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March 30, 2020

2020 Departmental Undergrad Scholarships – Apply by April 22, 2020

Photo: "Puddles," UO Duck MascotWe are happy to announce the availability of several departmental undergraduate scholarships. There are two separate applications for the awards. The application deadline for all scholarships is Wednesday, April 22, 2020.

The Faith Van Nice and Kuntz-Swinehart scholarships recognize outstanding academic and research achievements by undergraduate chemistry and biochemistry majors. Funds will be made available for the 2020-2021 UO academic year. More information about these scholarships can be found on our website. Eligibility: Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 on a scale of 4.0 (or similar grade assessment). Application process: One application is used for both the Faith Van Nice and Kuntz-Swinehart scholarships. Click here for the application instructions. Please email your application materials to Leah O’Brien,

The P-Chem Undergraduate Fellowship provides funding for students to conduct research during the summer in a physical chemistry lab at the University of Oregon, under the mentorship of a physical chemistry faculty member. Eligibility: Open to undergraduate students at the University of Oregon and from other undergraduate institutions that meet the following  eligibility criteria: minimum 3.0 GPA; U.S. citizen; must be returning to the UO or home institution the term after the fellowship; may not be paid to conduct research through other internal UO research support programs during the same fellowship period. Application process: Students apply online for the P-Chem Undergraduate Fellowship. Fellowship details and application instructions are available online at

New this year: The Bailis Undergraduate Fellowship provides funding for undergraduate students to conduct research during the summer in a chemistry or biochemistry laboratory at the University of Oregon, under the mentorship of a Chemistry and Biochemistry department faculty member. Faculty are asked to submit nominations for the award. No application is necessary on the part of the student.

The submission deadline for all departmental undergraduate scholarship applications is Wednesday, April 22, 2020. Scholarship awards will be announced near the end of May.

If you have questions regarding the application process, please contact Leah O’Brien by phone (541) 346-4839 or by email at


Chemistry Rotation Talks: O-I-M Group – March 31st and April 2nd & 3rd

March 4, 2020

Dissertation Defense – Will Storck, March 6th

photo - Will StorckGood luck to Will Storck as he defends his thesis for his PhD in Chemistry!

Friday, March 6, 2020
3:00 PM in 220 Deschutes  

The title of his thesis is Characterization of LSD Complex Function, Histone Exchange, and Regulation of a Tryptophan Catabolism Gene Pair in Neurospora crassa”

February 25, 2020

Check out the latest edition our annual department newsletter!

Catch up with faculty, student, and alumni news & awards – plus our Klamath 3rd floor remodel!

February 14, 2020

Dissertation Defense – Ryan Holly, February 21st

Good luck to Ryan Holly as he defends his thesis for his PhD in Chemistry!Photo: Ryan Holly

Friday, February 21, 2020
10:00 AM in 220 Deschutes

The title of his thesis is “Defining the molecular mechanisms that govern Par-3 mediated polarization of the Par-complex”

January 15, 2020

Dissertation Defense – Sean Cleary, January 22nd

photo: Sean ClearyGood luck to Sean Cleary as he defends his thesis for his PhD in Chemistry!

Wednesday, January 22, 2020
1:30 PM in 220 Deschutes 

The title of his thesis is “Fourier transform analysis for the characterization of mass heterogeneity of intact protein complexes using Native mass spectrometry

December 11, 2019

Special Issue of JCE features contributions by Haack, Hutchison & Ginzburg


Photo: Hutchison, Ginzburg, Haack, JCE Cover

L-R: Jim Hutchison, Aurora Ginzburg, Julie Haack

Chemistry educators from around the world have contributed articles to the Journal of Chemical Education now collected in a special issue on systems thinking, and green and sustainable chemistry.

Papers in the issue are intended to be the inaugural global reference point for literature on systems thinking in chemistry education that will lead to further understanding about the interdependence of the components of systems at work for chemistry learners, and the application of systems thinking to green and sustainable chemistry education.

