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Ionic Bonds
Fall 2016, Volume 11, Number 1

We Create Strong Bonds!

Student Spotlight

Students and faculty stand in an
atrium and a banner overhead says 'Welcome'.

IONA CHEMISTRY RESEARCH TEAM OF THIRTEEN MADE SIX PRESENTATIONS AT THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY NATIONAL MEETING IN PHILADELPHIA, PA ON AUGUST 20‐25, 2016

As a capstone experience for student researchers this past summer, 13 Iona undergraduate research students and their faculty mentor, Dr. Sunghee Lee, proudly joined the international chemistry community and presented their research at the 252nd National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in Philadelphia, PA. 

The students presented six posters summarizing their research results:

  • “Biomimetic membrane and ion effects: Water permeability and thermal property”
  • “Determining the thickness of droplet interface bilayers from capacitance measurements using a modified electrophysiological amplification technique”
  • “Effects of cis and trans double bonds on lipid membrane properties”
  • “Influence of intercalant on the lipid bilayer membrane: Water permeability studies”
  • “Micro-Raman for direct visualization of water transport in an individual aqueous droplet”
  • “Mitigating condensation by cholesterol with unsaturated lipids: Effect on permeability”

 

The student presenters and attendees were:
Chemistry: Alessandra Armetta ’18, Samuel Braziel ’18 Geoffrey Cawley ’16, Gabriella Di Domizio ’18, Maria Lopez ’17, Anneliese Jagaranth ‘19  Biochemistry: Jacqueline Denver ’17, Sue Ellen Evangelista ’17, Peter Milianta ’16 and Kalen Sullivan ’17 Physics: Michael McGlone ’17

2016 CHEMISTRY AWARDS WINNERS

Each year, the Department of Chemistry recognizes excellent achievement among the chemistry community, by awarding the following honors:

  • CRC Press LLC Freshman Chemistry Achievement Award: Elizabeth Miller ‘19, Megan Wood ‘19
  • Westchester Chemical Society Student Award: Michael Morales ‘19, Shannen Galindo ‘19
  • Chemistry Stellar Award: Jaheem Francis ‘19, Johnathan Neshiwat ‘19, Alyssa Gayapa ‘19, Shea Foley ‘19
  • ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry Undergraduate Award: Gabriella Di Domizio ‘18
  • ACS Inorganic Chemistry Award: Zachary Snopkowski ‘16
  • ACS Organic Chemistry Award: Samuel Braziel ‘18
  • The Levkov Prize in Physical Chemistry: Rebecca Bone ‘17
  • Ionic Bonds Award: Peter Milianta ‘16

 

Student Spotlight

SIX CHEMISTRY RESEARCH PAPERS PRESENTED AT THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE FOR UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH IN ASHEVILLE

Students and faculty stand on steps outside of building with a banner announcing 'NCUR' in the background.

Six Iona chemistry research projects involving 13 student researchers were presented as examples of high-quality undergraduate scholarly activities at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research (NCUR) in April at the University of North Carolina, Asheville. The mission of the NCUR is to promote undergraduate research, scholarship and creative activity done in partnership with faculty or other mentors as a vital component of higher education. In addition to the chemistry research projects, 18 more Iona undergraduate students presented 10 additional projects in fields including philosophy, education, speech pathology, psychology and computer science.

ELEVEN CHEMISTRY RESEARCH PROJECTS PRESENTED AT THE SEVENTH IONA SCHOLARS DAY

Every April, Iona College students engaged in undergraduate research and creative scholarship present their findings through poster and panel presentations. Since its beginnings in 2010, participation has grown substantially, and in 2016, the 7th Annual Iona Scholars Day involved more than 100 participants. 

Eleven chemistry/biochemistry research projects were contributed by students from three research groups: 

  • Dr. Lee Group –Peter Milianta, Jacqueline Denver, Sue Ellen Evangelista, Melissa Morales, Geoffrey Cawley, Jacqueline Martinez, Alessandra Armetta, Michael McGlone, Sean Campbell, Kalen Sullivan, Samuel Braziel, Ricardo Oliveira.
  • Dr. Kristian/Dr. Stabile group – Robert Sandoval, Gunnar Hansen, Erica Zhen
  • Dr. Ryan group – Mary Ellen Mangione.

