Texas Tech University

2022 Departmental News

Dr. Poirier Prof. Poirier's quantum startup company, Quantum Galaxies, won $5000 from the Prototype Funding program of Lubbock Economic Development Agency. This program is designed to promote tech startup firms in the Lubbock area.

Trophies Tessa Hoang, an undergraduate student in the Gorden group, won an Undergraduate Research Experience Award from the College of Arts and Sciences.

Trophies Tessa Hoang, an undergraduate student in the Gorden group, won a TRUE Undergraduate Travel Funding Award as part of the TTU Center for Transformative Undergraduate Research Experiences Program.

Dr. Poirier Prof. Poirier's quantum startup company, Quantum Galaxies, received a TechConnect Innovation Award, given only to the top 15% of submissions, at the recent DefenseTech Innovation Summit in Washington DC.

Dr. Hutchins Prof. Kristin Hutchins has been named the 2022 Emerging Inventor of the Year for Texas Tech University. The award is sponsored by the Office of Research Commercialization. Prof. Hutchins will be honored at the Inventor Celebration on October 19th.

Dr. MechrefDr. Yehia Mechref has been name the Robert A. Welch Chair of Chemistry at Texas Tech University. Congratulations to Yehia on this milestone and the recognition of his research.

Dr. HutchinsDr. Kristin Hutchins was selected as Texas Tech's 2022 Emerging Inventor of the Year. The award recognizes one faculty member each from TTU and TTUHSC who have recently disclosed at least one invention while an assistant professor. This is the inaugural award year.

Dr. WeberDr. Weber is a Co-PI/subcontractor on a 4-year NIH R01 to TTUHSC. The total award is for $1,240,000, the TTU portion is $113,000.

Dr. WylieDr. Wylie received $119,868 from the National Institutes of Health/University of Florida for his project “Membranes of the Dental Pathogen Streptococcus Mutans”.

Dr. KrempnerProf. Clemens Krempner has won a $510K renewal of his DOE grant, “INVERSE Frustrated Lewis Pairs as Transition Metal Free Catalysts for the Hydrogenation of Organic Carbonyl Compounds, CO2 and CO”, for an additional three years.

Dr. Hutchins Prof. Kristin Hutchins has been awarded the Margaret C. Etter Early Career Award for 2023, from the American Crystallographic Association. This is a National level recognition awarded to only one researcher per year, recognizing "outstanding achievement and exceptional potential in crystallographic research demonstrated by a scientist at an early stage of their independent career”. + More

Dr. PoirierJackson Wu, a member of Prof. Poirier's quantum startup company, Quantum Galaxies, won the IBM Hackathon Challenge at the Creative Destruction Labs (CDL) “Quantum Boot Camp”. This includes a cash prize of $4000 (Canadian).

Trophies The following students are the winners from each division for the departmental poster session. (Note: there was no poster submitted for judging from the biochem division). Each winner received $500.+ See Winners

Dr. MechrefProf. Yehia Mechref will become the next Robert A. Welch Chair of Chemistry, with the new appointment expected to begin in the next few weeks.

Dr. ShiProf. Huazhong Shi obtained a grant extension from BASF-TTU Project Revolution for 2.5 years (7/1/22-12/31/24) with total budget of $390,847. This project is to cerate breeding materials in cotton using gene editing technology.

Dr. MechrefProf. Mechref received a one-year grant from Cotton Inc for $30,000. The grant is entitled “Underlying genes/metabolites governing the interaction between infected cotton roots and Fusarium wilt (FOV) for ELISA breeding tools”.

Dr. Gamez Prof. Gerardo Gamez has won a $550K NSF PHY grant, to be split equally with a collaborator at SUNY Buffalo. The project is entitled “ECLIPSE/Collaborative Proposal: Studying Microwave-Plasma interactions at Solid Interfaces Using Microwave Microstrip Architectures”+ More

Dr. Casadonte Prof. Dom Casadonte was commended recently by Mortar Board, the National College Senior Honor Society. Prof. Casadonte received this commendation for his service as an advisor of the TTU Mortar Board Chapter for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Dr. HutchinsProf. Kristin Hutchins delivered an invited lecture at the Telluride Science Research Center Workshop, Breaking and Making Bonds with Light in Telluride, CO on July 12 titled, "Use of mixed environments and solid-state reactions to modify thermal expansion behaviors."

