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News Archive

The archive below contains selected news stories that highlight some of the research and programs in the University of Oregon Chemistry Department.   More recent stories can be found on our department blog, Essential Elements.

2014 – Present

Visit our department blog for the latest UO Chemistry and Biochemistry faculty news!


  • UO Chemistry and Biochemistry Faculty Geri Richmond receives Pittsburgh Spectroscopy Award. Read more
  • The Bumpy Road to More Efficient Energy Sources – Shannon Boettcher lab in the news. Read more
  • Oregon Scientists Offer New Insights on Controlling Nanoparticle Stability  In a project — detailed in the Nov. 27 issue of the Journal of Physical Chemistry C — doctoral student Beverly L. Smith and James E. Hutchison, who holds the Lokey-Harrington Chair in Chemistry at the UO, analyzed how nanoparticle size and molecules on their surfaces, called ligands, influence structural integrity under rising temperatures.  Read more
  • Dr. Tom Stevens elected as AAAS Fellow  Tom H. Stevens, Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, was selected for his contributions in cell biology, particularly for insights into the molecular mechanisms governing protein trafficking in the eukaryotic secretory pathway. Read more
  • Research Professor Receives Grand Challenges Explorations Grant for Global Health and Development Research  Richard Chartoff, research professor in the UO Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Director of the Polymer Characterization and Thermal Analysis Laboratory at the Center for Advanced Materials Characterization in Oregon (CAMCOR), will pursue an innovative global health and development research project. Read more
  • Brad Nolen’s group identifies protein that builds cell’s skeleton  Reporting in the journal Current Biology, Assistant Professor Brad Nolen’s research group has discovered the protein that starts the formation of branched actin filaments, key structures that determine cell shape and function. The protein, Dip1, and other WISH/DIP/SPIN90 proteins, form seed filaments that are then handed off to other known filament regulators. Read more
  • UO Dept of Chemistry and Biochemistry faculty Marina Guenza Organizes Symposium for Fall 2013 ACS National Meeting and Exposition  Professor Marina Guenza served as co-organizer, with Dr. Barbara Capone of the University of Vienna, for the Course-Graining and Multiscale Modeling Symposium sponsored by the Physical Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society at the 246th ACS National Meeting & Exposition, which took place September 8-12 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The event, showcased the state of the art research in the field, with more than fifty talks by scientists from top Universities around the world. Read more
  • UO Chemistry Department Professor Richmond, Appointed Presidential Chair  Dr. Geraldine “Geri” Richmond, who was named last year to the 25-member National Science Board, has been appointed to serve as the UO’s second-ever presidential chair. Read more
  • CAMCOR Celebrates Acquisition of New Research Tool. The Center for Advanced Materials Characterization in Oregon (CAMCOR) inside Lokey Laboratories, acquired a new FEI Helios 600i Dual Beam Focused Ion Beam (FIB) instrument. “The acquisition of this new tool is a testament to the CAMCOR’S tremendous success,” Kimberly Andrews Espy, Vice President for Research and Innovation and Dean of the Graduate School said. “Not only will this new instrument help meet the high demand for this outstanding facility, but it will serve to attract new users, help encourage future acquisitions, and give students the opportunity to learn to use these tools through mentorship by their faculty.” Read more
  • Oregon team charts new understanding of actin filament growth in cells. Professor Brad Nolen’s research group has published two papers describing how the Arp2/3 complex catalyzes the formation of new actin filaments in cells. Reporting in the journals Nature Structural & Molecular Biology and Chemistry & Biology, this work significantly advances our understanding of the fundamental “motor” that drives cellular processes such as movement. Read more
  • Melissa Hale Awarded 2013 Haugland Fellowship. First year graduate student Melissa Hale has been selected as the recipient of the Department’s Rosaria Haugland Graduate Research Fellowship in Chemistry.  Melissa was chosen based on her promise for the  Ph.D. program and on her excellent work in graduate courses, in laboratory rotations, and in teaching. This Fellowship, established by Dr. Rosaria Haugland in 2004, is awarded every three years by the UO Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry to an entering or current first year graduate student in Chemistry.  It covers the recipient’s stipend, tuition, and miscellaneous fees for a three-year period.  Learn more about the fellowship at
  • Undergraduate in the Guenza Lab Featured in UO Student Profiles. Thomas Dannenhoffer, a UO senior majoring in chemistry and physics and minoring in mathematics, writes computer programs for Professor Guenza’s research group, which focused on the dynamics of polymer chains and developing theories for creating materials that are sustainable, recyclable, and efficient. Read more
  • Oregon Chemists Moving Forward with Tool to Detect Hydrogen Sulfide. Reporting in the Journal of Organic Chemistry, researchers in the UO lab of Michael D. Pluth, Professor of Chemistry, describe the development of a colorimetric probe that relies on nucleophilic aromatic substitution to react selectively with H2S to produce a characteristic purple product, allowing for precise H2S measurement.Read more
  • Presidential Research Lecture: At the Water’s Edge. Understanding Environmentally Important Processes at Aqueous Surfaces, to include a welcome from UO President Michael Gottfredson. Lecture will be May 7th at 7:00pm in the Lillis Business Complex, Auditorium 182. Read more
  • Thin Films of Nickel and Iron Oxides Yield Efficient Solar Water-Splitting Catalyst Researchers in the Solar Materials and Electrochemistry Laboratory of Shannon Boettcher, professor of chemistry, studied the catalyst material and also developed a computer model for applying catalyst thin films in solar water-splitting devices as a tool to predict the effectiveness of a wide range of catalyst materials for solar-hydrogen production. The project has resulted in two recent papers. Read more
  • ConfChem Conference on Educating the Next Generation. Read more about the UO’s Chemistry of Sustainability Course in this recent ACS publication. This work was a collaboration between Julie HaackJim HutchisonAndy Berglund, Mark Lonergan, David Tyler and Darren Johnson.
  • Bioinformatics Master’s Opens Doors in DNA Sequencing. “The new master’s program provides cross-disciplinary training to prepare graduates for today’s cutting-edge jobs in biotechnology, medical and pharmaceutical industries,” said Dr. Andy Berglund, an associate professor in the Institute of Molecular Biology. Read more
  • New Courses by UO Professors in Program to Help Schools. A special University of Oregon program will offer a pair of courses for high school students during winter term, augmenting the offerings of local school districts by holding classes on furlough days and other non-instructional days. UO Chemistry Professors Dr. Marina Guenza and Dr. Andrew Marcus will be teaching Advanced Topics in Chemistry 1.


