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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

In collaboration with colleagues from Auburn University and San Diego State University, Associate Professor Jack Barbera has received funding from the NSF – Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) program. These funds will support development of the CHemistry Instrument Review and Assessment Library (CHIRAL), a web portal designed to build the assessment capacity of chemistry educators.

Associate Professor Jack Barbera has received funding from the NSF – EHR Core Research: Building Capacity in STEM Education Research (ECR: BCSER) program to serve as a professional mentor to the project’s lead Dr. Alena Moon from the University of Nebraska. This collaborative project will build PI Moon’s assessment instrument development and quantitative analysis skills through the creation of a novel concept inventory on light-matter interactions.

Associate Professor Dave Stuart has received funding from the NSF Division of Chemistry under the NSF program Chemical Structure, Dynamics and Mechanism B, to pursue research into the Solution-Phase Dynamics of l3-Iodanes and Relation to Reactivity. The Stuart research group will provide new fundamental understanding of the behavior of diaryliodonium salts in chemical reactions.

Departmental News

Assistant Professor Steve Reichow will serve as co-investigator at the Pacific Northwest Center for CryoEM (PNCC), a state-of-the-art national center for cryo-electron microscopy (CryoEM) that has been established by the NIH to collect and process high resolution CryoEM data and ‘cross-train’ scientists from diverse backgrounds in the theory and practice of single particle CryoEM. Dr. Reichow has over a decade of experience in CryoEM and has been intimately involved with the initial stages of development and implementation of PNCC activities.

Assistant Professor Steve Reichow and Professor Gwen Shusterman were both recognized with 2019 John Eliot Allen Outstanding Teaching Awards from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The awards are named in honor of the Department of Geology's founding faculty member, who taught with distinction at Portland State for more than 35 years.

Associate Professor Andrea Goforth and alumna Anna Brown (Ph.D., 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) and 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.

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

Leroy Sibanda (PhD candidate, Simoyi Group) won the top chemistry graduate student award at Sigma Xi's 2019 annual national conference. He presented research findings on his dissertation work entitled "A Mechanistic Investigation of Peptide S-nitrosation by Nitric Oxide Moieties: Implications for Biological Function".  The award comprises of a commemorative medal, certificate of recognition, a cash prize and Sigma Xi membership. 

Jiries Meehan-Atrash (PhD Candidate, Strongin Group) has been named a 2019 recipient of the ACS Elsohly Award for Excellence in the Field of Cannabis Chemistry. As part of the award, Jiries will receive free travel to the Spring 2020 ACS National Meeting where he will give an invited lecture on his work.

Aleksandra Nilova (PhD candidate, Stuart Group) has been selected to present her work at the American Chemical Society Division of Organic Chemistry Graduate Research Symposium.


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