News

12/10/2016

In the paper “Unboiling an Egg: An Introduction to Circular Dichroism and Protein Refolding” published in the Journal of Chemical Education, Prof. Anne-Frances Miller describes an experiment that protein unfolding and refolding accessible to students by working with hard boiled eggs. This experiment, which is adaptable to students as early as young as the high school level, provides an introduction to the use of a technique called circular dichroism, a hallmark technique for analyzing biological structures. In this experiment, students employ a denaturant solution to dissolve a hard-boiled egg back into solution, wherein the protein’s original structural signature (before boiling) are recovered, as evidenced by circular dichroism results. This experiment provides an accessible introduction to the use of circular

12/10/2016

In the paper “High-Z' Structures of Organic Molecules: Their Diversity and Organizing Principles” published in Acta Crystallographica B, Prof. Carol Brock of the University of Kentucky looks at some of the organizing principles behind crystal structures with high Z’, where Z’ is loosely the number of symmetry-independent molecules in the asymmetric unit. This study lies at the very heart of understanding and being able to control properties of molecular structures. Pharma and agrichem industries attach great importance to understanding crystal structure. The solid form impinges directly on properties such as solubility, bioavailability, processing characteristics, bulk density, dissolution rate, permeability, surface electrostatic charge and so on, so it is imperative to have a clear understanding of the molecular-

12/8/2016

By Jenny Wells and Alicia Gregory

University of Kentucky REVEAL Research Mediarecently caught up with Susan Odom, an assistant professor of chemistry in the UK College of Arts and Sciences, to learn more about her pioneering work in electrochemical energy storage.

 

Odom, who joined UK in 2011, creates new organic compounds for applications in electrochemical energy storage systems. Applications include lithium-ion batteries, which are utilized in portable consumer electronic devices. Her additives have been demonstrated to protect these batteries from overcharging conditions longer than any other electrolyte additive reported to date.

Odom’s group is also pursuing new applications of this

12/6/2016

Predicting the packing of molecules in the solid state is a major goal of researchers around the world. In their latest paper in Chemistry of Materials, Professors Chad Risko and John Anthony derive understanding as to how subtle changes in the chemical structure of trialkylsilylethynyl pentacenes, an important class of organic semiconductor materials, can impact the solid-state molecular packing arrangements that in turn determine the semiconducting characteristics. This insight is then used to propose new polymorphs that could be of technological relevance if appropriate processing conditions are developed. Overall, the theory-driven insight developed in this work lays an important foundation to build a more robust crystal engineering paradigm for these molecular materials.

"Theory-Driven Insight into the Crystal

12/1/2016

Professor Edith "Phoebe" Glazer was selected to serve on the advisory board for Chemical Society Reviews (Chem. Soc. Rev.). This prestigious publication, which produces 24 issues per year and boasts an Impact Factor of 34, is the flagship review journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and - from the RSC's website - publishes "high-impact, succinct and reader-friendly articles at the forefront of the chemical sciences".

11/17/2016

The Small-Molecule X-Ray Crystallography Facility in the Department of Chemistry has been awarded a prestigious and highly competitive grant from the Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program of the National Science Foundation (NSF).  The award of $383,133 (70% NSF, 30% UK matching funds) will fund the acquisition of a state-of-the-art microfocus X-ray diffractometer.

X-ray crystallography has long been considered the 'gold-standard' for providing detailed atomic-level structural information for molecules in chemical, pharmaceutical, and materials research. The award proposal by X-Ray Facility director Sean Parkin, Department of Chemistry professors Susan Odom, Phoebe Glazer, and John Anthony, and College of Pharmacy professor Oleg Tsodikov will modernize and dramatically enhance structural chemistry research instrumentation at UK.  The

