News and Celebrations

We applaud Alex Cocolas for winning the top award for the sciences at the 2022 Duquesne University Graduate Research Symposium!

Alex Cocolas, a Ph.D. in Chemistry candidate from the Montgomery research lab, presented his research on the Total Synthesis of Chrysosporazine D: Combating Multidrug Resistance in Cancer Cells and won the top Award for Graduate Research-Excellence in Graduate Research from the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences at the 2022 Duquesne University Graduate Research Symposium!

The department celebrates its impressive fifth Goldwater Scholar, Lindsay Moskal!

Since the 2013-2014 year, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has had an amazing five national Goldwater Scholars, direct evidence that we truly enable you to achieve bigger goals! Lindsay Moskal, a double-major in Chemistry and Mathematics, was our most recent award recipient and is performing research in the Evanseck group. The Goldwater Foundation selected 417 students, from a pool of over 500 applicants across the nation, to receive the award that was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue research careers in the fields of the natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics. The highly prestigious Goldwater Scholarship is the preeminent undergraduate award of its type in these fields. Lindsay aspires to become a professor at a research-focused university, conducting research in the computational design of safer, greener, and more cost-effective catalysts. Our previous Goldwater Scholars proceeded to earn Ph.D.'s from Yale University in Neuroscience, University of California at San Diego in Physical Chemistry and in Computational and Theoretical Chemistry, or are currently earning a Ph.D. at Northwestern University in Physical Chemistry.

Yet another publication with graduate and undergraduate student authors from our department, from the Bloomfield lab this time!

You could be the next student-author on a peer-reviewed article coming out of the chemistry department! Congrats to graduate student Matt Martin, M.S. alumna Sadie (Brown) Tobin, B.S. alumna Wrebekah Frederic, and two current undergraduate chemistry majors for their impressive work in the Bloomfield research group!

Seven of our undergraduates presented their research project findings at the 2022 American Chemical Society National Meeting in San Diego! What a huge accomplishment!

You could soon be achieving bigger goals and reaching that career milestone by presenting your research at a major national conference! Each year, our department and the ACS Student Affiliates sends the current juniors to present their projects at the spring ACS National Meeting, and this year seven students attended the conference and all were female! Undergraduates performing projects in the Mihailescu, Montgomery, Aitken, Flaherty, Evanseck, Bloomfield, and Van Stipdonk lab groups attended the conference.

Congrats to the four female undergraduates awarded the competitive Duquesne University Women in STEM Travel Award and the one who received the American Chemical Society Bridge Travel & Professional Development Award!

This competitive and prestigious award from the Duquesne Women in STEM helped these outstanding female researchers present their research projects at major national symposia, and you could do the same while achieving bigger goals at Duquesne! These undergraduates were able to attend the 2021 American Society for Mass Spectrometry National Conference in Philadelphia, the 2022 American Chemical Society National Meeting in San Diego, and the 2022 American Society for Mass Spectrometry National Conference in Minneapolis. One of these females also won the highly competitive and prestigious national ACS Bridge Travel & Professional Development Award!

Three graduate students are authors on the latest publication from the collaboration between the research groups of Dr. Bloomfield and Dr. Montgomery along with researchers from St. Mary's College of Maryland!

Ph.D. candidates Martin Neal (Montgomery lab group) and Jordan Kelly (Bloomfield lab group), and M.S. candidate Katie Kaczynski (Montgomery group) were authors on a peer-reviewed publication in the New Journal of Chemistry that involved collaborations between the research groups of Drs. Montgomery and Bloomfield along with St. Mary's College of Maryland. What a huge success!

Congrats to our graduate students that presented at the national Biophysical Society Annual Meeting in San Francisco!

Ph.D. candidates Caylee Cunningham and Caleb Frye from the Mihailescu research group and Ph.D. candidate Adam Kensinger from the Evanseck research group presented their findings on aspects the COVID virus structure at the national Biophysical Society Annual Meeting. In addition, Dr. Rita Mihailescu gave an oral talk about G quadruplex structures in RNA.

Huge congratulations to the undergraduate and graduate students that presented their research at the national American Society for Mass Spectrometry annual conference in Philadelphia!

