The Virginia Tech Department of Chemistry has a rich history, a strong international reputation, and a bright future. Our curricula provide the educational foundation for all Virginia Tech science and engineering students. Our undergraduate and graduate degree programs prepare society's future scientists. Our alumni are gainfully employed in the industrial, government, and academic sectors.
Santos Receives Funding to Develop Sustainable Reactions
(Jan. 15, 2014) Professor Webster L. Santos recently received a $390,000 three year grant from the Chemical Catalysis Program of the NSF Division of Chemistry and IUPAC to develop novel catalyst systems that utilize earth abundant metals such as copper. The international collaborative effort with Professor Todd B. Marder (Universität Würzburg, Germany) and Professor Yao Fu (University of Science and Technology, China) combine theoretical and experimental expertise to examine the reactivity of copper boryl complexes and cross-coupling reactions in water with the goal of replacing rare, expensive, and toxic transition metal catalysts. (more on Santos…
Amanda Morris Receives DOE Award to Study Solar Energy Storage
(Dec. 6, 2013). Prof. Amanda Morris has received a DOE grant in the amount of $450,000 over three years for fundamental research on "Electrochemical and Spectroscopic Investigations of H2O Oxidation by Porous Coordination Network Catalysts." This single-investigator award will enable her to explore the effect of synthetic manipulation on porous coordination network (PCN) catalysts for artificial photosynthesis. Once developed, the complete system will improve the nation's energy profile by providing a means to store solar energy. Thus, Morris's fundamental study has the potential for "unparalleled environmental and economic impacts on a massive scale." (more)
Santos Research Featured in VT News
(November, 2013). Prof. Webster Santos was recently spotlighted for a VT News segment in connection with his NIH-funded research to fight fibrotic diseases. The compound Santos works on blocks Sphingosine kinase, a protein that makes a ubiquitous signaling molecule in the blood of everyone that tells cells to grow, and multiply, and divide. Santos and UVA colleague, Kevin Lynch, have been looking for ways to turn off that mechanism in order to prevent damaging fibrosis. In fact, they “hope to have an investigational new drug in the next two to three years” that will then start FDA clinical trials. Read the full details here
Chemistry Club Receives Honorable Mention!
(October 30, 2013) The Chemistry Department is pleased to announce that our ACS student chapter (Chemistry Club
) will receive an Honorable Mention award for activities conducted during the 2012 – 13 calendar year. Dr. Maggie Bump, who serves as faculty advisor of the chapter, warrants particular recognition for her time and effort in advancing undergraduate science education and mentoring at Virginia Tech. The student chapter will be honored at the 247th ACS National Meeting
in Dallas in March.
Dorn Discovers Evidence for Metallofullerene Creation
(October 2013) Professor Harry C. Dorn and colleagues have reported the first experimental evidence that supports the theory that a soccer ball-shaped nanoparticle, commonly called a buckyball, is the result of a breakdown of larger structures rather than being built atom-by-atom from the ground up. These spherical carbon molecules show great promise for use in medicine, solar energy, and optoelectronics. (More on Dorn...