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University of Minnesota Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
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Dr. Mereddy Awarded Two Research Grants to Develop New Drugs

Professor Venkatram Mereddy, was awarded two prestigious grants to support his research on drug discoveries. One grant from the Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics (2/1/2013-1/31/2015) for developing novel drugs for Gliomas". The second award from the Masonic Cancer Center Brainstorm Mechanism (2/1/2013-1/31/2014) supports the development of novel MCT1 inhibitors for Brain tumors. Dr. Lester Drewes, DMED Medical School and a Graduate Faculty in our Department, is also a Principal Investigator on these two grants.

2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

UMD graduate Brian Kobilka won the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry Wednesday, along with another U.S. scientist, for studies about how cells in our body sense their environments. These studies are key for developing better drugs.

Kobilka shares the prize with fellow American Robert Lefkowitz. Kobilka graduated summa cum laude from UMD in 1977 with bachelor of science degrees in biology and chemistry.

Kobilka obtained his medical degree from Yale University School of Medicine in 1981, trained in internal medicine at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis (1981-1984) and served as a research fellow (1984-1989) and assistant professor (1988-1989) at the Duke University School of Medicine. In 1989 Kobilka joined the faculty of the Stanford University School of Medicine where currently he is professor of medicine, and molecular and cellular physiology. He was inducted into the UMD Academy of Science and Engineering in 2005.

Dr. Robert Lefkowitz, of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) in Maryland who shares the prize, is also a professor at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina.

2013 Summer Undergraduate Research Program: Poster Symposium

The 2013 SURP Poster Symposium was held on August 8th, 2013 in the atrium of Swenson Science Building, University of Minnesota Duluth. Twenty two students from UMD Chemistry and Biochemistry presented their research posters to a wide range of audience from UMD and external guests. The poster presentations were judged by Professors Richard Davis (Chemical Engineering), Grant Anderson (Pharmacy), Jonathan Maps (Physics),Jennifer Liang (Biology), Richard Maclin (Computer Science), Matthew Slattery (Biomedical Sciences), Imran Hayee (Electrical Engineering), Brian Gross (Biology), and Marshall Hampton (Mathematics and Statistics). The top three “Outstanding Poster Presentation” Awards went to Charles Sieberg, Brandon Edlund, and Christine Hedstrom. All participating students were also awarded a "Certificate of Completion". Congratulations to all on a job well done!

Professor Viktor Zhdankin Receives the ACS Award for Creative Research and Applications of Iodine Chemistry (click to open/close)

In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the organic chemistry of iodine and other hypervalent main group elements, Viktor Zhdankin received the 2011 American Chemical Society (ACS) Award for Creative Research and Applications of Iodine Chemistry. The purpose of this award, which is given every two years, is "to support, promote, and motivate global research of iodine chemistry and develop its use and knowledge through applications." Dr. Zhdankin has published 220 journal articles and several books, and successfully competed for numerous research grants from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Research Corporation, Petroleum Research Fund, Camille and Henry Dreyfus foundation, and other agencies. Read more

Associate Professor Steven Berry Receives NIH-AREA Funding to Study Copper Oxidoreductase Enzymes (click to open/close)

Dr. Steve Berry was awarded funding through the General Medical Sciences Institute at the National Institutes of Health. The award was an AREA, or Academic Research Enhancement Award, that includes funding for graduate and undergraduate students. Dr. Berry is interested in defining the features that lead to the activity of copper enzymes. There are over a dozen human copper enzymes, many of which facilitate electron transfer reactions and oxidize substrate with molecular oxygen. Dr. Berry’s research group uses protein metal site design to incorporate and adjust different layers of structural elements into models of the native copper systems to test the factors that are hypothesized to be essential for their biological functions and implications to health.

Professor Vince Magnuson Receives the Prestigious AASCU William Plater Award for Leadership in Civic Engagement (click to open/close)

Former UMD Vice Chancellor for Academic Administration, Professor Vince Magnuson was awarded the 2011 William Plater Award for Leadership in Civic Engagement from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). The Plater Award recognizes the leadership and critical role Vince Magnuson demonstrated during his tenure as UMD's chief academic officer to advance the civic mission of the campus through curricular reform, faculty development, accountability for institutional citizenship, and developing partnerships with community organizations. Through his efforts the campus is involved in the American Democracy Project which led to the establishment of the UMD Office of Civic Engagement. Dr. George Mehaffy, AASCU Vice President for Academic Leadership and Change announced this award at the 2011 AASCU Annual Conference and also presented it to Vince at a campus forum in February 2012. Read more

Student Awards (click to open/close)

Jared Sabin, a UMD junior from Hibbing Minnesota, received an American Chemical Society Certificate of Recognition and monetary award for his research poster "Synthesis, electronic structure, and properties of organometallic indium porphyrins" presented at the Joint 46th Midwest and 39th Great Lakes Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society in St. Louis, MO (October 2011). Jared is a B.S. Chemistry and Physics double major and will graduate in Spring 2013. His research advisor is Professor Victor Nemykin. Jared started his undergraduate research during his sophomore year and is a co-author on five peer-reviewed research publications appearing in highly selective research journals.

Student Award: Jillian Bartusek, a UMD senior and Biochemistry major, has presented her undergraduate research at the MN Academy of Science, Winchell Undergraduate Research Symposium (April 16th, 2011). Her research presentation, entitled "Partitioning, stoichiometry, and diffusion dynamics of FTY720 (an immune modulator) in Triton X-100 micelles" was awarded "Best of Session in Poster Presentation". Jillian was also featured in the Bridge magazine (Winter 2012 issue, Volume 29, Number 2) for her UROP-supported research in Heikal laboratory. Read more at