News

4/27/2016

An ultra-high resolution microscopy image of a thermoelectric material with the beautiful skutterudite structure will be featured on the July 2016 cover of the Journal of Materials Science. Chemistry graduate student Bethany Hudak contributed the image to the an article on skutterudite thermoelectric materials which was published online in March 2016. Bethany's analysis demonstrated the direct observation of the relationship between atomic structure and thermoelectric properties in these materials.

Bethany is a doctoral student in the research group of Assistant Professor Beth Guiton

4/27/2016

Steve Yates, a professor in the Departments of Chemistry and Physics & Astronomy and Director of the University of Kentucky Accelerator Laboratory (UKAL), recently received two grants.  One of these awards [1] is a renewal of funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), which extends continuous NSF funding of work at UKAL to greater than fifty years.  This research is focused on advancing our fundamental understanding of the atomic nucleus.  The nucleus, composed of protons and neutrons, is billions of times smaller than is visible with the human eye. Some nuclei are spherical in shape, while others are deformed in oblate (like a Frisbee) or prolate (like a football) shapes; the shape of the nucleus is unique for each isotope of each element.  Because we cannot take an ordinary photograph of the nucleus to investigate its

4/27/2016

Ryan Loe, a chemistry graduate student in the Crocker group, submitted to the East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes (EAPSI) has been funded to work on the project titled “EAPSI: Improving and Understanding the Catalysts Used to Convert Biological Oils to Diesel Fuel”. This funding will allow Ryan to visit the University of Queensland for a research stay this summer with joint support from National Science Foundation and the Australian Academy of Science.  The project’s abstract is copied below:

Biodiesel constitutes the major renewable fuel derived from lipid-based feedstocks such as vegetable oils and animal fats; however, several issues hinder biodiesel from being completely fungible with traditional petroleum diesel. Biodiesel’s poor cold flow properties, storage stability, and engine compatibility problems stem from its oxygen content. Recently,

4/26/2016

By Terrence Wade

(April 26, 2016) — The University of Kentucky Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Engineering are proud to have Nobel Prize Winner Frank Wilczek on campus this week as he delivers his lecture “Some Intersections of Art and Science.” The lecture will take place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 28, at Memorial Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

The lecture will cover topics of profound reasons rooted in the nature of human cognition and perception and why art and science have a lot to offer one another. Wilczek will display some important historical examples of their synergy and point out some emerging opportunities. Several striking images will be an integral part of the presentation.

Wilczek is one of the world's

4/25/2016

By Whitney Harder

(April 25, 2016) — A new instrument to be developed by University of Kentucky researchers will overcome current limitations in fluorescence microscopy and could accelerate basic scientific discoveries. The multimodal and cost-effective imaging and data collection platform is being funded by a three-year, $589,250 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant from the Instrument Development for Biological Research (IDBR) program.

Total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) have become essential tools to understand biochemical and cellular processes. But these tools are limited — they are often highly labor intensive and thus have been primarily restricted to single sample analysis followed by costly manual data processing. 

UK Department of

4/21/2016

By Whitney Hale

(April 21, 2016) – The University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced that 12 of the university's students and alumni have been selected to receive government-funded National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships. The fellowships award more than $100,000 to use toward research-based master's or doctoral degrees. In addition, four other UK students and alumni received honorable mention recognition from the NSF.

This year's selection of a dozen UK students and alumni for NSF Graduate Research Fellowships is believed to be the largest in the school's history and is four times the number of selections for 2015. To put more of emphasis on the fellowship, 

4/14/2016

By Whitney Hale

(April 14, 2015) — A University of Kentucky senior and recent graduate have been selected for fellowships from the Princeton in Asia program. As part of the program, biochemistry senior Calvin Hong and 2015 arts administration and Spanish graduate Brittney Woodrum will teach in Hong Kong and Myanmar respectively.

