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What's New in the Chemistry Department

March 30, 2017

Gasson

It has been another exciting and productive year at the Heights! I hope you enjoy an inside look at some of the highlights in the Chemistry Department:

  • This has been a banner year for key discoveries in our department. Louise and James Vanderslice and Family Professor in Chemistry James P. Morken and his group disclosed a new approach to enantioselective formation of key carbon–carbon bonds published in the journal Science. Also in Science, Joseph T. and Patricia Vanderslice Millennium Professor Amir Hoveyda and his team reported on their discovery regarding an efficient way of obtaining carbon–carbon double bonds that carry a chlorine or a fluorine atom. 
  • In two papers in Nature, Professor Hoveyda and his colleagues reported innovative catalytic strategies that should prove instrumental in accessing a wide range of medicinally relevant compounds.
  • Professor Morken received BC's 2016 Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Faculty Teaching/Mentoring Award. Professor Hoveyda received a fellowship award from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.
  • Among notable student achievements, graduate student James Thorne received two Department of Energy fellowships, Ming Joo Koh was named Bristol-Myers Squibb Graduate Fellow in Synthetic Organic Chemistry, and Julia Curley (BS'16) was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. More on these and other students can be found on our website.

In other news, the undergraduate laboratories for organic chemistry were transformed by renovations over the summer to state-of-the-art level facilities. Additions to research instrumentation included an EMXplus EPR spectrometer, which provides crucial support for researchers using free radicals and transition metals with free electrons.  

This year the Chemistry Department welcomes Dr. Jia Niu as our newest addition to the faculty in the area of biological chemistry. Professor Niu will be taking over the laboratory space once occupied by Professor Mary Roberts, who plans to retire after a remarkable 30-year career at BC. We will certainly miss Dr. Roberts and her many contributions to our program, but expect Professor Niu to help fill that void. We are also delighted with the recent promotions of Professors Frank Tsung and Jeff Byers.

Check our website to stay current with the exciting research being carried out in the Merkert Chemistry Center, and visit the alumni page to update us on what you are doing by filling out the BCC Alumni News Request.

Sincerely,

Marc L. Snapper
Chair, Chemistry Department

BC. We will certainly miss Dr. Roberts and her many contributions to our program, but expect

Professor Niu to help fill that void. We are also delighted with the recent promotions of

Professors Frank Tsung and Jeff Byers.