Department of Chemistry

News & Highlights

Department Newsletter Now Available Online

posted 2014.08.05

Issue 107 (summer 2014) of our department newsletter, The Case Chemist, is now available online or for download.

Graduate Program Ranked in National Top 25!

posted 2014-05-30

Our chemistry graduate programs have just been listed in the Top 25 by! These spring 2014 rankings enumerate the best graduate schools in the country in a variety of fields based solely on ratings and reviews from current or recent graduate students. Please click here for further details.

Grad Student Marvin Pollum Receives Photobiology Travel Award

posted 2014-05-12

Marvin Pollum, a 3rd year PhD student in The Crespo Research Group, received the Frederick Urbach Memorial Student Travel Award to present his research work at the 37th American Society for Photobiology’s conference in San Diego, California.

Dr. Srinivasan Wins WISER Faculty Advisor of the Year

posted 2014-04-18

Instructor Rekha Srinivasan was recognized as Faculty Advisor of the Year by the Women in Scienc and Engineering Roundtable (WISER), part of the CWRU Flora Stone Mather Center for Women.

Grad Student Shu Situ Wins Community Service Award

posted 2014-04-18

Congratulations to Ms. Shu Situ, a 3rd year PhD student in Dr. Samia's research group, for being selected as the 2013-2014 Lenore A. Kola Graduate Student Community Service Awardee. This recognition comes from the School of Graduate Studies at Case Western Reserve University.

ACS Project SEED Fellow Briana Sealey's Research Experience Featured in Imagine Magazine

posted 2014-04-07

American Chemical Society Project SEED fellow Briana Sealey's summer research experience was recently featured with an article by The Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth in Imagine Magazine.

Gray Group Publishes Research on Blue Chromophores »

posted 2014-02-18

The Gray group’s research on metal complexes of azadipyrromethene complexes was recently published in Inorganic Chemistry and Organometallics. Azadipyrromethenes are blue pigments that show promise in photodynamic therapy and solar energy recovery. At right is the structure of one complex.

Tolbert Group Awarded HIV Research Grant »

posted 2014-02-12

Congratulations go out to Dr. Blanton Tolbert who has been awarded a grant from amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research. The funds will support his research group's project on Host and Viral Control of P-TEFb Activation and HIV Transcription Elongation. This grant is part of amfAR's targeted biomedical research on "Exploring the Mechanisms for HIV Persistence and the Potential for HIV Eradication". More coverage is available at

Gray/Berdis Research on Ir(III) Based Metallonucleosides Published in Chemistry—A European Journal »

posted 2013.10.16

The Gray group’s current research on developing suitable metallo-probe to track nucleoside transporters across the cell membrane was published in Chemistry—A European Journal (8th Oct, 2013). In collaboration with Berdis Lab at Cleveland State University, we report a new strategy where cyclometalated Ir(III) complexes are "clicked" to C-1 of 2-deoxy-D-ribose in place of canonical nucleobases. Initial studies implicate the hENT family of nucleoside transporters as responsible for binding and transport of these metal-loaded nucleosides.

Department Welcomes 2013 Graduate Students

posted 2013.09.30

The Department of Chemistry welcomes its fall 2013 graudate students. Click here for photos and information (Case ID required).

Paul D. Adams Honored with NOBCChE Award »

posted 2013.09.16

CWRU alumnus Paul D. Adams, PhD, was selected as the recipient of the 2013 President's Award for Excellence in STEM Research and Mentoring from the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE). The award was presented at a reception on October 4 in Indianapolis. Dr. Adams is currently an associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

Drs. Protasiewicz and Schiraldi Named as ACS Fellows »

posted 2013.08.01

Professor of Chemistry John Protasiewicz and Professor or Macromolecular Science & Engineering David Schiraldi (secondary faculty member in chemistry) were named as 2013 American Chemical Society Fellows. Congratulations to both of them! "This is an honor bestowed on members for their outstanding accomplishments in scientific research, education, and public service", said ACS Immediate Past-President Bassam Z. Shakhashiri. A ceremony for the new fellows will be held at the ACS national meeting in Indianapolis this September.

Department Newsletter Now Available Online

posted 2013.07.31

Issue 106 (summer 2013) of our department newsletter, The Case Chemist, is now available online or for download.

Dr. Mateescu’s MRI Research Awarded at U. Penn Poster Symposium »

posted 2013.07.15

Emeritus Professor Gheorghe Mateescu received a poster award at the Britton Chance Centennial International Symposium on Metabolic Imaging and Spectroscopy organized by the University of Pennsylvania on June 19, 2013. His presentation was titled "From isolated mitochondria to in vivo determination of oxygen and glucose consumption". This award was in recognition of two pioneering works: the first oxygen-17 Magnetic Resonance Image (MRI) in 1987 by Mateescu with graduate students Gregory Yvars and Terri Dular, and the in vivo simultaneous determination of oxygen and glucose consumption via dynamic deuterium magnetic resonance at the Case Center for Imaging Research with Allen Ye, Biomedical Engineering student, in 2011. "Right now, my interest [is] in detecting the water monomer in the live brain... and this can only be done by O-17 MR", said Dr. Mateescu.

