NEWS from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry


Please visit our department’s newly designed web site ( that was just activated.  The new look gives our department a fresh look in which we can all be proud.  Thanks to Caedmon Walters for this design and function, and thank you to those who provided advice on design and content.

We’d like to add you to our professional network on LinkedIn.

UMD Chemistry & Biochemistry invites you to join the University of Maryland – Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry Alumni and Friends Network on LinkedIn 

Connect with us for:

• Career Opportunities
• Expertise requests
• News and Research Information
• Getting back in touch
Alumni updates

Christopher Jarzynski has co-edited (with Rainer Klages and Wolfram Just) a book that has just been published by Wiley-VHC.  “Nonequilibrium Statistical Physics of Small Systems: Fluctuation Relations and Beyond”


Mike Doyle was a member of the External Review Team for evaluation of the Department of Chemistry at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX, in January, 2013.

Mike Doyle is Deputy Convener of the Physical Sciences Panel for the 2013-14 Research Assessment Exercise of Hong Kong Universities by the University Grants Committee of Hong Kong, the first exercise for which was held in March, 2013.


On March 8th, the department of Chemistry & Biochemistry hosted Visit Maryland Day for prospective graduate students. It was attended by forty visitors from seventeen states! The poster session: attendance exceeded expectation so much, we ran out of easels.

Their visit involved a reception, meetings with faculty, lunch, a poster session, lab and campus tours. Dinners were hosted by Dr. Julin and Dr. DeShong at their homes. The departmental staff pulled together as an amazing team for each and every event including flipping the Marker room from a seminar room, to a banquet hall, and back again in record time. The Graduate Office would like to send out a big thank you to all of those who helped and participated in Visit Maryland Day!

Lyle Isaacs and Jeffrey Davis are co-organizers of the International Symposium on Macrocyclic and Supramolecular Chemistry (ISMSC-8) to be held in the summer of 2013, the first time this meeting will be held in the U.S. since 2007. The ISMSC conference, which attracts 300-350 participants, brings together leaders in supramolecular chemistry that make contributions to the core areas of chemistry, biological chemistry, nanoscience and materials science. For more information on the conference see the website

Graduate Student News:

John Bender (Fourkas Lab), and Andrew Keane (Sita Lab) have been accepted to attend the 2013 Nobel Laureate meeting in Lindau, Germany from June 27th – July 6th.

Carlos Castañeda (Fushman lab) gave a talk at the 57th Biophysical Society Meeting, Philadelphia, PA

Romina Heymann (Falvey Lab) has won a CSW Student Travel Award to attend the ACS National Meeting in New Orleans.

Taylor Hood (Nie lab) was awarded a Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Programs Bridge to Doctorate Fellowship. Hood was also recently appointed as a Committee Associate to the ACS Committee on Chemists with Disabilities for the year of 2013.

Mark Alphonse Nakasone (Fushman Lab) was awarded Fulbright postdoctoral fellowship.

 Doctoral Thesis Defenses:

Student Seminars:

Luigi Alvarado, UMCP, Independent Proposal, (Advisor: Professor Kwaku Dayie) “Regenerative Biochemistry: Use of Platelet-Derived Growth Factors and Platelet-Rich Plasma in Sports Medicine

Kaitlyn Crawford, UMCP, (Advisor: Professor Lawrence Sita) Chemistry and Biochemistry Student Seminar

Chris Eginton, UMCP, (Advisor: Professor Dorothy Beckett) Chemistry and Biochemistry Seminar

Aaron Geller, UMCP, (Advisor: Professor Bryan Eichhorn) “Absorption Sites, Metal-Support Interactions, and Oxygen Spillover Identified by Vibrational Spectroscopy of Absorbed CO: A etc.

Ryan Kobylarz, UMCP, Independent Proposal, (Advisor: Professor Ryan Dinman) Chemistry and Biochemistry Seminar

Regan Leblanc, Independent Proposal, UMCP, (Advisor: Professor Kwaku Dayie) “Beta-Site Amyloid Precursor Protein Cleaving Enzyme 1 (BACE 1): A Promising Drug Target for the Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease

Nicole Schneck, Independent Proposal, UMCP, (Advisor: Professor Sang Bok Lee) “The Preparation and Utilization of Molecularly Imprinted Polymers to Detect Creatinine

Jonathan Senn, UMCP, (Advisor: Professor Bryan Eichhorn) Chemistry and Biochemistry Student Seminar

Invited Presentations:

Michael Doyle gave an invited lecture entitled “Dirhodium Catalysis in Complex Transformations” at the University of Pennsylvania in the Department of Chemistry on February 11th.

