News Archives

Congratulations to Dr. Ma and Dr. Space for DOE Grants

Drs. Shengqian Ma and Brian Space who have each received DOE grants from the Fuel Cell Technologies Office within the Department of Energy (DOE) in response to a funding announce titled “Fiscal Year 2019 Commercial Trucks and Off‐road Applications FOA: Natural Gas, Hydrogen, Biopower, and Electrification Technologies”. Each award was funded at $800,000 and USF received two of the eight awards this round.

The research projects funded are:

  1.  Dr. Space: “Uniting Theory and Experiment to Deliver Flexible MOFs for Superior Methane (NG) Storage"
  2. Dr. Ma:  “Metal-Organic Frameworks Containing Frustrated Lewis Pairs for H2 Storage at Ambient Temperature”

Dr. van der vaart recieves nsf grant 

The National Science Foundation has awarded a grant of $152,735 to University of South Florida for support of project titled "Role of DNA sequence and deformability on lesion recognition and excision in the base excision repair pathway," under the direction of Dr. Arjan Van Der Vaart.

Dr. Woodcock's work on enzymatic degradation of plastics was listed as one of the top 100 (#88) most impactful papers of 2018!

Characterization and engineering of a plastic-degrading aromatic polyesterase: Single-use plastic containers pose a significant global environmental problem. In this article, researchers describe a newly discovered enzyme that can digest the kinds of single-use plastics used in beverage bottles, clothing, and carpets.



Dr. Jianfeng cai and dr. haitao ji have recently published a paper in pnas

Dr. Jianfeng Cai, together with Dr. Haitao Ji at Moffitt Cancer Center, have recently published a paper in PNAS with the title of “Inhibition of β−Catenin/ B-Cell Lymphoma 9 Protein−Protein Interaction Using α-Helix-Mimicking Sulfono-γ-AApeptide Inhibitors”. Here is the link: 

In this article Dr. Cai and his collaborators reported the use of a new class of peptidomimetics-helical AApeptides to disrupt cancer-related β−Catenin/BCL9 protein-protein interactions.

Solomon Weldegirma receives outstanding faculty award as fulbright scholar

Congratulations to Dr. Weldegirma on being named a Core Fulbright U.S. Scholar! Because of this great achievement, this year he received an Outstanding Faculty Award. The awards ceremony and dinner was held on Tuesday, March 26th at 6:00pm.


Work from the Shi group featured on ChemComm cover

 A recent publication entitled "Rational design and synthesis of yellow-light emitting triazole fluorophores with AIE and mechanochromic properties" from the Shi group was featured on the cover of this issue of Chem. Comm. 

Drs. Dean Martin and Wayne Guida Receive Outstanding Faculty Award

Drs. Dean Martin and Wayne Guida received Outstanding Faculty Awards at a Dinner & Awards Ceremony held at Lifsey House on Tuesday, March 26. The Outstanding Faculty Award presented to Dr. Martin was due to his having received a Lifetime Achievement Award from AAAS and to Dr. Guida for having been elected as an AAAS Fellow. This was especially gratifying to Dr. Guida because he had taken General Chemistry at USF with Dr. Martin!

Congrats to Briana Aguila for receiving the Dissertation Completion Fellowship from USF!

This award represents recognition of her academic abilities and is intended to assist her during her graduate studies. This award provides an $8,000 stipend for Summer semester 2019 and up to 9 hours of graduate–level tuition, as well as fees and health insurance for the Summer semester.

USF STEm Workshop Chemistry Faculty Participants

Several of our outstanding faculty members were featured as workshop speakers at the USF STEM Workshop. Dr. Scott Lewis, Dr. Rong Zhang and Dr. Kenyon Daniel were all leaders at the workshop sessions today! 








Dr. Xiaopeng Li wins CLP prize in Supramolecular Chemistry

Dr. Xiaopeng Li is receiving the 2019 Cram Lehn Pedersen (CLP) Prize in Supramolecular Chemistry. Each year, there is only one recipient from a worldwide pool of candidates. This prize is in honor of the 1987 Nobel Prize winners who started the field of supramolecular chemistry, is highly coveted by researchers in the field, and is highly respected by all chemists.