Dr. Poirier Prof. Poirier's quantum startup company, Quantum Galaxies, was singled out with about 20 other startups world-wide, to take part in the Creative Destruction Labs (CDL) “Quantum Boot Camp” event. CDL is a non-profit out of the Toronto-Waterloo “quantum corridor”, with this event designed to connect the most promising new quantum startups with top quantum computing investors, academicians, and industry leaders. This week,+ More

Dr. Poirier Prof. Poirier's quantum algorithms technologies have won the Innovation Challenge competition and will be showcased at the upcoming Defense TechConnect Innovation Summit in Washington DC in September. This event features new technologies/startups, existing industry, and federal/defense STTR/SBIR program managers. The TTU Office+ More

TrophiesBrand-new faculty member, Prof. Adam Smith, has gotten a paper accepted into the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Further details will be provided once the paper has been published. Well done Adam!

Dr. PoirierBoth TTU and FAPESP have given funding to Dr. Poirier's proposed collaboration with Dr. Brett Carlson, entitled “Riding Quantum Trajectories beyond Born-Oppenheimer: Building better methods for reaction dynamics”. The total grant amount is $20,000.

Dr. PoirierDr. Poirier was chosen as the Spring 2022 Arts and Science Students' Choice Top Faculty.

Trophies Mona Goli (graduate student in Prof. Mechref's group) received the 2022 Ming Sun Family Graduate Research Award , was selected to receive a Texas Tech University Graduate School Doctoral Dissertation Completion Fellowship for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Trophies Aiying Yu (graduate student in Prof. Mechref's group) received the 2022 Ginny Shen Lin's Scholarship.

Trophies Aiying Yu (graduate student in Prof. Mechref's group) received the 2022 CGSO Scholarships.

Trophies Dr. Andrew Cho (a former graduate student of Prof. Mechref's group) co-shared the 2022 Song Prize for the Best Ph.D. Dissertation in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Trophies Adineh Rezaei also was awarded with Chemistry Graduate Student Organization (CGSO) Scholarship Award (Inorganic Division), Ming Sun Family Graduate Research Award, and Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award in Upper-Division Chemistry

Trophies Texas Tech's own, Sean Meyer (‘17) received his PhD in materials chemistry couple weeks ago from Univ Illinois.

Dr. Liang Dr. Ruibin Liang has won a Welch Grant for $300,000 for 3 years! The achievement is particularly impressive, given that the number of applications was considerably higher, and the number of grants awarded fewer, than in recent years.

Trophies The Gorden group has officially been notified of funding to be awarded $650,000 from the National Science Foundation for their project on "NSF2154848 - LnIII Complexes Displaying ErIII-centered Upconversion Emission in Solution and the Solid State with YbIII, NdIII or a Porphyrin-based ligand as Activators."+ More

Dr. Li Guigen Li's paper, “Asymmetric [4 + 2] cycloaddition synthesis of 4H-chromene derivatives facilitated by group-assisted-purification (GAP) chemistry”, was selected by the Royal Society of Chemistry as a 2021 HOT RSC Advances article. You can find his publication in the link below as well as the others selected for this honor: RSC Advances HOT Article Collection

Trophies Kevin Finch, PhD candidate in the Gamez lab, received the prestigious Richard Payling Prize at the International Glow Discharge Spectroscopy Symposium, April 6 – 8, 2022, Oviedo, Spain.+ More

Trophies Adineh Rezaei Bazkiaei from the Gorden group won the Paul Whitfield Horn Graduate Fellowship, received in a ceremony at the University Women's Club.