Catherine Fenselau presented the Department Colloquium in the Chemistry Department at Brown University on Friday Feb 15. Her title was Exploring Communication in the Tumor Miroenvironment.

David Fushman gave a talk at the Keystone Symposium “Frontiers of NMR in Biology”, Snowbird, UT; a talk at the 3rd Ubiquitin and Drug Discovery Conference, Las Vegas, NV; and a Chemistry Seminar at George Washington University, Washington D.C.

Zhihong Nie gave an invited talk on ” Inorganic Virus: Biomimetic Self-assembly of Polymer-inorganic Hybrids with Biomedical Applications ” in The Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Maryland—Baltimore, on January 30th, 2013; in the State Key Laboratory of Polymer Physics and Chemistry at Chinese Academy of Sciences on December 25, 2012; and in the Department of Chemistry at Jilin University on December 26, 2012.

Papers Published:

Ratnikov, M. O.; Doyle, M. P. “Mechanistic Investigation of Oxidative Mannich Reaction with tert-Butyl Hydroperoxide. The Role of Transition Metal Salt” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 1549-1557.

Xu, X.; Qian, Y.; Zavalij, P. Y.; Doyle, M. P. “Highly Selective Catalyst-Dependent Competitive 1,2-C→C, -O→C and  -N→C Migrations from β-Methylene-β-silyloxy-β-amido-α-Diazoacetates” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 1244-1247.

Xu, X.; Zavalij, P. Y.; Hu, W.; Doyle, M. P. “Vinylogous Reactivity of Enoldiazoacetates with Donor-Acceptor Substituted Hydrazones.  Synthesis of Highly Substituted Pyrazole Derivatives” J. Org. Chem. 2013, 78, 1583-1588.

Doyle, M. P.; Liu, Y.; Ratnikov, M. Org. React. 2013, 80, 1-133. See,_asymmetric,_intramolecular_carbon-hydrogen_insertion#cite_ref-0 for details on this chapter.

Cannon, J., Nakasone, M., Fushman, D. and Fenselau, C. “Proteomic Identification and Analysis of K63-Linked Ubiquitin Conjugates”. Anal. Chem. 2012, 84, 10121-10128

Ropp, C; Cummins, Z; Nah, S; Fourkas, J. T.; Shapiro, B; Waks, E. “Nanoscale Imaging and Spontaneous Emission Control with a Single Nano-Positioned Quantum Dot,”  Nature Commun. 2013, 4, 1447.

Leeds, J. D.; Fourkas, J. T.; Wang, Y. “Achieving Ultrahigh Concentrations of Fluorescent Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes Using Small-Molecule Viscosity Modifiers,”  Small, 2013, 9, 241–247.

Roscoe, B. P.; Thayer, K. M.; Zeldovich, K. B.; Fushman, D; Bolon, D. N. A. “Analyses of the effects of all ubiquitin point mutants on yeast growth rate”, J. Mol. Biol. (2013), in press.

Wittenberg, J. B.; Zavalij, P. Y.; Isaacs, L. “Supramolecular Ladders from Dimeric Cucurbit[6]uril”  Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2013, ASAP.  DOI: 10.1002/anie.201300404

Wu, Z. L.; Moshe, M.; Greener, J.; Therien-Aubin, H.; Sharon, E.; Kumacheva, E.; Nie, Z. H.  “Three-dimensional shape transformations of hydrogel sheets induced by small-scale modulation of internal stresses” Nature Commun., 2013, in press (DOI: 10.1038/ncomms2549).

He, J.; Wei, Z. J.; Wang, L.; Tomova, Z.; Babu, T.; Wang, C. Y.; Han, X. J.; Fourkas, J. T.; Nie, Z. H.  “Hydrodynamically driven self-assembly of giant vesicles of metal nanoparticles for remotely triggered release” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2013, 52, 2463 –2468.

