Author: Dizon, Jacqueline

UConn Nation Raises $1,000 for the Bobbitt-Chou Fund

During this year’s UConn Gives, a 36-hour giving initiative March 23-24, members of UConn Nation raised $1,000 for the Bobbitt-Chou Fund for Graduate Chemistry Students! Whether you contributed a gift or helped to spread the word, we want to THANK YOU for supporting impactful graduate research opportunities within UConn Chemistry! 

More information about the UConn Gives Bobbitt-Chou Fundraising effort and the past fellowship recipients can be found here.

American Chemical Society Division of Inorganic Chemistry Travel Award Winner

Congratulations to graduate student Scott Pierce (Angeles-Boza Group) for winning the American Chemical Society Division of Inorganic Chemistry (ACS-DIC) Travel Award. This program supports graduate students intending to present research talks or posters at ACS National Meetings.

Scott will also be presenting in the ACS Spring 2021 (to be held online from April 5 – 30). He will be presenting his work on “Peptide-Ruthenium Conjugate as an Efficient Photosensitizer for the Inactivation of Multidrug Resistant Bacteria.”

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Recipient

Congratulations to graduate student Caroline Donaghy (Angeles-Boza Groupfor being awarded the prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP) recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported STEM disciplines.

Caroline will be working on developing green pesticides using glycopeptides throughout her fellowship.

New Manager of the Main Stockroom

Effective Friday, February 26, Sam Post will move out of the undergraduate teaching laboratory and become the successor of Charlene as Manager of the Main Stockroom. Please join us in welcoming Sam to this new role! Congratulations!

With this, we are looking forward to changes in the protocols and procedures that will be implemented shortly: stay tuned for more information to come! 

The Wolff New Venture Competition and UConn Entrepreneurs

The Wolff New Venture Competition—championed through the UConn School of Business—mentors start-up candidates and awards those who are most likely to advance society with their ideas. Research professor Nicole Wagner ’07 (CLAS), ’13 Ph.D. is regarded as one of the first winners of this competition with her start-up company, LambdaVision. LambdaVision commercializes technology developed by professor emeritus Robert Birge to restore the vision of patients affected by retinal degenerative diseases. Nicole Wagner currently serves as President and CEO and research professor Jordan Greco ’10 (CLAS), ’15 Ph.D. serves as the CSO.

Read more about the Wolff New Venture Competition and how it benefited start-up companies like LambdaVision here.

UConn Startup Unlocking the Promise of Hemp

A lawyer and a chemist get on a plane. This isn’t the start of a corny joke, but of a successful startup.

University of Connecticut chemistry professor Greg Sotzing met attorney Peter Belsito on an airplane coming back to Connecticut from Atlanta. They soon realized they had a common interest: cannabis. During their flight, they discussed Sotzing’s innovative research related to cannabis and its business potential.

With the help of several UConn programs focused on innovation and entrepreneurship, Sotzing, Belsito, and their partners launched 3BC, a startup using pharma-grade processes to isolate THC-free batches of cannabis compounds. Continue reading

Mani Group Paper Published in JACS

A new paper from the Mani Group appeared in the Journal of the American Chemical SocietyJason Buck, a 4th year graduate student, and Dr. Tomoyasu Mani demonstrated a new type of magnetic control of molecular emission. They take advantage of the quantum mechanical nature of radical pairs (pairs of radical anion and cation or molecular qubits) to control fluorescence by using weak magnetic fields and tune the field response range. The results present a new strategy for designing magneto-optical probes for imaging and give insights into molecular designs for spintronics and other molecular spin technology applications.

The research is funded by the Japan Science and Technology Agency, PRESTO, Creation of Life Science Basis by Using Quantum Technology.

For further details, read the paper in JACS.

Dr. James Rusling Among Highly Cited Authors

Paul Krenicki Professor of Chemistry James Rusling ranks among the top 5% of highly cited authors with Royal Society of Chemistry journals in 2019. Specifically, his most cited article, “Automated 3D-printed unibody immunoarray for chemiluminescence detection of cancer biomarker proteins,” received 15 citations in 2019. Collaborators include Chi K. Tang ’16 Ph.D. and Dr. Abhay Vaze.


Royal Society of Chemistry journals include: Analyst, Analytical Methods, Lab on a Chip, and JAAS.

“Hot Paper” Published in Angewandte Chemie

Assistant Research Professor Sergey Dergunov and Associate Professor Eugene Pinkhassik published a “Hot Paper” in Angewandte Chemie. “Hot Papers” are chosen by the Editors for their importance in a rapidly evolving field of high current interest.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/anie.202006793

Dergunov and Pinkhassik used organized environment of self-assembled bilayers to perform two-dimensional RAFT polymerization and uncovered substantial differences in reactivity of building blocks between bulk and bilayer-templated polymerization influenced by their placement and mobility. 

UConn Funds Five COVID-19 Research Projects, Announces Additional Funding

The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) recently announced a new internal funding program to support researchers at all of UConn’s campuses who are using their expertise in fields as diverse as wastewater and chemosensory testing to find novel solutions to help the nation and the world address this crisis. The program will award up to $50,000 to recipients.

The OVPR awarded five awards to researchers from UConn and UConn Health:

James Cole, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Departments of Molecular and Cell Biology, $43,439
Targeting the Endoribonuclease of Coronaviruses
Co-PIs: Mark Peczuh, Chemistry Continue reading