolerance in Arugula ecotypes
Undergraduate Students
• 1st Place - Amanda Miller: Cu(1,7-phenanthroline)(PPH3)2 . PF6: An 'Inhibited' Ligand Complex
• 2nd Place - Brandon Watson: The Design of Moisture Stable Antimony (III) and Bismuth (III) Compounds for Self-Assembly through Secondary Bonding Interactions
• 3rd Place - Dustin Kenafake: Metal-Free "Hydrogenation of Ketones and Imines via 'Inverse' Frustrated Lewis Pair Approach".

Prof. Andrew Harned named Associate Editor for Royal Society Open Science

HarnedProf. Andrew Harned has been named an Associate Editor and member of the Chemistry Editorial Board for Royal Society Open Science (http://rsos.royalsocietypublishing.org), a multidisciplinary open access journal, covering 12 subjects across all science, engineering, and mathematics. The journal aims to publish high quality work, using objective peer-review without restrictions on scope, length or impact. Although the Royal Society owns the journal, the chemistry content is published in collaboration with the Royal Society of Chemistry. Of particular note, Prof. Harned will be the journal's first Associate Editor of chemistry content to be based in the United States.

Prof. Dominick Casadonte Spoke and Demonstrated Chemistry to Students at Double T College on Sep 25-29

DominickCourses taught by Dom Casadonte, professor of chemistry: Why Chemistry Gets a Bad Rap and Why It Really Shouldn't, The Portrait of the Chemist as a Young Man, Chemistry Really is Fun and I'll Prove It.

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Prof. Yehia Mechref has received an NIH R01 competing renewal award for $1,151,179 (4-years)

According to the ORS records, this award is the first successful NIH R01 competing renewal that Texas Tech has received since 1996 (no records exist before 1996). The proposed research will enable the development of tools for the characterization of protein carbohydrate structures at sensitivity, throughput, and level of detail not previously possible. The implementation of these tools will enable researchers to better understand the attributes and biomedical significance of glycans in the development and progression of a wide array of diseases. Examples of future benefits for public health include the identification of disease and cancer biomarkers for medical diagnostics and the monitoring of recombinant protein therapeutics, which will lead to better-targeted drugs that are more bioactive with fewer side effects.

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Dr. Roya Baghi, Graduate from Dr. Hope-Week's group, has gotten a position at Texas Tech University at Waco

Dr. Roya Baghi, a 2017 Ph.D. graduate from Dr. Hope-Week's research group, has received an appointment with the TTU Waco campus. TTU Waco is co-located within the McClennan Community College campus in Waco, TX. Dr. Baghi will be teaching organic chemistry and upper division courses and coordinating labs for TTU Waco. 

Prof. Benjamin Wylie received a Maximizing Investigators' Research Award of $1,745,725

BenjaminProf. Benjamin Wylie received a Maximizing Investigators' Research Award (MIRA) (R35) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). His proposal was entitled "Functional Interplay of Lipid Membrane Components: Activation, Inhibition, and Raft Formation." The Wylie lab will receive $1,745,725 over five years.

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Prof. Michael Latham has received half of a TTU Presidents' Collaborative Research Initiative Grant of $50,000

Professor Michael Latham received a TTU Presidents' Collaborative Research Initiative award for a proposal entitled "A Structural Basis for a Form of Mental Retardation." This is a collaborative grant with Drs. Clint Macdonald and Petar Grozdanov from TTUHSC (Lubbock, TX). This award provides seed money for experiments to understand how a single mutation of a protein found in brain cells can cause a severe form of mental retardation. The total award is $50,000 for one year, while Prof. Latham's share is $25,000.

Prof. John D'Auria received an NSF Collaborative grant of $800,000

JohnProfessor John D'Auria on receiving an NSF Collaborative grant of $800,000 (3 years) for his proposal entitled "Collaborative Research: A systems approach toward understanding the diversification of tropane and granatane alkaloid biosynthesis." Dr. D'Auria is the lead PI on the grant along with Dr. Cornelius Barry from MSU and Dr. Charles Stewart Jr. from ISU. The total award is $800,000 (3 years) while TTU share is $332,348.

Prof. Dimitri Pappas received a CH Foundation's gift of $102,126

Professor Dimitri Pappas received a CH Foundation's gift of $102,126 (1 year) for his grant award entitled A Microchip Sepsis Detection System for Point of Service Healthcare.

