Ehsan Fereyduni Designated a 2019 CAS Future Leader

Grenning Lab rising 5th year graduate studentEhsan Fereyduni is designated a 2019 CAS Future Leader. CAS Future Leaders are “an elite group of Ph.D. students and postdoctoral researchers from around the world that will visit CAS headquarters in Columbus, Ohio and blaze a trail toward scientific leadership.? The Department of Chemistry congratulates Ehsan for his excellent Ph.D. work and imaginative thinking that has resulted in this honor!

Robin Kemperman – Named UF’s Outstanding Graduate Student of 2019

Robin is a Ph.D. Candidate in the department of chemistry and works under the direction of Dr. Yost. He was chosen for the Outstanding Graduate Student Award by the Graduate Student Council at UF for the year of 2019. This award is only awarded to 2 out of roughly 17,000 UF graduate students annually for outstanding academic contributions and services to the graduate school. Robin has mentored several graduate and undergraduate students on a variety of projects. In addition, he has collaborated on a number of projects resulting in over 35 scientific contributions, including publications, presentations, posters, and an international patent application. He also has served as a committee member on the UF student conduct board, graduate student council representative, and journal club coordinator.

Christopher Brewer Receives UF Graduate Student Mentoring Award

Christopher Brewer has been honored with the UF Graduate Student Mentoring Award. This award is presented by the UF Graduate School and all graduate students at UF are eligible. Brewer is a fourth year graduate student in the McElwee-White lab. During his time here he has mentored two undergraduate students (Olivia Hawkins and Nicholas Sheehan) and two graduate students (Hanwen Liu and Courtney Sparrow). To Chris, mentoring others is a very rewarding part of his graduate career here.

New Faculty Hire: Alix Rexford – Biochemistry Lecturer

Dr. Rexford received her bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from the College of Charleston. She earned her PhD in Biochemistry at Florida State University studying protein-protein interactions involved with the activation of the glycolytic enzyme glucokinase under the guidance of Dr. Brian Miller. Since 2016 she has taught chemistry and biochemistry at Florida State University. Dr. Rexford’s goal is to facilitate critical thinking in her classroom through application-based problem solving. She is excited to bring her skills to the University of Florida Department of Chemistry.

2019 James and Laura Winefordner Summer Graduate Scholarship Announced

The Analytical Chemistry Division is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2019 James and Laura Winefordner Summer Graduate Scholarship, Mr. Robin Kemperman. Robin is a graduate of HAN University and Applied Sciences and a member of Professor Rick Yost’s research group. His dissertation research focuses on targeted metabolite isomer separation with as goal to reduce analysis time, in addition to integrating isotopic labeling strategies with ion mobility spectrometry for metabolomics studies, to achieve higher confidence in the identification process. Congratulations Robin!

2019 Tarrant Awards Announced

We are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2019 Tarrant Summer Graduate Research Scholarships. The endowment honors Prof. Paul Tarrant, a member of our department from 1946 to 1981, and this award promotes outstanding research for graduate students working in the division of Organic Chemistry.

This year’s recipients are Ehsan Fereyduni and Jacob Lessard. Ehsan, who received his M.S. degree in chemistry from Kharazmi University, is a member of Prof. Alex Grenning’s research group and is working on devising a simple and standardized synthetic route to access natural and bioactive cycloheptanes for drug discovery. Jacob received his B.S. degree in chemistry from University of New Hampshire and is a member of Prof. Brent Sumerlin’s research group. His research has mainly focused on the synthesis of reprocessable thermosets and the development of new polymerization methods.

2019 Herty Medalist

Professor Lisa McElwee-White is the recipient of the 2019 Herty Medal as awarded by the Georgia Section of the American Chemical Society recognizing outstanding work and service by a chemist in the Southeast. Prof. McElwee-White is Colonel Allen R. and Margaret G. Crow Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry at The University of Florida. She is being recognized for introducing mechanism-based design of organometallic precursors for fabrication of thin films and nanostructures and for her many outreach contributions and service to the American Chemical Society.

Faculty New Hire: Chenjie Zeng, Assistant Professor Energy/Catalysis, Inorganic Division

Dr. Zeng received her undergraduate degree at Nankai University (China), and her Ph.D. degree at Carnegie Mellon University with Prof. Rongchao Jin, a preeminent scientist in atomically precise metal nanoclusters. Dr. Zeng later joined the laboratories of Prof. Christopher B. Murray and Prof. Cherie R. Kagan at the University of Pennsylvania as a NatureNet Science Postdoctoral Fellow, where she focused on developing new semiconductor nanocrystals for printable solar cells. Research in Dr. Zeng’s group at UF will center around the synthesis and self-assembly of atomically precise semiconductor nanocrystals. Through “marrying” precise nanochemistry with solid-state physics and molecular biology, Zeng’s lab will embrace some significant challenges such as efficient optoelectronic devices for energy conversions, hierarchical solids for exotic physical properties, as well as the emergence of life. The ultimate goal of Zeng’s lab is to design and create synthetic nanomaterial systems that can eventually rival the precision, hierarchy, and complexity of the living systems.

Department New Hire: Nicole Lapeyrouse, Lecturer, UF Online

Dr. Nicole Lapeyrouse’s background as a researcher is in industrial environmental chemistry and chemistry education. The practical knowledge from these fields heavily influence her teaching style. As an educator, her primary goal is for each student to become an independent thinker, tackle atypical problems, and cultivate collaborative skills. To achieve these goals, she incorporates evidence-based teaching strategies into her course design. Her courses use a variety of contemporary multimedia sources as a medium for instruction; creating an environment that facilitates understanding and collaboration. Current societal issues are utilized as examples to help students understand how chemistry is related to a wide range of applications and every day occurrences.