11/17/2016

The Light Microscopy Core, a newly named research core facility under the auspices of the Office of the Vice President for Research, has invested $1.3 million in two new microscopes to support an array of research across the University of Kentucky. Dr. Chris Richards, director of the Light Microscopy Core and assistant professor of chemistry, said these instruments and the hiring of manager Thomas Wilkop will enable UK researchers to utilize the most advanced imaging available. “If we want to understand biological systems, ranging from neuroscience to physiology, or apply imaging techniques for cutting-edge materials science, we really need to have the type of equipment that makes us competitive with other universities. These

11/16/2016

Assistant Professor Kenneth Graham received a $110,000 grant from ACS PRF to develop a better understanding of polymer blend thermoelectrics. Thermoelectrics can convert heat energy to useful electrical energy based on the Seebeck effect, or they can utilize electrical energy to produce heating or cooling. Polymer based thermoelectric materials have the potential to be low-cost, are lightweight, and mechanically flexible, which opens up a number of applications if the thermoelectric performance of these materials can be further improved. For example, these materials could be utilized to make the band of a Fitbit, or other wearable electronic device, and provide power for the device based solely on your body heat, or they could be utilized to recover waste heat from higher temperature sources, such as the coolant systems of

11/2/2016

Ellen Crocker (forestry), Susan Odom (chemistry), and Bradford Condon (plant pathology) received a grant from KY NSF EPSCoR for Education and Outreach Activities, which will fund an Expanding Your Horizons conference at the University of Kentucky. This STEM conference for middle school girls will feature interactive activities led by UK undergraduate and graduate students and will include college preparation sessions for accompanying parents. The conference will be held in the Jacobs Science Building on April 29, 2017. For more information, contact Dr. Crocker.

10/26/2016

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Prof. Yates elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society. The criterion for election is exceptional contributions to the physics enterprise; e.g., outstanding physics research, important applications of physics, leadership in or service to physics, or significant contributions to physics education. Fellowship is a distinct honor signifying recognition by one's professional peers.  Prof. Yates was nominated by the Division of Nuclear Physics for his important advances in the study of collective nuclear excitations, and for the development of nuclear spectroscopic methods of use with fast neutron scattering reactions. 

10/20/2016

By Jenny Wells

Today, members of the University of Kentucky community, the Board of Trustees, and public officials formally dedicated the new Don & Cathy Jacobs Science Building, commemorating an unprecedented partnership in higher education between the university, UK Athletics, and community donors.     The 240,000 square-foot, $112 million facility, now considered the epicenter of the university’s scientific community, was made possible with funding of $65 million from UK Athletics and $10 million from The Don Jacobs Sr. Charitable Foundation.   “With each passing day, the University of Kentucky is a campus transformed. Nowhere is that transformation – and the profound sense of partnership – more evident than in the heart of our campus where new
10/20/2016

By Jenny Wells

On Oct. 20, University of Kentucky officials formally dedicated the new Don & Cathy Jacobs Science Building, but the state-of-the-art facility has already begun making an impact on students and faculty since it opened this August.   The Jacobs Science Building (JSB) is the epicenter of the university’s scientific community, offering 21st century science education with 21st century laboratories and instrumentation. Every science student on campus, and the vast majority of all undergraduates at UK, will at one point experience the building’s active-learning laboratories and classrooms.   Allison Soult, a lecturer of chemistry in the UK College of Arts and Sciences, says the design of the classrooms makes large lecture courses much more personal.   “Having two rows of desks per tier with movable chairs makes small
9/20/2016

By Dave Melanson

Since the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research's (CAER) earliest of days, the center's investigators have focused on natural products. It is a new class of organic materials, however, that has resulted in a recent round of research funding that will accelerate the plastic electronics revolution.   CAER researchers John Anthony and Chad Risko, both faculty members in the UK College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Chemistry, have received four new federal grants totaling nearly $1.4 million to further their exploration of organic materials that show great promise for a wide array of commercial electronics applications. Anthony and Risko received nearly $540,000 from the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer
9/6/2016

