Chemistry Newsletter 2018

Chair’s Column

Welcome back to The Spin.  For those new, this is our yearly newsletter to reach out and let our wonderful USD chemistry and biochemistry alumni know what is happening in the department.

In 2018, we graduated our largest class of chemists and biochemists ever with 51 students getting their degrees.  This year we are close with 47 students who made it through the same program you are so proud of.  Numbers are still strong with the largest incoming freshmen class last year.  Lots of changes happening on campus.  A new teaching building is going up right now adjacent to the library and Camino Hall on the commons.  It will be a great addition with some interesting spaces for student gathering and working with the community.  Following that construction, Camino and Founders are both going through a remodel/refresh.  With so much change and construction, we expect admissions to decrease the admitted numbers a bit.  With the growing popularity in STEM, we are not sure how our numbers will change. 

This year we had a number of excellent reasons to celebrate.  USD alumni and faculty Dr. Tim Clark won the prestigious USD University Professor Award for outstanding achievement in teaching and research.  Dr. Daley also was awarded the impressive College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence.  Formally known as the Davies Award, this award recognizes faculty who have gone above and beyond as teachers and mentors.  We are particularly pleased as we have many prior awardees of both prizes in the department. 

There are many other things to celebrate in the department.  Faculty, staff, and students are among the best and hardest working around. This year, 120 students were able to be involved in research in the school year and 50 students last summer. Over 100 students presented their research at national or regional meetings and 17 students were co-authors on peer-reviewed publications.  Faculty gave 28 seminars or presentations while faculty are currently funded with $4.7 million in grants.  All of this, of course, is happening to further our students and the next generation of USD alumni.  We are proud of all of what you’ve done and excited to see what the next generation does as they find their way.

With all of this engagement, our students are getting into medical school, health professions, graduate schools and finding employment in industry and other occupations at an impressive rate.  Students to highlight and celebrate include:  Halie Sonnenschein (Yale biochemistry graduate school), Stephen Hyland (University of Delaware chemistry graduate school), Shearing Volkir (United States Navy Officer Submarine Program), Kelsey Carrerras-Simons (University of Michigan Dental School)… to name just a few.

We are also proud to welcome to the department our newest member, Executive Assistant Cristie Holt. She has been with us for the entire year and is a fantastic member of the team.  Also, join me in congratulating Dr. Jessica Bell as she was just awarded Tenure and Promotion to Associate Professor.  Great job Dr. Bell! Dr. Mitch Malachowski was honored for 30 years of service while Dr. Tammy Dwyer was also thanked for her 20 years of service. 

Alumni Summer Research Award:  This year many of you were generous in supporting student research.  Thank you! We used your donations and supplemented with departmental/faculty research funds to support two students who were able to do research.  Cristina Guijon worked with Dr. Eleanor Gillette and Daniel Ghebreigziabher worked with Dr. Anthony Bell.

YOUR TURN - PLEASE consider giving to this fund.  Each year we hope to fund one or even two students to be involved over the summer in a faculty lab doing research.  Faculty donate their time and find supplies to support the student work.  We need YOU to help with the funds.  We expect to use the existing funds to support a student for summer in 2019 and need more of your generous donations to keep the opportunity for our students going. $5,000 pays for one student to work for the summer. USD helps as the students are able to get half-priced student housing on campus for the summer and work with one of our faculty.  Please consider donating to the Chemistry and Biochemistry Alumni Research Fellowship fund.

SAVE THE DATE! If you are attending the ACS meeting in San Diego this August, we are holding an alumni event.  Come meet the Chemistry and Biochemistry department faculty and current students.  Visit with your old friends on Tuesday, August 27th, at 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Location to be determined. Stay tuned on the departmental Facebook page “University of San Diego Chemistry and Biochemistry” by searching @USDChemistry.

Warmest Regards,

Dr. Joseph Provost


Bridges Program Update Alumni Profiles  Faculty Publications 2017
New Faculty Roles Faculty Research Group Updates Faculty Research Grant and Funding Awards 2017
New Staff Introduction Instrument Update 2017-2018 Student Awards

BRIDGES Program Update

 Xinlei ChenXinlei Chen

Photo: Xinlei Chen with Professor Carlito Lebrilla at UC Davis.

Students in labKiessling research group

Photo: Estefania Martinez Valdivia with her post-doctoral mentor, Dr. Helen Seifert and Kiessling research group at MIT.


This year, 2 students spent their summer research at larger, PhD-degree granting institutions through the “Bridges to Doctoral Institutions Program”. In partnership with The Luce Foundation, the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at USD supports the Bridges program that helps female USD chemistry and biochemistry majors in their transition from undergraduate to Ph.D. settings.

Xinlei Chen ’18, biochemistry major, did research in Professor Carlito Lebrilla’s laboratory at University of California Davis (UCD). Xinlei worked with her graduate student mentor, Maurice Wong, in the identification of glycans in mammalian cell line samples by utilizing Liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry (LC/MS).

Estefania Martinez Valdivia ’19, biochemistry major, did research in Professor Laura Kiessling’s laboratory at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Along with her mentor, Dr. Helen Sieffert, she worked on the development of multicomponent synthetic vaccines.

We look forward to their success in graduate school and we are very grateful for the support of their mentors and principal investigators.

Bridges scholars


We would also like to congratulate and wish our 2017 Bridges all the best in graduate school. Photo (left to right): Sirena Tran '18, Biochemistry major, Amanda Ennis '18, Chemistry major, and Kyra Thrush '18, Biochemistry major, pursued graduate programs at Vanderbilt University, Duke University and Yale University, respectively. 










New Faculty Roles

Professor Finocchio and Dr. Julia Schafer


Debbie Finocchio- Coordinator for the Core Assessment of Student Learning

Dr. Julia Schafer- Director of General Chemistry

Debbie Finocchio has had various roles in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry since she began working here in 1992, most recently serving as the Director of General Chemistry. In recent years, she has also assisted the department and the College of Arts and Science with assessment efforts, and this year has officially begun a new role as Coordinator for Core Assessment of Student Learning. In this capacity, Debbie serves on
the three-member Core Assessment Team that assesses student learning in USD’s new
core (General Education) curriculum; all USD undergraduate students must complete the
16 areas of the core curriculum as part of their graduation requirements. The team is charged with providing evidence of how well the students as a whole are meeting the expectations for each core area, and providing recommendations for how to help make improvements where needed. Recommendations may be in areas such as: improved student support, improved faculty support, changes to pedagogy, and/or changes to

Over the past year, the team has begun devising and implementing methodologies for assessing the various areas of the core curriculum. The team has led a small pilot project in the core area of Critical Thinking and Information Literacy, as well as a larger pilot project for Oral Communication. This semester the team is conducting a full-scale
assessment for First-Year Writing and pilot projects for First-Year Integration, and is assisting with developing resources for Advanced Integration.

