Tag Archive for Chemistry

Chemistry’s Taylor Leads Biofuels Workshop for Area Teachers

On April 26, Erika Taylor, assistant professor of chemistry, assistant professor of environmental studies, led a biofuels workshop for area teachers at the Green Street Arts Center.

On April 26, Erika Taylor, assistant professor of chemistry, assistant professor of environmental studies, led a biofuels workshop for area teachers at the Green Street Arts Center.

Taylor led a presentation about her biofuel research and led an activity where the teachers made biofuel from cooking oil. The workshop was funded by a Connecticut Teacher Quality Partnership grant, which supports professional development of high school teachers in alternative energies and project-based learning.

Taylor led a presentation about her biofuel research and led an activity where the teachers made biofuel from cooking oil. The workshop was funded by a Connecticut Teacher Quality Partnership grant, which supports professional development of high school teachers in alternative energies and project-based learning.

Northrop Awarded Prestigious NSF CAREER Award

Brian Northrop

Brian Northrop

This month, the National Science Foundation awarded Brian Northrop, assistant professor of chemistry, with a 2014 Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award.

The CAREER awards support junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.

The honor came with a five-year grant totaling $537,561, which Northrop will use on his study titled “Selective Thiol-Ene and Thiol-Yne Chemistry, From First Principles to Organic Materials.”

At Wesleyan, Northrop’s research focuses on the design, synthesis and analysis of new organic materials utilizing molecular recognition and self-assembly, and “click” chemistry. With the CAREER Award, Northrop and his students will continue to investigate new methods for making polymers and nanoscale assemblies.

“Synthetic polymers form the basis of many of the materials we encounter every day, from plastics and adhesives to medical equipment and electronics,” Northrop explained. “One of the primary goals of contemporary polymer synthesis is to be able to fine-tune the physical properties of polymers by exhibiting precise control over their chemical structure. By developing methods that allow such precise control, researchers are able to directly influence whether a given polymer is stiff or flexible, fragile or resilient, insulating or conductive, etc.”

Much of the research in Northrop’s lab focuses on developing a thorough, fundamental understanding of how compounds known as thiols react with alkenes and alkynes.

Taylor Keynote at Undergraduate Research Symposium

Erika Taylor

Erika Taylor

Erika Taylor, assistant professor of chemistry, assistant professor of environmental studies, delivered the keynote address at the 16th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, hosted by the School of Natural Sciences of Fairleigh Dickinson University on April 25.

Taylor spoke on “Alternative Energy Sources: Enzymology That Is Essential for Making Lignin.”
At Wesleyan, Taylor is exploring the enzymology that is essential for making Lignin a viable biomass source for production of energy and as a commodity chemical feedstock.

Graduate Students, Faculty Attend 2014 Biophysical Society Meeting

Several graduate students and faculty from the Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Department, Chemistry Department, and the Molecular Biophysics Program presented their research at the 2014 Annual Biophysical Society meeting in San Francisco, Calif. Feb. 15-19.

The Biophysical Society encourages development and dissemination of knowledge in biophysics through meetings, publications and committee outreach activities. Every year, the society holds an annual meeting that brings together more than 6,000 research scientists in different fields representing biophysics.

Wesleyan graduate students, from left, Katie Kaus, Stephen Frayne, Yan Li, Shu Zhang, Anushi Sharma and Harikrushan Ranpura, presented research at the the Biophysical Society meeting.

Wesleyan graduate students, from left, Katie Kaus, Stephen Frayne, Yan Li, Shu Zhang, Anushi Sharma and Harikrushan Ranpura, presented research at the the Biophysical Society meeting.

Westmoreland, Craft, Hensiek Present Papers at American Chemical Society Meeting

David Westmoreland, associate professor of chemistry, and chemistry graduate student Breanna Craft presented a paper titled, “pH-Dependent Mechanisms of 1H Relaxivity in a Series of Structurally Related Mn(II) Cyclen Derivatives” at the 245th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society held in New Orleans, La. in April 2013.

Westmoreland, Craft and chemistry graduate student Sarah Hensiek also presented a paper titled, “Solution Dynamics of Transition Metal Complexes of Cyclen Based Ligands Containing Amide and Carboxylate Functional Groups.”

Taylor, Hingorani, Grad Students Co-Author Paper on Protein Function

Erika Taylor, assistant professor of chemistry, assistant professor of environmental studies; Manju Hingorani, professor of molecular biology and biochemistry; molecular biology and biochemistry graduate student Shreya Sawant and chemistry graduate student Daniel Czyzyk co-authored “E. coli Heptosyltransferase I: Exploration of Protein Function and Dynamics” published in Biochemistry, 52, 5158–5160 in 2013. They presented the paper at the 23rd Enzyme Mechanisms Conference held in Coronado Bay, Calif. in January 2013 and at the 57th Biophysical Society Conference held in Philadelphia, Pa. in February 2013.

