By Gail Hairston

The University of Kentucky Alumni Association — with a committee chaired by UK Associate Provost for Faculty Advancement G.T. Lineberry — regularly honors outstanding UK faculty members with the UK Alumni Professorship Award.

This year, the honors went to Dibakar (D.B.) Bhattacharyya of the College of Engineering’s Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering; D. Allan Butterfield of the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Chemistry; Seth DeBolt of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment’s Department of Horticulture; Brent Seales of the College of Engineering’s Department of Computer Science; and Susan S. 


Prof Mark Crocker's research on the catalytic oxidative depolymerisation of lignin, which could make cellulosic ethanol biofuels commercially viable, was featured in Chemistry World in an article titled "Gold Rush for Lignin Conversion."  Read the article here:




Congratulations to Prof. Steve Yates (University of Kentucky), recipient of the 2018 W. Frank Kinard Distinguished Service Award. Steve will receive his award at the NUCL business meeting during the ACS Fall National Meeting in Boston.

Prof. Yates has been a member of the American Chemical Society since 1971. In the Division of Nuclear Chemistry and Technology (NUCL), he has played an active role division leadership. Prof. Yates held executive roles for 12 years and was the chair during 1992. He advocated for support and recognition of graduate nuclear and radiochemistry programs and served as the editor of an NUCL recruiting brochure during the mid-1980s. He has contributed to the extremely important San Jose and Brookhaven summer schools on nuclear and radiochemistry for undergraduates, both as an instructor and organizer, since 1984. He has campaigned for the return of the


By Dave Melanson

Dave Eaton (right) a research scientist at UK's Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER), mentors Todd Prater, an elementary school student from Floyd County, Kentucky.

At a quick glance, one might not think Dave Eaton and Todd Prater would have a whole lot in common.

Eaton, an Owensboro, Kentucky, native who earned his doctoral degree in chemistry from the University of Kentucky Department of Chemistry, is the consummate, professional researcher. Carbon is his game, and the UK Center for Applied Energy Research’s (CAER)laboratories is his home away from home. Whether he is working on carbon fiber, carbon nanotubes, activated carbon or energy storage applications, Eaton is constantly pushing the boundaries of discovery.

UK CLOUD-MAP S1000 UAS. Photo by: Sean Bailey.

Adapted from the original article by Lindsey Piercy published in UKNOW

LEXINGTON, Ky.​ (Aug.3, 2018) — Could unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), otherwise known as drones, revolutionize weather forecasting? The University of Kentucky continues to conduct groundbreaking research that suggests they could. 

In 2015, a four-university interdisciplinary team began developing small, affordable UAS to measure wind turbulence, atmospheric chemistry, soil moisture and thermodynamic parameters to better understand severe storm formation. The project, known as CLOUD-MAP for "Collaboration Leading Operational UAS Development for Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics," was awarded through the National Science Foundation (NSF) Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR


Graduate Student Anthony Petty received an award for Best Poster at the Gordon Conference on Electronic Processes in Organic Materials. The conference, held in Tuscany, spanned a range of topics at the frontier of organic and hybrid electronics and optoelectronics. Mr. Petty’s poster was titled “The design and synthesis of high performance OFET materials through the crystal engineering of a general aromatic core”.  Mr. Petty is a graduate student in the Anthony group at UK.


 Carboxylic acids behave as super-acids on the air side of the water surface. Credit: M. Guzman

Lexington, KY, (July 25, 2018) — Atmospheric particles with high water content also known as aerosol droplets are widely found on Earth and play a significant role in the planetary chemistry and meteorology. These particles are generally produced in relatively clean air after emissions of gases that nucleate and condense. Many times this process is dominated by organic acids that have been observed in heavily polluted cities. A challenging matter that has recently attracted the interest of many experts is the unknown mechanism by which organic carboxylic acids dissolve from the gas phase into such aqueous particles. In the new work by Prof. Marcelo Guzman and his students Alexis Eugene and Elizabeth Pillar at the University of Kentucky in collaboration with A.J. Colussi from Caltech, micrometer-sized droplets were used to show that acetic acid and pyruvic acid behave as


