Welcome to Chemistry
Message from the Chair
Dear Students, Parents, Alumni, and Friends.
Welcome to the Department of Chemistry at Georgia State University, where student success is our goal.
We are a strong and growing program offering the B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. In a recent ranking by phd.org, GSU’s Chemistry program is ranked #42 using a combination of all five parameters listed (National Research Council Quality Measure, Research Productivity, Student Outcomes, Student Resources, and Diversity).
We have a very dynamic faculty conducting cutting edge research at the interface of chemistry and biology. Such research activities are funded by prestigious national agencies such as the NIH, NSF, American Heart Association, etc. Many of our faculty are world-renowned experts in their own field; and serve on review panels at agencies such as the NIH and NSF, on the editorial board of various journals, and as officers in various professional societies such as the American Chemical Society. The Department has two Regents' Professors, Drs. Dave Boykin and David Wilson, two Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholars, Drs. Binghe Wang and Peng George Wang, and seven Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Cancer Scientists, Drs. Irene Weber, Markus Germann, Binghe Wang, Zhen Huang, Donald Hammelberg, and Aimin Liu. The Department is also home to the editorial offices of one book series entitled "A Wiley Series in Drug Discovery and Development," and two journals, Heterocyclic Communications and Medicinal Research Reviews. The latter journal was ranked #1 in Impact Factors (10.7) this year among 59 medicinal chemistry journals worldwide and #6 among 261 pharmacology- & pharmacy-related journals.
The Chemistry Department also boasts top-rated facilities in support of our research and teaching efforts, which include 6 high-field NMRs, 6 mass spectrometers including LC-MS, GC-MS, electrospray and MALDI MS, and high-resolution capability, and 4 surface plasmon resonance (SPR) instruments. Routine instruments include fluorometer, ICT, UV/vis, IR including total reflection IR, CE, HPLC, fluorescent microscope, etc. Instrumentation shared with the Biology Department includes environmental rooms as well as a centralized DNA and peptide synthesis and analysis facilities
Our high-quality faculty is devoted to teaching and working with both undergraduate and graduate students. Currently more than 600 undergraduate Chemistry majors are enrolled. Our Undergraduate Office, with Dr. Barrow as its Director and Dr. Harden Associate Director, is designed to be more than just a place for academic advisement. We want to be your home department and shepherd you through your challenging undergraduate years. The campus-wide pre-med advisor, Dr. Keith Pascoe, is a faculty member in the Chemistry Department. We would like to encourage you to take full advantages of his availability in Chemistry and get help from him early in planning your pre-med courses and packages. We also have Dr. Davon Kennedy, who devotes a substantial amount of his time to advising minority students. Overall, we have put mechanisms in place to help our undergraduate students succeed.
The Department has more than 120 graduate students as part of our dynamic graduate and research programs. Teaching and research assistantships are available to qualified graduate students. A limited number of fellowships including the Ambrose Pendergrast Fellowship, the David Withers Boykin Graduate Fellowship in Medicinal Chemistry and the Solvay Fellowship are awarded by the Department to outstanding Ph.D. students. In addition, approximately 10 graduate assistantships at $22,000 are offered in MBD (molecular basis of disease) and BB (brains and behavior) areas. We provide rigorous trainings for our graduate students, which prepare them for the real world. Job opportunities for our graduates include industry, government agencies such as the CDC, and academic institutions.
We welcome inquiries, questions, and suggestions and look forward to seeing you on the GSU campus.
Professor and Chair
Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar
25th Annual SERMACS at Georgia State University
Atlanta Biacore / MicroCal User's Day
48th Annual Southeast Regional ACS Undergraduate Research Conference
Chemistry professor’s work described in a prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) publication
When two proteins differ just by one electron, what would be the structural consequence? Recently, a graduate student, Ms. Fange (Katherine) Liu, a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences, has provided a remarkable answer. The human nuclear iron protein Pirin is present in all tissues but its biological function was unknown until a new paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) describing Ms. Liu's work. In its resting ferrous (Fe2+) state, Pirin is predictably inactive. Upon stimulation and oxidative stress, however, the oxidized ferric (Fe3+) Pirin changes its structure and binds to the transcriptional factor NF-κB proteins. The resulting protein complex binds and activates specific stress-related genes to initiate anti-oxidative signaling cascades. The ferric Pirin has just one more electron than the ferrous Pirin, yet over 22% of the total 290 amino acids change conformations at one side of the protein and thus Pirin becomes activated in signaling transduction. The function of Pirin is not only illuminated by the dissertation work of Ms. Liu and her fellow colleagues in Dr. Aimin Liu's laboratory, the regulation mechanism to the primary signal transduction signaling is also revealed, and yet, it is surprisingly simple, elegant, and efficient.