Guest Editors for the issue were Peter G. Mahaffy, Felix M. Ho, Julie A. Haack, and Edward J. Brush.  The issue contains the following contributions authored by UO Chemistry and Biochemistry faculty Julie Haack and Jim Hutchison, and alumna Aurora Ginzburg, PhD Class of 2019:

Can Chemistry Be a Central Science without Systems Thinking?
Authors – Peter G. Mahaffy, Felix M. Ho, Julie A. Haack, Edward J. Brush
Cite this: J. Chem. Educ. 2019, 96, 12, 2679-2681
Publication Date: December 10, 2019
Copyright © 2019 American Chemical Society and Division of Chemical Education, Inc.

Systems Thinking and Green Chemistry: Powerful Levers for Curricular Change and Adoption
Author: James E. Hutchison
Journal of Chemical Education (2019), 96, 12, 2777-2783

Experiential Learning To Promote Systems Thinking in Chemistry: Evaluating and Designing Sustainable Products in a Polymer Immersion Lab
Authors: Aurora L. Ginzburg, Casey E. Check, Demetri P. Hovekamp, Alyson N. Sillin, Jack Brett, Hannah Eshelman, James E. Hutchison*
Journal of Chemical Education (2019), 96, 12, 2863-2871 (Article)Subscribed Access (more…)

December 9, 2019

Physical Chemistry Rotation Talks – December 12th

December 3, 2019

Emma Mullen Receives ESPRIT Scholarship

Biochemistry major Emma Mullen is one of four undergraduate science majors awarded a 2019 University of Oregon ESPRIT Scholarship (Experiencing Science Practices through Research to Inspire Teaching).  The UO ESPRIT Scholarships Program is funded by the National Science Foundation through the NSF’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program. Recipients each receive $35,000 in support that includes a two-year scholarship for their senior undergraduate year and the UOTeach Program, a highly focused one-year master’s level teacher licensure program designed to produce highly qualified teachers with advanced instructional and classroom expertise. The ESPRIT Scholarships Program is a collaborative effort between the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Education involving STEM CORE, the Center for STEM Careers through Outreach, Research, and Education, and the Department of Education Studies.

Photo: Emma LLNL Poster Session

Emma presenting her research from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Now in her senior year, Emma says she has always been interested in teaching. In high school, she found herself in the role of informal tutor for a group of classmates, and enjoyed being a part of the “ah-ha!” moment when one of her peers grasped a tricky concept that had eluded them. As a SuperChem Peer Learning Assistant at the UO, Emma continues to build her skills as an educator.

Emma took her first step on the ESPRIT pathway by participating in an ESPRIT-sponsored summer research experience at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California this past summer. During her eight weeks in the Biosciences & Biotechnology Division, she worked on optimizing the crystallization of nanolipoprotein particles (NLPs).This furthered the development of NLPs as a platform for vaccine delivery and for x-ray crystallographic characterization of membrane proteins.

Once she had completed her summer research experience, Emma became eligible to apply for the ESPRIT Scholarship to the UOTeach Program and was selected for the award. Her acceptance was celebrated during a signing ceremony for the ESPRIT recipients at the College of Education on Thursday, November 21st. Prof. Michael Pluth, in whose lab Emma is currently doing undergraduate research, presented her award.

2019 ESPRIT Signing Ceremony at the UO College of Education

Emma plans to pursue the Secondary Education track in her master’s studies, in preparation to teach high school chemistry. She appreciates the opportunity teaching provides to share a subject that she is passionate about.  Learning how things work at a fundamental, nittty-gritty level has always fascinated her and, she explains, “Chemistry does that.  It changes the way you look at things when you begin to think about the world around you on a molecular level. I’m excited to share that.”

After graduating from UOTeach, ESPRIT Scholars go on to teach in a high-need school district for four years. This could take Emma anywhere in Oregon, but she hopes to eventually end up somewhere near her hometown of Portland.


– by Leah O’Brien


November 18, 2019

Dissertation Defense – Bri Gordon, November 25th

Good luck to Bri Gordon as she defends her thesis for her PhD in Chemistry!

Monday, November 25, 2019
3:30 PM – 331 Klamath Hall  

The title of her thesis is “Experimental and Computational Vibrational Sum Frequency  Spectroscopy Studies of Atmospheric Organics and Their Surface Active Hydration and Oligomer Products at the Air-Water Interface”


thesis is

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