Dr. Gray’s Research in Gold Click Chemistry Published in Chem. Commun. »

posted 2013.06.05

The latest research in metal-carbon bond formation by graduate student Jim Heckler and Associate Professor Thomas Gray was published in Chemical Communications. Catalytic syntheses of gold(I) organometallics proceed in aqueous solutions, under mild and general conditions. The crystal structure of one product, shown, was collected by graduate student Nihal Deligonul.

Dr. Tolbert Selected for AIDS Research Award »

posted 2013.05.06

The department wishes to congratulate Assistant Professor Blanton Tolbert for being the recipient of a Developmental Award from the CWRU Center for AIDS Research (CFAR). The award provides funding for new HIV/AIDS research projects, studies that enhance interactions between scientists, and technological developments. Details of the program are available from CFAR.

Grad Students Among Winners at Research ShowCASE »

posted 2013.05.01

Congratulations to the following graduate students for their performance at the 2013 Research ShowCASE poster session!

Details on the Research ShowCASE program can be found on the Office of Research and Technology Management website.

Grad Student James Heckler Wins Precious Metals Award »

posted 2013.04.18

Congratulations to graduate student James Heckler (a member of Dr. Thomas Gray's research group) for winning the 2013 Johnson Matthey Graduate Student Award presented by the International Precious Metals Institute (IPMI). The award is to be conferred at the IPMI 37th Annual Conference held in Phoenix, Arizona this June. The award listings and descriptions are available on the IPMI website.

Dr. Crespo Chosen for CSURM Fellowship »

posted 2013.04.18

Congratulations to Assistant Professor Carlos Crespo Hernández for being awarded a Carl Storm Underrepresented Minority (CSURM) Fellowship, which supports his participation in the 2013 Photochemistry Gordon Research Conference. Details of the program are available from the GRC site.

Department Welcomes Emily Pentzer

posted 2013.03.29

The department would like to welcome our newest Assistant Professor, Emily Pentzer. Learn more about Dr. Pentzer and her research.

Faculty Nominated for Wittke Award »

posted 2013.03.18

The department would like to congratulate Drs. Clemens Burda, Michael Kenney, and Rekha Srinivasan for being nominated for the 2013 Carl F. Wittke Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

More details will be found on the Student Affairs website as it becomes available.

Dr. Crespo Selected for NSF CAREER Award »

posted 2013.03.18

Congratulations to Dr. Carlos Crespo Hernández for winning a National Science Foundation CAREER Award! More details are available from the NSF.

Dr. Gray’s Metal-Carbon Bond Forming Research Published in Chem. Sci. »

posted 2013.02.15

Graduate student Ayan Maity and Dr. Thomas Gray’s research in carbon-iridium bond formation was published in Chemical Science. Light-emitting organometallic complexes have been prepared efficiently at room temperature. Sensitive functional groups are preserved, and thermally fragile isomers survive. Crystal structures were collected by Nihal Deligonul at the Case Place for Molecular Crystallography.

Dr. Samia Selected for NSF CAREER Award »

posted 2013.01.30

Congratulations to Dr. Anna C. Samia for winning a National Science Foundation CAREER Award! More details are available from the NSF.

Dr. Gray and Collaborators Featured in C&E News for Gold Bonding Research »

posted 2012.12.12

Dr. Thomas Gray and collaborators, including former chemistry PhD student Thomas Robilotto, recently had their research on delocalized bonding in gold clusters featured in the Science & Technology Concentrates section of Chemical & Engineering News.

Dr. Srinivasan Chosen for John Hood Faculty Award

posted 2012.10.15

Congratulations to Dr. Rekha Srinivasan for winning the John C. Hood Outstanding Faculty Award. This award is given for "Outstanding Commitment to the Education of Youth and Inspiration of Maturity".

Paul D. Adams Selected for Alumnus Award

posted 2012.10.02

CWRU alumnus Paul D. Adams, PhD, was selected as the recipient of the CWRU African American Alumni Association's 2012 Rising Star Award. The award was presented at a ceremony on September 29.

Collaborative Laser/Organometallic Research Published in J. Am. Chem. Soc. »

posted 2012.09.05

Graduate student R. Aaron Vogt, Dr. Thomas Gray, and Dr. Carlos Crespo-Hernández's study of subpicosecond excited-state processes in organogold compounds was published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. For the first time, gold(I) has been shown to form organometallic complexes having non-equilibrium excited-state dynamics.

