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University of Akron

Department of Chemistry

190 E. Buchtel Commons
Akron, OH 44325-3601
Phone: (330) 972-6135
Web: www.chemistry.uakron.edu
E-mail: chemistry@uakron.edu

Department Information

Chairperson: Kim C. Calvo, Professor and Chair
Fields of Specialization: Analytical, Biochemistry, Inorganic, Organic and Physical Chemistry.
Interdisciplinary Programs: Chemical Physics (Department of Physics).

Departmental Statistical Data:  Number of degrees, graduate enrollments, postdoctoral appointments and number of faculty.

Degrees Offered



Boika, Aliaksei, Assistant Professor
Research Area(s): Electrochemistry, Analytical Chemistry
Research Interests: Electroanalytical methods of detection of ultra-low concentrations of various analytes including both hard (metal, polymer) and soft (emulsion) nanoparticles. Electrokinetic phenomena: dielectrophoresis, electrothermal fluid flow, electrophoretic migration. Scanning electrochemical microscopy using ac polarized microelectrodes. Numerical simulations.

Buldum, Alper, Associate Professor, Physics and Chemistry (b.1970)

Calvo, Kim Cornelius, Professor (b.1951)
Research Area(s): Biochemistry
Research Interests: Current research involves the study of phosphoryl group transfer mechanisms, mechanisms of unusual enzymatic lyase reactions, and the study of enzymatic Claisen condensations.

Donovan, William J., Associate Professor (b.1974)
Research Area(s): Chemistry Education
Research Interests: Visualization of chemical concepts; development of computer-assisted laboratory experiments; enhancement of freshman chemistry courses; students' conceptual understanding.

Kofron, William G., Professor Emeritus (b.1925)
Research Interests: Carbanion, heterocyclic chemistry.

Konopka, Michael, Assistant Professor (b.1977)
Research Area(s): Biophysics/Biophysical Chemistry
Research Interests: Research Interests: Quantitative fluorescence microscopy techniques to investigate biophysical and biochemical interactions in single living cells. Single-cell analysis to determine cell-to-cell variation and the role heterogeneity plays in a cell population's response to an environmental change. Single-cell respiration rate measurements. Intracellular membrane dynamics in bacteria.

Koser, Gerald Franklin, Distinguished Professor Emeritus (b.1942)
Research Area(s): Organic Chemistry
Research Interests: Chemistry of hypervalent iodine compounds; phosphate ester hydrolysis.

Leeper, Thomas C., Assistant Professor (b.1972)
Research Area(s): Biochemistry, Structural Biology
Research Interests: My group studies biopolymer complex formation by NMR. Current projects include epigenetic regulatory long-non-coding RNA associations with proteins, anti-glutaredoxin drug screening, and peptide/protein/RNA ligation to xenobiotic metals. In collaboration with a number of other labs, we are also studying G-quadruplex RNAs, the diabetes drug target mitoNEET, and spider silk proteins.

Lim, Edward C., Professor Emeritus (b.1932)
Research Area(s): Physical Chemistry
Research Interests: Laser spectroscopy and molecular photophysics; structure and dynamics of excited states; electronic and vibrational relaxations; excited-state redox processes; and intramolecular dynamics of van der Waals molecules and bridged diaryl compounds.

Luettmer-Strathmann, Jutta, Associate Professor, Physics and Chemistry (b.1961)
Research Area(s): Physical Chemistry
Research Interests: The study of structural, thermodynamic and transport properties of simple and complex fluids, including phase transitions. The development of accurate models for these systems using analytic theory, numerical analysis, and simulation techniques. Static and dynamic properties of polymer melts and blends and of single polymer chains. Thermal diffusion in simple and complex liquids.

Lyuksyutov, Sergei F., Professor, Physics and Chemistry (b.1960)
Research Area(s): Chemical Physics, Physical Chemistry

Mallik, Robert R., Professor, Physics and Chemistry (b.1960)
Research Interests: Electron tunneling spectroscopy, vibrational spectroscopy, scanning probe microscopy, characterization and growth of ultra-thin films of metals, metal oxides, semiconductors, polymers, and glasses. Molecular adsorption studies on these films.

Modarelli, David A., Professor (b.1964)
Research Area(s): Photochemistry, Physical Organic Chemistry
Research Interests: Photochemistry, physical organic chemistry, synthesis and self-assembly of unusual porphyrins, dendrimers, and polymers; synthesis and optical time-resolved spectroscopy of photosynthetic mimics; photoinduced electron- and energy-transfer reactions; synthesis of novel dendritic macromolecular materials.

Pang, Yi, Professor (b.1957)
Research Area(s): Organic Chemistry, Materials Chemistry
Research Interests: Our research interest is in the development of luminescent materials that could be used for electronic devices and chemical sensors. The study is focusing on the fundamental understanding of various molecular building blocks on the optical and other physical properties. Luminescent materials with unique optical properties, e.g emission in the near infrared region with large Stokes’ shift, are sought for biological applications. We are also interested in studying the molecular interaction between functional polymers and carbon nanotubes (CNTs), and applications of polymer/CNTs composites.