He, J.; Liu, Y. J.; Hood, T.C.; Zhang, P.; Gong, J. L.; Nie, Z. H.  “Asymmetric organic/metal(oxide) hybrid nanoparticles: synthesis and applications”  Nanoscale, 2013, ASAP (DOI: 10.1039/C3NR34014G) (Invited feature article).

Zhang, P.; He, J.; Ma, X. B.; Gong, J. L.; Nie, Z. H. “Ultrasound assisted interfacial synthesis of gold nanocones” Chem. Comm. 2013, 49, 987 – 989.

He, J.; Babu, T.; Liu, Y. J.; Zhang, P.; Gong, J. L.; Nie, Z. H. “Near-infrared light-responsive vesicles of Au nanoflowers” Chem. Comm. 2013, 49, 576-578.

Li, W. K.; Zhang, P.; Dai, M.; He, J.; Babu, T.; Xu, Y. L.; Deng, R. H.; Liang, R. J.; Lu, M. H.; Zhu, J. T.; Nie, Z. H. “Ordering of gold nanorods in confined space by directed assembly” Macromolecules, 2013, in press (DOI: 10.1021/ma400115z).

Therien-Aubin, H.; Wu, Z. L.; Kumacheva, E; Nie, Z. H. “Multiple shape transformations of composite hydrogel sheets” Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2013, ASAP, DOI: 10.1021/ja400518c.

Li, W. K.; Zhang, P.; Dai, M.; He, J.; Babu, T.; Liu, S. Q.; Deng, R. H.; Wang, J. J.; Zhu, J. T.; Nie, Z. H. “A simple route to improve inorganic nanoparticles loading efficiency in block copolymer micelles” Macromolecules, 2013, ASAP, DOI: 10.1021/ma302515p.

What’s New:

screenshotCaedmon Walters has designed and launched the new look Chemistry & Biochemistry website (, with far more functionality, ease of use and an eye-catching design. He is also working on departmental promotion to the outside world by creating and maintaining a social media presence using Facebook and Linkedin. To get to the different social media links, scroll down to the bottom of the front page of the new website, and click on the icon for each option.

Additionally, the new Intranet, which can be reached from the chemistry website (login is at the top, right hand corner of the page), is a useful, central information hub for faculty and staff. While it is still very new, and is still being populated with relevant information, it already is helping workflow efficiency.

Alumni News:

Bryan Dickinson (former undergraduate researcher in Fushman Lab, now postdoc at Harvard University) will receive the Nobel Laureate Signature Award for Graduate Education in Chemistry from the American Chemical Society on April 9th, 2013:

History from Professor Samuel O. Grim, CChem, FRSC.

sogrimI started teaching at UMCP in the fall of 1960. Things did not go well (no research proposals, obtained grants, no graduate students gotten). I took a leave of absence and went to post-doc at Imperial College in London with Geoffrey Wilkinson (who later won the Nobel Price). While there, I wrote proposals and received a nice grant from NSF, so I returned to UMCP and was off and running. Years later (1979 -1980), I took a sabbatical leave from UMCP and went back to London with a “Senior Research Fellowship” from Sir John Cars Foundation at City of London Polytechnic. I won the FRSC Fellowship from that time in London.

In addition to Sam Grim, Mike Doyle and Dev Thirumalai are also Fellows of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

In Memoriam:

5142a74847f54.preview-300Katharine Lulu Walters, 46, of College Park, Maryland died, March 2nd after almost a 4 year battle with Ovarian Cancer. Born in Boston, Kathy lived the majority of her life in suburban Washington.  Kathy is survived by parents William and Barbara, Brother David (Brenda) and Nephew Adam.  There will be a “Celebration of Kathy” at the Riverdale Presbyterian Church, gathering at 1:30 for a 2:00 pm service on Saturday, April 13, 2013.    The address is: 6513 Queens Chapel Rd University Park, MD 20782.

Print Friendly

Biochemistry PhD Program

We provide rigorous graduate course work in biochemical and biophysical principles and techniques as well as in molecular biology, genomics and proteomics, and systems biology. Learn more about our Biochemistry Graduate Program.

Chemistry PhD Program

Collaborate on projects in interdisciplinary fields such as nanofabrication, bioorganic chemistry, supramolecular synthesis, environmental and atmospheric chemistry and fuel cell research. Learn more about our Chemistry Graduate Program.