  • UO Chemistry Professor David Tyler would like to dispel some myths about “green” consumerism. David Tyler, chemistry professor, plastics expert, and public speaker helps us make sustainable choices based on facts rather than trends or clever marketing. Read more
  • UO Chemistry Professor Richmond Appointed to National Science Board Geri Richmond, the Richard M. and Patricia H. Noyes Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oregon, has been appointed to the National Science Board, according to a White House announcement. Read more
  • UO Opens the New Lewis Integrative Science Building. Kimberly Andrews Espy, vice president for research, innovation and graduate education, announced, “And now I declare the Robert and Beverly Lewis Integrative Science Building officially open,” as Beverly Lewis, one of the major donors behind the $65 million science building, pulled a lever and released green and yellow balloons on the audience.Read more
  • Dr. von Hippel is the recipient of the 2013 Biophysical Society Founders Award University of Oregon’s Professor of Biophysical Chemistry and Molecular Biology, Dr. Peter von Hippel, will be honored with the Founders Award for establishing the principles which underlie the quantitative study of all protein-nucleic acid interactions. He will be honored at the 2013 Biophysical Society Founders Awards Symposium on Tuesday, February 5, 2013, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • Computer Simulations for Multiscale Systems can be Faster, Better, More Reliable. University of Oregon scientists have found a way to correctly reproduce not only the structure but also important thermodynamic quantities such as pressure and compressibility of a large, multiscale system at variable levels of molecular coarse-graining. Read more
  • UO Chemists’ Catalyst Could Improve Production of Glass Alternatives. University of Oregon chemists have identified a catalyst that could dramatically reduce the amount of waste made in the production of methyl methacrylate, a monomer used in the large-scale manufacturing of lightweight, shatter-resistant alternatives to glass such as Plexiglas. David Tyler, Charles J. and M. Monteith Jacobs Professor of Chemistry, will present his findings Tuesday at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society, Aug. 19-23 in Philadelphia, Penn. Read more
  • UO Chemistry participates in Olympic Trials. During the UO-hosted Olympic Trials, spectators visited the department and got a chance to play with some non-Newtonian fluid, look at radioactive particles and watch explosive chemical reactions by participating in the UO Gold Medal Games. “It’s a tremendous opportunity…it allows people to see the university in a light other than just the athletic side of things. There are some really cool science things going on on this campus,” said Chemistry Professor and Department Head Dr. Mike Haley.
  • Bringing The Chemistry Laboratory to The Winery. Professor Dr. Tom Stevens and University biology researcher Micah Bodner have created their own wine using skills they learned as scientists. Read more
  • Governor’s Green Chemistry Initiative Draws Praise from UO Leadership. “Gov. Kitzhaber’s leadership in advancing green chemistry and promoting its application by the state’s agencies is an important step for Oregon,” said Dr. James E. Hutchison, UO Chemistry Professor and green chemistry pioneer. Read more
  • UO Lands I-Corps Grant to Explore Nitrate Sensors for Agricultural Use. A research team led by University of Oregon chemistry professors Darren Johnson and Michael Haley is among 25 selected for first-quarter 2012 awards from the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program. Award-winning UO researcher, Dr. Shannon Boettcher, ’03 is searching for a planetary game changer:
  • A solar-power storage system that is as smart as your basic dandelion. Read more
  • New measuring techniques can improve efficiency, safety of nanoparticles. Using high-precision microscopy and X-ray scattering techniques, University of Oregon researchers have gained eye-opening insights into the process of applying green chemistry to nanotechnology that results in high yields, improves efficiency and dramatically reduces waste and potential negative exposure to human health or the environment. Read more
  • UO Chemistry Professor Tom Stevens in a collaboration between UO Chemistry and Biology faculty explaining how complex macromolecular machines evolved has been published in the journal Nature. Read more