Dr. Burda's Femtosecond Laser Research Featured in J. Physical Chemistry Video »

posted 2012.08.03

Dr. Clemens Burda along with his graduate students Chi-Hung Chuang and Tennyson Doane were featured in a video from the Journal of Physical Chemistry for their work in femtosecond laser spectroscopy on nanoscale charge carriers. Their research paper is available as well.

Dr. Anderson's Fuel Cell Research Featured in The Daily »

posted 2012.07.23

Dr. Alfred Anderson was recently featured in The Daily university email newsletter for his research on the need for a platinum replacement in fuel cells.

2012 Academic Award Winners

posted 2012.06.01

The department wishes to congratulate the winners of our 2012 Chemistry Academic Awards.

Department Newsletter Now Available Online

posted 2012.05.08

Issue 105 (spring 2012) of our department newsletter, The Case Chemist, is now available online or for download.

Academic Awards Program May 2

posted 2012.04.06

The Department of Chemistry Academic Awards Program will be held 2 May at 12:00 noon in Hovorka Atrium. On this occasion we will recognize our outstanding graduate and undergraduate students, as well as our 2012 Oustanding Alumnus, David Fries. For more details, please see the Academic Awards Program flyer (PDF).

Dr. Sauvé Selected for NSF CAREER Award »

posted 2011.12.21

Congratulations to Dr. Geneviève Sauvé for winning a National Science Foundation CAREER Award! More details are available from the NSF.

Dr. Lee Selected as BBA Proteins & Proteomics Executive Editor »

posted 2011.07.14

Dr. Irene Lee has accepted a position as the executive editor of the Proteins and Proteomics section of the international journal Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA). The department wishes to extend its congratulations! More details are available at the university blog The Daily.

Graduate Student Adriana Popa Awarded NASA Fellowship

posted 2011.07.01

Congratulations to Ms. Adriana Popa for being selected as a recipient of the inaugural NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship. Adriana's research project will entail the "Development of Magnetic-Plasmonic Nanoparticle Sensors for the Apprehension, Removal and Treatment (ART) of Microbial Contamination in Water" under the supervision of Prof. Anna C. Samia. Details of the Fellowship are available as a PDF.

Electrochemists Partner with Chinese Oil Company for Clean Energy »

posted 2011.06.09

Read the full story at

2011 Academic Awards Program

posted 2011.05.05

The department wishes to congratulate the winners of the 2011 Chemistry Academic Awards.

Study Suggests New Criteria For Electrocatalysts »

posted 2011.03.17

Professor Alfred Anderson's research group was highlighted in the March 14 issue of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) for theoretical work which suggests new criteria for choosing fuel cell electrocatalysts. The full research paper is also available online from the American Chemical Society.

Department Newsletter Now Available Online

posted 2011.02.10

Our winter 2010-2011 newsletter, The Case Chemist, is now available as a PDF document.

Professor Mateescu Elected Fellow of ISMRM

posted 2010.12.09

At the 17th Scientific Meeting of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine held in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 18-24, 2009, Emeritus Professor Gheorghe D. Mateescu was elected Fellow of ISMRM, for his pioneering work on Oxygen-17 and Deuterium Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Spectroscopy.

Chemistry Students Attend DC Science Festival »

posted 2010.11.09

Michael Kenney, as well as students from Alpha Chi Sigma chemistry fraternity and Education Theater, attended the USA Science & Engineering Festival along with many other CWRU students on October 23-24. More on this story at the News Center.

Photos from the 2010 Welcome Barbeque

posted 2010.10.14

Click here for photos (Case ID required).

Department Welcomes 2010 Graduate Students

posted 2009.09.23

The Department of Chemistry welcomes its fall 2010 graudate students. Click here for photos and information (Case ID required).

Two Professors Honored with Distinguished Titles

posted 2010.09.14

Congratulations to both Robert Salomon, who has been honored as the Charles F. Mabery Professor of Research in Chemistry, and Daniel Scherson, who has been honored as the Frank Hovorka Professor of Chemistry.

Department Welcomes Anna Cristina Samia

posted 2010.08.13

The department would like to welcome a new Assistant Professor, Anna Cristina Samia. Learn more about Dr. Samia and her research.

Graduate Student Edward Motea Receives Cancer Pharmacology Grant »

posted 2009.08.13

Graduate Student Edward Motea recently received a predoctoral training grant in Cancer Pharmacology. For more information, please see the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center newsletter.

Graduate Student Emily Barker Receives Research Service Award

posted 2009.08.13

Graduate Student Emily Barker recently received a prestigious F31 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award for Individual Predoctoral Fellows. Congratulations! Emily performs research with Assistant Professor Gregory Tochtrop.