Debbie reports that she is happy for the opportunity to use her skills in a wider capacity,
and is grateful to everyone in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry for always being so supportive. She is enjoying splitting time between this new role and teaching.

Dr. Julia Schafer joined USD in Fall 2005 as an assistant adjunct professor and lab prep assistant. In the last thirteen years she has taught the general chemistry series, analytical chemistry series and upper division chemistry lab courses. During that time, she has worked part-time with undergraduates to develop research projects for both McNair Scholars program and the USD Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry. In the past, Dr. Schafer also served as the activity director for the USD Summer Scholars
program (formally URISE).

This fall the opportunity to move into a faculty support role presented itself and Dr. Schafer took over the role of Director of General Chemistry replacing Ms. Finocchio who had an opportunity to move into a new role on campus. Bringing her experience of teaching the general chemistry series at USD for thirteen years, Dr. Schafer is very excited to learn about this role and continue to support and develop the general chemistry series at USD.

Each semester approximately 400 students come through the general chemistry series with 20-30
lecture and lab course sections. The Director of General Chemistry takes on the role of orchestrating curriculum and congruency between multiple lab and lecture sections, manages enrollment, and oversees teaching assistant assignments.

Dr. Schafer is very excited to learn how to best serve the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry and USD students in this role. She hopes to bring her own enthusiasm and ideas about instructional technology into the courses and provide solid support.























New Staff Introduction

Cristie Holt


Cristie joined the department in July 2018 as the Executive Assistant and helps to facilitate the day-to-day running of the department. She graduated in from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, and comes to us with over 18 years of administrative experience. 

In her free time, Cristie enjoys writing youth fiction, crafting and spending time with her family.






Alumni Profiles

David Weinberg (2001, Chemistry)

 David Weinberg

Please tell us what you have been up to (personally and professionally) since you graduated from USD?

I am currently an associate professor of chemistry at Colorado Mesa University. I am married, and have three young children (a four year old, a 2 year old, and a 6 month old.) When I graduated from USD, I went directly into a Ph.D. program in organic chemistry at Caltech. In graduate school, I formed incredible friendships, and I learned a lot about the world, life, food, and chemistry. At the same time, I found graduate school to be very challenging emotionally; I didn’t know whether or not the hard work and long hours would result in a job that I would be happy with. Five days after earning my Ph.D., I started my postdoc at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While I didn’t always see eye-to-eye with my postdoc advisor, my time as a postdoc set me up well for obtaining and succeeding in a tenure-track faculty position. During my postdoc, I again formed incredible friendships, and I found my wife on At the end of my second year as a postdoc, I applied for about 30 faculty positions, all at primarily undergraduate institutions (PUIs), and a few industry positions. I accepted the position at Colorado Mesa University because it seemed like a great opportunity to have a big impact on a chemistry program while allowing me a low stress level and a good amount of time outside of work. I am very happy with the choices that I have made, and I love my job.


What motivated you to pursue a PhD and a faculty position?  

I chose to pursue a Ph.D. because I wanted to be in charge of designing, directing, and publishing research projects. I initially thought that I would go into industry after graduate school. As I progressed, I discovered that my favorite aspects of graduate school were the interpersonal interactions, and I really enjoyed giving presentations to diverse audiences that included people with relatively little knowledge of chemistry. I also had some very positive experiences mentoring undergraduate research students. I thus began pursuing a faculty position at a PUI. I ruled out the possibility of taking a position involving graduate students in part because I wanted to avoid the higher pressure and longer hours. I wanted a position where I could mentor undergraduate students of all levels and abilities, and I did not want to have to pressure students for results in order to further my own career.


Can you tell us about your current position, what do you enjoy most about it, and what is a typical day like?

My favorite aspect of my job is speaking with students individually in order to help them decide on and pursue a career. In these interactions, I like challenging students, and I enjoy seeing their excitement as they develop a better or more concrete plan for their future.

In my typical day, I teach one or two lectures, and I teach a three hour lab about twice a week. On most days, I have one office hour, but students will regularly ask me questions outside of my office hours. Even though I do online homework, quizzes, and prelab assignments, I still need to do about two hours of grading per day. At this stage of my career, I don’t need to spend much time preparing for my lectures, and I usually just prepare while I am eating a 20 – 30 minute lunch at my desk. On the average day, I spend about half an hour helping research students, but this varies a lot from day to day. The rest of my day involves answering emails, doing committee work, and doing various tasks to serve my department. I try to save most of my grant-writing and work on publications for times when classes are not in session. Generally, I am at work for 7 – 8 hours per day, and I do about another hour of work at home in the evenings. I take a lot of time off when classes are not in session, and I only have research students for about 6 weeks over the summer.


What aspects of your education and experiences at USD have been most important to your professional successes? Is there any advice you have (or wish you had!) to share with current USD students studying chemistry and biochemistry as they think about their futures?

My one-on-one meetings with faculty members at USD had an incredible impact on my career path. Due to those meetings, I got involved in undergraduate research, picked the graduate schools that I applied to, chose to specialize in inorganic chemistry, and decided to become a faculty member that has similar meetings with undergraduate students.

My advice to students is as follows and was inspired by Professor Jonathan Owen at Columbia University. While you will have many failures and things will often not work out how you hope, you will find success and satisfaction if you work hard and are willing to ask questions.


What are some of your best memories from your time at USD?

My best memories from my time at USD are generally of my one-on-one meetings with faculty members and of my time doing research with Dr. Tahmassebi and Dr. Dwyer. I also loved my organic chemistry course with Dr. Traylor. I only took the course because a fellow student had mocked me for planning to take an easier course. In that course, Dr. Traylor would yell my name or throw an eraser at me whenever I dozed off. The final exam was a 3 hour long multiple select exam (a, b, c, d, e, and any combination of those letters), and each student’s grade for the semester was entirely determined by that exam. After the exam, all the students went out to dinner with Dr. Traylor. At the end of the meal, we walked one at a time up to Dr. Traylor, and she would whisper our grades from memory. I became a chemistry major because of that course.