Ms. Liu is a graduate fellow of the Center for Diagnostics and Therapeutics (CDT). The Liu Lab in the Department of Chemistry and CDT has recently made a few strides in the metalloprotein and free radical research field (http://chemistry.gsu.edu/Liu.php), resulting in three consecutive publications in the National Academy of Sciences' journal known as PNAS this spring through direct submissions. The story highlighted above is one of them and it has the promise to fuel future breakthroughs in the fields of metalloprotein-based sensors and signal transduction regulations.
Two New Lecturers Join Chemistry Team
Two new Lecturers have been hired starting Fall Semester, 2013. They are Dr. Nilmi Fernando and Dr. Elina Stroeva. Dr. Fernando earned her PhD from Georgia State University under the supervision of Chemistry Professor Lucjan Strekowski (now retired) in 2011. Since then, she has served the Chemistry Department as Visiting Lecturer (Spring Semester 2012) and Organic Chemistry Laboratory Coordinator (FY 2013). However, Nilmi’s primary interest is teaching and that has led to her to the position of Lecturer. The other new Lecturer is Dr. Elina Stroeva who earned her PhD in Chemistry in 2004 from the Russian Chemical-Technology University. She held faculty positions in Russia before coming to the United States in 2009. She has worked at ABC Compounding Co. as a Chemist since 2009 and has also served as a Part Time Instructor of Chemistry a Georgia Perimeter College, Dunwoody Campus, since 2011. Like Dr. Fernando, Dr. Stroeva is deeply committed to a career in teaching chemistry at the college level. We welcome these two enthusiastic Lecturers to the Department and look forward to the future.
2013 Chemistry Department Annual Honors Coffee
award recipients was a highly competitive process involving input from the Department Chair, the Undergraduate and Graduate Directors, the Awards Committee, and Chemistry Department Faculty and Staff. The Honors Coffee, which was presided over by Profs. Stuart Allison and Kathy Grant, began when the Best Overall University Scholar Award was presented to Ekaterina M. Stroeva. The event culminated with two Chair's Awards, given to Arpana Chaudhary and Dengchao Wang by Prof. Binghe Wang. Dr. Alexander Spring received the Graduate Award for Outstanding Research at the Doctoral Level and Best Overall Chemistry Graduate Student. The recipient of the Best Overall Chemistry Undergraduate Student Award was Cecil Conroy. All awards winners were presented with commemorative certificates designed in-house by Mr. Will Lovett. Ms. Natasha Pike prepared a continental style breakfast buffet and was on hand to take photographs of the event.Georgia State University Chemistry students took a break from studying for their Spring 2013 final exams by attending the Chemistry Department’s Annual Honors Coffee held on April 26th. Faculty and staff were honored to present research, teaching, and service awards to many deserving undergraduate and graduate chemistry students. Selection of this year’s
Chemistry Department and Center for Diagnostics & Therapeutics Welcome Dr. Jun Yin, Associate Professor
Dr. Yin comes to us from the University of Chicago. He received his Bachelor Degree in Chemistry at Peking University, his Master’s Degree in Chemistry at Rutgers University and his Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of California in Berkeley. In 2011 Dr. Yin received the Catalyst Award from the Chicago Biomedical Consortium and Searle Foundation and the NSF Faculty Early Career Development Award. In 2006 he received the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation New Faculty Award. Dr. Yin has a very strong chemical biology program. His research is focused on developing chemical probes and engineering enzymes to label and image cellular proteins, elucidating signal transduction pathways mediated by ubiquitin modification of cellular proteins, and expanding the substrate scopes of NRPS enzymes for the biosynthesis of natural products with diverse structures. He was recently awarded an NIH R01 grant through NIGMS to continue his research. Dr. Yin is in the process of setting up his Lab and will join us on August 12, 2013.
Dr. Donald Hamelberg Honored with 2012-2013 College of Arts & Sciences Outstanding Junior Faculty Award
The Chemistry Department is pleased to announce that Dr. Donald Hamelberg was named Outstanding Junior Faculty member by the Dean and the 2012-2013 College of Arts & Sciences Executive Committee, recognizing his many contributions to our department and university in the few years he has been with us as a professor. The department is pleased to celebrate Dr. Hamelberg's service here at GSU and grateful to the Dean for bestowing these well-deserved honors upon him.
Neil Renfroe Receives 2012-2013 College of Arts & Sciences Outstanding Junior Staff Award
Dean Long and the College of Arts and Sciences Staff Executive Comittee recognized Chemistry Grants and Contracts Officer Neil Renfroe for his excellent and tireless work on behalf of the department, college and university at large. Neil was honored at a champagne reception and Honors Night celebration to mark his many contributions to the university community. Please join us in thanking and congratulating Neil for his efforts!