It was truly remarkable 
to see such a display of high quality research from chemistry students and their mentors.

SCHOLARLY ACTIVITIES

TEN STUDENTS INDUCTED INTO 
NATIONAL CHEMISTRY HONOR SOCIETY

Students display their certificates and stand around a framed certificate.

Iona College’s National Chemistry Honor Society Chapter inducted ten chemistry and biochemistry majors at a ceremony held at the College on May 5, 2016. The inductees for 2016 are:

  • Jacqueline Martinez (Chemistry ‘16)
  • Zachary Snopkowski (Chemistry ‘16)
  • Samantha Lynn Glusker (Chemistry ‘16)
  • Gunnar T Hansen (Biology, minor in Chemistry ‘16)
  • Rebecca Ariel Bone (ACS Chemistry ‘17)
  • Maria Angelica Lopez (Chemistry ‘17)
  • Kalen Sullivan (Biochemistry ‘17)
  • Gabriella Ann Di Domizio (ACS Chemistry ‘18)
  • Samuel Victor Braziel (ACS Chemistry ‘18)
  • Rachel Marie Garn (Chemistry ‘18)

 

PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL ARTICLES

(Undergraduate student coauthors are underlined)

  • PJ. Milianta, M. Muzzio, J. Denver, G. Cawley, S. Lee, “Water Permeability Across Symmetric and Asymmetric Droplet Interface Bilayers: Interaction of Cholesterol Sulfate with DPhPC.”, Langmuir, 31 (44), pp 12187–12196, 2015.
  • Kristian, K.E.  A wiki-based group project in an inorganic chemistry foundation course. Journal of Chemical Education, 2015, 92(12), 2074–2079.
  • Chen, H.; Varner, M.E.; Gerber, R.B.; Finlayson-Pitts, B.J.  Reactions of Methanesulfonic Acid with Amines and Ammonia as a Source of New Particles in Air.  Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 2016, 120, 1526-1536.
  • Joint toxic effects of the type-2 alkene electrophiles, Zhang, Lihai; Geohagen, Brian C.; Gavin, Terrence; Lo Pachin, Richard M., hemico-Biological Interactions (2016), 254, 198-206.
  • Enolate-forming phloretin pharmacophores: hepatoprotection in an experimental model of drug-induced toxicity, Geohagen, Brian C.; Vydyanathan, Amaresh; Kosharskyy, Boleslav; Shaparin, Naum; Gavin, Terrence; LoPachin, Richard M. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (2016), 357(3), 476-486.
  • Reactions of electrophiles with nucleophilic thiolate sites: Relevance to pathophysiological mechanisms and remediation, Richard M LoPachin • Terrence Gavin, Free Radical Research (2016), 50(2), 195-205.

 

SCHOLARLY ACTIVITIES FOR FACULTY AND STUDENTS

CONFERENCES AND PRESENTATIONS

(Undergraduate student coauthors are underlined)