Alyssa (Navapanich) Wallace (2011, Chemistry)

Alyssa Wallace

Please tell us what you have been up to personally and professionally since you graduated from USD?

Professionally I worked for several years at Pharmatek as a Quality Control Analyst before going back to school at SOLES to get my M.Ed. Since 2014 I have been teaching Biochemistry at Del Lago Academy, a public magnet school focused on biomedical sciences in Escondido. 

Personally, I got married in 2014 to Tristan and we live in a condo in Rancho Bernardo with our fluffy little tuxedo cat, Leonardo DiCatrio. We have been doing a lot of traveling. This past summer we went to Scotland, France, England, and Morocco. I ran the Disneyland half-marathon in 2016 and am training for the Zion half-marathon in February 2019.  I also play cello in the Poway Symphonette, a community chamber orchestra. We put on 2-3 concerts a year. 


What motivated you to pursue a teaching position in secondary education? What advice do you have for current students considering a career in teaching (high school or general)?

As an undergraduate, I was the outreach coordinator for chem club and I was at the kickoff for the very first San Diego Science Festival when I decided to be a teacher. The founder was talking about how fewer US students were pursuing science degrees and careers and I thought that was such a tragedy. I started teaching from a desire to make science accessible and open the door for students to fall in love with science that might never have thought they could do it before. 

For students considering a career in teaching, a few words of advice: the demand for chemistry teachers is pretty high and finding a job was easy for me. Do a program like the MCC program at SOLES where you get your master's degree and your credential at the same time. In these programs, it's only a couple more requirements than the credential and it puts you higher on the pay scale. I have friends who only got their credential and want a masters and they have to go back and do another full program. Also, it's great to want to teach because you love the subject but that's not enough to be a good teacher. Teaching is so much more than just content!


 Can you tell us about your current position, what do you enjoy most about it, and what is a typical day like?

I teach "biochemistry" to 10th graders, which is kind of a mish-mash of basic chemistry, biology, and biochemistry. Every morning the staff meets for 10 minutes to discuss any scholars of concern and any goings-on on campus that day. I then teach 3 sections of the biochemistry course my colleague and I wrote together. Most of the lessons are very student-centered and student driven. My role is more that of a coach as the students tackle different problems or projects in the content. I have 1 prep period a day that I use to lesson plan for the next day and do any grading or paperwork. During lunch I usually have students hanging out in my room, either for one of my two clubs (Anime Club and Disney Club) or tutoring or just because. Currently, after school I pack up and head up to the field where I am the assistant soccer coach for the Lady Firebirds. 


 What aspects of your education and experiences at USD have been most important to your professional success?

I would say the relationships I built with other students and professors, as well as the opportunity to have diverse learning experiences. I got so much out of service learning, being a part of chem club, and undergraduate research! these opportunities opened doors for different things I could do when I graduated. 


 What are some of your best memories from your time at USD?

I loved all of the chem department and chem club events! It was such a great community. We tie-dyed lab coats, made liquid nitrogen ice cream, guacamole for mole day, and annual summer kayaking! I also really enjoyed undergraduate research and all the adventures Shannen and I had. My favorite class was probably Analytical Chemistry with Dr. Schafer. One day we all piled in her van and drove out to OB to collect water samples, then had lunch at Hodad's afterwards. Just a typical day in the lab :) 


Sirena Tran (2017, Biochemistry)

Sirena Tran

Please tell us what you have been up to (personally and professionally) since you graduated from USD?

After graduating from USD, I decided to take the summer off and I went back to Vietnam for about a month to visit family and to explore different parts of the country that I’ve never been to before. I’m currently at Vanderbilt University in their Interdisciplinary Graduate Program (IGP) trying to get my Ph.D. During my free time, I try to explore the city of Nashville and try different things such as pottery.


What motivated you to pursue a graduate degree?

One of my biggest motivations to pursue a Ph.D. is my desire to have the highest level of education possible in order to obtain the level of intellect that is necessary to do groundbreaking research. Doing research is a huge passion of mine. During my time at USD, I’ve always felt that I had the most fun (academically) when I am in the lab, be it a lab class or research lab. What made these moments so fun and exciting for me were having the ability to ask questions and physically be able to perform the experiments that will answer those questions. I knew that if I stopped at a bachelor my options would be limited in terms of the type of research I’d get to do and the type of questions I’d be able to ask.


Can you tell us about your current position, what do you enjoy most about it, and what a typical day is like?

I’m currently a first-year graduate student in IGP at Vanderbilt, and since this is an umbrella Ph.D. program, I get to rotate through 4 different labs during my first year while taking classes as well. What I enjoy the most about being a first-year graduate student is getting to test out the different labs that are here at Vanderbilt before making a decision as to which lab I would like to join for my thesis project (and I also enjoy the fact that I get be in the lab most of the time and not be in class). A typical day in my current position is going to class in the morning, some days starting at 9 am and others starting at 8 am, and then after class, I’m in the lab the entire day until about 5 pm (this time can vary depending on the lab’s culture).


What aspects of your education and experiences at USD have been most important to your professional successes?

I strongly believe that USD’s biochemistry program has done a phenomenal job of preparing me for graduate school. I think it is the rigor and high level of expectations in the major has made my transition to graduate a lot easier than I expected. I think the most important aspect of my education and experience at USD that has contributed the most to my success is learning how to study smarter and not harder and how to manage my time in a way where I am still a healthy person while obtaining the results that I want.


What advice do you have for current students thinking about graduate school?

My first advice for current students who are thinking about graduate school is to take away as much as you can from your upper division classes as you can because the more information that you’re able to retain from these classes the easier it will be in graduate school. The second advice would be to find the topic that you are truly passionate about pursuing because this is what going to help get you through graduate school. Especially if you’re trying to get a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences because you’re going to be surrounded by this topic for the next five years of your life while everyone else has a higher paying job than you do. My last advice is to have confidence in yourself that you are cut out to be in graduate school.