Chemistry Faculty, Students Attend Symposium on Molecular Spectroscopy

Pictured are Wesleyan faculty and students at the International Symposium on Molecular Spectroscopy.

Pictured are Wesleyan faculty and students at the International Symposium on Molecular Spectroscopy.

Several Wesleyan faculty and graduate students attended the 68th Ohio State University International Symposium on Molecular Spectroscopy held in Columbus, Ohio in 2013.

Stewart Novick, Herbert Pickett and Stephen Cooke, and graduate students Smitty Grubbs Ph.D ’10, Daniel Obenchain and Brittany Long made presentations.

Novick, chair and professor of chemistry, and Grubbs presented a talk on “Microwave Spectra and Structure of H2 – CuF: Overview of the Complexes of Hydrogen with Metal-Containing Diatomics.”

Novick, Grubbs and Obenchain presented “Observation of a Moderate Strength Interaction of Hydrogen with a Coinage Metal Halide: The Rotational Spectrum and Structure of the p-H2-CuCl and o-H2-CuCl Complexes.”

Novick, Grubbs, Obenchain and Herbert Pickett, research professor in chemistry, presented “FTMW Observation and Analysis of the p-H2-AgCl and o-H2-AgCl Complex” and “Hydrogen Interaction with Metal Halides: The Nuclear Quadrupole Coupling Constant of Gold in the p-H2-AuCl Complex and Trends in the other Hydrogen-Coinage Metal Halide Interactions.”

Novick, Grubbs, Obenchain and Stephen Cooke, visiting professor of chemistry, presented “Microwave Spectra of Fluorinated Propionic Acids and their Hydrates.”

Cooke and graduate student Brittany Long presented “Pure Rotational Spectra of the Reaction Products of Laser Ablated Thorium Metal and Oxygen Molecules Entrained within Supersonic Expansions of Noble Gases.”

Russu, Every Ph.D. ’09 Co-Author Paper on DNA

Irina Russu, professor of chemistry, and her former graduate student Alicia Every Ph.D. ’09 are the co-authors of “Opening Dynamics of 8-oxoguanine in DNA,” published in The Journal of Molecular Recognition, Volume 26, pages 175-180, in 2013.

Novick Published in Several Chemistry Journals

Stewart Novick, chair and professor of chemistry, is the author or co-author of the following publications:

“Probing the chemical nature of dihydrogen complexation to transition metals, a case study: H2—CuF,” published in Inorganic Chemistry, 52, 816-822, 2013.

“Detection of Nitrogen-protonated Nitrous oxide HNNO + by Rotational Spectroscopy,” published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 117, 9968-9974, 2013.

“Rotational spectrum and structure of cyclohexene oxide and the argon-cyclohexene oxide van der Waals Complex,” published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry A 117, 13691-13695, 2013.

“Corrigendum to: “Microwave spectrum and structure of the polar N2O dimer” [Journal of Molecular Spectroscopy 251 (2008) 153-158],” published in the Journal of Molecular Spectroscopy, 2013.

“The microwave spectra and structure of the argon-cyclopentanone and neon-cyclopentanone van der Waals complexes,” published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 2014.

“The shape of trifluoromethoxybenzene,” published in the Journal of Molecular Spectroscopy, 297, 32-34, 2014.

“Fluorination effects on the shapes of complexes of water with ethers: a rotational study of trifluoroanisole-water,” published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 118, 1047-1051 in 2014.

Petersson, Graduate Students Published in Chemistry Journals

George Petersson, the Fisk Professor of Natural Science, professor of chemistry, and chemistry graduate student Duminda Ranasinghe, are the co-authors of “CCSD(T)/CBS Atomic and Molecular Benchmarks for H through Ar” published in the Journal of Chemical Physics, 138, 144104 in 2013.

Petersson and chemistry graduate students Frank Dobek, Duminda Ranasinghe and Kyle Throssell, are the co-authors of “Evaluation of the Heats of Formation of Corannulene and C60 by Means of Inexpensive Theoretical Procedures” published in the Journal of Chemical Physics A, 117, 4726 in 2013.

Petersson also is co-author of “Substituent Effects on O-H Bond Dissociation Enthalpies. A Computational Study” published in the Journal of Chemical Physics A, 117, 213 in 2013 and “Aogacillins A & B Produced by Simplicillium sp. FKI-5985: New Circumventors of Arbekacin Resistance in MRSA,” published in Organic Letters, 15, 4678 in 2013.