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News & Events

ACS on Campus!

The Chemistry Department recently joined with the American Chemical Society to host an event called ACS on Campus.  We kicked off the program with a networking session and happy hour at Tonic the night before.  The next day, participants attended a series of seminars designed to help researchers in such areas as publishing a paper, determining a career path and how to effectively communicate their science.  The event was geared toward preparing graduate students, post-docs and tenure-track faculty for the professional hurdles they face in their careers. The focus areas included: how to earn grant funding, fellowships, and awards; effective use of research tools like SciFinder® and ACS journals online; finding a job and publishing in top journals.

Attendees said that they found the sessions very informative, and they were glad they took part.  Also, they really enjoyed the food!  We look forward to many more successful ventures with ACS in the future.


Faculty News

Jan. 2014: Dr. Akos Vertes's team will receive up to $14.6 Million to Investigate Biological and Chemical Threats. Read on in this article from GW Today. 

Dec. 2013: Dr. Akos Vertes is named a 2013 Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. Read on in this article from GW Today.

Sept. 2013: Dr. Stuart Licht and Baochen Cui are mentioned in an article in this month's C&EN Magazine! You can read "Molten Electrolyte-Air Battery Debuts" here.

Feb. 2013: Dr. Adelina Voutchkova is making great strides in Green Chemistry! Dr. Voutchkova and her lab group are mentioned on the CCAS website for their strides in "exploring ways to design safe chemicals that are biodegradable and not harmful to mammals." You can read more here.

Feb. 2013: Dr. Stuart Licht and Baochen Cui have an article in this month's Green Chemistry! You can read "Critical STEP advances for sustainable iron production" here.

Feb. 2013: Congratulations to Catherine Woytowicz, Professorial Lecturer in Science Policy in the Elliott School for being named the recipient of the Writing in the Disciplines Best Assignment Design Award. The Awards Committee noted that as "A longstanding supporter of the WID program, Professor Woytowicz's course materials meticulously stage and carefully support students in science policy writing."

Feb. 2013: The Capital Chemist has published an article about Dr. Akos Vertes receiving the Chemical Society of Washington's Hillebrand Prize. The article can be read online here. Congratulations again Dr. Vertes!

Dec. 5, 2012: Dr. Akos Vertes has been selected as this year's winner of the Chemical Society of Washington's Hillebrand Prize! The Hillebrand Prize is one of the oldest awards given to chemists and is the highest honor awarded by the local section of the American Chemical Society. Dr. Vertes is receiving this award for his innovative work in discerning fundamental processes in MALDI and Electrospray Mass Spectrometry and their applications in proteomics research and in vivo imaging.

Nov. 1, 2012: The November issue of Nature Chemistry, a journal of the Nature Publishing Group dedicated to chemistry, reports on the recently published subcellular analysis work of Dr. Vertes and his lab in the article "Metabolites on the inside". Congratulations to Dr. Vertes, Jess, Bindesh and Getachew on this recognition.

Oct. 6, 2012: Dr. Vertes and his lab are in print for the fourth time this year. Dr. Vertes, Jess, Bindesh and Getachew have written an article entitled "Direct Observation of Subcellular Metabolite Gradients in Single Cells by LAESI Mass Spectrometry" and it will be featured on the back cover of Angewandte Chemie International Edition. The paper demonstrates subcellular analysis based on the combination of cell dissection and LAESI mass spectrometry.

Sept. 19, 2012: Dr. Stuart Licht's solar research made the news in GW Today! The article discusses the grant awarded to Dr. Licht for his research of "solar cement". You can find the article here.

Sept. 1, 2012: Dr. Stuart Licht’s solar research has been awarded a 4 year, $1.69 million National Science Foundation grant for “Sustainable co-synthesis of cement and fuels.” Descriptions of this new solar process are here.

In this research, rather than electricity, solar energy efficiently drives synthesis of useful chemicals and fuels with zero carbon footprint. GWU expert co-PIs on the project are Drs. Teng (carbonate geochemistry), El-Ghazawi (high performance computing modeling), Peter LaPuma (Life Cycle Assessment) and Sabrina McCormick (sociological barriers to implement green technologies). This grant is in addition to Dr. Licht’s  (with co-PI Dr. Chris Rhodes) ongoing National Science Foundation Grant “Multi-electron electrochemical energy storage,” and a grant with the USAF to develop multi-electron batteries will commence in 2013. Descriptions of the related record storage capacity batteries can be found here.