By Whitney Harder

University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto announced today a $10 million gift from The Don Jacobs Sr. Charitable Foundation to further invest in undergraduate science education.   The majority of the gift — $8 million — will go toward the new academic science building that now takes the name Don & Cathy Jacobs Science Building. Another $2 million will fund future academic and research investments yet to be determined.   The legacy of Lexington businessman and philanthropist Don Jacobs and his wife Cathy already lives on across the UK campus — from business education to health care. And now, that same legacy will impact thousands of UK students, who are projected to use the new science building annually.   Don and Cathy Jacobs have now donated funds in excess of $20 million to UK in areas ranging from science and health to the Gatton
8/30/2016

By Jenny Wells

All graduates of the University of Kentucky Department of Chemistry are invited to a reunion weekend this fall at UK’s new Don and Cathy Jacobs Science Building.   The UK Chemistry Alumni Board will host the reunion Oct. 14-15 and are asking those interested to RSVP by Sept. 23. All graduates, including bachelor's, master's and doctoral students are invited, as well as friends of the department.   “The Chemistry Reunion is a first for our department and should provide a great opportunity for our alumni to reconnect with friends and former classmates,” said Steve Yates, UK chemistry professor and chairman of the reunion committee.   Featured events include an open house at the new science building 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14, and a reception at the King Alumni House at
8/1/2016

By Samantha Ponder

The Department of Chemistry in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences will host a "Mathematics of Physical Chemistry Boot Camp" to educate students on mathematical concepts that are common in both quantum chemistry and molecular physics. Registration for the August boot camp will close Aug. 10.   This year the college is offering two sessions. One from 8 a.m. to early afternoon on Saturday, Aug. 20, and one from 8 a.m. to early afternoon on Saturday, Aug. 27. Both boot camp sessions are free.   UK's chemistry boot camp provides graduate and undergraduate students an introduction or refresher class covering a few key mathematical and numerical approaches that they may encounter in their classes or research. The format for each session will include lectures, which will summarize the mathematics and
7/21/2016

Dr. April French was selected as Chair of a new committee of the American Chemical Society Division of Chemical Education's Examination Institute. The committee is responsible for producing the 2018 General, Organic, and Biochemistry Examination. This appointment is a significant recognition of stature in the chemistry education community and the ACS exams play an important role in the education of future chemists.

French's PhD research focused on informal scientific education occurring within science museums, and her experience in teaching includes general, organic, and biological chemistry courses. French currently serves as a Senior Academic Coordinator in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Kentucky where she supervises the General Chemistry Laboratories. 

7/15/2016

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 15, 2016) — Alexis Eugene, a University of Kentucky doctoral student in the Department of Chemistry, has been awarded the NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship. More than 700 applications were submitted for the 2016 awards, and Eugene was one of only 73 who received a fellowship in earth science. Eugene will collaborate with members of NASA's Langley Aerosol Research Group Experiment by analyzing the chemical composition of cloud water and aerosol samples collected during flights over the Atlantic Ocean. Specifically, she will study what chemicals are there and how they affect the properties of the atmosphere. "For example, looking at how those chemicals might interact with radiation," she said.

Eugene has been working in Assistant Professor

6/20/2016
By Whitney Hale   University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced that six UK students and alumni have been selected as recipients of Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarships. The UK recipients are among more than 1,800 U.S. citizens who will travel abroad for the 2016-17 academic year through the prestigious program.   The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers fellowships for U.S. graduating college seniors, graduate students, young professionals and artists to study, conduct research, and/or teach English abroad.   Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The program operates in more
5/31/2016

The University of Kentucky has received permission from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to conduct research with unmanned aerial systems (UAS), or drones, nationwide, following FAA regulations.

"UK is among the first universities in the country to receive this new FAA 'blanket' CoA," said Suzanne Smith, director of the UK Unmanned Systems Research Consortium and the Donald and Gertrude Lester Professor of Mechanical Engineering. "Now, UK faculty will be among the first to perform and publish their research on leading-edge autonomy technologies and applications, and the new scientific discoveries that are sure to result."

The FAA's public Certificate of Authorization (CoA) allows UK researchers to fly drones that are less than 55 pounds up

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