Accomplishments: Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

October 1, 2019
Artem V. Gelis, Daniel Koury, Frederic Poineau, Kenneth R. Czerwinski (all Radiochemistry) are members of the research team whose noteworthy work recently was recognized in Angewandte Chemie, a leading weekly peer-reviewed scientific journal that is published on behalf of the German Chemical Society. The team, headed by Christopher Cahill from George Washington University and including Robert Surbella III from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, studies the synthesis, structure and...
September 12, 2019
Art Gelis (Chemistry and Biochemistry) recently was published in Scientific Reports. His article, "Closing the Nuclear Fuel Cycle with a Simplified Minor Actinide Lanthanide Separation Process (ALSEP) and Additive Manufacturing," discusses his newly patented approach to the long-time technical challenge of recycling long-lived actinide isotopes within the nuclear fuel cycle. He is the director of UNLV's radiochemistry program.       
August 14, 2019
Ashkan Salamat (Physics and Astronomy), Paul Forster, Frederic Poineau, and Keith Lawler (all Chemistry and Biochemistry) were awarded a $449,901 research grant from the National Science Foundation for "Expanding Known Binary Technetium Nitrides and Sulfides: A Computationally-Led Synthesis Program." Technetium is a radioactive element and its chemistry is not well established in comparison to neighboring elements. This proposal will fill in critical gaps in fundamental knowledge of the solid...
July 31, 2019
MaryKay Orgill and Sarah York (both Chemistry and Biochemistry) wrote a research article that was published in the Journal of Chemical Education and also was selected to be featured in American Chemical Society (ACS) Editors' Choice. The selection of these articles is based on recommendations by the scientific editors of ACS journals from around the world. Only 365 articles are selected each year for Editors' Choice. The article, "An Introduction to Systems Thinking for the Chemistry Education...
June 24, 2019
Mary Blankenship (Chemistry, Economics, and Brookings Mountain West) recently co-authored a brief featured on the Brookings Institution blog, the Brown Center Chalkboard. The piece discusses the shortage of STEM teachers and the wage penalties teachers face in STEM. The piece originally was published June 17. She is an undergradaute student pursuing two majors, chemistry and economics. She also is a Brookings public policy minor.  
May 28, 2019
Balakrishnan Naduvalath (Chemistry & Biochemistry) is part a research team that received the coveted Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) award from the Department of Defense, Army Research Office. The interdisciplinary team from multiple institutions (Harvard; Stanford; University of Colorado Boulder; University of New Mexico; and UNLV) comprised of physicists and chemists will receive $6.25 million over a five-year period starting June 1. Naduvalath will receive $750,...
April 11, 2019
Sajjad Ahmad (Civil and Environmental Engineering and Construction) and Jun Yong Kang (Chemistry) recently were selected for the Barrick Scholar Awards, which recognize UNLV faculty members who have produced a significant amount of high-quality, interdisciplinary research or creative output recognized by scholars and journals within and outside their primary disciplines. Funded through an endowment from the late Marjorie Barrick since 1981 and conferred by the executive vice president and...
March 8, 2019
Artem V. Gelis (Chemistry and Biochemistry) has been awarded a U.S. patent granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the technology, "Molybdenum Recovery from Aqueous Nitric Acid Solution by Solvent Extraction." The invention provides a method for extracting transition metals, the method comprising supplying a feedstream containing transition metal, mixing the feedstream with nitric acid for a time and at a concentration sufficient to form an aqueous phase containing the transition...
January 9, 2019
Jun Yong Kang (Chemistry and Biochemistry) has been selected as one of the Thieme Chemistry Journals Awardees for 2019. The Thieme Chemistry Journals Award is presented every year to up-and-coming researchers worldwide who are in the early stages of their independent academic career as assistant or junior professors. The awardees are selected exclusively by the editorial board members of SYNTHESIS, SYNLETT, and SYNFACTS who constantly watch out for promising, young individuals working in...
November 20, 2018
Jun Kang (Chemistry and Biochemistry) has been awarded a patent granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the invention “Methods and Compositions for Substituted Alpha-Aminophosphonate Analogues.” This synthetic method would enable a rapid synthesis of bioactive phosphorus-containing compounds and pharmaceuticals under toxic metal-free conditions. This invention describes efficient, mild, toxic metal-free synthetic methods of aminophosphonates, which have attracted great attention...
November 8, 2018
Mary Blankenship (Sciences and Brookings Institute) was featured as a guest columnist in the Las Vegas Sun for her opinion editorial, "Lincoln Memorial Reminds Us Who We Are and Can Still Be."  She is a student with a double major in chemistry and math as well as a Brookings public policy minor. 
September 17, 2018
Hui Zhang (Chemistry and Biochemistry) was awarded a new National Institutes of Health R15 grant for $437,202 titled "Regulation of Stem Cell Protein Stability by Novel Ubiquitin Ligases". This grant earned excellent scores to support research in embryonic stem cells.