  • UO Chemistry Professor Michael Haley Elected as AAAS Fellow. Michael Haley, who is also the Chemistry Department Head, is among 539 newly elected 2011 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. Read more
  • University of Oregon chemistry professor Marina Guenza, whose theoretical explorations focus on the structure and dynamics of complex fluids, is among 238 scientists selected as 2011 Fellows by the American Physical SocietyRead more An anti-cancer drug used extensively in chemotherapy binds pervasively to RNA — up to 20-fold more than it does to DNA, a surprise finding that suggests new targeting approaches might be useful, according to University of Oregon researchers. Read more
  • University of Oregon chemists have developed a boron-nitrogen-based liquid-phase storage material for hydrogen that works safely at room temperature and is both air- and moisture-stable — an accomplishment that offers a possible route through current storage and transportation obstacles. Read more
  • Now, with the help of a high-powered transmission electron microscope, Keck grantees at the University of Oregon captured never-before-seen views of miniscule metal nanoparticles naturally being created by silver articles such as wire, jewelry and eating utensils in contact with other surfaces. Read more
  • University of Oregon Chemistry faculty member Dr. Geri Richmond was co-organizer of a recent three-day workshop in Beijing that made history as the first such event to bring together exclusively women chemists from the U.S. and China to share and discuss their work. Read more
  • University of Oregon Chemistry faculty member Dr. Marina Guenza and Doctoral student, Ivan Lyubimov, devised a mathematically rich analytic approach to account for often-missing thermodynamic and molecular parameters in molecular dynamic simulationsRead more
  • Center for Sustainable Materials Chemistry is going to Phase 2 – A collaborative Oregon State University-University of Oregon Center for Sustainable Materials Chemistry, born under a National Science Foundation grant in 2008, is moving into a second phase under a new five-year, $20 million NSF grant. Read more
  • Coupling laser-driven, two-dimensional fluorescence imaging and high-performance computer modeling, a six-member team, led by University of Oregon chemist Dr. Andrew H. Marcus and Harvard University chemist Dr. Alan Aspuru-Guzik, solved the conformation of self-assembled porphyrin molecules in a biological membrane. Read more
  • Dr. Brad Nolen is among 22 U.S. scientists selected for their research potential in the biomedical sciences; he is the second member of the UO’s Institute of Molecular Biology to win the four-year unrestricted Pew Scholar support. Read more
  • Dr. Shannon Boettcher, professor of chemistry and member of the University of Oregon Materials Science Institute, is among the 18 early career scientists selected worldwide to the 2011 class of DuPont Young ProfessorsRead more…
  • Dr. Richmond is among 72 U.S. scientists elected into membership of the National Academy of Sciences. Read more…
  • A UO team of Darren Johnson and Richard Taylor has received a $250,000 “Scialog Fellows” grant from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA).