The chemistry department was well represented at the national American Society for Mass Spectrometry annual conference! Ph.D. candidates Jeremiah Jamrom (oral presentation), Ashley Trouten, Lauren Stubbert, and Ashley Parisi-Goldblatt (poster presentations) are mentored by Dr. Skip Kingston. Three undergraduates mentored by Dr. Michael Van Stipdonk presented findings from their research projects for the prestigious Forensic Science and Law program.

What a huge accomplishment from the Van Stipdonk research group!

A research project mentored by by Dr. Michael van Stipdonk was recently published in the peer-reviewed Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry journal, and had a Ph.D. candidate first-author and an astounding four undergraduate authors! The four undergraduates authors worked on this monumental research for quite some time, but really got to focus on the project during Duquesne's URP and NSF-REU summer internship programs! Get involved in cutting-edge research at Duquesne as early as your freshman year, participate in our prestigious summer internship opportunities, and get direct mentorship from our world-renowned professors! Congrats to these students, where they knew it's time for bigger goals and at Duquesne we help you achieve them!

Good job Dr. Pat Lackey, a B.S Biochemistry alumnus, who competed on Jeopardy!

Dr. Pat Lackey, a B.S. in Biochemistry alumnus who earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biophysics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, was a contestant on Jeopardy where he earned 2nd place and $2000, being defeated by the powerhouse contestant Amy Schneider! Dr. Lackey, now a faculty member at Westminster College, is still a part of the department as a collaborator on the NSF-REU grant with Drs. Jeffery Evanseck and Rita Mihailescu, and mentors undergraduate research projects in the summer internship program. He is one of our many successful undergraduate alumni, and it's no surprise to us!

Congrats to our professors and students who help fight the COVID battle each and every day!

Congrats to Dr. Joshua Imperatore, a recent Duquesne Ph.D. alumnus, and Ph.D. candidates Caylee Cunningham and Kendy Pellegrene for their recent peer-reviewed research pubilcation that greatly improves our understanding of the COVID-19 virus! Great collaborative work from the Evanseck and Mihailescu research groups!

The American Chemical Society Student Affiliates club wins two prestigious awards!

Our Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society were recognized as an Outstanding Chapter by the national ACS organization, the highest rating a student organization can receive. In addition, the club was recognized with the Green Chemistry Award based on outreach and education regarding green chemistry and the environment. In total, the club won all of the possible top awards from the national organization!

Great job for the Mihailescu lab group on being awarded a grant from the NIH!

Congrats to Dr. Rita Mihailescu for her latest grant in collaboration with the School of Nursing, awarded $794,448 from the NIH for the project titled "Genomic competencies for nurses from theory to application: an online long course."

Check out the latest publication from the Montgomery research group!

Two Duquesne graduate students were authors on the latest peer-reviewed research article in the Journal of Organic Chemistry from the lab of Dr. Thomas Montgomery in collaboration with Dr. Jeffrey Evanseck, with Ph.D. students Martin Neal as first-author and Sarah Hejnosz as second-author. Congratulations on your hard work paying off with this great success!

Congratulations to Dr. Josh Imperatore, whose Ph.D. Dissertation was selected as a Distinguished Dissertation Award!

Dr. Josh Imperatore was recognized via the Distinguished Dissertation Award by the Graduate Council and the Office of Research for an exceptional and unusually interesting scholarly work produced by a doctoral student. His Ph.D. research and dissertation RNA Structure and Function: Biological Relevance in Neurodegenerative and Infectious Disease Pathogenesis was mentored by Dr. Rita Mihailescu.

Congratulations to our Award Winning Undergraduate and Graduate Students!

The academic and research successes for the 2020-2021 year culminated in many awards for our undergraduate and graduate students, and we are very proud of their accomplishments! From our group of undergraduates that participated in research projects, we had students from freshmen to seniors that won awards at the 13th Annual Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Symposium when they presented their research findings. Additionally, awards and recognitions were presented from the department to freshmen through senior students. Our graduate students also presented their research and won various awards at the 2021 Phi Lambda Upsilon Chemistry Research Symposium.

Welcome Dr. Paul Lummis!

The department is excited to welcome Paul Lummis from the Crudden Lab at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Dr. Lummis joined the department as a tenure-track Assistant Professor in Spring 2021.