Early stage clinical trial of antimalarial drug begins Enrollment has begun in a Phase 1 clinical trial of a new investigational drug invented in the Peyton Lab and designed to treat malaria.
The Department of Chemistry at Portland State University maintains a teaching program of excellence at the undergraduate level and a graduate program emphasizing cutting-edge research.

Research Funding

Assistant Professor Steve Reichow was selected to receive the 2019 PSU Early Career Research Award. This award is given annually and recognizes research excellence by an early career faculty member at Portland State. 

Assistant Professor Theresa McCormick was named as a recipient of a Vision 2025 Seed Grant. The Vision 2025 seed grants were established by Portland State University President Rahmat Shoureshi as a mechanism for jumpstarting promising new projects on campus.

Associate Professor Mark Woods and a team from the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute at OHSU were recently awarded a grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) to study HIV infection and inflammation in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. This research will investigate strategies for interrupting the pro-inflammatory cycle and restoring GI tract integrity in patients with HIV infection.

Professor Dirk Iwata-Reuyl, together with a team of faculty from the Departments of Chemistry and Biology, was recently awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation for the purchase of a state-of-the-art LCMS/MS system. The instrument will enhance the Bioanalytical Mass Spectrometry Center in the Department by providing access to high resolution MS/MS experiments with a range of ionization conditions, including direct surface sampling.

Assistant Professor Theresa McCormick received funding from the National Science Foundation to develop catalysts for aerobic photo-oxidation reactions. These catalysts will allow oxygen from the air, to be used as an oxidant to reduce both the cost and the amount of waste produced from oxidation reactions. The grant will fund a collaborative project between Portland State University and the University of Buffalo

Departmental News

The Department of Chemistry has collaborated with the Office of Sustainability to offer free collection and recycling of pipette tip boxes. These plastic boxes are ground, melted, and extruded to make pellets that can be used in items made from recycled plastics. Empty tip boxes may be dropped off to the Chemistry Stockroom (SRTC 280) at any time. Only empty tip boxes, not the pipette tips themselves, are recyclable through this program

Drs Dean Atkinson and Theresa McCormick both received the 2018 John Eliot Allen Teaching Award from the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences in recognition of their outstanding work in the classroom. The award is named for the founder of the Department of Geology, who taught with distinction at PSU for over 35 years.

Drs Tami Lasseter Clare and Steve Reichow have just been named recipients of the 2018 Sigma Xi Outstanding Researcher Awards, Dr Clare in the division of Physical Sciences and Dr Reichow in the division of Biological Sciences. 

Robert Strongin

In recognition of his prolific and high-profile work across a range of scientific problems, from fluorescent molecular probes for biological sensing, to new drug candidates for combating heart arrhythmias, to elucidating the mechanism of toxicant production in e-cigarette use, Dr Robert Strongin received the 2018 Portland State University Senior Faculty Research Excellence Award.

More departmental news is available through the University website's news feed; additional items are recorded on our In the News page.

Student & Alumni News

Associate Professor of Chemistry Andrea Goforth and alumna Anna Brown (PhD 2014) recently received a patent for radiopaque bismuth particle polymer composite materials. Dr Brown has licensed the patent to her start-up company, Stark Street Materials Corp (SSMC). Drs Goforth and Brown and another collaborator received an award from the NSF Innovation Corp program for market discovery research. SSMC has also received support from the Portland State University Venture Development Fund for prototyping.

Vimbai Chikwana

Dr. Vimbai Chikwana (Ph.D., 2011) been named the recipient of the  Most Promising Scientist Award by BEYA (Black Engineer of the Year), an organization sponsored by US Black Engineer and Information Technology magazine, the Council of Engineering Deans of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Lockheed Martin. Dr Chikwana will receive the award in February 2019 at the National BEYA STEM Conference in Washington, DC. 

Dr Chikwana was also recently recognized with the Dow Platinum Award, the highest company award for individual achievement at Dow (now Corteva Agriscience). Prior to joining Dow Dr. Chikwana was a Post-Doctoral Scholar at the Indiana-Purdue School of Medicine, a position she began following the completion of her Ph.D. at Portland State.

At its 59th Annual Commencement & Awards Ceremony, the Department presented the following student awards: George S. Hammond Award in Organic Chemistry: Sam Rickenback; Larry D. Vockler Scholarships: Trine Parsons and Manh Pham; Analytical Chemistry Award: Mary Lerner; Clyde Johnson Award: Nate Jansen; Outstanding Graduating Senior: Kimberly Dolan; Alfred S. Levinson Award: Lyndsay Kissell; Paul Emmett Award: Matt Eskew; Carl C. Wamser Student Summer Research Scholarships: Lindsay Peterkin and Hamzah Sawab.

Images from the event on the Department of Chemistry's Flickr feed. Students are invited to share their photos with the Department.

Karley Maier

Karley Maier, a graduate student in the Woods Research Group, has been awarded both a Chen Endowed Fellowship in Science and Math Entrepreneurship and a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship. The Chen fellowship goes to doctoral students who are combining an interest in science and business, while the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines.


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