CAS students at Moonshine University
Chemistry and microbiology students visiting Moonshine University during J-Term 2019
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Hughes Laboratories
The Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry is housed in Hughes Laboratories, which has been renovated over the last decade, has modern classrooms, state-of-the-art laboratories, and one of the largest collections of modern instrumentation in the nation.
Miami is in the "sweet spot" where we offer a personal in the classroom education with opportunities to do cutting-edge research on state-of-the-art instrumentation. 
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From the Chair
Michael Crowder
Greetings Chemistry and Biochemistry Alumni and Friends!
I am writing to tell you about the exciting things that are happening in the department during the second half of 2018. Please have a look at our Department website for informational items.
Faculty members continue to win prestigious awards for teaching, research, and service (see Faculty and Staff News).
After our June 2018 newsletter, we heard from many alumni, and it is wonderful to hear about what they are doing (for more details, see Alumni News). A new part of our Alumni News page is “Alumni Spotlight." Please check it out and if you are interested in being spotlighted, please let me know.
An alumnus gave a Department seminar in the Fall semester: Dr. Gretchen Potts (BS Chemistry 1996) discussed her work at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. Gretchen and three other alumni (Carrie Furnish (BS Chemistry 1999), Greg Neher (BS Chemistry 2012), and Jessica Walpole (BS Biochemistry/Zoology 2015)) spoke to our CHM147 students and shared their experiences with our new majors. Many of our alumni are generous supporters of our programs and students, and they are listed on our Donors page. Thanks to all of you for your continued support of our students and programs.
Like in my last 3 newsletters, I have a special request for all ALUMNI! We are currently building a database of all alumni so that we can contact them and let them know what is happening at Miami. We have a list of over 5,000 alumni! We are using LinkedIn to find our alumni, and this approach is very painstaking. I am writing to ask for your help. We have set up a form on our webpage for you to fill out information. If you know any other alumni, please encourage them to contact us and let us know what what they are doing. I set as a goal to reach 90% of our alumni in 2019, and we cannot possibly achieve this goal without your help.
If you are in Oxford during 2019, please stop by and say hello. We would love to give you a tour of the building and to see you. Please send us an update of what is going on in your lives; you can email me at If you know any alumni, please forward this newsletter to them or ask them to contact us – we would be delighted to hear from them.
We have a department LinkedIn site. If you haven’t already, please join the group. Lastly, we are on Twitter. If you are interested in following us, please go to MiamiOH ChemBiochem (@mu_chem).
We hope that you have a great 2019!
Michael Crowder
Professor and Chair
Student News (see our website) 
Thai Wright
Thai Wright
Tim Abell and Zahilyn Roche Allred have completed the Graduate Certificate in College Teaching. Tim and Zahy are both 4th year doctoral students in the lab of Stacey Lowery Bretz.
Dr. Maia Popova graduated on May 18, 2018 and was hooded by her Ph.D. mentor, Stacey Lowery Bretz. She began her postdoctoral appointment at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln on June 1 in the lab of Dr. Marilyne Stains.
Thai Wright, who works in Rick Page’s lab, was 1 of 50 graduate students selected to attended the ComSciCon National Workshop in Boston, Ma. The workshop was started by graduate students at Harvard in 2012 and has grown - there are now franchised, local workshops across the country. The goal of the workshop is to meet and learn from professional science writers, network with graduate students who are interested in this field, and to learn to explain science effectively to a lay audience. The workshop also exposes us to different types platforms for explaining science - such as comics, journalism, storytelling, K12 education, websites, science ethics, science policy and much more. During the workshop, we had the opportunity to write an article and receive feedback to prepare it for publication.
Callie Miller (Junior, Biochemistry major; French major) was awarded a Provost’s Student Academic Achievement Award. Callie works in Rick Page’s and Mike Crowder’s research groups. These awards were highlighted in the Dean’s Newsletter from September 2018 and in the September 14th edition of Miami Matters.
Four biochemistry majors earned 2018 ASBMB certified degrees. Audrey Short, Daniel Bussell, and Gwendolyn Thomas received degree certification, and Haley Ferguson received certification with distinction. In order to earn an ASBMB certified degree, students must take a nationally-normed exam and score certain percentages. Only 42% of the students who take the exam earn certification, and only 13% earn certification with distinction.
Lasith Kariyawasam (Ph.D. candidate) was awarded a 2018-19 Graduate Students’ Achievement Fund award.
Thai Wright (Ph.D. candidate) was awarded a 2018-19 Graduate Students’ Achievement Fund award.
Joshua Atkinson (junior Biochemistry/Spanish) was awarded a summer Gilman scholarship to attend Miami’s 2019 Summer in Spain program.
Faculty and Staff News (see our website)
Mom the Chemistry Professor book
Stacey Lowery Bretz is featured in the second edition of Mom the Chemistry Professor, which is a project of the Women Chemists Committee (WCC) of the American Chemical Society (ACS). 40 inspirational personal accounts describe the challenges and rewards of combining motherhood with an academic career in chemistry. The authors are all women at different stages of their career and from a range of institution types, in both tenure and non-tenure track positions. The authors include women from different racial and ethnic backgrounds, who became mothers at different stages of their career, and who have a variety of family structures. Aimed at undergraduate and graduate students of chemistry, as well as postdoctoral fellows and early career faculty, these contributions serve as examples for women considering a career in academia but worry about how this can be balanced with other important aspects of life. The authors describe how they overcame particular challenges, but also highlight aspects of the system, which could be improved to accommodate women academics, and particularly encourage more women to take on academic positions in the sciences.
Meredith Erb was awarded the 2018 Mallory-Wilson Center Faculty/Staff Recognition award for her contribution to the education of pre-med students. This award will be presented to Dr. Erb at the Graduating Senior Reception in April 2019.
Ellen Yezierski (2nd from left) with Provost Phyllis Calahan, Jay Smart, and President Greg Crawford
Provost Phyllis Callahan, Ellen Yezierski, Jay Smart, and President Greg Crawford
Andrea Kravats
Andrea Kravats
Hang Ren
Hang Ren
In August 2018, the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry welcomed two new faculty members: 
  • Andrea Kravats (Ph.D. University of Cincinnati 2013; NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, National Cancer Institute [2014-18]) is a biochemist who works on chaperone-assisted protein remodeling.
  • Hang Ren (Ph.D. University of Michigan 2016; Postdoctoral associate, University of Utah [2016-18]) is an analytical chemist who works on electrochemistry at the nanoscale.
I am also sorry to report that Jiangjiang (Chris) Zhu left the department to start a new position at Ohio State University.
Alumni News (see our website)
After our December 2017 newsletter, we heard from many alumni, and it is wonderful to hear about what they are doing.
  • A new part of our Alumni News page is “Alumni Spotlight." Please check it out and if you are interested in being spotlighted, please let me know.
  • Two alumni gave Department seminars in the Spring semester: Dr. Justin Heuser (PhD Chemistry 2013) discussed his work in the chemical industry and Kim Wisman Cosky (MS Chemistry 2008) talked about career opportunities at CoVance.
  • I am sorry to report that Dr. Sean Puckett (Ph.D. 2006) passed away on January 28, 2018 in Manila, Arkansas. Sean earned his PhD while working the lab of the late Gil Pacey.
Many of our alumni are generous supporters of our programs and students, and they are listed on our Donors page. Thanks to all of you for your continued support of our students and programs. 
Alumni Spotlight (see our website)
Recently, we started “spotlighting” alumni who we discovered on LinkedIn or other websites that moved on from Miami and are doing incredible things. If you are interested in being spotlighted, please contact Michael Crowder.
Constance Gorman
Professor Constance (Kluesener) Gorman
(BA Chemistry 1977); MBA University of Cincinnati 1985; Marketing-product development, DuBois Chemicals (1978-1985); Owner, Made in America (1985-1997); Adjunct Professor, University of Cincinnati (2007-present); Author of the Hope Series of books. See her LinkedIn bio.
Hans Grossniklaus
Hans Grossniklaus 
(BA Chemistry, 1976); MD Ohio State 1980; MBA Emory University 2006; Currently, Professor of Opthalmology at Emory University, Editor in Chief WHO Tumours of the Eye; Director of L.F. Montgomery Laboratory, Director of Ocular Oncology and Pathology Service; >500 publications See his bio.
Department News (see our website)
Chemistry faculty and students at the ACS meeting
Chemistry faculty and students at the ACS meeting
Maia Popova and Stacey Lowery Bretz published a paper that was selected for ACS Editor’s Choice. 
One new peer-reviewed research article from any of the 44 ACS peer-reviewed journals is selected to be freely available each day. The selection of these articles is based on recommendations by the scientific editors of ACS journals from around the world. As a service to the global community of researchers, each article honored as “Editor’s Choice” will remain open access for all to download and read.
The title of Maia and Stacey’s paper is “It’s Only the Major Project that We Care About in Organic Chemistry: An Analysis of Students’ Annotations of Reaction Coordinate Diagrams” in the Journal of Chemical Education (DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.8b00153). This is the 2nd paper recognized as “Editor’s Choice” for Stacey Lowery Bretz.
Data on our AY17-18 graduates. Our CDA, Heeyoung Tai, reports each year to ACS about our graduates and our program. She has to compile an enormous amount of data. Below is some information from the report that she filed for our AY17-18 students/program:
  • Total UG degrees: 56 (10 ACS-certified chemistry, 26 ACS-certified biochemistry, 5 non-ACS-certified chemistry, 15 non-ACS-certified biochemistry)
  • Masters degrees: 5
  • PhD degrees: 10
  1. Gary Lorigan, "Investigating Membrane Proteins With Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy.” National Science Foundation $450,000, 7/1/18-6/30/21.
  2. Michael Crowder, Dave Tierney, and Rick Page, " Developing Metallo-Beta-Lactamase Inhibitors.” National Institutes of Health $17,706, 8/1/18-1/31/19.
  3. Richard C. Page, “Triage mechanisms for directing protein refolding and degradation” National Institutes of Health, $1,796,635, 9/1/18-8/31/23.
  4. Rose Marie Ward, Amanda Diekman, Ellen J. Yezierski, and Stacey Lowery Bretz, “IGE: Interdisciplinary STEM Graduate Student Learning Communities” National Science Foundation, $433,997, 9/1/18 – 8/31/21.
  5. Michael Kennedy, "Sample Analysis and Process Research and Development” BASF Corporation, $431,302, 9/1/18-12/31/20.
  6. Susan Hershberger, “GAP WE Engage”, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, $32,177; 8/1/18-1/1/19.
  7. Richard Taylor, “A Strategy for preparing conjugates of complex carbohydrates” Celsus Laboratories, $29,688, 9/1/18-6/30/19.
  8. Rick Page, "Structural Comparison of the Klebsiella Pneumoniae Carbapenemase, KPC-2 and its D179 Variant Interactions with Imipenem, Relebactam, and Ceftazidime; Can We Explain the Mechanism of Resistance?." Cleveland VA Medical Research and Education Foundation from Merck and Co., $53,938, 10/1/18-9/30/21.
  9. Gary Lorigan, "Structure and Genesis of Tau Aggregates.”, National Institutes of Health pass through from Ohio State, $58,205; 11/1/18-5/31/19.
  10. Richard Taylor, “Spectral Studies of Complex Carbohydrates” Celsus Laboratories, $85,128, 10/1/18-9/30/19.
  11. Dominik Konkolewicz, "Chemistry Early Career Investigator Workshop." National Science Foundation, $80,901, 12/15/18-11/30/19.
  12. Neil Danielson, Andy Sommer, and Hang Ren, "Trace metal analysis using digital microscopes”, Miami University Student Tech Fee, $4,782; 12/1/18-5/31/19.
  13. Neil Danielson, Jason Berberich (co-PI), Cathy Almquist (co-PI), “Anion exchange resins for perfluorinated chemicals” EPA, $14,999, 12/1/18-11/30/19.
  14. Hang Ren, “Ultrafast, low-noise electrochemical test system for single molecule measurement for Miami students” Miami University Tech Fee, $31,872, 12/1/18-5/31/19.
  15. Hang Ren, “Electrochemically controlled synthesis of catalytic metal particles” CFR grant: SRA, RGA, GPR. $32,000, 2019-20.
  16. Dave Tierney, “Magnetic Resonance of Spin-crossover materials” CFR grant: RGA. $24,000, 2019-20.
We would like to thank our donors from the second half of 2018. Gifts to the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry have a direct impact on the daily lives of students in a number of ways. Your gifts support undergraduate scholarships, graduate student fellowships, seminar series, graduate and undergraduate student travel to conferences, undergraduate research experiences, and outreach activities. 
  • Dr. Joseph A. Abram
  • Dr. Kimberly Bailey
  • Dr. Robert G. Bartolo
  • Ms. Liesl C. Baumann
  • Mr. Charles Beard 
  • Dr. Eric S. Birnbaum
  • Mrs. Suzanne Gerwe Beard
  • Mr. Edward T. Bittel
  • Mrs. Wendy Somerlot Bittel
  • Mr. Dan M. Bratys, Sr.
  • Dr. Richard Bretz
  • Dr. Stacey Lowery Bretz
  • Mrs. Carolyn Janke Burley
  • Mrs. Eileen Mathias Cook
  • Ms. Karen L. Crone
  • Mrs. Deborah T. Crowder 
  • Dr. Michael W. Crowder
  • Dr. John W. Green
  • Mrs. Carol Green
  • Dr. Brad R. Henke
  • Mrs. Suzanne Henke
  • Dr. Susan Hershberger
  • Mr. Charles B. Keach
  • Dr. Carole Ledford Liedtke
  • Dr. Elgene G. Mainous
  • Dr. Christopher A. Makaroff, Jr.
  • Mrs. Patricia M. Makaroff 
  • Mr. Cameron L. McGlone
  • Mrs. Lisa Stein McKarns 
  • Mr. Thomas A. McKarns 
  • Dr. Mary Baker McVey
  • Mr. Brad M. Miesse
  • Mr. Benjamin L. Miller
  • Mr. Graham E. Mitchell
  • Ms. Sharon J. Mitchell
  • Mr. Ronald J. Paget
  • Dr. Alice C. Phillips
  • Dr. David B. Phillips
  • Mrs. Gretchen S. Phillips
  • Mr. Paul S. Phillips, Sr.
  • Dr. Gretchen E. Potts
  • Mr. Robert A. Schilling, Jr.
  • Dr. Serge H. Schreiner
  • Mrs. Carolyn Wilcox Sechnick
  • Mr. David F. Sechnick
  • Mrs. Diana Small
  • Mr. Joseph H. Small
  • Mr. John A. Tallarico
160 Hughes Laboratories • 651 E. High St. • Oxford, OH 45056 
Phone: 513-529-2813 • Fax: 513-529-5715 
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