Postdoctoral scholar Dr. Dmytro Havrylyuk received an award for the poster “Ru(II) CYP1B1 Inhibitor Prodrugs with Enhanced Potency” at the 2018 Metals in Medicine, Gordon Research Conference. The project was performed in collaboration with Kimberly Stevens and Catherine A. Denning in the laboratories of Dr. David K. Heidary and Prof. Edith C. Glazer

Dr. Havrylyuk described the development of highly potent and selective inhibitors of Cytochrome P450 1B1 (CYP1B1), an enzyme that is involved in cancer initiation, progression, and resistance to treatment. CYP1B1 is overexpressed in a wide variety of human tumors, giving it the title of “universal tumor antigen”. The enzyme catalyzes the 4-hydroxylation of 17β-estradiol to form a 3,4-quinone, which reacts with DNA, inducing mutation. CYP1B1 is also implicated in cancer


Congratulations to Alysia Kohlbrand who received a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship from UK’s Chellgren Center. This award will support Alysia to work with Drs. Edith (Phoebe) Glazer and David Heidary in the Chemistry Department, to study the effects of small molecule inhibitors on Nitric Oxide Synthase. These enzymes are used in the body to catalyze the production of nitric oxide (NO), an important signaling molecule which plays a central role in human biology. Using engineered cell lines containing fluorescent tags, Kohlbrand will study the half life of NOS in the presence of inhibitors using live cell confocal microscopy, which is particularly useful for this study because it allows for images to be taken over a long period of time without killing the cells, and creating clear, detailed images.


PhD student Namal Wanninayake received an award for first place for his poster at the 2018 North American Membrane Society (NAMS) Meeting.

NAMS is a professional society that promotes membrane science and technology, ranging from fundamental studies of membrane material science to process application and development. This year NAMS conference was hosted by The University of Kentucky and King Abdullah University of Science & Technology in Lexington, KY. 


This article is part of a series of articles on “UK Chemistry Alumni: Where Are They Now?”  Here we feature former undergraduate Steven Chapman, class of 2016, who is now a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Steven's research at UW focuses on improving methodology in photocatalysis for asymmetric synthesis. Here Steven answers some questions about his current research, experiences at UK, and provides some advice for current undergraduates.

Could you tell us about your research project at the University of Wisconsin?

The focus of our lab is the development of photocatalytic methodology for asymmetric synthesis using visible light. Photochemical synthetic methods provide a complementary approach to traditional methods because the substrate’s primary reactivity occurs from its excited state rather than its ground state. My project


By Olivia Ramirez

Photo Courtesy of UK Athletics | Dr. Robert Hosey with a student athlete.

When an athlete takes a hard hit or fall, one of the first things that comes to the minds of coaches, athletic trainers, team physicians and spectators is the risk of concussion. Protocols are in place to assess if an athlete has sustained a concussion or if they can be cleared to go back into the game. However, there is some ambiguity between physicians as to what constitutes a concussion.

That's why over the next three years and with a nearly $1 million grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, researchers at the University of Kentucky are studying whether a rapid blood test could serve as another means of support in diagnosing concussion.


Darius Allen Shariaty, class of 2016, now works at Miltech UV International in Stevensville, MD. Allen's undergraduate research at UK focused on new binders for silicon anodes in lithium-ion batteries.  In addition to a patent application, his work recently led to a publication in Journal of the Electrochemical Society on which he is the first author. At Miltech, Allen works to develop polymer binders using UV curing methods.

This interview is part of a series conducted by the department called, “UK Chemistry Alumni: Where Are They Now?” This interview was coordinated by Dr. Susan Odom.

What made you decide to apply to UK? To accept the offer for admission?   

