After 11 years as the Business Manager at the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History, Charlene Fuller came to the Department of Chemistry during a period of great excitement: construction of the “new” Chemistry Building was nearing completion. Through this time of many changes, projects in the Main Stockroom remained constant. Although Charlene’s original role within the Department outlined other responsibilities, she was attracted to the Main Stockroom manager position when the previous manager announced his retirement.
In short order, Charlene expertly managed the operation of the Main Stockroom. Charlene’s first project involved computerizing the Main Stockroom with management software and bar code technology. Using these new tools, Charlene created a building-wide chemical inventory database system where data was collected in various formats, standardized, and housed safely. Continue reading
Professor Dan Fabris joined the UConn Department of Chemistry in January 2020 as the Harold S. Schwenk, Sr. Distinguished Chair. Below, Professor Fabris reflects upon his first year at UConn and his plans for the future.
Please describe your academic training and career before UConn.
Growing up near Venice (Italy), I knew from an early age that I wanted to be a scientist. My high school was a “liceo scientifico” with wonderful teachers who nurtured my love for the natural sciences. After completing my studies at University of Padova (Italy), I sought a postdoctoral position abroad to gain more experience and further prepare for a career in academia. My plans were to return to Italy after a couple of years and to parlay this experience into a faculty position in a research institution. Almost thirty years later, only the latter was realized, whereas the former faded away. I was first accepted as a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. C. Fenselau’s laboratory at University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), where I later became part of the research staff. After my mentor moved to a different institution, I was given the opportunity to become a faculty member and to establish my laboratory at UMBC, where I rose through the ranks. I was later recruited by University at Albany (SUNY) to become one of the founding members of the RNA Institute, before moving to UConn in January of last year. Continue reading
The Rouge Group’s research focuses on the improving the delivery of RNA and DNA into cells. Recently, the news has focused on the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, which are designed to deliver mRNA into cells to encode the viral proteins that the immune system needs to recognize and fight off infections. In a similar fashion, the Rouge Group has been developing nanocarriers designed to maximize the delivery of short RNA and DNA molecules into cells that can silence genes involved in disease pathways. The greatest challenges surrounding the delivery of these molecules into cells is their chemical instability (i.e. RNA can only last a few minutes in cells and must be stored at ultra-cold temperatures prior to use) and our ability to get the RNA and DNA to the right cell types. Continue reading
Meet Assistant Professor Kerry Gilmore, an organic chemist who strives to gather and share reproducible data through automated, multi-step flow chemistry systems.
Growing up in an oceanside Cape Cod town, a young Kerry Gilmore first went to college to study marine biology. However, upon taking a chemistry course during his sophomore year at Roger Williams University, Gilmore realized that chemistry was his true passion. “The more that I did chemistry, the more I loved it,” Gilmore says. “It was more complex and involved more of these layered problems you needed to figure out, and that was just really attractive to me.” That same year, Gilmore became involved in undergraduate research, studying organic synthesis and biology. Gilmore ultimately switched majors and graduated with a dual degree in chemistry and biology. Continue reading
Six researchers from the University of Connecticut and UConn Health have been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) this year. Election as an AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers.
This year 489 members have been awarded this honor by AAAS because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. Continue reading
Classrooms and teaching labs were emptied in late Spring 2020 because of public health measures to counter COVID-19. In response to a call for papers in April by the leading journal in chemical education, the ACS Journal of Chemical Education, chemistry educators from around the world chronicled their response to rapid changes in teaching modalities that resulted from the disruption associated with this global pandemic in a special issue, “Insights Gained While Teaching Chemistry in the Time of COVID-19.” Two groups of our faculty contributed to this endeavor of sharing experiences, innovations, and best practices.
In “Teaching Chemistry in the Time of COVID-19: Memories and the Classroom,” Assistant Professor in Residence J. Dafhne Aguirre and Associate Professor in Residence Fatma Selampinar detailed their experiences teaching general chemistry in the time of COVID-19. The publication compares the challenges, teaching strategies, laboratory methods, and discussion methods used by two different instructors teaching a three-semester chemistry course. (Read full publication)
Assistant Professor in Residence Kiet Tran, Lecturer Anwar Beshir, and Lecturer Abhay Vaze presented in “A Tale of Two Lab Courses: An Account and Reflection on the Teaching Challenges Experienced by Organic and Analytical Chemistry Laboratories During the COVID-19 Period” four shared challenges in the transition to the online format: experimental implementation, assessments and postlab activities, technological inequalities, and synchronization of student attendance. (Read full publication)
In a recent Journal of Chemical Education article, Assistant Professor in Residence J. Dafhne Aguirre and Associate Professor in Residence Fatma Selampinar detail their experiences teaching general chemistry in the time of COVID-19. The publication compares the challenges, teaching strategies, laboratory methods, and discussion methods used by two different instructors teaching a three-semester chemistry course.
Read Full Article: “Teaching Chemistry in the Time of COVID-19: Memories and the Classroom”
Matthew Howell (Advisor: Dr. Angeles)
Arlene Bartolome (Advisor: Dr. Lin)
Chinthani Madduma Liyanage (Advisor: Dr. Adamson)
Marvin Naing (Advisor: Dr. Angeles)
Jasmin Portelinha (Advisor: Dr. Angeles)
Jon Smolen (Advisor: Dr. Hren)
Connecticut Chemistry Research Award
Lei Jin (Advisor: Dr. He)
Outstanding Service and Research Award
Reuben Bosire (Advisor: Dr. Kasi)
Excellence in Service Award
Ina De La Fuente (Advisor: Dr. Rouge)
Gillian Macusi (Advisor: Dr. Pinkhassik)
Bobbitt-Chou Graduate Summer Research Fellowship
Jason Buck (Advisor: Dr. Mani)
Welcome Dr. Kerry Gilmore and Dr. Stephanie Rugg to our faculty!
Kerry joins us as an Assistant Professor from the Max-Planck Institute for Max for Colloids and Interfaces in Berlin, Germany, where his most recent position was Research Group Leader. He earned his PhD at the University of Florida and will continue his innovative research program in flow chemistry in Storrs.
Stephanie, an Assistant Professor in Residence, was previously teaching at Vassar College. She is an organic/organometallic chemist with a PhD from the University of Rochester. Her strong interest and expertise in chemical education complements our team at the Stamford campus.
We are thrilled to have been able to add both to our faculty! Continue reading