  • Mick E. McGlone, Sunghee Lee, “Determining the thickness of droplet interface bilayers from capacitance measurements using a modified electrophysiological amplification technique”, Fall 2016 ACS National Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, CHED, August 21-25, 2016. 
  • Gabriella Di Domizio, Maria Lopez, Jake Villanova, Peter Milianta, Jacqueline Denver, Sunghee Lee, “Influence of intercalant on the lipid bilayer membrane: Water permeability studies”,  Fall 2016 ACS National Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, CHED, August 21-25, 2016. 
  • Jacqueline Denver, Alessandra M. Armetta, Sunghee Lee, “Effects of cis and trans double bonds on lipid membrane properties”,  Fall 2016 ACS National Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, CHED, August 21-25, 2016. 
  • Sue Ellen Evangelista, Jacqueline C. Martinez, Melissa E. Morales, Sunghee Lee, “Biomimetic membrane and ion effects: Water permeability and thermal property”,  Fall 2016 ACS National Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, CHED, August 21-25, 2016. 
  • Kalen Sullivan, Samuel Braziel, Sunghee Lee, “Micro-Raman for direct visualization of water transport in an individual aqueous droplet”,  Fall 2016 ACS National Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, CHED, August 21-25, 2016. 
  • Maria Lopez, Gabriella Di Domizio, Sue Ellen Evangelista, Melissa E. Morales, Sunghee Lee, “Mitigating condensation by cholesterol with unsaturated lipids: Effect on permeability”,  Fall 2016 ACS National Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, CHED, August 21-25, 2016. 
  • Advancing Research and Teaching Through NSF-MRI Instrumentation Grants, Invited Panel Presentation: Robert Bachman, Sunghee Lee, Jennifer Swift, Kraig Wheeler, The 17th CUR Biennial National Conference 2016, University of South Florida (USF), Tampa, FL - June 26-28, 2016.
  • Sunghee Lee, “Towards Molecular Understanding of Lipid Membrane Structure Via Transbilayer Transport at the Interdroplet Interface”, Gordon Research Conference, Biointerface Science, Les Diablerets Switzerland, June 12-17, 2016. 
  • Jacqueline Denver, Peter Milianta, Alessandra Armetta, and Sunghee Lee, “Effects of cis and trans Double Bonds on Lipid Membrane”, NY ACS 64th Undergraduate Research Symposium (URS), Lehman College, May 7, 2016.
  • Peter Milianta and Sunghee Lee, “To Understand The Involvement Of Cholesterol Asymmetry In The Regulation Of Biophysical Properties Related To Alzheimer’s Disease, Aging, And Alcoholism” Council on Undergraduate Research, 20th Annual Posters on the Hill, Washington, DC, April 19-20, 2016. 
  • Michael McGlone, and Sunghee Lee, “Determining the Thickness of Droplet Interface Bilayers from Capacitance Measurements using a Modified Electrophysiological Amplification Technique”, The 7th Annual Iona Scholars Day, Iona College. April 12, 2016. 
  • Maria Lopez, Gabriella DiDomizio, and Sunghee Lee, “Water Transport through Monoglyceride Droplet Bilayers: Effects of Lipid Acyl Tail Structure”, The 7th Annual Iona Scholars Day, Iona College. April 12, 2016. 
  • Sue Ellen Evangelista, Melissa Morales, and Sunghee Lee, “Cation effects on water permeability of biomimetic membrane formed in lipid interface bilayer”, The 7th Annual Iona Scholars Day, Iona College. April 12, 2016. 
  • Kalen Sullivan, Samuel Braziel, and Sunghee Lee, “Micro-Raman studies of direct visualization of water transport in an individual aqueous droplet”, The 7th Annual Iona Scholars Day, Iona College. April 12, 2016.
  • Peter Milianta, Jacqueline Denver, and Sunghee Lee, “High-Throughput Crystallization in a Multiwell Microdevice”, The 7th Annual Iona Scholars Day, Iona College. April 12, 2016. 
  • Jacqueline Martinez and Sunghee Lee, “Differential Scanning Calorimetry Studies of Phospholipid Membranes: Effects of Hofmeister Cations and Anions”, The 7th Annual Iona Scholars Day, Iona College. April 12, 2016.
  • Jake Villanova, Maria Lopez, Gabriella DiDomizio, Sunghee Lee, “Influence of Intercalant on the Lipid Bilayer Membrane: Water Permeability Studies”, The 7th Annual Iona Scholars Day, Iona College. April 12, 2016. 
  • Jacqueline Denver, Alessandra Armetta, Sunghee Lee, “Effects of Cis and Trans Double Bonds on Lipid Membrane Properties”, The 7th Annual Iona Scholars Day, Iona College. April 12, 2016. 
  • Maria Lopez, Gabriella DiDomizio, and Sunghee Lee, “Water Transport through Monoglyceride Droplet Bilayers: Effects of Lipid Acyl Tail Structure”, The 7th Annual Iona Scholars Day, Iona College. April 12, 2016. 
  • Jacqueline Denver, Jake Villanova, Peter Milianta, Michael McGlone, Geoffrey Cawley, Maria Lopez, Gabriella DiDomizio, Sunghee Lee, “Influence of Solvent on the Lipid Bilayer Membrane: Permeability and Capacitance Studies”,  The National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), University of North Carolina Asheville April 7-9, 2016. 
  • Kalen Sullivan, Samuel Braziel, Sunghee Lee, “Quantitative Visualization of Water transport in an Individual Aqueous Droplet by Raman Microspectroscopy”, The National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), University of North Carolina Asheville April 7-9, 2016.
  • Jacqueline Martinez, Sunghee Lee, “Differential Scanning Calorimetry for the Study of  Electrolyte Effect on Phospholipid Membranes”, The National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), University of North Carolina Asheville April 7-9, 2016. 
  • Sue Ellen Evangelista, Melissa Morales, Maria Lopez, Gabriella DiDomizio, Peter Milianta, Jacqueline Denver, Alessandra Armetta, Sunghee Lee, “Differential Effects of Cholesterol on Water Permeability of Lipid Bilayers”,  The National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), University of North Carolina Asheville April 7-9, 2016. 
  • Maria Lopez, Gabriella DiDomizio, Sue Ellen Evangelista, Melissa Morales, Peter Milianta, Jacqueline Denver, Alessandra Armetta, Sunghee Lee, “Effects of Lipid Acyl Tail Structure on Water Transport through Droplet Bilayers”, The National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), University of North Carolina Asheville April 7-9, 2016. 
  • Sunghee Lee, “Two Tales of Soft Surface Engineering, One Droplet at a Time: Transporting Water and Crystallizing Solutes”, Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, Michigan, March 16, 2016
  • Sunghee Lee, “Fundamental studies of osmotic transport across the droplet lipid membrane: Lipid structure, asymmetry and cholesterol”, Pacifichem 2015, Honolulu, Hawaii, Dec. 15-20, 2015. 
  • Sunghee Lee, “Project Symphony: Bringing Undergraduate Research to a Crescendo”, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Nov. 13, 2015.
  • Hansen, G., Sandoval, R., Zhen, E., Kristian, K. E.; Stabile, J. “Examining Copper Pollution in the Biota of an Urban Estuary”.  Oral presentation, 30th Anniversary National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR 30), Asheville, NC, April 2016.
  • Hansen, G., Sandoval, R., Stabile, J., Kristian, K.E. “Examining Copper Pollution in the Biota of an Urban Estuary”. Poster presentation, Iona Scholars Day, Iona College, New Rochelle, NY, April 2016.