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Dr. Bill Hase is hosting Shreyas Vijay Malpathak, a 2017 S.N. Bose Scholar

For the S.N. Bose Scholars Program (for Indian students) this year, received over ~1500 applications. A joint India-U.S. selection committee evaluated each and every application and short-listed 60 students. At this level, these students are among the top 1.5% of the best students across India

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2014 TTU Ph.D. graduate Dr. Rui Sun (Hase group) has accepted a faculty position at the University of Hawaii

Rui Sun
Rui Sun received his B.S. degree in Chemistry in 2009 from Shandong University in China. He received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Texas Tech University in 2014, working with Dr. William L. Hase on studying gas phase reactions mechanism and solvent effect in condensed phase reaction with ab initio molecular dynamics simulation. + More

Prof. Bill Poirier receives 3 year grant ($498,009) from NSF

Prof. Lionel "Bill" Poirier has received a grant in the amount of $498,009 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for a three year project funded jointly through CTMC (Chemical Theory, Models, and Computation) and OAC (Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure). The title of the funded proposal is: "CDS&E: Massively Parallel Quantum Dynamics: Computing many accurate quantum states for real molecular applications." + More

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Prof. David Nes receives R33 grant ($881,354) from NIH for 3 year study

David Nes
Horn Prof. David Nes has received an R33 grant in the amount of $881,354 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a three year study. The title of the funded proposal is: Discovery of new anti-amoeba therapeutics. The grant is a continuation award of Prof. Nes' current R21 grant + More

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New faculty member, Dr. Kristin Hutchins, joins Department in fall 2017

In fall 2017, Dr. Kristin Hutchins will join the faculty of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry as a tenure-track Assistant Professor. She will teach organic chemistry-related courses and her research projects are in the areas of organic, materials, and supramolecular chemistry. 

Shiyue Zhou awarded 2017 Song Prize for best departmental Ph.D. dissertation

Zhou Shiyue
Shiyue Zhou was awarded the 2017 Song Prize for his Ph.D. dissertation entitled: Comprehensive LC-MS and MS/MS Study of N-Glycans Derived from Biological Samples. His studies were conducted under the direction of Prof. Yehia Mechref. 

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New Department Chairman, June 1, 2017

The department's faculty, staff, and students welcome Prof. Yehia Mechref as the new Chairman of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, as of June 1, 2017, and sincerely thanks Prof. Hope-Weeks for her outstanding service as past Chair  


8 Chem/Biochem majors inducted into Phi Beta Kappa

Eight Chemistry/Biochemistry majors were recently inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest and, arguably, most prestigious honorary society in the US. The honored graduates include: Colton R. Davis, Colleen D. Driscoli, Holden R. Fried, Jaime I. Haro-Silerio, Farah F. Mechref, Alexandria C. Nichols, Erin H. Sims and Simran R. Singh. 

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Collaboration awarded an EAGER grant by the Engineering Division of the NSF

FindlaterWeile Yan
Professor Michael Findlater of the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Professor Weile Yan of the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering have been awarded an EAGER grant in the amount of $80,000 by the Engineering Division of the NSF. The development of hydraulic fracturing  + More

Biochemistry major, Holden Fried (BS, May '17) received two American Chemical Society awards

Holden Fried
Biochemistry and Mathematics (double major), Holden Fried (BS, May '17) received the 2017 Outstanding Graduating Senior Award from the South Plains local section of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and the 2017 Undergraduate Award in Organic Chemistry from the ACS Division of Organic Chemistry.  + More

Faculty member, Dr. Michael Findlater, promoted to Associate Professor and tenured

At the February 2017 meeting of the TTU Board of Regents, faculty member, Dr. Michael Findlater, was granted tenure and promotion (from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor). While tenure is immediate, promotion takes effect on September 1st, 2017. 

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Dr. Gamez is recognized as a 2017 Emerging Investigator

According to the recent Focus Section editorial in the Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry: "...contributing authors...were recommended as individuals who show exceptional promise for doing creative research by a group of prominent mass spectrometrists... Although each of these authors has established his/her independent + More

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Anu Saini awarded Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship

Anu Saini
Departmental graduate student, Anu Saini, was recently awarded (spring '17) a Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship by the TTU Graduate School. This funding will be used to fully support Anu's stipend for the next academic school year as she completes her experimental + More

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Prof. Yehia Mechref featured in a "Communicators in a Cart!" video interview

From KTTZ-TV: "Welcome back to Communicators in a Cart! This week Chris Cook grabs coffee with Dr. Yehia Mechref, Professor and Director of Texas Tech University's Center for Biotechnology & Genomics." Over the short ride and cup of coffee, academic and research activities are discussed.

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PhD Candidate, M. Mustafa Cetin, to begin new work with 2016 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry

On March 4th, 2017, PhD candidate and Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry graduate student, M. Mustafa Cetin visited Northwestern University in Evanston, IL and he presented an overview of his research activities (with the Mayer group and collaborators) here at TTU. Mustafa has since accepted an offer for a postdoctoral research associate position, + More

Prospective Graduate Student Visitation Weekend, March 3-4, 2017

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry hosted a student visitation weekend for qualifying graduate applicants. The focus of the event was to provide information about Texas Tech University, the department, and Lubbock. The weekend-event featured tours, meals, and many opportunities to speak with current graduate students and faculty. Please contact Donna Smith (donna.smith@ttu.edu) for more information. 

Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

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    1204 Boston Avenue, Lubbock, TX 79409-1061
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