 Faculty Research Group Updates

Jessica Bell Research Group

Looking back at 2017-2018, the Bell lab has had a wonderful year!  Summer 2017, 8 students researchers spent the summer in the lab: Beckman Scholar Halie Sonnenschien (’18); SURE fellows Nina Marie Garcia (’18), Christian “Andres” Quintero (’18), and Mariam Dawood (’18); Hayes Scholar Timothy “TJ” Marshall (’19); ACS SEED scholar Van Phan; Flowreen Shikwana (’18), and high school intern, Hannah Blythe.  As part of the NSF IUSE, we hosted a weeklong workshop at the end of August with our participating institutions (12) from across the country to lay our implementation plans for the malate dehydrogenase-centered course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs).  Fall 2017 the Bell lab welcomed Ally Roessling (’20), Jen Franco (’20), Sharon Shania (’20), and Nick Lee (’20).  In December 2017, Halie Sonnenschein (’18) presented her work at the American Society for Cell Biology in Philadelphia.  Halie met up with former Bell lab member and current graduate student at UPenn, Virzhiniya Feltzin, to discuss graduate school life.  Starting spring semester, Renee Lawrence (’20) and Tatiana Mancham (’20) joined the lab.  In March, the lab teamed up with the Chemistry and Biochemistry Club to host a lab station for the Expanding Your Horizons conference.  Strawberry DNA, colorful foam from yeast catalase reactions, and, of course, ice cream making were our chosen topics.  Many thanks to Sharon Shania (’20) for her awesome artwork on the white boards to convey chemical concepts!  April 2017 brought Creative Collaborations and the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology where we presented four posters.  Michael Schwabe (’18) won the top prize in the undergraduate poster competition and Halie Sonnenschein (’18) received an honorable mention.  Four students, Nina Marie Garcia (’18), Flowreen Shikwana (’18), Halie Sonnenschein (’18), and Sirena Tran (’18) were inducted into the ASBMB Honor Society.  In April, our publication “Suppressor of IKKepsilon forms direct interactions with cytoskeletal proteins, tubulin and α-actinin, linking innate immunity to the cytoskeleton” with authors Halie Sonnenschein, Kenneth Lawrence, Karli Wittenberg (’17), Frank Slykas (’17), Emerald Dohleman (’16), Jilan Knoublauch (’15), Sean Fahey (’17), James Marion and Jessica Bell was published in FEBS OpenBio.  One of our microscopy pictures was chosen for the July cover! Eight lab peeps graduated in May heading off to jobs in industry, a gap year of scribing while applying to medical school, and graduate schools ranging from Duke, Northeastern, Yale, and Vanderbilt. All the best as you start the next chapter as USD and Bell lab Alumni!

jessica bell lab


Expanding Your Horizons 2018:  Front Row: Seraphim Himes (’18), Juliette Chisam-Majid (’18), Jen Franco (’18).  Back Row:  J. Bell, Halie Sonnenschein (’18), Renee Lawrence (’20), Sharon Shania (’20), Flowreen Shikwana (’18), Benn Joyce (’18), Alexandra Murray (’18).







Jessica Bell Research Group



 Annual Bell Lab Padres game: Front Row:  Halie Sonnenschein (’18), Isaac Bell (’19), John Abano (’16). Back Row: Mariam Dawood (’18), Nina Marie Garcia (’18), Flowreen Shikwana (’18), Michael Schwabe (’18).









 ASBMB 2018 Undergraduate Poster Award winners:  Michael Schwabe (’18) and Halie Sonnenschien (’18).









Lauren Benz Research Group

The Benz lab welcomed its newest member, Thomas Louis Benz, on 3-4-2018! Tommy Benz


Recent graduate, Jin Low (’17), helped keep research afloat in the lab during the summer, supported by an NSF CAREER supplement, when Dr. Benz returned part time.  Jin has now embarked on a fulltime position in product development at Malilea International, a company which develops and sells organic health and beauty products.   Xinlei Chen (’18) also graduated from the group, and was awarded a competitive Bridges Program award to pursue summer research in the Labrilla lab at UC Davis, and she plans to pursue graduate study next year.  Congratulations, Jin and Xinlei!  In other news, Dr. Benz developed a video this past summer aimed at the public for the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation that summarizes the current “big picture” of the work in the research lab, which can be viewed at:  Students interested in joining a research lab soon take note:  Dr. Benz will be returning fulltime in the spring and is taking research students, so feel free to reach out to her!


Tim Clark Research Group

It has been an exciting and productive year in the Clark research group. A very busy summer included 9 undergraduates, 1 high school student, and 2 post-docs working in the lab. Chris Miller and Stephen Hyland graduated in the spring and Josh Wilson is graduating fall 2018. Chris has a job in San Diego while he is applying to Medical School. Stephen has started his first year of graduate school at the University of Delaware in Chemical Biology. Josh will be rejoining the Navy after graduation. Four additional students are scheduled to graduate this spring. Tim received a National Science Foundation grant for the group’s work with phosphines. A manuscript for this work is currently under review with Angewandte Chemie, International Edition, congratulations to Shawn Wright, Stephanie Richardson-Solorzano, Tiffany Stewart, Chris Miller, and Kelsey Miller for seeing the manuscript to completion. Since Tim is on sabbatical, several other manuscripts are in preparation and will be submitted during the coming year. Post-docs in the group, Andrey Samoshin and Tiffany Stewart, are currently looking for positions this year.


Some specific recent accomplishments by Clark research group members:


  • Three new students joined the Clark group last year. Anthony DePaul (diboration/homolgation chemistry), Ellie Meck (phosphine-directed C–H borylation), and Kelsey Morris (phosphine-directed C–H borylation) all worked in the group during the summer (2018). Welcome new students!
  • A publication resulted from Tim’s collaborative work in Spain with Mariola Tortosa: “Copper-Catalyzed Enantioselective Synthesis of β-Boron β-Amino Esters” Organic Letters 2017, 19, 6272–6275.
  • Maggie Nistler was awarded a Beckman Scholar award for support for one academic year and two summers of research.
  • Natalie Chuang received a Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) award for the summer of 2018.

 Clark Research Group




Clark Research Group (Summer 2018)







Christopher Daley Research Group

Our research focus has shifted significantly to the project on the development of our designed, tridentate nitrogen-based, ligands for enantioselective catalysis and we are moving away from our project on the synthesis of model complexes of the nitrile hydratase active site. While the nitrile hydratase work is being shuttered, Raquel Markham is continuing on with her work in the area making a proof-of-concept nickel complex of our serine-based active-site analogue design. Based on ES-MS analysis, she has successfully made the complex in good yield and purity and thus final x-ray and NMR characterizations should result in a publication in the upcoming year.   The enantioselective catalysis work is running at full steam with the efforts of Theresa Thomas, Max O’Toole, Tatum Stamper, Sophia Matar, and Valeria Reyes!  Our microwave synthesis methodology hit a bump in the road last year but we are currently back on track with even better results than originally obtained. The group is hard at work making large quantities of our metal complexes for later deligation reactions to isolate our desired ligands, which will lead to a cascade of enantioselective catalysis studies in the spring. With our synthesis back on track, we are now submitting our findings for publication.