 

Class Of 2016 

Congratulations To The Class Of 2016!

THE CHEMISTRY DEPARTMENT IS PROUD OF THE 12 CHEMISTRY MAJORS AND ONE BIOCHEMISTRY MAJORS WHO COMPLETED THEIR STUDIES AT IONA IN 2016, AND WE WISH THEM THE BEST OF LUCK IN THEIR CAREERS!  

Students and faculty stand around a framed certificate.

Among the graduates, five received ACS certification for their BS degree in chemistry. 
Marianna Makrides (ACS Chemistry)
Ricardo A Oliveira (ACS Chemistry)
Zachary Snopkowski (ACS Chemistry)
Jake Villanova (ACS Chemistry) 
Jonathan R Zagroba (ACS Chemistry)
Peter J Milianta (Biochemistry)
Aissatou Diallo (Chemistry)
Samantha L Glusker (Chemistry)
Jacqueline Martinez (Chemistry)
Mary E Mangione (Chemistry)
Melissa E Morales (Chemistry)
Julia Pietragelo (Chemistry)
Luke T Riordan (Chemistry)

HONORS THESES

  • Jacqueline Martinez: The Study of Electrolyte and Alkane Effects on Phospholipid Membranes Using Differential Scanning Calorimetry
  • Peter Milianta: Innovations In Biomimetic Membrane Formation-Water Permeability Examined Using  The Asymmetric Droplet Interface Bilayer (DIB) (Honors Thesis with Distinction)
  • Ricardo Oliveira: Yeast Cell Glycolytic Synchronization by Alteration of Metabolite Concentration

GRADUATE SCHOOL AND FULL-TIME JOB PLACEMENTS (AS OF THIS PUBLICATION DATE)

  • Samantha L Glusker, Doctor of Dental Medicine, University of Pittsburgh
  • Jacqueline Martinez, MBA program at Iona College
  • Melissa E Morales, MBA program at Iona College
  • Ricardo A Oliveira, MS program in chemical engineering at Cornell University
  • Zachary Snopkowski, MS program in chemical engineering at University of Connecticut

NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENTS

PJ Milianta explaings his project in front of a poster explaining his work.