Kaitlyn Kroner wins the College of Arts & Sciences Individual Performance Bonus Recognition Award

Kaitlyn was recognized for her extraordinary work as an Academic Program Specialist in the Department. She received her Staff Appreciation Award with Brent Smith on Dec. 14, 2018.

Kaitlyn Kroner CAS award


Dr. Woodcock wins USF World's global achievement faculty award

Congratuations to Prof. H. Lee Woodcock for winning the Outstanding Global Research Award for 2018. This is presented by USF World in recognition of exceptional work that enhances USF's mission as a global research university. Dr. Woodcock won this award based on both his efforts to co-lead an international team that focused on Characterization and engineering of a plastic-degrading aromatic polyesterase, and his long-term international collaboration that has been very successful in terms of both publications and external funding. Read more here. 

Woodcock GAA

Dr. wayne guida elected AAAS Fellow

Congratulations to our Chair, Wayne Guida who has been Elected as an AAAS Fellow in the Chemistry Section! Read more here.

Li Group's Nature Comm. publication gains attention

Dr. Li's recent publication in Nature Communications describes work on giant, nested, supramolecular architectures with antimicrobial activity. The article has since been featured by the USF News Channel and

Leahy publication selected for Synfacts

A recently published article authored by Dr. Leahy's group has been selected by the Editorial Board of Synfacts for its important insights. In Synfacts, current research results in synthetic organic chemistry are screened, selected, evaluated, summarized, and enriched with personal comments by experts in their field. The aim of Synfacts is to inform readers of the most significant recent developments and future trends in synthetic chemistry. The article is available online.

Congratulations to Kayla Li and Alejandro Navas

These two chemistry-department undergraduates are among four USF students to receive full scholarships for graduate studies at Oxford. Kayla Li was awarded the prestigious Medical Sciences Graduate School Studentship, while Alejandro Navas has earned a Frost Scholarship. Full story here: Four Graduating USF Students Earn Full Scholarships to Study at Oxford

Congratulations to our FAME 2018 presentation winners

FAME 2018 Poster Winners
Ying He of Dr. Shi's lab received an Outstanding Graduate Poster award and Alex Filosa (an incoming graduate student continuing in Dr. Li's lab) received an Outstanding Undergraduate Poster award.

Cai Group Makes JACS Cover

Cai cover

The paper "Hydrogen-Bonding-Driven 3D Supramolecular Assembly of Peptidomimetic Zipper" by Prof. Cai and his collaborators Prof. Ma and Prof. van der Vaart is featured on the cover of JACS.


A PNAS paper titled "Newly Engineered Enzyme Could be the Key to Reducing Petroleum's Prominence in Creating New Plastics" emanating from Professor Woodcock's group with graduate students Fiona Kearns and Ben Pollard is receiving national and international attention. Check out this USF press release and CBC television interview. The work also involved scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the University of Portsmouth.

Ming Featured by ACS/USF News

A study conducted by Dr. Ming's group was featured in the news conference of the New Orleans ACS meeting final as well as the USF News Channel: [LINK]. The study suggests that a compound in beet extract shows promise in the fight against Alzheimer's disease.

Congratulations to Dr. Weldegirma

Congratulations to Dr. Solomon Weldegirma for receiving a 2018-19 Fulbright U.S. Scholar grant for "Supporting Green Chemistry Education in Ethiopia and Contributing to the current need for sustainable chemical methodology".

Congratulations to Drs. Cai and Li

Congratulations to Drs. Jianfeng Cai and Xiaopeng Li from the Chemistry department, together with Dr. Prahathees Eswara from CMMB, who were awarded a $1,417,197 NIH R01 grant!
Its purpose is to design, synthesize and investigate a new class of antibacterial biomaterials based on 2D metallo-supramolecules with multilayered structure.

Congratulations to Drs. Lewis and Ma

Outstanding Faculty Awardees, Dr. Jennifer Lewis and Dr. Shengqian Ma

Congratulations to Dr. Jennifer Lewis and Dr. Shengqian Ma who were recipients of 2018 Outstanding Faculty Awards.

Dr. Malik's Work Featured on JoSS Cover

Malik on Journal of Separation Science Cover

Congratulations to Dr. Malik and his Ph.D. student, Dr. Sheshanka Kesani. Their work will be featured on the cover of the Journal of Separation Science.