Dr. Jenny Yang Named Distinguished University Professor
Georgia State University Mark. P. Becker and Provost Risa Palm recently designated Dr. Jenny Yang as a Distinguished University Professor in recognition of her exemplary record in research, scholarship and student mentoring. The university created the appointment this year to honor and encourage faculty demonstrating excellence in education significantly above that expected of their rank. The Chemistry department could not be more pleased to count Dr. Jenny Yang as a colleague and joins the President and Provost in thanking her for all her many contributions.
Georgia Science Olympiad
Science Olympiad Tournament. On February 16th about 300 Georgia middle school students from 21 teams competed in a full day competition involving 23 events organized and led by faculty, staff, and students from the science departments at GSU. In addition, about 200 parents, teachers, and coaches were on campus to guide and watch the students competing. This year’s event was extremely successful and a high level of competition was provided for and by the students.
Special thanks goes out to the Science Olympiad organizers: Keith Pascoe, Joan Mutanyatta-Comar, and Angela Navarro-Eisenstein (Chemistry); Brian Thoms and John Evans (Physics &Astronomy); Johhny Truong and Danielle Reid (Student Assistants).
ACS-MAC Graduate School Reality Check
The Department of Chemistry is Greatly Saddened by the Passing Of
Dr. David Downing Hamilton Jr.
July 30,1950 - December 2012
Dr. Hamilton obtained a BA in English from the University of California at Berkeley in 1972. He arrived at GSU as a postbac student in 1984, working as a student assistant and then as a graduate assistant, obtaining his PhD in Chemistry from GSU in 1997, under the direction of Dr. Harry Hopkins.
Since then, David has continued to work in the Department of Chemistry as a Lab Coordinator, Visiting Lecturer & most recently as an Academic Professional. His unexpected passing has left a hole in our program and in our hearts.
We will try to pass along any additional information regarding services etc… as it becomes available.
Professor Phillip Sharp, Nobel Prize Winner in Medicine, to Speak at Georgia State University
Dr. Sharp, winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work in the discoveries of split genes, will speak to the public at Georgia State University on May 8th at 10:30 AM in the Urban Life Auditorium. A world leader in molecular biology and biochemistry, Dr. Sharp is Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His laboratory has now turned its attention to understanding how RNA molecules act as switches to turn genes on and off (RNA interference). These newly discovered processes have revolutionized cell biology and could potentially generate a new class of therapeutics. He shared the Nobel Prize with Richard J. Roberts of New England Biolabs. They were honored for work in split genes RNA splicing. This event is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, Georgia State University, and the Chemistry Collaboration, Workshops & Communities of Scholars program.
23rd Enzyme Mechanisms Conference, joining a list of world-renowned speakers including many members of the National Academy of Science. Congratulations!It is a great pleasure to announce that Professor Aimin Liu will be giving an invited talk at the
Professor Gadda received a major NSF grant in addition to his NSF CAREER award. Congratulations!It is a great pleasure to announce that
MBD Research Award Winners
Professor Mark Germann's group) won second place for his oral presentation. Two of our students also the poster competition: Ms. Shirlene Jackson Beckford (Professor Dabney Dixon's group) came in first and Mr. Weixuan Chen (Professor Binghe Wang's group) won second place. Congratualtions to all!MDB day was this past Friday, June 17, and we are proud to announce that Mr. Alex Spring (
2CI Cluster Hire
Dr. Suri S. Iyer will be joing the Chemistry Department faculty later this year as part of the Second Century Initiative (2CI). This is excellent news, and more information will be posted soon.It is our pleasure to announce that
Dr. Maged Henary's ACS-PRF proposal has been well received and is scheduled for the final recommendation for funding at the September meeting. This is excellent news! Please congratulate him!
Dr. David Wilson, has moved from an ORISE Fellowship to a CDC position. Please congratulate her!It is our pleasure to announce that Ms. Denise Tevis, a recent MS graduate under the direction of
ACS Undergraduate Scholar Award
Dr. David Wilson's group, has been named and ACS Undergraduate Scholar in a national competition. Please congratulate her!It is our pleasure to announce that Ms. Michelle Womack, an undergraduate Chemistry major in
Dr. Giovanni Gadda's group, has been awarded a travel award from the organizers to attend the 17th International Symposium on Flavins and Flavoproteins. Please congratulate her!It is our pleasure to announce that Ms. Crystal Smitherman, a PhD student in
Dr. Yujun George Zheng, has been awarded a one-year American Heart Association Pre-Doctoral Fellowship. Please congratulate her!It is our pleasure to announce that Ms. You Feng, under the direction of
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