Paruchuri, Sailaja M., Assistant Professor (b.1971)
Research Area(s): Biochemistry

Perry, David S., Professor (b.1949)
Research Area(s): Chemical Physics, Physical Chemistry
Research Interests: High resolution infrared spectroscopy; vibrational energy transfer; intramolecular dynamics; torsional properties of polymers; spectroscopy in aid of archaeology.

Ramsier, Rex D., Professor, Physics and Chemistry (b.1964)
Research Interests: Gas-surface interactions; thin film growth; physical, chemical and structural characterization of surfaces. Science education. Project and active-learning based course and lab development.

Richter, Helen Wilkinson, Professor Emeritus (b.1946)
Research Area(s): Physical Chemistry
Research Interests: Free radical reactions, kinetic analysis of complex systems; physical chemistry of hypervalent iodine compounds via UV-vis and NMR spectroscopy; low spin, high spin equilibria in Fe(II) complexes, and relevance to reactivity of the complexes.

Rinaldi, Peter L., Professor Emeritus (b.1953)
Research Area(s): NMR Spectroscopy
Research Interests: Development of NMR techniques, applications of NMR to polymer, inorganic, organic and biochemical problems.

Shriver, Leah, Assistant Professor (b.1975)
Research Area(s): Neuroscience, Mass spectrometry
Research Interests: My research is focused on developing targeted diagnostics and therapeutics for the treatment of inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis, neuropathic pain, and traumatic brain injury. In the laboratory, we utilize mass spectrometry-based metabolomics to uncover biochemical alterations that occur in response to disease. We then target these cellular pathways with nanoparticles that encapsulate both imaging agents and therapies. In addition, we use both in vitro and in vivo models of disease for pre-clinical studies to determine the pharmacokinetics and toxicity of our drug formulations.

Smith, Adam W., Assistant Professor (b.1977)
Research Area(s): Physical Chemistry, Biophysics/Biophysical Chemistry
Research Interests: Investigation of cell membrane receptor organization and dynamics; optical probes of biological membranes; lipid-protein interactions; and single molecule imaging.

Smith, Daniel John, Professor Emeritus (b.1946)
Research Area(s): Biomaterials, Biochemistry
Research Interests: Biomaterials, mechanisms of wound repair, wound metabolism, bioactive polymers.

Taschner, Michael John, Professor (b.1953)
Research Area(s): Organic Chemistry
Research Interests: Total synthesis of natural products, cycloaddition reactions, new synthetic methods, and application of enzymes in synthesis.

Tessier, Claire Adrienne, Professor (b.1953)
Research Area(s): Inorganic Chemistry, Organometallic Chemistry
Research Interests: Main group chemistry, especially silicon, phosphorus and aluminum; their reactions with transition-metals; biomineralization of silicon and phosphorus; polyphosphazenes and other inorganic backbone polymers; metal complexes of alkynes and acetylides; design of new ligands, especially based on imidazoles and N-heterocyclic carbenes; medicinal inorganic compounds, X-ray crystallography and multi-nuclear NMR.

Wesdemiotis, Chrys, Distinguished Professor (b.1952)
Research Area(s): Analytical Chemistry
Research Interests: Structures and reactivities of gaseous ions; chemistry of reactive intermediates relevant to biology and medicine; structure/property relationships of biomolecules and polymers; development of new methods for the structural characterization of synthetic polymers; analytical applications of mass spectrometry in polymer and materials science.

Youngs, Wiley Jay, Distinguished Professor (b.1949)
Research Area(s): Inorganic Chemistry, Bioinorganic Chemistry
Research Interests: The focus of our research if the synthesis and characterization of imidazolium cations and metal carbene complexes and exploration of their antimicrobial and antitumor properties. Lung infections, topical infections, lung cancer.

Ziegler, Christopher J., Professor (b.1970)
Research Area(s): Inorganic Chemistry, Bioorganic Chemistry
Research Interests: Synthetic bioinorganic chemistry, protein-xenobiotic metal interactions, porphyrin and phthalocyanine chemistry, aqueous organometallic chemistry, X-ray crystallography of inorganic and macrocyclic compounds.

Departmental Statistical Data:

Full-Time Staff as of Sept. 2013:     15
Part-Time Staff as of Sept. 2013:
Post-doctoral appointments as of Sept. 2013: 4
First Year Graduate Enrollment as of Sept. 2013: 9
Total Graduate Enrollment as of Sept. 2013: 50
M.S. Degrees Granted 2011-2012: 1
M.S. Degrees Granted 2012-2013: 5
Ph.D. Degrees Granted 2011-2012: 13
Ph.D. Degrees Granted 2012-2013: 10

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