Efforts will continue on both projects during the 2018-2020 academic years, however, we will hopefully be developing a new project of study to replace the outgoing NHase project. We will also be looking to secure research funding to support the projects, including very important summer research stipends for students. 

Finally, Dr. Daley would love to hear from his former group members!  Please send an email, or otherwise, to update him on your life, career, and contact information.  Here is hoping everyone is healthy, happy, and doing well.

Daley Research Group










David De Haan Research Group


The De Haan group welcomed five new students in January 2018:  Alexa Perez, Antonio Rojas, Christian Carmona, Michael Duffy, and Duncan Ugland.  Alexa and Mike worked with postdoc Tiffany Stewart on a new project using the methods of organic chemistry to synthesize and characterize brown aldehyde-amine reaction products, while Antonio worked with postdoc Devoun Stewart and Richard Gardner optimizing a newly built instrument that measures aerosol growth and phase changes simultaneously during water uptake.  Christian and Duncan developed new projects where the effects of sunlight or UV light on aerosol particle browning are tested in real time.  Rich Gardner, Alexia de Loera, Alyssa Andretta, and Nguyet Phung all celebrated their USD graduation in May.  During the summer, the two postdocs, graduates Rich and Nguyet, and all five new students conducted research at USD.  In August the group presented their research at UC Irvine, and in September Rich and Dr. De Haan travelled to St. Louis to present their research at the 10thInternational Aerosol Conference.  At the end of the summer, word came that the group’s NSF funding was renewed through 2021 via an International Research Experiences for Students (IRES) grant, which will involve more work at a cloud chamber in France.


The De Haan Research Group





The De Haan research group, August 2018 (L to R):  postdoc Tiffany Stewart, postdoc Devoun Stewart, Rich Gardner (’18), David De Haan, Duncan Ugland, (’20), Michael Duffy (’19), Antonio Rojas (’20), Christian Carmona (’20), Nguyet Phung (’18).  Not pictured: Alexa Perez (’21), Alyssa Andretta (’18), Alexia de Loera (’18).






Tammy Dwyer Research Group

My group continues to study the structural implications of incorporating non-natural or modified nucleobases into DNA duplexes using NMR spectroscopy. In 2018, we have been dedicated our time to a collaboration with Dr. Byron Purse at San Diego State University whereby he and his students have synthesized a cytosine analog (containing a tricyclic system (tC) and a diethylamino (DEA) group)called 8-DEA-tC that pairs with the cross-strand G:

The Purse lab has shown that, depending on the sequence context (identity of the base pair on the 3’ side), 8-DEA-tC is highly fluorescent in duplexed DNA relative to single stranded DNA. Students Scott Kilcoyne ’20, Marissa Patterson ’20, Dana Rosansky, ’20, Kodi Thurber, ’21, and Caroline Uhlig, ‘21 have worked to assign all chemical shifts in two DNA duplexes, where X = C and X=8-DEA-tC. Working meticulously, these remarkable have produced a restraint file for the unmodified (X=C) duplex (on which we have begun molecular dynamics computations) and are in the process of quantitating data for the modified (X-8-DEA-tC) duplex. Our goal is to determine the solution structures of both duplexes by end of summer 2018.



Eleanor Gillette Research Group

The Gillette group is excited to be up and running here at USD! Cristina Guijon (’19), Enida Kapidani (’19) and Grant Hill (’18) were the inaugural members of the group, starting work in the spring of 2017 on methanol fuel cell catalysts, battery electrodes, and glucose sensors, respectively.  In the fall, the group welcomed two additions, Tim Tran (’19) on the methanol project, and Gabriella Jimenez (’18) on the glucose sensing project. 

Dr. Gillette traveled to attend the 2017 American Chemical Society New Faculty Workshop in Washington, DC, the 2018 Energy Storage Scialog, in Tuscon, AZ and is looking forward to a productive second year here at USD!


 Peter Iovine Research Group

Iovine Research Group

 The scope of research in the Iovine lab continues to expand. We recently initiated projects in transdermal delivery as well as eco-friendly oil spill mitigation materials. Other major initiatives in the lab include: sustained delivery of iodine from starch-based antimicrobial biomaterials, bioplastics synthesized from completely renewable and biodegradable building blocks, and new synthetic polymers that respond to mechanical force. We lost group member Candy Pham to graduation but she is doing well in Eugene, Oregon where she has just started her PhD at the University of Oregon.


Iovine Research Group

Brandon Orzolek’s research into new types of bioplastics was recently published (ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. 2018, 6 (10), 13562-13569); the work highlights our efforts to use transesterification as an enabling chemistry to produce new types of polysaccharide-based materials. The majority of the Iovine group attended the spring 2018 ACS National Meeting in New Orleans. Five students presented posters at this meeting and we all enjoyed some fun times in the heart of the bayou. Beignets for everyone! We were excited to have Southwestern College student Maribel Clerk back in the lab for the summer 2018 research season. Andy Saiz worked the entire summer at Duke University learning about mechanochemistry from the top group in this field.

The summer of 2018 also involved some international travel for two Iovine group members participating in the NSF sponsored Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU). Dr. Iovine, James Young, and Maribel Clerk traveled to Quebec City to attend the 13th International Symposium on Macrocyclic and Supramolecular Chemistry. There were also many student accomplishments to celebrate. Jordan Castro was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, Brandon Orzolek was selected as a Beckman Scholar, Andy Saiz won a travel award to the national SACNAS conference in San Antonio, and Olivia Greenwood was accepted to her top choice Pharmacy program. Congrats!


 Group members for the fall 2018 semester were:  Brandon Orzolek, James Young, Andrew Saiz, Jake Hughes, Kathryn Brady, Nicole Palazzo, Jordan Castro, Melissa Tran, and Olivia Greenwood.

I have been hearing from many former Iovine group members but would love to connect with others. Please email, call, or find us on twitter (@peteriovine).