Trophies Dr. Yehia Mechref, Dr. Dimitri Pappas, Dr. Bill Poirier, and Dr. Daniel Unruh, and were all selected as Special Honorees for induction into the TTU Chapter of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. Phi Kappa Phi is the nation's oldest, most selective, and most prestigious all-discipline academic honor society

Trophies Dr. Elka Georgieva was admitted as a Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry. This is indeed a great honor and accomplishment, since the Member status is granted based on education, scientific merits, and letters of recommendation. It also requires a comprehensive review

TrophiesNavkiran Kaur Juneja was awarded a Doctoral Dissertation Completion Fellowship by the graduate school for 2022-2023.

TrophiesDong Zhang, PhD candidate in the Gamez lab, was selected to receive a Texas Tech University Graduate School Doctoral Dissertation Completion Fellowship for the 2022-2023 academic year.

TrophiesXiaodan (Dannie) Ding was awarded a summer thesis/dissertation research award from the graduate school.

TrophiesSaman Majeed, a Graduate Student in Georgieva lab, was awarded the TTU Study Abroad Competitive Scholarship (SACS) for both the 2022 Summer and 2022 Fall Semesters.

TrophiesSophia Sagala, from the Quitevis lab, was awarded a Study Abroad Competitive Scholarship for Summer 2022 and Fall 2022.

TrophiesAdineh Razaei from the Anne Gorden lab, had several awards: Create Possible Scholarship Award (Spring 2022, by the College of Arts and Sciences), Study Abroad Competitive Scholarship Award (Summer 2022), Doctoral Dissertation Completion Fellowship (from Graduate School), and Paul Whitfield Horn Fellowship.

Trophies It's official: Profs. Kristin Hutchins and Benjamin Wylie both achieved Tenure and Promotion to Associate Professor. Congratulations Kristin and Ben!!!

Huazhong Shi It's official: Prof. Huazhong Shi received Promotion to Full Professor. Congratulations Huazhong!!!

TrophiesThe Lewis Daniel Moore Memorial Scholarship Endowment was recently gifted to the department through a very generous donation from Ms. Carolyn F. Moore. The endowment will support undergraduate students in the department with a preference for a student who is in recovery as a member of the Center for Collegiate Recovery Communities at Texas Tech University.

TrophiesResearch Professor János Sarka, in conjunction with Prof. Bill Poirier, received a Frontera Pathways award entitled “SwitchIT: Pushing the Limits of Computational Rovibrational Molecular Spectroscopy Simultaneously with Respect to System Size, Convergence Accuracy and Number of Computed States”. + More

TrophiesAkram Bani Ahmad, a Graduate Student in the Georgieva lab, was selected to receive the Study Abroad Competitive Scholarship (SACS) for the 2022 Spring Semester.

Trophies Saman Majeed's application for an ASBMB 2022 Graduate Student Travel Award was approved for funding. Saman is a Graduate Student in the Georgieva lab. In April 2022, Saman will attend the ASBMB Annual Meeting in Philadelphia to present her, and colleagues', exciting work on viral membrane proteins.

Trophies Dong Zhang, PhD candidate in the Gamez lab, was selected to receive a 2022 ASMS Graduate Student Travel Award to attend the 70th ASMS conference in Minneapolis, June 2022. “The ASMS Graduate Student Award recognizes graduate students whose academic achievements and current mass spectrometry research display a high level of excellence and distinction.” He will be recognized in a ceremony at the conference.

TrophiesIn a recent Stanford study identifying the most cited researchers in the world, 10 of our Chemistry and Biochemistry faculty were identified in the top 2%! Five of these are still active in the department—Guigen Li, Hans Lischka, Yehia Mechref, Paul Pare, and Huazhong Shi.
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TrophiesKevin Finch, PhD candidate in the Gamez lab, received an award sponsored by the Journal for Analytical Atomic Spectrometry for his poster presentation at the Winter Conference on Plasma Spectrochemistry, held in Tucson, January 2022.

TrophiesKevin Finch, PhD candidate in the Gamez lab, received a travel grant sponsored by Spectron Inc. to present an invited talk and a poster at the Winter Conference on Plasma Spectrochemistry, held in Tucson, January 2022.

TrophiesMona Goli, a graduate student in Dr. Mechref's research group, was invited to serve as a Review Editor on the Editorial Board of Neurological Biomarkers (especially section of Frontiers in Neurology).

Archive of Departmental News


 

Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

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