I enrolled at UK in the middle of a transition period of my life. At the time, I was a member of touring


This May we celebrate and recognize the career of Professor Dennis Clouthier, who is retiring from UK after over thirty years of teaching, research, and service to our university community. While it is impossible to quantify Clouthier’s impact on academic and scientific communities, here an attempt is made to highlight some of his most notable accomplishments.  

Clouthier is well known for his pioneering work in molecular spectroscopy, using high-powered lasers to examine reactive intermediates that are particularly difficult to study. His pioneering work has led to the development of new laboratory methods, such as pyrolysis jet spectroscopy, and has significant implications for fields as diverse as understanding the fabric of the cosmos and reducing computer chip impurities.

As a teenager, Clouthier dreamed of making a career out of doing laser light shows for rock


Bryan Ingoglia is currently (May 2018) a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

Brian grew up in Northern Kentucky, came to UK with the intention to obtain a degree in biology and attend medical school.  Like many undergraduate students, Brian’s interests changed as he took more advanced courses and became involved in undergraduate research. He decided to pursue graduate studies in chemistry and, near the completion of his graduate degree, he provided answers to a few questions.

This interview is part of a series conducted by the department called, “UK Chemistry Alumni: Where Are They Now?” This interview was coordinated by Dr. Susan Odom.

What made you decide to apply to UK? To accept the offer for admission?  

In high school, I received an award from UK for academic achievement


By Jenny Wells and Alicia Gregory


Chad Risko, an assistant professor of chemistry in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences, didn’t always know there was a career to be had in doing research – until a mentor encouraged him to study chemistry as an undergraduate.

“From there, and when I went to graduate school, is where I think the research bug really took hold,” Risko said. “Being in the lab, working with people, trying to understand new ways to solve problems – that really motivated me to pursue a career in research.”

Now, as a chemistry professor and affiliated researcher in UK’s Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER), Risko says mentoring students


By Dr. James Holler

Recently, the UK Chemistry community was saddened to learn of the death of Bob Guthrie, Professor Emeritus and former Chairman of the Department of Chemistry. Bob was born on June 27, 1936 in Bronxville, New York, and after his family relocated, he grew up and received his early education in New Orleans. He knew from a very early age that he wanted to achieve significant goals in his life.

Following graduation from high school, Bob matriculated at Oberlin College and was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in 1958. While at Oberlin, he began serious study of chemistry under the tutelage of famed chemical educator J. Arthur Campbell. Bob’s next stop on the road to success was the University of Rochester, where he earned his Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 1962 with Marshall Gates, renowned for the first synthesis of morphine.

The last step in


Do undergraduates make critical contributions to cutting-edge research? The answer is a decidedly yes, and not in small numbers.  Professor D. Allan Butterfield has matriculated more than 160 undergraduates in his laboratory over the 43 years he has been at UK.  Nearly all of these undergraduate researchers performed independent research under the aegis of CHE 395, “Independent Research in Chemistry.”  Approximately 60-plus refereed scientific papers have resulted from the work of these undergraduates [nearly 10 percent of Prof. Butterfield’s total publications (H-index = 96)].  This current spring 2018 semester, four CHE 395 students are in Prof. Butterfield’s laboratory.  The following is a brief synopsis of their research, their thoughts about their education at UK, and their future plans. 

       Angela Hinchie and Eric Vogt are collaborating on


By Stephanie Swarts

The University of Kentucky Gaines Center for the Humanities has selected 12 exceptional undergraduates as new scholars for the university’s Gaines Fellowship Program for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 academic years. Gaines Fellowships are given in recognition of outstanding academic performance, demonstrated ability to conduct independent research, an interest in public issues, and a desire to enhance understanding of the human condition through the humanities.

Gaines Fellowships are awarded for the tenure of students’ junior and senior years; students in all disciplines and with any intended profession are given equal consideration.

UK’s 12 new Gaines Fellows are: