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Chemistry Welcomes Our Newest Alumni

We are honored and delighted to announce the following Chemistry degree recipients, on the occasion of Boston College’s 134th commencement on 24 May 2010.

Ph.D. in Chemistry

Joseph William Arico
3-Substituted Purines: Methodology, Synthesis, and Studies of DNA Hydration in the Minor Groove
Advisor: Professor Mary F. Roberts

Eric Fort
Developing Methods for Growing Single-chirality Carbon Nanotubes and Other Aromatic Systems
Advisor: Professor Lawrence T. Scott

Yunmi Lee
Site- and Enantioselective C-C and C-B Bond Forming Reactions Catalyzed by Cu-, Mg-, Zn-, or Al-based N-heterocyclic Carbene Complexes
Advisor: Professor Amir H. Hoveyda

Xiaomeng Shi
Phosphatidylinositol-specific Phospholipase C: Conformational Changes Upon Membrane Binding
Advisor: Professor Mary F. Roberts

M.S. in Chemistry

Kyoko Mandai
Willis A. Martin, IV

B.S. in Chemistry

May 2010

Kenneth Aruda
Amy Calhoun
Carolyn Cardaropoli
Meaghan Cells
John Conway
Dayna Currie
Christopher Demaras
Landon Durak
Timothy Hennessey
Nicholas Homsy
Jacob Ishibashi
Danielle Lasher
Larry Leng
Kaitlin Lerner
Biorn Maybury-Lewis
Samantha Motta
Christopher Nauser
Catherine Nuccio
Laura Regan
Michael Ryan
Timothy Siegert
Marie Solman
Austin Travis
Julian Vastl
Eric Yang
Lisa Yates

B.S. in Biochemistry

May 2010

Marcus Basiri
Angelo Cangaliosi
Jamie Cheng
Nicole Ciccolo
Michael Conti
Lauren Fackler
Edmundo Feris
Emily Funk
Grace Galatowitsch
Rabih Geha
Jost Reed
Fernando Liquido
Alexander Luer
Marcin Maziarz
Gergory Murray
Ruben Mylvaganam
Sean Pruell
David Puleo
Rachel Riccardi
Sarah Stuart
David Terwilliger
Brian Trepanier
Erin Wolf

Dr. John Kozarich receives ACS Award

Dr. John W. Kozarich, chairman and president of ActivX Biosciences in San Diego, received the 2009 Distinguished Scientist Award from the American Chemical Society San Diego Section in October 2009. Dr. Kozarich was recognized for his work to identify protein kinase and protease targets for screening drug candidates. He received his B.S. degree in Chemistry from Boston College in 1971.

Alumni Spotlight

Dr. Michael Kurylo '66

Dr. Michael Kurylo began his scientific career at Boston College earning a Bachelor of Science degree in 1966, before completing his PhD at Catholic University just 3 years later. Winner of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s International Ozone Protection Award which recognizes “outstanding contributions to the protection of the Earth’s stratospheric ozone” throughout the world, Dr. Kurylo was acknowledged for his leadership role in many aspects of the examination of the relationship between stratospheric ozone depletion and manmade chemicals.

In presenting this award, the EPA lauded Dr. Kurylo as “an extraordinary scientist who was largely responsible for conceiving and executing airborne stratospheric expeditions that linked CFCs to ozone depletion in both the Antarctic and Arctic. He is a world-class expert in photochemistry and kinetics of the stratosphere and upper troposphere and the impact of changes there on the underlying troposphere and on global climate. He was a member of the International Ozone Trends Panel that persuaded DuPont to announce the abandonment of CFCs, which stimulated the rapid development and implementation of alternatives. Dr. Kurylo integrated chemistry findings over the Polar Regions from aircraft-based in situ measurements with the global pictures of ozone and other atmospheric molecules from research satellites to forecast the future evolution of ozone in the stratosphere. This was the basis for predicting how ozone responds to the decreasing atmospheric levels of halocarbons, resulting from the implementation of the Montreal Protocol. One example of the confidence and influence of Dr. Kurylo in persuading action on stratospheric ozone is the 1994 quote from the Guardian saying: ‘Everyone should be alarmed about this...Even if CFCs were phased out at once, it would take until 2060 or 2070 to restore the ozone layer to health - this legacy will be with us for a long time.’ Thanks to the research and influence of Dr. Kurylo, the world is now working to meet that date for ozone layer recovery.”

Currently Dr. Kurylo is a Senior Research Scientist at the Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology Center of the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Spending the majority of his career working at the Department of Commerce National Institute of Standards and Technology, Dr. Kurylo’s laboratory worked to understand the outcomes of “ozone-related and climate related trace gases in the atmosphere.” Moving to NASA in 2004, Dr. Kurylo was program manager of measurement efforts over the Polar Regions among national agencies and international participants to “forecast the future evolution of ozone in the Earth’s stratosphere.”

The EPA award was the latest in a long list of honors Dr. Kurylo has received in recognition of his exemplary work to preserve and protect the environment. These commendations have included numerous NASA Group Achievement Awards, the NASA Exceptional Service Medal and the William T. Pecora Award as a member of the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer Team. He also has served as one of this country’s technical reviewers providing review and/or assessments for the United National Environmental Programme and the World Meteorological Organization.

Alumni Notes

Rick Farrer PhD ’01 is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Colorado State University in Pueblo and Leslie Bishop BS ’90; PhD ’96 is an Associate Professor of Chemistry at Regis College. Elected to the Board of Directors of the American Society of Anesthesiologists for a 3-year term, Sean E. Hunt, MD BS ’74; MS ’76 was recently awarded a Master of Science in Health Care Management from Harvard University. Dr. Hunt is the Medical Director of the Dartmouth Ambulatory Surgery Center in Manchester, NH and an Assistant Professor at Dartmouth Medical School. His oldest son Christopher is currently an undergraduate at BC ’12.

Jianhong Hu PhD ’94 is a Senior Staff Engineer at Motorola Mobile Device. Kenneth Gonsalves MS ’74 is the Celanese Acetate Distinguished Professor of Polymer Chemistry at the Department of Chemistry & Cameron Applied Research Center, University of North Carolina, Charlotte. Qiang Wang PhD ’08 is an Associate Professor at Lanzhou University, Gansu, China.

Dr. Susan Bevers, BCC, Ph.D., 1999

Dr. Susan Bevers, who received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Boston College in 1999, passed away suddenly on 10 September 2008. She did her graduate work in Chemical Biology with Professor Larry McLaughlin at Boston College and her post-doctoral work with Professor John Essigmann in the Department of Biological Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. While at MIT, Dr. Bevers and two colleagues won the prestigious MIT 50K Competition, the leading business entrepreneurship competition in the world. Her research in the biological chemistry of DNA and RNA at the Merkert Chemistry Center provided the foundation for her prize-winning work at MIT. Dr. Bevers also co-founded the company Genigma. Dr. Bevers will be greatly missed by her colleagues and friends. Donations in her memory may be made to one of her favorite places – the Milford Humane Society at 289 West Street, Milford, MA 01757. A lover of cats, Dr. Bevers volunteered her services there for many years.

Dr. Vikki Tsefrikas interviewed by Science

Dr. Vikki Tsefrikas was recently interviewed by Science magazine for the article “Industrial Postdocs: The Road Less Traveled,” which takes a look at industrial post-doc careers. Dr. Tsekrikas received her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry in 2007 with Professor Larry Scott. She is currently a postdoctoral research associate at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals in Waltham, Massachusetts. To read more, please go to:
Science magazine article: Dr. Vikki Tsefrikas

Dr. Anthony Bryk Named President of Carnegie Foundation

Dr. Anthony S. Bryk has been named president of The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and will assume his new post in August 2008. Dr. Bryk received his B.S. degree in Chemistry from Boston College in 1970 and his doctorate in measurements and statistics from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He has had a distinguished career in higher education and has held the Spencer Chair in Organizational Studies in the School of Education and the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University since 2004. Dr. Bryk was formerly Marshall Field IV Professor of Urban Education in the sociology department at the University of Chicago, where he led significant efforts in urban school reform. His current research interests focus on organizational redesign of schools and school systems and the integration of technology into schools to enhance teaching and learning.

The Carnegie Foundation announcement quoted David S. Tatel, the chairman of the Carnegie Board, and a United States Circuit Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, stating that Dr. Bryk "has a tremendous ability to think and act across disciplines and to bring together theory and practice. I have no doubt that he will maintain Carnegie's rigorous intellectual standards, while further advancing its national presence."

The Chemistry Department at Boston College is dedicated to training the next generation of scientists and leaders. Our mission is to develop the spirit of scientific inquiry and to lead with it. The undergraduate program in Chemistry encourages students to develop the analytical thinking and problem-solving skills that provide the key tools for strong and effective leadership. Our alumni excel in industry and academe and contribute to society.

Established in 1905 by industrialist Andrew Carnegie, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is dedicated to fostering positive change and enhanced learning in the nation's schools and postsecondary institutions.

For further information on Dr. Bryk and the mission of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, please see the announcement at http://www.carnegiefoundation.org/news/sub.asp?key=51&subkey=2510.
(January 14, 2008)

Dr. John Kozarich (BC Chemistry ’71) visited Boston College recently as one of the recipients of the 2007 Alumni Award of Excellence. On hand for the September 27 ceremony, Dr. Kozarich spent the following day in the Chemistry Department visiting faculty, presenting a seminar, "Mechanistic Adventures in Nucleotide Binding Space," and attending the department’s Undergraduate Poster Session. Picture below, Dr. Kozarich chats with Bill Wrobel about his poster during the session.

For more information on Dr. Kozarich, please see the following site.

Dr. Peter B. Dervan, the Bren Professor of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology, has been named one of eight recipients of the 2006 National Medal of Science. The award was announced Monday, July 16, by the White House.

The National Medal of Science honors individuals for pioneering scientific research in a range of fields--including physical, biological, mathematical, social, behavioral, and engineering sciences--that enhances our understanding of the world and leads to innovations and technologies that give the United States its global economic edge. The National Science Foundation administers the award, which was established by Congress in 1959.

Dervan, a former chair of CalTech's division of chemistry and chemical engineering, has influenced the course of research in organic chemistry through his studies at the interface of chemistry and biology.

A native of Boston, Dervan earned his B.S. in Chemistry from Boston College in 1967, and his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1972. He was a postdoctoral fellow for a year at Stanford before arriving at CalTech as an assistant professor in 1973.

Dervan has pioneered a field of bioorganic chemistry with studies directed toward understanding the chemical principles for the sequence-specific recognition of the genetic material, DNA.  He and his coworkers have combined the art of synthesis, physical chemistry, and biology to create synthetic molecules with affinities and sequence specificities comparable to nature's proteins.  This chemical approach to DNA recognition underpins the design of programmable cell-permeable small molecules for the regulation of gene expression.

Dervan is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, a foreign member of the French Academy of Sciences and the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina.  His awards include the Harrison Howe Award (1988), Arthur C. Cope Award (1993), Willard Gibbs Medal (1993), Nichols Medal (1994), Maison de la Chimie Foundation Prize (1996), Remsen Award (1998), Kirkwood Medal (1998), Alfred Bader Award (1999), Max Tishler Prize (1999), Linus Pauling Medal (1999), Richard C. Tolman Medal (1999), Tetrahedron Prize (2000), Harvey Prize (Israel) (2002), Ronald Breslow Award (2005), and the Wilbur Cross Medal (2005). In 1990, Dervan was selected as the prestigious University Lecturer at his alma mater, the Chemistry Department at Boston College. Dervan also received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from BC in 1997.

He has been a member of the Scientific Advisory Boards of Gilead Sciences since 1987, and the Robert A. Welch Foundation since 1988, and has served as a director of Beckman Coulter since 1998.

The National Medal of Science is presented annually by the President. Dervan and the other seven recipients will receive their awards at the White House on 27 July.

Dr. Bridget McCarthy was recently named Vice President of Chemistry at Surface Logix. Dr. McCarthy was an NIH postdoctoral fellow with Professor Amir Hoveyda in the mid-1990s and also collaborated with Professor Marc Snapper. She was also with Pfizer for ten years.

BC chemistry major Gregory W. O'Neil, class of 2002, has been awarded an Alexander von Humboldt fellowship to pursue postdoctoral research in Germany. Greg was an undergraduate research student at BC with Professor L. T. Scott and completed his Ph.D. degree in 2006 at the University of Colorado under the direction of Professor A. J. Phillips. As a von Humboldt Fellow, he will be working in the lab of Prof. Alois Fürstner at the Max Planck Institute in Mülheim.

Robert F. O’Malley had an enormous influence on the development of the Chemistry Department at Boston College. To honor his leadership and vision, the Chemistry Department has established the Robert F. O’Malley Visiting Scholars Program. This Fall, two distinguished young scholars, Professors Nicola Pohl of Iowa State University and Timothy Lian of Emory University, visited the department to present lectures and to interact with the Chemistry community.

A BC Triple Eagle, Bob achieved his three degrees from the University in absolutely unique fashion. Born in Framingham, Mass., Bob arrived at the Heights in 1935 as an undergraduate student. After receiving a B.S. degree in Chemistry in 1940, Bob worked for a short while for a local paint manufacturer before becoming an officer in the U.S. Army’s Chemical Warfare Service in India during World War II. After the war, Bob enrolled in the graduate chemistry program at Boston College, which at the time offered only an M.S. degree. A year before he completed his Master’s in 1948, graduate student O’Malley was hired to teach chemistry at Boston College to help handle the overflow of veterans returning to school on the G.I. Bill. In the 1950’s as a young faculty member, O’Malley was the principal driving force behind the creation of the doctoral program in BC’s Chemistry Department. During this same period of time, O’Malley enrolled in MIT’s doctoral program and earned his Ph.D. in chemistry in 1961, three years after the first class of chemistry Ph.D. candidates was enrolled at Boston College. Bob returned to join the faculty at BC and to pursue teaching and research on electrolytic fluorination of organic molecules. Bob served as chair of the Chemistry Department a number of different times and was most proud of “being instrumental in acquiring the faculty members we have.” The biochemistry major was created during one of his terms as chair in the early 1970s. Bob was beloved by generations of General Chemistry students as a teacher and by his Alma Mater as a leader who made things happen. Boston College bestowed its highest distinction, an honorary Doctor of Science Degree, at commencement in 1988, the year of Dr. O’Malley’s official retirement. As Professor Emeritus, Bob taught at the university until 1992 and continued supervising laboratory courses until 1996, ending a 61-year association with Boston College.