Seeking Academic Advisor 1 (UCP 5)

JOB POSTING

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences invites applications for a full time, twelve-month position of Academic Advisor. Under the general supervision of the CLAS Academic Services Center and the Chemistry Department Head /Associate Head, the successful candidate will advise undergraduate students on obtaining a BA or BS degree in Chemistry, and lead the departmental undergraduate program activities. This position will also provide administrative support in the Chemistry Department’s main office. Continue reading

Seeking Financial Assistant 1 (UCP 1)

JOB POSTING

The Department of Chemistry, in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, seeks qualified applicants for the position of Financial Assistant 1 (UCP 1).  The Department of Chemistry’s staff provides quality professional services to a diverse and thriving community of students and faculty engaged in innovative research and academic excellence.  Under the supervision of the Program Coordinator and the CLAS Business Services Center, the incumbent will process and maintain financial transactions and records for the Department of Chemistry. Continue reading

Chemistry Professor Nationally Recognized for Inventions

By Jessica McBride, Office of the Vice President for Research

Altug Poyraz, left, a graduate student, with Steven Suib, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Chemistry. According to Suib, some of the greatest benefits of being an academic inventor are the opportunities it allows him to provide to his students, many of whom will work in industry after graduating from UConn. (Peter Morenus/UConn File Photo)

Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Chemistry Steven L. Suib has some advice for early career faculty and student researchers who are interested in inventing. Given that Suib was recently named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), it would probably be smart to grab a pencil.

“Ask a lot of questions, know the literature, don’t be afraid to move on from ideas that just aren’t working. But above all, keep an open mind and work with other people,” offered Suib.

Throughout his nearly 40-year research career, Suib has lived by these words. As a preeminent expert in solid state chemistry and the synthesis of novel materials with a strong environmental focus, his work has produced numerous discoveries with a variety of applications in several industry sectors.

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Tailoring Treatment to Combat Diseased Cells at the Genetic Level

By Jessica McBride, Office of the Vice President for Research

Jessica Rouge, Assistant Professor talking with Ph.D. student Josh Santiana in her research lab in the Chemistry building on Nov. 29, 2017. (Sean Flynn/UConn Photo)

A new drug delivery system that uses a synthetic-biological hybrid nanocapsule could provide a smart technology for targeted treatment of a variety of serious diseases at the genetic level.

The hybrid offers a way to correct diseased cells at the genetic level – while at the same time leaving healthy cells alone – to increase the effectiveness of treatments and reduce unwanted side effects.

“There’s no one-size-fits-all delivery system,” says Jessica Rouge, assistant professor of chemistry at UConn, and author of a new paper on the technology in Bioconjugate Chemistry. “The beauty of this system is that it is programmable, modular, and has the ability to rapidly integrate diverse peptide sequences. It can be tailored to combat new disease challenges as they emerge.”

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UConn Chemistry in Motion at Science Salon Junior Event

UConn Chemistry lecturer Dr. Clyde Cady directed several dozen budding scientists through two interactive demonstrations of “Electrons in Motion” during last month’s Science Salon Junior event. Science Salon Junior, held during UConn’s 2017 Family Weekend, featured exciting experiments for children ages 5-12. Throughout the event, Cady and Greg Bernard, CLAS Director of Alumni Relations, led a team of chemists that included Associate Professor Dr. Mark Peczuh, graduate students Svetlana Gelpi and Xudong Wang, and undergraduate student Shahan Kamal. In one demonstration, Salon Junior participants electroplated zinc onto copper pennies and then “brassed” them by heating them in a flame. In the other demonstration, students prepared solutions and observed the phosphorescence of a ruthenium (III) bipyridine complex. As the lights went out to observe the phosphorescence, one participant quipped, “Now I see the light!” Cady’s perspective on the event is equally profound, reflecting, “I hope we illuminated the power of chemistry for our young scientists and polished their interest in STEM so that it was just as bright and shiny as the brass pennies we made.”

These fun, kid-friendly demonstrations were part of the inaugural Science Salon Junior program, an off-shoot of UConn’s successful Science Salon events.

 

Photos courtesy of the UConn Foundation & Dr. Mark Peczuh

Professor Flavio Maran Wins Baizer Award

Flavio MaranProfessor Flavio Maran, who leads the Molecular Electrochemistry and Nanosystem Group at the University of Padova and is a Research Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Connecticut, is the new winner of the Manuel M. Baizer Award, awarded by the Electrochemical Society (ECS), which is the largest electrochemical society. The Baizer Award (Manuel Baizer was a great chemist and foremost internationally recognized authority in organic electrosynthesis) was established in 1992 to recognize individuals for their outstanding scientific achievements in the electrochemistry of organics and organometallic compounds, carbon-based polymers and biomass, whether fundamental or applied, and including but not limited to synthesis, mechanistic studies, engineering of processes, electrocatalysis, devices such as sensors, pollution control, and separation/recovery. Prof. Maran will give his Award Lecture in May 2018, at the 233rd ECS Meeting in Seattle, Washington.

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Fishing for New Antibiotics

Kim Krieger, UConn Communications

Two potent antibacterials found in fish do their dirty work in unexpected ways, report UConn chemists and colleagues in a paper accepted by the FEBS Journal. The research could point the way to entirely new classes of antibiotics.

