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Essential Elements

February 5, 2016

Clairbourne Smith, Class of ’64, Steps Down from DSU Board after 28 Years of Service

UO Chemistry and Biochemistry alum Claibourne Smith was presented with the honor of trustee emeritus as he attended his last regular meeting as a member of the Delaware State University Board of Trustees on Jan. 21, 2016.  Dr. Smith received his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Oregon in 1964.


Posted by Leah O'Brien

Alum Roger Voelker weighs in on the future of Oregon’s cannabis cuisine

As lab director of Oregon Growers Analytical, Roger Voelker, PhD 1996, analyzes marijuana for quality control and harmful substances.

With edible cannabis products preparing to move into the state’s recreational market later this year, Voelker discusses the testing challenges and shortfalls in regulations established by OR Senate Bill 3460 in an article for the Daily Emerald.

Read more at:

Posted by Leah O'Brien
February 3, 2016

Upcoming Physical Chemistry Seminar ~ Lutz Maibaum

Poster Maibaum

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BIC Major Caitlyn Fields to Present at McNair Symposium February 10th

UO Biochemistry major Caitlyn Fields will present her research at the 2016 McNair Scholars Symposium on Wednesday, February 10th, at  2pm in room 72 PLC. 

Every February, the University of Oregon celebrates the research achievements of its McNair Scholars during the McNair Symposium. These achievements are made possible by faculty mentors who guide Scholars through scholarship activities and help prepare them for the challenges and culture of graduate school.

McNair Scholars participate in paid summer research internships in their fields of study. During the internships, students are involved in original research culminating in a presentation of their findings. Held winter term, the McNair Symposium provides a public forum for students to share their work with peers, mentors, faculty and staff, family members, and the general public.

Caitlyn’s presentation is titled “Investigating Fundamental Cluster Chemistry: VT-NMR Studies of the Flat Ga13 Cluster at Multiple Concentrations.”  Her mentors are Darren W. Johnson, UO Chemistry and Biochemistry, Anna F. Oliveri, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Chemistry, UC Davis and William H. Casey, Chemistry, UC Davis.



Group 13 metal clusters have been of interest in both materials chemistry and geochemistry because they are naturally occurring and make excellent precursors to thin films for various devices, such as solar cells and laptops. Unfortunately, the solution dynamics of these clusters are not well known; therefore a solution study of these clusters may give insight to both the naturally occurring mechanism of synthesis as well as assist in finding more efficient ways to manufacture the clusters for use in devices. Oliveri et al. identified simple and unique 1H-NMR spectra for gallium species clusters, making it possible for this study to characterize them even further with kinetic and thermodynamic data. Variable Temperature Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (VT-NMR) spectroscopy experiments were carried out on the Ga13 and Ga7In6 clusters in an effort to extract the μ2 int proton peak expansion. The rate constant k was extrapolated from the FWHM of this peak. The change in entropy and enthalpy of the transition states were calculated using k and the Eyring equation.

Geri Richmond calls for Global Science Engagement

Geri_Richmond_BlogPicAs she closes out a one-year term as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, UO Chemistry and Biochemistry faculty Geri Richmond is issuing a call for greater international research cooperation in addressing world problems.

Read her article in the January 29th edition of Science magazine.

Posted by Leah O'Brien
February 2, 2016

Upcoming Organic/Inorganic Seminar ~ Ronald Zuckermann

Poster - zuckermann

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February 1, 2016

In Memoriam – Professor Emeritus Raymond Wolfe, 1920-2015

Wolfe_1UO Chemistry and Biochemistry Professor Emeritus Raymond Wolfe passed away on December 24, 2015.

Professor Wolfe joined the University of Oregon Chemistry faculty in 1956, where he taught and conducted research for 34 years before retiring in 1990. A lifelong advocate of open dialogue and community activism, in his retirement Wolfe hosted his own weekly television program, titled “In the Public Interest,” on local Public Access TV.

He is remembered as “a father, a teacher, a scientist, and a social activist who worked throughout his life to make the world a better place.”  Read more in the Register Guard


Posted by Leah O'Brien
January 29, 2016

Susan Cooper Chosen for ARCS Award

photo Susan CooperUO Chemistry and Biochemistry graduate student Susan Cooper has been selected to receive the 2016 ARCS Foundation Josselyn Family Scholar Award.

The Achievement Rewards for College Students (ARCS) Foundation of Portland is one of sixteen ARCS Foundation Chapters nationwide.  Portland’s ARCS Foundation members are women philanthropists committed to advancing science in America. The chapter seeks to support and nurture young American women and men in doctoral programs as they prepare to take on current and future scientific and medical challenges. In February of 2015, ARCS Portland announced that the University of Oregon Department Chemistry and Biochemistry and Department of Biology had been approved for funding support from the chapter. Susan Cooper and Katja Kasimatis (Biology) are the first UO recipients of ARCS awards. The $18,000 unrestricted awards are payable over three years, at $6,000 per year.

Susan is a third year doctoral student in the labs of professors Jim Hutchison and Darren Johnson. She grew up in San Diego, California, and earned her undergraduate degree in Chemistry at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. After graduating, she spent several years working at Bio Architecture Lab, Inc., developing methods to turn macroalgae, or seaweed, into fuels and chemicals.  Her experience working in a research environment lead her pursue an academic degree that would enable her to continue to do research at an advanced level.  She was surprised and excited to be chosen for the ARCS Foundation award, which will assist her as she continues to work toward her degree.

Susan finds inspiration in learning about the world from a chemical perspective, examining molecules and interactions. Her current research in the Hutchison and Johnson labs involves studying a new green synthesis of iron oxide nanoparticles for a wide variety of applications – in media devices, water purification systems, as contrast agents for MRI imaging.  Studying how these materials form, and working to increase the precision of that process, can result in better performance in applications.

After earning her PhD, Susan hopes to start her own company, using her science to solve environmentally relevant problems.


Read more about ARCS awards and scholars at:


by Leah O’Brien

Organic/Inorganic Seminar Today ~ Seth Rasmussen

Poster - Rasmussen-Seth

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January 28, 2016

Upcoming Physical Chemistry Seminar ~ Daniel Crawford

Poster Crawford

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