PJ Milianta Presents Biochemistry Research on Cell Membrane Model at Posters on the Hill in Washington DC, to members of the United States Congress. Peter John Milianta (‘16 Biochemistry) presented findings from his research at the highly selective Posters on the Hill event in Washington, D.C on April 19-20.  PJ was one of 60 elite undergraduate student research projects selected out of hundreds of applications after a rigorous review process from across country in the natural sciences, social sciences, health sciences, mathematics, engineering, and the arts & humanities. At this annual two-day event, undergraduate researchers representing from states throughout the country have presented their research to members of the United States Congress at the Capitol Building.
PJ’s research, which is funded by NSF, focuses on development of cell membrane models that improve understanding membrane biophysical properties relating to health.  “To be given the chance to represent the state of New York this year in the annual NCUR Posters on the Hill event in Washington, D.C. was both an honor and an incredible opportunity. I was immersed in the policymaking and federal deliberating that makes government-funded research like mine possible, allowing me to not only provide feedback to government representatives, but also show them what their funding has produced. While meeting with several officials from around the U.S., I was able to discuss my research and examine the current processes underlying the funding of undergraduate research at institutions across the country. Though my words and insights only impacted the few Members of Congress that I met, I know that with my peers representing the other states of the union, a much larger impression was left on Congress that day. It was an incredible experience and I am proud that I helped progress such an important cause; I am also thankful for all the support from NSF, Iona College and my research mentor Dr. Lee, who facilitated my participation.”
Dr. Lee adds “Peter represents a role model of undergraduate researcher. Through his dedication and diligence over his four years at Iona, he has now two papers as co-author in peer-reviewed publications. Peter also participated in summer research in Japan, at a leading biomedical engineering research group at the University of Tokyo. All these experiences encourage his future plan to explore his passion for science research in health-related discovery as a MD/PhD. I am very proud of Peter’s achievement and fully supportive of his future endeavor.”

Student Summer Research Experience

National Science Foundation (NSF) Funded Project at University of Tokyo, Japan, 
Biomineralization Research

By Jacqueline Denver (Biochemistry ‘17)  Five students sit around a table while the one on the far left shows off his blue protective gloves.

This past summer, the Takeuchi Group, a research team at the University of Tokyo Institute of Industrial Science, welcomed me into the environment of their laboratory. I was exposed to advanced forms of chemical engineering and obtained further knowledge of biochemistry. Working at the Kanagawa Academy of Science and Technology (KAST) in Japan was a phenomenal experience and a true honor. The guidance and assistance from the members of the Takeuchi Group contributed to the success of an improved microfluidics device for biomineralization, the collaborative project in Dr. Lee’s Project Symphony Research Group at Iona. I was inspired and challenged to continue to do more during my research experience in Japan and to excel further in my undergraduate studies at Iona College. Through my experiences at KAST, I was not only able to develop a successful research device, but also foster meaningful relationships with the people I encountered. Through the 12-hour work days, I was able to experience many challenges as a researcher, being fully exposed to the depth of graduate-level study. In addition, my experiences outside of the laboratory contributed to my growth as an individual. Whether it was being required to try new types of cuisine, efficiently commute to work each day by subway and bus, or assess my research method for more efficient results, I was able to mature as a person. Being encouraged to think critically and practically in an area outside of my comfort-zone, I was able to cultivate further intelligence, especially in performing under unanticipated circumstances. I am extremely honored to have been able to represent my research team, Project Symphony, Iona College, and my country in this research endeavor. I plan to continue this research at Iona and strengthen the international relationships of our research lab under Dr. Sunghee Lee for future Iona students to engage in this type of valuable experience.

NSF Funded Project at University of Tokyo, Japan, Biophysical Chemistry

By Michael McGlone (Physics ‘17) Michael stands in a kitchen with his colleagues.

Working in Tokyo with the Takeuchi Group (University of Tokyo) for a month this past summer was one of the most memorable formative parts of my education thus far. Landing in Narita Airport in early May this year, it was my first time that I was out of the country on my own, and only my second time out of the country at all. It was a bit of shock when I first tried to board a train to downtown Tokyo, and the person selling tickets spoke almost no English. While being surrounded by the Japanese culture proved more challenging than I anticipated, as soon as I walked into the lab I was immediately put at ease. A combination of how welcoming everyone in the lab was and how thorough my lab training at Iona has been made me very comfortable. My research project is to determine the thickness of droplet interface bilayers from capacitance measurements using a modified electrophysiological amplification technique. In the short time I was there I learned an extraordinary amount, thanks to the help of everyone in the lab, and in particular, Dr. Osaki. Thanks to their help, we were able to accomplish a great deal of research that will be continued in the Project Symphony Lab at Iona this year. I am extremely grateful for this experience as well as everyone who made it possible, both at Iona and in Tokyo. I am very thankful for the NSF funding that made this international collaboration possible and the hard work that Dr. Lee did to provide me this opportunity and am excited to continue working towards the goal of continued research with the Takeuchi Group. 

Endowed Professor Funded Internship, PLART Museium in Naples, Italy

By Gabriella Di Domizio (Chemistry ‘18) Student stands in white lab coat and waters a cactus.

The art of chemistry is fascinating in its ability to have connections and applications in practically every realm of study. As a chemistry major and art minor at Iona College, I was able to discover a unique balance between my scientific and artistic passions. The chemistry of art. In light of this exciting path that I wanted to pursue, I travelled to Naples, Italy on May 16th 2016 to embark on a journey and research-based mission to observe, learn, and practice the process behind art restoration within the Plart Foundation. Plart (Plastics + Art + Research + Technology) was founded in 2008 by Maria Pia Incutti who has collected over 1800 artefacts for the museum. It is one of the world’s largest collections of objects made of polymeric materials. It prides itself in being recently associated with some of the most prestigious Italian museums of design. It is even the home to Cactus, which is a famous piece done by Guido Drocco and Franco Mello. I was graciously given the opportunity to clean multiple pieces by these artists who created a continuation of the original Cactus but in different colors. 

One of my many responsibilities was to use the FTIR to identify plastics and I was taught the protocol for cataloging and creating a conservation report. In restoring plastics, mechanical, aqueous, and solvent cleaning mechanisms are used while protecting the authenticity of a piece. Because plastic restoration is a fairly new practice within the art world, there are currently countless unknowns and opportunities to improve the process. Without the knowledge of chemistry, art would not be as well preserved as it is today and history may not be as well understood, or even known. Throughout my time at the museum not only was I a practicing chemist in a white lab coat, but I was also a sprouting Italian. I became familiar with the language, tried as many foods as possible, and created friendships that could last a lifetime. I am grateful for having lived with such wonderful and caring hosts in Naples as well. It is with their help, alongside Dr. Sunghee Lee and Iona College, that I was able to have a successful research trip and a once in a lifetime experience.

This summer, I had the opportunity to research at North Carolina State University in the field of computational chemistry as NSF REU participant. I worked with characterizing a complex with an oxygen evolving catalyst based on Photosystem II bound to a titanium oxide nanosheet to produce hydrogen under visible light by photocatalytic water splitting. The computational side of my project consisted of modelling both the oxygen evolving complex and the entire complex including the titanium oxide nanosheet to determine the most likely way that the two parts of the complex connect. During this internship, I gained valuable experience in a graduate academic lab, working with others in my field to present at a research symposium and receive critiques from professionals. 

NSF REU Program at NC State University, Computational Chemistry

By Rebecca Bone (Chemistry '17) Rebecca stands in front of the board which displays details of her work.

This summer, I had the opportunity to research at North Carolina State University in the field of computational chemistry as NSF REU participant. I worked with characterizing a complex with an oxygen evolving catalyst based on Photosystem II bound to a titanium oxide nanosheet to produce hydrogen under visible light by photocatalytic water splitting. The computational side of my project consisted of modelling both the oxygen evolving complex and the entire complex including the titanium oxide nanosheet to determine the most likely way that the two parts of the complex connect. During this internship, I gained valuable experience in a graduate academic lab, working with others in my field to present at a research symposium and receive critiques from professionals.

Chemistry Department News

Remembering Brilliant Chemist And Professor, 

Dr. Terrence Edward Gavin

(MARCH 15, 1948 - AUGUST 22, 2016)

(Article Contributed by Dr. Jerome Levkov, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry)

Dr. Terrence Gavin was an innovative chemist who made significant contributions to organic chemistry and chemistry education.   Since 2007 his research (in collaboration with Dr. Richard M. LoPachin, Department of Anesthesiology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Hospital) focused on the application of chemical principles to the field of Neurotoxicology, investigating nerve terminal damage via cellular oxidative stress involved in diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and in acute tissue injury states (traumatic spinal cord damage, liver injury, stroke). They published extensively in the field.

Terry was a member of the chemistry department for over 30 years.  He was hired after he received his Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Stonybrook.  His creativity was evident in his synthesis of new organic substances, educating undergraduates, helping to design the chemistry program, and in his collaboration with fellow faculty.

One could always count on having an interesting conversation with Terry whether about baseball, football, the civil war, politics, chess, and sometimes all of the above in one conversation where he manifested a remarkable memory.

In addition to his role as an Eucharistic Minister at St. Joseph’s Church in New Paltz he was a member of the New Paltz Golf Course, an accomplished chess player.

He will be missed by all of us.

We invites you to celebrate the life of Professor Terrence Gavin at a Memorial service planned in mid-November at Iona College. Keep an eye on for the announcement.

New Chemistry Faculty

Casey Dougherty

Casey Dougherty smiling with ivy in the background.

Dr. Casey Dougherty began her interest in science at the University of Pittsburgh. She actually started her freshman year as a biology major working in a genetics lab, but realized after her first year that she was more drawn to her chemistry classes. After switching to a chemistry major and mathematics minor, Dr. Dougherty conducted undergraduate research in a bio-analytical lab measuring dopamine changes in the brain after injury using cyclic voltammetry. She also pursued a summer internship at Valspar developing novel polymer coatings for food and beverage cans. After graduating from Pitt, Dr. Dougherty decided to pursue her Ph.D. at the University of Michigan in materials organic chemistry. While in graduate school, Dr. Dougherty looked into the implications of varying ratios of fluorophores on a polymer and how the polymer’s biological behavior could change based on the fluorophore ratio. For her post-doctoral work, Dr. Dougherty decided to go into translational biomaterials research, working for the University of Michigan Medical School in the radiology department. During her time at the medical school, Dr. Dougherty looked into developing antibody-polymer materials to improve detection limitations in PET imaging of various cancers. In her research lab at Iona, Dr. Dougherty hopes to combine her past experiences of synthesizing highly controlled polymers and developing antibody imaging agents to develop antibody-polymer materials with a controlled number of fluorophores.

Careers in Science at Iona (CSI): Alumni, We Need You! 

We invite alumni to share rewarding career experiences with current Iona undergraduates majoring in science by speaking in the CSI:  Careers in Science at Iona lecture series.  Professionals from industry, government and academia who have majored in a science at Iona are invited to make presentations and share a light lunch with current students and faculty.  Please also send us any updates you want to share with us by writing to Dr. Sunghee Lee (slee@iona.edu). More Details, Visit Chemistry Department Homepage for CSI Events.

We are actively seeking alumni to serve as guest speakers at our events. To sign up as a guest speaker, please contact: 
Sunghee Lee, Ph.D. at SLee@iona.edu.

NOTABLE ALUMNI ACHIEVEMENT

Michelle Muzzio profile smiling.

CONGRATULATIONS TO MICHELLE MUZZIO (‘15): AWARDEE OF NSF GRADUATE RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP

Michelle Muzzio (‘15), Class of 2015 Valedictorian, who is currently in the Chemistry PhD program at Brown University, has received an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship is awarded to just 2,000 students each year (from a pool of over 17,000 applicants) and provides three years of financial support within a five-year fellowship period ($34,000 annual stipend) for her graduate study at Brown. Michelle proposes to develop a nanoparticle-based catalytic system to electrochemically reduce carbon dioxide into useful chemical products.

NSF proposal reviewers in particular praised her exceptional academic and research preparation at Iona College, with three peer-reviewed publications as an undergraduate under the mentorship of Professor Sunghee Lee.

Congratulations, Michelle!

Iona Chemical Society

Iona Chemical Society is a member of ACS Student Affiliates (SA) Chapter. Members participate in a wide range of programs and activities that enhance their college experience and prepare them for successful careers. The Iona College SA chapter has a wonderful track record for conducting exceptional programs and activities during the academic year. To be a member, please contact the president, Ms. Alessandra Armetta at AArmetta1@gaels.iona.edu.

Chemical Society E-Board Members for ’16-’17 
President: Alessandra Armetta
Vice president: Angelica Szeller  
Treasurer: Rebecca Bone
Secretary: Julia Krebs 
PR Chair: Samantha Newbury  

Chemistry Department News

Dr. Sunghee Lee Awarded NSF Grant Of $324,999 For Soft Materials Chemistry

The funded project, “RUI: Structural Determinants of Permeation and Nucleation at a Self-Assembled Interface,” will support the investigations of Dr. Sunghee Lee, Board of Trustees Endowed Professor and Chair of Chemistry, and her active undergraduate research program for the period of September 1, 2016 to August 31, 2020. Through this research program, Dr. Lee will work to secure a greater fundamental understanding of how living cells maintain their water balance essential to the sustenance of life, and will use the nature-inspired techniques discovered through this work to create tailor-made particles for a wide variety of uses in technology and industry. “This NSF award will enable significant advances in the fundamental understanding of the cellular mechanisms of water transport, while training the next generation of scientists in state-of-the-art scientific techniques,” said Dr. Lee. “I am very grateful for the recognition and continuous support from the NSF.” The NSF support has led to a productive output in undergraduate research training and education, including international research collaboration with the University of Tokyo. “The depth and breadth of quality research training for our students will continue to expand, thanks to the nationally recognized support for our exertions here at Iona,” Dr. Lee said.
For Dr. Sunghee Lee’s research activities, please visit research group page-dropletbilayer.com

CHEMISTRY DEPARTMENT RECEIVED THE 2016 JEAN DREYFUS BOISSEVAIN LECTURESHIP FOR UNDERGRADUATE INSTITUTIONS AWARD FROM THE CAMILLE AND HENRY DREYFUS FOUNDATION

Dr. Sunghee Lee received an $18,500 grant for the Department of Chemistry to bring a distinguished chemist to have extended visits to campus to give public and technical lectures in the chemical sciences and substantively interact with undergraduate students and a broad range of faculty. Additionally the award supports two undergraduates in summer research. The undergraduates engaged in summer research will be working with Iona chemistry faculty mentors in contemporary chemistry. 

“Given the fact this award is given typically to only four or five recipients each year, I am extremely proud of our chemistry program and the excellent recognition it has achieved,” said Dr. Lee. “It is due largely to the support given to our students and faculty in the program.”

Dr. Mark J. Cardillo, executive director of the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, said “Since its inception in 2010, the Jean Dreyfus Boissevain Lectureship has provided funding for distinguished chemists to have extended visits at undergraduate institutions throughout the United States. Additionally the award supports undergraduate research as part of our continuing commitment to all aspects of chemistry education.”

NSF GRANT OF $649,631 FOR NSF SCHOLARSHIPS IN SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, AND MATHEMATICS PROGRAM  (S-STEM) FOR CHEMISTRY AND COMPUTER SCIENCE MAJORS

Iona College has been awarded $649,631 by the NSF to recruit, support and retain undergraduate students majoring in Chemistry and Computer Science. The goal of NSF S-STEM Program is to increase undergraduates on a successful path to pursue further education and careers in STEM. The award will allow the funded project called “The Iona College DESIRE program (Development of Excellence in Science through Intervention, Resilience, and Enrichment)” to support twenty four (24) economically disadvantaged students with high academic aptitude, for scholarships in Chemistry and Computer Science, through targeted, hands-on high school outreach and recruitment programs. 

The Scholars will be exposed to high-impact educational practices that increase student retention, and will benefit from the various resources at Iona dedicated to intervention, resilience, and enrichment: tailored core courses, an interdisciplinary academic learning community, a science living and learning community floor, undergraduate research, and experiential and service learning. For professional development, the Scholars will be offered industrial internships and professional mentors through Careers in Science seminars and established science alumni network. 

The initial round of scholarships will fund freshmen enrolled for the Fall 2017 semester. This award is a result of successful collaboration among faculty and administrative staff from across the campus covering many disciplines led by Sunghee Lee, PhD, as the principal investigator (PI) with a following project team; Lubomir Ivanov, PhD, Computer Science (Co-PI), Kathleen Kristian, PhD, Chemistry (Co-PI), Smiljana Petrovic, PhD, Computer Science (Co-PI), Mychel Varner, PhD, Chemistry (Co-PI), Katherine Zaromatidis, PhD, Psychology (Senior Personnel), Thomas J. Van Cleave, PhD, Service and Experiential Learning (Senior Personnel), Jason Diffenderfer, Institutional Effectiveness and Planning (Senior Personnel), and Bernadette Wright, PhD (External Evaluator, Meaningful Evidence, LLC, Washington DC).