Jeremy Kua Research Group

The Kua group has had a productive year in his chemistry of the origin-of-life projects. Two students who graduated this past May (Helen Loli '18 and Kyra Thursh '18) had their papers published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry A. Helen is in a Medical Bioethics masters program near her hometown in Arizona, and Kyra has moved cross-country beginning her doctoral studies at Yale (in computational biology and bioinformatics). Richard Gardner '18 worked on atmospheric chemistry and is considering teaching chemistry as a career!

Four new students officially joined the Kua group this Fall. Alyssa Miller ('21) and Camryn Wallace ('21) are extending Helen's project examining the effect of adding an acid to the co-oligomerization of formaldehyde and pyrrole that yields porphyrin rings. Alyssa is examining the kinetics and Camryn has taken on the thermodynamics. Teena Paradela ('19) is picking up where Kyra left off by examining the oligomerization of glycolonitrile into C3-C6 compounds. Juliette Chisam-Majid ('20) is working on a couple of chemical education projects, one on the relationship between visualization and chemical concepts, and the other is an exercise exploring the relationship between ionization energy, work function and electrical conductivity.


We're enjoying our new lab space with the large white boards, and we recently upgraded our software to the latest 2018 versions that run a whole lot faster on our faster hardware! Here's a picture of us in the new lab space pretending to do work!







Eleanor Gillette Research Group

The Gillette group is excited to be up and running here at USD! Cristina Guijon (’19), Enida Kapidani (’19) and Grant Hill (’18) were the inaugural members of the group, starting work in the spring of 2017 on methanol fuel cell catalysts, battery electrodes, and glucose sensors, respectively.  In the fall, the group welcomed two additions, Tim Tran (’19) on the methanol project, and Gabriella Jimenez (’18) on the glucose sensing project. 

Dr. Gillette traveled to attend the 2017 American Chemical Society New Faculty Workshop in Washington, DC, the 2018 Energy Storage Scialog, in Tuscon, AZ and is looking forward to a productive second year here at USD!


Joe Provost Research Group

This year we have 14 students working in the lab.  Lots of seniors with Shane Davis, Isaac Bell, Clare Bakker, Dan Ghebreigziabher, Gabriel Rementeria, Grant Sampson, and Blaine Berquist.  Students new this year include Sara Desalegne (who worked as a PURE student this summer), Erika Greene, Marissa Lopez, and Jessica Shi. Aryna Armand, Nate Chang, Mishika Manchanda will take the lead next year!

 We continue to study how the sodium hydrogen exchanger isoform I (NHE1) is involved in cellular pH homeostasis and directed cell motility.  With one NIH proposal pending we hope to understand how two proteins (calcineurin homologous proteins 1 and 2) regulate NHE and other proteins during hypoxia and serum deprivation observed as a tumor grows.  Isaac and Shane have interesting data that starts to determine how CHP regulates NHE1 and cellular functions.  We have fully committed to understanding how lipidation of NHE1 controls its structure and potentially serves with phosphorylation as a novel mechanism of transporter control.  Hope to submit an NSF proposal on this later in the spring.  This summer a visitor and alumni of my research lab, Dr. Andrew Haak shared is work on lung fibrosis.  We are now convinced that NHE1 is involved in advancing this horrible terminal and untreatable disease.  Perhaps a new NIH project will evolve this spring as well.  Some of our group work on the structure and function of malate dehydrogenase (MDH).  This is an interesting extension of my graduate work and is part of the NSF IUSE grant funded with Jessica and Ellis Bell.  We are looking at specific domains that drive protein-protein interactions and the post-translational modifications that modulate these interactions and metabolic flux.  This spring Grant, Isaac, Clare, Shane, Blane and Gabe will each present their work at the ASBMB meeting. 


Joan Schellinger Research Group

joan schellinger lab group





Photo: Schellinger laboratory at the 2018 ACS National Meeting in Boston. (Left to right) and Jonathan Tran ’19, Estefania Martinez Valdivia ’19, TinTin Luu ’19, Matthew Lucas ’19 and Dr. Schellinger.





The Schellinger group has been working hard on developing biomolecular-based systems with applications in drug delivery, materials science and origins of life. We had a productive and amazing summer that includes submission of an NSF Career grant and a trip to the 2018 ACS National Meeting in Boston.TinTin Luu ’19 gave an (invited) oral presentation at the Excellence in Undergraduate Research in GlycoscienceSession; Estefania Martinez Valdivia ’19 and Matthew Lucas ’19 gave a joint poster presentation. Last summer, TinTin Luu ’19 and Matthew Lucas ’19received the highly competitive 2018 USD SURE awards. Matthew Lucas ’19 gave oral presentations at the very first USD Summer Research Colloquium and at the 2018 UCSD Summer Research Conference.


We sent our best wishes to Amanda Ennis ’18 last May 2018 when she graduated and pursued a PhD program at Duke University. Estefania Martinez Valdivia ’19 received one of the 2018 Bridges to Doctoral Institution awards last spring and spent a summer doing research in the Kiessling laboratory at MIT. The Schellinger group was well-represented during the 2018 Creative Collaborations where Amanda Ennis ’18,  Jonathan Tran ’19, Estefania Martinez Valdivia ’19, TinTin Luu ’19, Nathan Lorentz ’19 and Matthew Lucas ’19 gave a total of three poster presentations. In the fall of 2017, Amanda Ennis ’18, Jonathan Tran ’19, TinTin Luu ’19 and Nathan Lorentz ’19 presented their work at the Frontiers in Soft Matter and Macromolecular Networks.


We are thrilled to share our exciting results. In our project, microwave-assisted RAFT polymerization of peptide-based polymers, we have identified the optimal reaction conditions for the successful aqueous polymerization of amine-based monomers via reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization using microwave irradiation. We opt to utilize these conditions in the preparation of amphiphilic high-density peptide-based polymers. In another project collaborated with the Iovine lab, we have developed a synthetic platform and shown successful synthesis of well-defined thiol-responsive dithiomaleimide-maltodextrin conjugates that can be utilized for delivery in biomedical applications. Our third project, involving peptides as cofactors for ribozymes in the origins of life, recently had some exciting results with the identification of lead peptides in the catalytic activity of ribozymes. For more information about our lab and research activities,  please check out Schellinger Lab Facebook:


Instrument Update


Our department has made several significant scientific instruments acquisitions this year.

Resonance instrument 

First and foremost, the Nicoya Surface Plasmon Resonance instrument (OpenSPR model) will allow our Biochemistry research students to study kinetics of protein interactions and access binding and affinity data. This affordable model is revolutionizing the world of SPR instrumentation and we're thrilled to be able to offer to our students a hands-on experience on this modern instrument. 