Princeton in Asia (PiA) sponsors more than 150 fellowships and internships in 20 countries and is the oldest and largest organization of its kind, unique in its scope, size, century-long expertise and emphasis on service. The essence of PiA is to provide transformative,

4/7/2016

Ryan Loe has been selected to participate in the East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes (EAPSI) Program. This award will allow Ryan to visit the University of Queensland for a research stay this summer with joint support from the National Science Foundation and the Australian Academy of Science.  Loe is a graduate student in the Crocker group at the University of Kentucky.

4/4/2016

Corrine Elliott was awarded a 2016 Goldwater Scholarship.  The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years of service in the U.S. Senate. The purpose of the Foundation is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue research careers in these fields. This prestigious scholarship was awarded to only two students in the state of Kentucky.

Elliott is an undergraduate chemistry and mathematics major at the University of Kentucky and conducts research under the guidance of Prof. Susan Odom and Prof. Chad Risko in the Department of

4/4/2016

John Hoben's abstract has been selected for a podium presentation at the Southeast Enzymes Conference in Atlanta, GA, in April. This regional meeting has established a reputation for excellence in the area of enzymology.  Hoben's presentation titled "An Approach for Generating and Characterizing Semiquinone Intermediates Proposed to be Critical to Electron Transfer in Flavin Dependent Nitroreductase”  highlights research done in Prof. Anne-Frances Miller's research group in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Kentucky  in collaboration with students Karl Hempel and Zacchary Griffin.

 

4/4/2016

Graduate student Erin Wachter was awarded an American Chemical Society Student Travel Award to present her research in two talks at the 251st ACS National Meeting in San Diego, CA. The award was provided by the Division of Inorganic Chemistry.  The titles of Erin's presentations include "Using a Ru(II) building block and a rapid screening approach to identify nucleic acid selective “light switch” compounds" and "Structural features that influence photochemical reactivity and phototherapeutic activity of Ru(II) polypyridyl complexes".

Wachter is a graduate student in Prof. Edith Glazer's research group in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Kentucky.

3/24/2016

Prof. Edith Glazer's publication titled "Light-Sensitive Ruthenium Complex-Loaded Cross-Linked Polymeric Nanoassemblies for the Treatment of Cancer" was selected as a Hot Article for 2015 in the Journal of Materials Chemistry B, and as such it has been included in the Hot Article 2015 web collection, which can be viewed here.  This publication reports the preparation and analysis of polymer nanoassemblies as potential carrier systems for cytotoxic ruthenium complexes.  Glazer and coworkers found that electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions with the complexes impact release rates and percentages, as well as biological activity.

 

full citation: Matthew Dickerson, Brock Howerton, Younsoo Bae and Edith C. Glazer, 

3/24/2016

Prof. John Anthony's publication titled "The Effect of Regioisomerism on the Crystal Packing and Device Performance of Desymmetrized Anthradithiophenes" was selected as a Hot Article for 2015 in the Journal of Materials Chemistry C, and as such it has been included in the Hot Article 2015 web collection, which can be viewed here (see page 2).  This publication showcases a new class of anthradithiophene derivatives, which are typically synthesized as an inseparable mixture of regioisomers.  The Anthony group reported a synthesis of desymmetrized anthradithiophenes that enabled the chromatographic separation of the resultant isomers and - in collaboration with Prof. Lynn Loo's group at Princeton University - found that certain pairs of isomers yield a field

3/24/2016

Corrine "Nina" Elliott, an undergraduate student majoring in chemistry and mathematics at UK, is the receipient of a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) from the American Chemical Soceity's Division of Organic Chemistry.  This $5,000 fellowship will allow Corrine to continue research in the Chemistry Department at the University of Kentucky for the Summer of 2016. Corrine's research proposal titled "Steric Manipulation of Small-Molecule Oxidation Potentials for Energy-Storage Applications" involves the design of synthesis of phenothiazine derivatives targeted at overcharge protection of high-voltage cathodes in lithium-ion batteries.  Her proposal is based on preliminary results under the guidance of faculty mentors Susan Odom and Chad Risko.  