Carlos Crespo Recognized as Local Leader by Kaleidoscope Magazine

posted 2010.07.21

The department would like to congratulate Assistant Professor Carlos Crespo-Hernández for being recognized by Kaleidoscope Magazine and their Cuarenta/Cuarenta Club. The magazine recognizes Hispanic leaders for their accomplishments within their organization and the Greater Cleveland Community.

Rekha Srinivasan Wins Wittke Teaching Award »

posted 2010.07.23

Congratulations to organic chemistry instructor Rekha Srinivasan for winning the Carl F. Wittke Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching! You can read her thoughts on the award at The Daily blog.

Grad Student Winners at Research ShowCASE »

posted 2010.07.23

Congratulations to graduate students Chi-Hung Chuang, Sushabhan Sadhukhan, Yu Cheng, Plusia Vassilaras, and Tennyson Doane for their winning posters at the 2010 Research ShowCASE. They were awarded, first, second, second, third, and honorable mention respectively. The full list of winners and poster titles is available here.

Faculty Nominated for Wittke and Jackson Awards »

posted 2010.03.31

The department would like to congratulate Michael Kenney and Greg Tochtrop for being nominated for the 2010 J. Bruce Jackson Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Mentoring.

We would also like to contratulate Rekha Srinivasan, John Tedesco, Michael Kenney, and Greg Tochtrop for being nominated for the 2010 Carl F. Wittke Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

More details are available on the Student Affairs website.

Two Graduate Students Win Dean's Instructional Excellence Award

posted 2010.03.31

Congratulations to Plusia Vassilaras and Brian Werry for selection for the 2009-2010 Graduate Dean's Instructional Excellence Award.

Two Graduate Students Awarded at Cleveland ACS Meeting »

posted 2010.03.22

The department would like to congratulate Yu Cheng and Aaron Vogt for winning graduate student awards at the ACS Cleveland Section Meeting-in-Miniature at CSU. Yu won in biochemistry and Aaron in physical chemistry.

Department of Chemistry Welcomes 2009 Graduate Students

posted 2009.11.23

The Department of Chemistry welcomes its fall 2009 graudate students. Click here for photos (Case ID and required).

Department Welcomes Geneviève Sauvé

posted 2009.08

In August 2009, the department welcomed Assistant Professor Geneviève Sauvé. Learn more about Dr. Sauvé and her research.

Graduate Student Kiera Kurak Recieves 2nd Place in ECS Poster Session

posted 2009.08.04

Kiera Kurak's poster, "Electroreduction of O2 on Selenium Nanotubes: Theoretical Prediction," received second place in the Student Poster Session on Electrochemical Science and Technology on May 26 at the 215th Annual Meeting of the Electrochemical Society. (Taken from the Case Daily blog)

2009 Academic Awards Program

posted 2009.06.03

The department wishes to congratulate the winners of the 2009 Academic Awards. You can read the list of recipients (public) or browse the event photos (Case ID required).

In Memoriam: Lawrence M. Sayre, Ph.D.

posted 2009.05.12

Lawrence M. Sayre Lawrence (Larry) M. Sayre, Ph.D., an internationally renowned Professor of Chemistry, Pathology and Environmental Health Sciences at Case Western Reserve University whose research unraveled the molecular mechanisms of human diseases, died Friday, May 8, 2009 in Cleveland, Ohio. He was 57 years old, and died from brain injury precipitated by an intracranial hematoma, at the Hospice of the Western Reserve with his mother and wife at his side. (more)

Ignacio Ocasio Memorial Dedication Photos

posted 2009.05.07

Ocasio, a classically trained pianist and prodigiously talented chemistry professor, came to the Case campus in 1980. During his 25 years at Case, thousands of students passed through his chemistry courses and were inspired by his energy, enthusiasm, and dedication. Doc Oc won numerous teaching awards, including the Wittke Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching in 1993 and the J. Bruce Jackson, M.D., Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Mentoring in 2006 (posthumously). He was dedicated to helping students develop - not only academcally - but also as members of society. (more)

Intro. Chemistry Prof. Encourages Volunteering for Community »

posted 2008.10.07

Professor Michael Kenney, instructor for the CHEM 105 and CHEM 111 introductory courses, encouraged over 600 students to volunteer on Case for Community Day, September 19.

Full story hosted at the Case Daily news blog.

Department of Chemistry Welcomes 2008 Graduate Students

posted 2008.08.28

The Department of Chemistry welcomes its fall 2008 graudate students. Click here for photos (Case ID required).

Department of Chemistry Welcomes Prof. Viswanathan

posted 2008.08.28

In August 2008, the Department of Chemistry welcomed its newest Assistant Professor, Rajesh Viswanathan. He and his wife, Nirmala Krishnamurthy, have come to Cleveland from the University of Utah. This fall, Prof. Viswanathan is teaching CHEM 435: Synthetic Methods in Organic Chemistry.

Learn more about Dr. Viswanathan and his research.