Secondly, we've equipped our Biochemistry teaching labs with a series of Vernier UV-Vis spectrophotometers, so that each student can now generate their own data independently. These small and affordable portable units come with a modern handheld data analysis device that can communicate all data to the students' personal laptop via Bluetooth. 

Nanodrop instrument


We've also added a new NanoDrop instrument in our Biochemistry Teaching laboratories. This compact UV-Vis microvolume UV-Vis spectrophotometer allows our students to quantify DNA, RNA, and protein samples in seconds with just 1 to 2 uL of sample, thus eliminating the needs for time-consuming dilution steps. The sample is pipetted directly onto the optical surface of the instrument, then wiped away after data collection.




In addition to the Nanodrop and Vernier instruments, a new, top of the line plate reader by BioTek (model NeO2) complements the instruments suite in our Biochemistry Teaching labs. This modern multi-mode and absorbance microplate reader allows our students to conduct biochemical and cell-based assays, such as ELISA, micro-volume nucleic acid and protein quantification studies, biomarker assays, and more!



In our main instrument laboratory, a new Jasco FTIR will replace one of our 15 years old FTIR, which was not working up to specifications anymore. This modern FTIR instrument is designed for a wide range of research application and for education and routine analysis as well. It is equipped with gold optical surfaces for more efficient FT-Raman analysis and we're hoping to connect it to a Raman accessory within a few years, thus expanding the range of experiments we can offer to our students here at USD. 

Scientific Instrument


Lastly, the robust, compact, and easy to use new MaxQ refrigerated incubated floor shaker replaces an obsolete similar system. Our new shaker is ideal for solubility studies, extraction procedures, cell cultures, general mixing procedures, hybridization studies, bacterial suspensions, plasmid purifications, protein expressions, staining, de-staining and washing procedures. This shaker came with a smart, yet simple feature: large suction feet to prevent the unit from walking (literally) at high shaking speed! Our Biochemistry Research students in the Provost, TBell, and JBell groups and our Biochemistry Teaching labs students have wasted no time in putting this shaker to use!

Our department continues its efforts to ensure that our students have access to modern scientific instrumentation in a safe environment, thus preparing them well for their future careers.



Faculty Publications 2017

Publications (Undergraduate students indicated by *, post-docs #)

  • Komanduri, S.P., Schrick, A.C., Daley, C.J.A., Rheingold, A.L., Weinert, C.S. “Synthesis, structure and decomposition of the digermane Ph3GeGePh2H,” Main Group Chem.2017, 16(3), 217-225.


  • Zivkovic, K.,* Baldauf, L.,* Villasenor, A.,* Cryder, J.L.,* Bernier, L.E.,* Fulton, K.,* Alcocer, C., Faucher, F., Moore, C.E., Rheingold, A.L., Daley, C.J.A. “Chiral Trinitrogen Isoindoline-based Pincer Ligands: Isolation and Charaterization via Deligation from In-Situ Prepared Metal-Ligand Complexes,” Dalton, 2018 (submitted September 2018).


  • Wright, S.E.,* Richardson-Solorzano, S.,* Wilson, J.,* Stewart, T.N.,# Miller, C.,* Albitz, E.E.,* Morris, K.,* Marcilla, E., Cuadra, S., Daley, C.J.A., Clark, T.B. “Accessing Ambiphilic Phosphine Boronates by C–H Borylation using a Cationic Iridium Complex,” A.C.S., 2018.


  • Orzolek, Brandon J.,* Rahman, Md Anisur, Iovine, Peter M.“Synthesis of Biorenewable Starch-Farnesene Amphiphilic Conjugates via Transesterification of Terpene-Derived Diels-Alder Adducts”  Submitted, ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, Aug 2018.


  • Wright, S.,* Richardson-Solórzano, S.,* Miller, C.,* Albitz, E. E.,* Wilson, J,* Marcilla, E., Cuadra, S.,  Daley, C. J. A., Clark, T. B. “Accessing Ambiphilic Phosphine Boronates by C-H Borylation using a Cationic Iridium Complex” Manuscript in Preparation.


  • López, A., Clark, T. B., Parra, A., Tortosa, M. “Copper-Catalyzed Enantioselective Synthesis of β-Boron β-Amino Esters” Organic Letters 2017, 19, 6272–6275.


  • Clark, T. B., Emmerson, D.G., Honsberger, J. “From the Research Lab to the Classroom: A Multi-Faceted High School Chemistry Outreach Program” from "Educational and Outreach Projects from the Cottrell Scholars Collaborative Professional Development and Outreach Volume 2" ACS Symposium Series, 2017, 1259, Ch. 6, 69–84.


  • Sonnenschein, H.A.,* Lawrence, K.F.,* Wittenberg, K.A.,* Slykas, F.A.,* Dohleman, E.L.,* Knoublauch, J.B.,* Fahey, S.M.,* Marshall, Jr., T.J.,* Marion, J.D., Bell, J.K. Suppressor of IKK epsilon forms direct interactions with cytoskeletal proteins, tubulin and alpha-actinin, linking innate immunity to the cytoskeleton. FEBS Open Bio (2018) 8:1064-1082.  Article received cover of issue.


  • David O. De Haan, “Aqueous aerosol processing of glyoxal and methylglyoxal: Recent measurements of uptake coefficients, SOA production, and brown carbon formation,” in Multiphase Environmental Chemistry in the Atmosphere, Sherri Hunt, Sergey Nizkorodov, Alex Laskin, Eds. (in press, American Chemical Society, 2018)


  • Melissa S. Ugelow, David O. De Haan, Sarah M. Hörst, Margaret A. Tolbert, “The Effect of Oxygen on Haze Analog Properties,” The Astrophysical Journal Letters 859 L2(2018) 3847/2041-8213/aac2c7


  • David O. De Haan, Natalie G. Jimenez,* Alexia de Loera,* Mathieu Cazaunau, Aline Gratien, Edouard Pangui, Jean-François Doussin, “Methylglyoxal uptake coefficients on aqueous aerosol surfaces,” Phys. Chem. A122 (21) 4854-4860(2018)


  • David O. De Haan, Enrico Tapavicza, Matthieu Riva, Tianqu Cui, Jason D. Surratt, Adam C. Smith,* Mary-Caitlin Jordan,* Shiva Nilakantan,* Marisol Almodovar,* Tiffany N. Stewart,#Alexia de Loera,* Audrey C. De Haan,* Mathieu Cazaunau, Paola Formenti, Aline Gratien, Edouard Pangui, Jean-François Doussin, “Nitrogen-containing, light-absorbing oligomers produced in aerosol particles exposed to methylglyoxal, photolysis, and cloud cycling,” Sci. Technol. 52 (7) 4061-4071 (2018) 10.1021/acs.est.7b06105


  • Mitchell R. Malachowski, Saying Yes to Undergraduate Research. Chronicle of Higher Education, October 8, 2017.