 

3/9/2016

Since the discovery of nickel-catalyzed cyclization of acetylene to benzene and cyclooctatetraene, transition-metal-activated cycloaddition of alkynes has become a powerful technique to construct ring compounds in organic synthesis. Although cyclo-trimerization and -tetramerization were discovered almost 70 years ago, direct metal-mediated acetylene oligomerization to polycyclic compounds has not been reported. Instead, cycloaddition of different alkynes, or alkynes with alkenes or arynes, has been used to synthesize polycyclic and other complex ring structures. In a recent Journal of American Chemical Society Communication, the Yang group reported the metal-activated bicycle-oligomerization of acetylene to naphthalene in a supersonic molecular beam experiment. In their work, laser-vaporized lanthanum atoms are used to activate acetylene molecules, naphthalene is detected

3/1/2016

Three chemistry undergraduate researchers from the University of Kentucky, along with more than 200 other student representatives from across the state, presented their research Frankfort, KY, on February 25th to showcase their research to the state legislature at Posters at the Capitol.  

Posters at the Capitol is a a one-day annual event held to educate the Kentucky state legislators of the importance of undergraduate research and scholarly work.  The governor, members of the General Assembly, and representatives from students' hometowns are able to engage directly with the scholars on this day. The following students from the Department of Chemistry presented their research.

Amir Kucharski: “Understanding Ion Binding Anity and Selectivity in Beta Parvalbumin Using Molecular Dynamics and

2/29/2016

Erin Wachter was just awarded the The Myrle E. and Verle D. Nietzel Visiting Distinguished Faculty Program Award to support bringing Dr. Christine Cardin, Professor of Crystallography at the University of Reading, to UK to serve as the outside examiner for the thesis defense. This award enriches the dissertation experience for selected doctoral students whose dissertations are judged to be especially meritorious and also promotes to academic leaders at other institutions the high quality of scholarship achieved by our doctoral students. Moreover, the program serves to enhance the overall intellectual and research environment at the University of Kentucky through colloquia offered by some of the world’s exemplary scholars.

Wachter is a graduate student in Prof. Edith Glazer's research group in the

2/29/2016

On February 22, 2016 John Anthony, a Chemistry professor at the University of Kentucky had an article featured in the Nature Communications publication.  The article titled, "Reducing dynamic disorder in small-molecule organic semiconductors by suppressing large-amplitude thermal motions," deals with understanding performance vibrations in organic semiconductors.

All solids are composed of atoms or molecules, and at temperatures above absolute 0 (-460 °F) these molecules are vibrating rapidly.  Such vibrations decrease the performance of semiconductors (critical components in computer chips and modern video displays), because the movement of the molecules can deflect charges moving through the solid.      

Anthony's work with researchers in England and Belgium, investigates the specific nature of these vibrations and their impact on charge being transported through

2/24/2016

The editors of the journal Energy Technology named an article by University of Kentucky Chemistry Professor Susan Odom one of the top 10 articles of 2015.  Odom’s publication, "A Highly Soluble Organic Catholyte for Non-Aqueous Redox Flow Batteries," was selected based on the number of downloads and citations, and the feedback of the journal’s editorial office Energy Technology publishes articles covering all technical aspects of energy process engineering from different angles. Due to the selection of Odom’s article, it is accessible for free of charge via the Wiley online library until the end of 2016:  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ente.201500020/abstract

Dr. Susan Odom is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry.  In addition to teaching lecture and

2/24/2016

In a collaboration with the University of Minnesota, Stanford University, Georgia Institute of Technology, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Assistant Professor of Chemistry Chad Risko published an article titled “Strain Effects on the Work Function of an Organic Semiconductor” in Nature Communications. The combined experimental and theoretical effort sought to establish relationships between strain and the work functions of organic semiconductors, important connections for developing fundamental insights into the electrical properties of organic thin films. The results of this study will have broad impact for the development of next generation flexible electronic devices.

Link to article:  

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