Fish suffer from bacterial infections just like humans do. It’s an especially tough problem for farmed fish, which live in close quarters where sickness can spread quickly. Fish farmers know that adding copper sulfate to the water reduces bacterial disease, but they haven’t understood why. Now, a team led by chemists from UConn has discovered that fish make antibacterial peptides that bind to copper and use it as a weapon to slay bacteria.

Peptides are small molecules, made from the same stuff as proteins but much shorter. Biologists knew that these fish peptides, called piscidin-1 and piscidin-3, were antibacterial. But it took a chemist to figure out the copper connection.

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Meet Dr. Alexander Gorka

Alexander GorkaWhen Dr. Alexander Gorka began college at Monmouth University, he did not originally intend to pursue a degree in Chemistry. Instead, he was enrolled as a criminal justice/forensic science major. As time went on, he came to realize that he most enjoyed the physical sciences courses and that a degree in Chemistry would provide the broadest opportunities. This was solidified through undergraduate research, where he “caught a glimpse of just how fun and rewarding it can be to challenge yourself with your own questions and ideas.” Hence, a chemistry career was born.

Upon graduation, Dr. Gorka moved to Washington, D.C., to earn his Ph.D. under the guidance of Prof. Paul Roepe at Georgetown University. Dr. Gorka then completed a Cancer Research Training Award (CRTA) Postdoctoral Fellowship with Dr. Martin Schnermann at the National Cancer Institute. In Fall 2017, Dr. Gorka joined the faculty at the University of Connecticut (UConn) as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry.

Dr. Gorka is excited to both teach and to launch his research lab at UConn: “What drew me to this career was that there’s never a dull moment. Things are fun, crazy, terrifying, and fulfilling, all at the same time.” Dr. Gorka is most looking forward to mentoring students—helping them to form their own paths and careers—and exploring new ideas in his research lab. His goal is to answer important questions, do impactful science, publish high-quality articles, present at conferences, build networks to collaborate, and “be as good a mentor to [his] students as [he] can be in helping them achieve their goals.” Continue reading

Job Posting: Academic Assistant 3 – Mass Spec

The Department of Chemistry, in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, is accepting applications for a full-time manager (Academic Assistant 3) to run the Mass Spectrometry Laboratory. This is a hands-on position that involves training graduate students, performing service and custom analyses, and operating, maintaining and repairing instruments, as well as helping the upgrading of mass spectrometry instrumentation.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITES

  1. Operate all mass spectrometers in the Chemistry Mass Spectrometry facility.
  2. Conduct all upgrades and performance maintenance of all mass spectrometers in the facility, perform small repairs, and coordinate outside engineering repair services.
  3. Maintain operation logs, data storage, and reservation systems.
  4. Train students to use mass spectrometry instruments.
  5. Provide service analyses and develop new MS services to meet the needs of faculty and customers.
  6. Provide assistance in the writing of internal and external grant proposals involving mass spectrometry.

The position reports directly to the Department Head. The Facility Manager is expected to work closely with a Committee/Faculty Director of the MS Facility to coordinate on operation, training, maintenance, and upgrading of mass spectrometry instrumentation.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

Candidates must have a Ph.D. in chemistry with a concentration in mass spectrometry and at least one year of post-graduation experience. Must have strong knowledge and experience with MS instrumentation using all modern ionization methods and HPLC-MS hyphenation techniques. Excellent communication skills with a diverse clientele are required.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS

Should have strong knowledge and experience with MS instrumentation using all modern ionization methods and HPLC-MS hyphenation techniques. Experience with QqTOF-MS, QqQ-MS, GC-MS, MALDI-TOF MS and related methods. Experience with hardware performance maintenance, instrument troubleshooting, and repair. Experience with the analyses of small molecules, biomolecules, and polymers.

APPOINTMENT TERMS

This is an eleven month, annually renewable position, with full benefits. Salary is commensurate with experience with starting salary in the range of $75-90k.

TO APPLY

To apply, please visit UConn Jobs online application system at: https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/9767. For full consideration, upload a cover letter, detailed CV, service statement including service philosophy, service experience, lab management plans, commitment to effective service, concepts for new method development, etc. and names and contact information for three professional references. Review of applications will begin immediately and will remain open until the position is filled. Please include the search number 2018059 with all correspondence.

Employment of the successful candidate is contingent upon the successful completion of a pre-employment background check. (Search # 2018059).

All employees are subject to adherence to the State Code of Ethics which may be found at http://www.ct.gov/ethics/site/default.asp.

The University of Connecticut is committed to building and supporting a multicultural and diverse community of students, faculty and staff. The diversity of students, faculty and staff continues to increase, as does the number of honor students, valedictorians and salutatorians who consistently make UConn their top choice. More than 100 research centers and instates serve the University’s teaching, research, diversity, and outreach missions, leading to UConn’s ranking as one of the nation’s top research universities. UConn’s faculty and staff are the critical link to fostering and expanding our vibrant, multicultural and diverse University community. As an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity employer, UConn encourages applications from women, veterans, people with disabilities and members of traditionally underrepresented populations.