  • Mitchell R. Malachowski, Jeffrey M. Osborn, Kerry K. Karukstis, Elizabeth L. Ambos, Jillian Kinzie. Institutionalizing Undergraduate Research and Scaffolding Undergraduate Research Experiences in the STEM Curriculum. American Chemical Society Symposium, Washington, DC, 2017


  • Kua, J., Loli, H.*  Phys. Chem. A, 2017, 121, 8154-8165. "Porphinogen Formation from the Co-oligomerization of Formaldehyde and Pyrrole: Free Energy Pathways"


  • Thrush, K.L.,* Kua, J. Phys. Chem. A, 2018, in press. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpca.8b05900 "Reactions of Glycolonitrile with Ammonia and Water: A Free Energy Map"


  • "Assessing Stakeholder perceptions of the ASBMB accreditation program for baccalaureate degrees". Dean D.M., Martin D., Carastro L.M., Kennelly P.J., Provost J.J., Tansey J.T., Wolfson A.J. Biochem Mol Biol Educ. 2018 Sep; 46(5):464-471.


  • "CUREs in Biochemistry-where are we and where should we go". Bell J.K., Eckdahl T.T., Hecht D.A., Killion P.J., Latzer J., Mans T.L., Provost J.J., Rakus J.F., Siebrasse E.A., Ellis Bell J. Biochem Mol Biol Educ. 2017 Jan 2;45(1):7-12.


Faculty Research Grant and Funding Awards 2017

Awarded Proposals

  • Iovine- Research Corporation Supplemental Award for Soft Matter Symposium ($5K)


  • Clark- NSF Research at Undergraduate Institutions (PI) 240,000, “RUI: Phosphine-Directed C-H Borylation: Catalysis Development to Bifunctional Ligand Synthesis”


  • Clark- Organic Syntheses, Inc. Grant for Summer Research at an Undergraduate Institution (PI) $8,000, “Phosphine-Directed meta-C–H Borylation: Facile Synthesis of Functionalized Phosphines”


  • Bell J- ACS SEED program, Coordinator, $7,500. Support economically disadvantaged high school students in a summer research experience.


  • De Haan- “Collaborative Research: RUI: IRES-Track I: Brown Carbon Aerosol Formation by Photooxidation of Phenolic Compounds in Nanodroplets .” (Lead PI) National Science Foundation, with co-PI Lelia Hawkins (Harvey Mudd College), $300K (begins 1 Nov 2018).  This project funds 3 USD and 2 Harvey Mudd undergraduates to spend 4 weeks each summer conducting atmospheric chemistry research at the Paris cloud chamber. It also funds the remaining 6 weeks of summer research at their home institutions.


  • Benz- NSF CLB Supplement, $17,616


  • Malachowski- NSF Supplementary Award, $116,000; I am the lead PI on our IUSE grant and this supplement helps us extend our Curriculum-based project


Ongoing Awards

  • Iovine- ACS Petroleum Research Fund $70K


  • Bolander- Danvera Foundation grant - $25,000 – continuation since 2004


  • Bolander- Lundin Foundation- - $6,000 – continuation since 2013


  • Clark- Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award $60,000, “Metal-Catalyzed Borylation Reactions”


  • Clark- National Institutes of Health (AREA, R15) (PI: Co-PI is Greg O’Neil) $380,334, “Nucleophilic Borylation of Aldehydes and Conjugated Carbonyls: Applications to Homologation and Carbosilylation Reactions”


  • Clark- American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund (Undergraduate Research) (PI) $70,000, “Phosphine-Directed C–H Borylation of Arenes: Facile Access to Ambiphilic Phosphine Boronate Esters”


  • Clark- National Science Foundation: Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) $430,396, “CAREER: Substrate-Directed C–H Borylation Reactions"


  • Bell JE, Bell JK, Provost- NSF IUSE, Co-I, $600,000 Lead and work with 17 faculty from 15 different institutions to build a protein-centric CUREs community that is investigating the effect of CURE length and collaboration on student outcomes.


  • De Haan- "RUI: Brown carbon aerosol production in polluted environments: the effects of oxidants, SO2, and sunlight on aqueous-phase aldehyde reactivity," (PI)National Science Foundation, $366,635.00


  • Benz- NSF CAREER Award, $489,381. Managing research project in materials chemistry, and FemSTEM program to support women faculty and postdocs in STEM fields


  • Benz- Beckman Scholarship Program (with a short break during maternity leave): submitted reports, facilitated recruitment, hosted 3 Beckman luncheons to discuss grad school application process with Beckman mentors & scholars, and College Research Fellows


  • Malachowski- NSF funded project ($1.8 Million) on helping campuses create research-rich curricula that are scaffolded throughout the entire curriculum


  • Schellinger- NASA Exobiology (NNH15ZDA001N-EXO, role: co-I) “In Vitro Selection of Ribozymes to Study the Emergence of an RNA World”, $46,058



 2017-2018 Student Awards



Outstanding Senior

Alexandra Murray

Outstanding Achievement

Wesley Chow

Nicholas DiChristofano

Nina Marie Garcia

Yun Ji Kim

Andrew Smith

Halie Sonnenschein

Kyra Thrush

Research Excellence

Xinlei Chen

Alexia de Loera

Amanda Ennis

Stephen Hyland

Yonatan Kebede

Chris Miller

Emily Pitsch

Michael Schwabe

Flowreen Shikwana

CRC Press Outstanding Freshman

Parvinder Ghumman

Outstanding Sophomore

Jennifer Franco

Elizabeth Wade

ACS Undergraduate Award in Analytical Chemistry

Scott Kilcoyne

Outstanding Biochemistry Student

Mackenzie Minehan

ACS Undergraduate Award in Inorganic Chemistry

Amanda Farinas

ACS Excellence in Organic Chemistry Award

Amanda Ennis

ACS Excellence in Physical Chemistry

Melissa Tran