  • The Lorry Lokey Laboratories, which house a photoboltic solar lab, helps high-tech companies with their research. Read more…
  • In a collaboration between Dr. Ken Prehoda and researchers in the UO Biology Department, a mechanism for stem cell divisions has been uncovered. Reported in the journal Nature, this work explains how stem cell daughter cell size is controlled. Read more
  • Dr. Richmond received the Joel Henry Hildebrand Award in the Theoretical and Experimental Chemistry of Liquids sponsored by ExxonMobil Research & Engineering, Co. This award is intented to recognize distinguished contributions to the understanding of the chemistry and physics of liquids.
  • Dr. Guenza has accepted a three-year term on the 39-member editorial advisory board of the journal Macromolecules, a publication of the American Chemical Society. The twice-monthly journal publishes original research on all fundamental aspects of macromolecular science including synthesis, polymerization mechanisms and kinetics, chemical modification, solution/melt/solid-state characteristics, and surface properties of organic, inorganic and naturally occurring polymers.
  • A primer at the 5th annual Greener Nano Conference. University of Oregon chemistry professor and founding director of Safer Nanomaterials and Nanomanufacturing Initiative (SNNI), Jim Hutchison and postdoctoral research associate in chemistry Lallie McKenzie make pitches for green chemistry in nanotechnology Read more
  • Chemistry Department Professor Visits White House. Geri Richmond, Professor of Physical Chemistry, attended the Dec. 10 meeting of the White House Council on Women and Girls to discuss ways to attract more females into science, math and engineering. Her trip was covered in an Oregonian education blog called Chalk It Up.
  • Congratulations to Chemistry Department Professor David Tyler who was named as the first recipient of the Charles J. and M. Monteith Jacobs Professorship in Chemistry in a ceremony late this afternoon. Read more


  • Chemistry Professor David Tyler receives Research Innovation Award for professional contributions to the intellectual vitality of the University of Oregon and its College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Chemistry Department Professors, Victoria J. DeRose and David R. Tyler, Elected as Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. University of Oregon Chemistry Professors, Victoria J. DeRose and David R. Tyler have been chosen as fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. Fellows are chosen because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. Read more
  • Biochemist Ken Prehoda’s group has discovered how an enzyme directs stem cell polarization during division. Read more
  • A database designed to build community and reduce barriers when adopting green chemistry has doubled in size in the last two years. Read more


  • Theoretical Physical Chemist, Marina Guenza, Provides Focus to Years of Unexplained Behavior of Molecules Moving in Plastics. Read more
  • UO Green Chemistry Projects Receive Award from the Meyer Fund for Sustainable Environment. Read more
  • Physical Chemistry Professor Geri Richmond Receives 2008 Bomem-Michelson Award and has been selected as a 2008 Fellow of both the Association for the Advancement of Women in Science and the Society of Applied Spectroscopy.
  • New nanocluster to boost thin films for semiconductors.