Great news for Dr. Miller and his lab! A new award from the National Science Foundation was made on August 16, 2012 entitled,  "Chemical Morphology of Carbonaceous Particulates and Their Precursors in Diffusion Flames".  This award is in addition to one made last summer entitled, "EAGER: Raman Analysis of Thermophoretically Sampled Soot Particulate."  This makes a total of around $350K of current funding from  the CBET program at NSF for the Miller laboratory.

Dr. Miller states that with the new award " we will be expanding our arsenal of laser diagnostics to include a development model of a NKT Photonics , mid-infrared, super continuum source. (These "white light lasers" provide a powerful beam that is spatially coherent while providing a broad range of wavelengths.) This pre-commercial system will provide us unique capabilities for measurements of species concentrations in flames (and in the atmosphere).  NKT has generously agreed to share this technology with us in exchange for our help in developing and promoting sensors and sensing strategies based on its unique capabilities.  In addition, we will be acquiring a modular interferometer system that will enable us to analyze absorption signals from this new mid infrared source as well as our recently acquired visible/near infrared supercontinuum source."

"Both of these grants target an understanding of the early chemistry that leads to particulate formation during combustion.  "Soot" particles have some desirable characteristics during combustion- specifically radiation transfer of energy that is important in heat exchange.  However, carbonaceous particulate that escapes combustion systems have well know deleterious properties including increases in respiratory ailments in urban areas, cancer-causing potential, and impact on climate change.   In addition, the molecules involved in this chemistry, Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons, may be the most abundant carbon-containing molecules in the universe, and our work on their optical properties and chemical physics is often cited by the astrophysics community."

  • Congratulations to Dr. Vertes, who was recognized by The Scientist as one of the top 10 innovators of 2011!  Also mentioned is former grad student Dr. Peter Nemes.
  • Congratulations to Dr. Christopher Cahill! He and co-principal investigators Bill Briscoe (Prof. of Physics) and Jerry Feldman (Prof. of Physics) have won a $300,000 award from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Their proposal was titled, "The Science of Nuclear Materials: Development of a modular, laboratory-based curriculum to explore the properties of nuclear materials." They will be working with Doug Shaw (Associate Dean-ESIA).

The team intends to develop a series of hands-on, laboratory based courses aimed at instilling fundamental scientific principles regarding nuclear energy issues to non-technical individuals. Target audiences will eventually be nuclear policy professionals, non-science majors and other stakeholders in the nuclear arena. GW is uniquely situated to 'bridge the gap' between technical and non-technical individuals considering our strength in both nuclear science and policy. The team intends to produce entirely new curriculum offerings as well as to develop of an exceptional instrumentation suite for teaching efforts.  See this article for more details on the project.

This award recognizes undergraduate, graduate and professional teaching at GW


Student News

March 2013: Congratulations to Camille Titzell for winning 1st place in her category at the DC STEM science fair! Camille also won a 1st place award from the US Public Health Service and 2nd overall. This means that Camille will be presenting again at the International Science Fair in Phoenix, AZ! Camille has been working with Professor Dowd and the Dowd Research Group.

March 2013: Congratulations to Kevin Hays who is the latest winner of an ARCS (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists) Scholarship!

Feb 2013: Congratulations to Gail Clements for being named the “Cosmos Scholar”! The Trustees of the Cosmos Club Foundation have approved a grant of $2,000 in support of her research proposal entitled The Design and Synthesis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Proteasome Inhibitors. Gail Clements is a member of Professor Dowd's Research Group.

Feb 2013: Congratulations to Gail Clements for winning a travel award from the Chemical Society of Washington! Gail is a member of Professor Dowd's Research Group and the recipient of a $500 CSW Student Travel Award.


ARCS® Scholars Selected

Congratulations to Jason Lau, who was selected as a 2012-13 ARCS® (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists) Scholar.

Congratulations to the Vertes Lab! Jess, Bindesh and Getachew have written an article entitled "Direct Observation of Subcellular Metabolite Gradients in Single Cells by LAESI Mass Spectrometry" and it will be featured on the back cover of Angewandte Chemie International Edition. The paper demonstrates subcellular analysis based on the combination of cell dissection and LAESI mass spectrometry. The article is scheduled to come out in October, 2012


Jessica Stolee wins 2012 Chorofas Foundation Award

Congratulations to Jessica for being named the 2012 winner of the Chorafas Foundation Award from GW.  We all share congratulations to this outstanding doctoral student.

The Swiss based Chorafas Foundation awards scientific prizes world-wide to doctoral students who are under 30 at the time of application for outstanding work in selected fields of engineering, computer science, medicine, and the natural sciences.  The aims are to reward exceptional performance, encourage significant future contributions to science and technology, and help in completing a higher degree and/or significant research project.  The research must have practical application (a theoretical study will not qualify), and students must have considered the long-range implications of their current work.