Dr. van der Vaart Featured on NRM Cover

van der Vaart Nature Reviews Materials Cover

Dr. van der Vaarts's research was recently featured on the cover of Nature Reviews Materials: Uncovering the structure–function relationship in spider silk.

Kaitlyn Kroner Receives USF Staff Award

Kaitlyn Kroner with Award

Ms. Kaitlyn Kroner recently won the Quiet Quality Award, a campus-wide USF staff award given to recipients based on—among other qualities—their conscientiousness, professionalism, and positive attitude.

Dr. Ming Featured on EJIC Cover

Dr. Ming's research was recently featured on the cover of the European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry. 

USF affiliated company awarded USF Bull Ring Accelerator Grant

Dr. Wesley Brooks, Research Assistant Professor and CEO of CuPRx, L.L.C., a USF affiliated company founded to commercialize inventions made in the Guida Lab, has announced that CuPRx has been awarded $25,000 by the USF Bull Ring Accelerator Grant (BRAG) program to continue to work on the Virtual Target Screening (VTS) software being developed by Dr. Brooks of CuPRx, and Rainer Metcalf and Alan Caragal in the Guida Lab. VTS is a computational approach to drug repurposing and identification of potential adverse effects of drug candidates.

Dr. Scott Lewis named Associate Editor

Dr. Scott Lewis has been named an Associate Editor for Chemistry Education Research and Practice. Congratulations, Dr. Lewis!

Dr. Xiaopeng Li named as the Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC)

The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) is the largest organization in Europe for advancing the chemical sciences. Supported by a worldwide network of members and an international publishing business, RSC activities span education, conferences, science policy, and the promotion of chemistry to the public. The designation FRSC is given to a group of elected Fellows who have made outstanding contributions to chemistry. The names of newly elected Fellows are published each year in The Times (London).

New Pre-Med/Business Dual Degree

Graduates of this dual-degree program will be educated about the business of medicine, which is useful to both physicians and administrators in the health care sector.

Dr. Jennifer Lewis named AAAS Fellow

Congratulations to Dr. Jennifer Lewis who was named a 2016 AAAS Fellow. Election as a Fellow of AAAS is an honor bestowed upon members by their peers. Fellows are recognized for meritorious efforts to advance science or its applications.

Congratulations to Dr. Julie Harmon

Congratulations to Dr. Julie Harmon who is Co-PI on an awarded NSF Major Research Instrument grant with collaborators in the College of Engineering and College of Medicine. The grant is titled "Acquisition of a Multi-Material Additive Manufacturing Platform for Multi-Disciplinary Research and Education".

Congratulations to Dr. Shengqian Ma

Congratulations to Dr. Shengqian Ma, who has been named a Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researcher.

Dr. Ma has also recently received a grant from the Department of the Interior's Desalination and Water Purification Research Program (DWPR). His funded project involves "Efficient Nutrient Recovery from Urine to Prevent Downstream Water Treatment Costs and Resale of Valuable Commodities".

Drs. Cai and Cao awarded NIH Grant

Congratulations to Dr. Jianfeng Cai and Dr. Chuanhai Cao, who recently were awarded an NIH grant titled "Gamma-AApeptides as novel biomaterials inhibiting Abeta peptide aggregation".

Chemistry Faculty Obtain Seven NSF Grants This Summer!

Drs. Jianfeng Cai, Juan Del Valle, Shengqian Ma, Jennifer Lewis, Jeff Raker (2 grants), and Xiaodong (Mike) Shi have all received the news that they will receive funding from the National Science Foundation to support their research programs. Additionally, Dr. H. Lee Woodcock is a co-investigator on the grant awarded to Dr. Del Valle. The total direct costs of all new awards is $1,792,075, and considering direct and indirect costs, the total is $2,617,078. Congratulations to all of these outstanding chemists!

Fiona Kearns attends Lindau Nobel Laureates Meeting

Ms. Fiona Kearns, a graduate student in Dr. Lee Woodcock's group, was selected to attend a meeting with Nobel Laureates and other Promising Young Scientists. On June 23rd, she attended the 67th Lindau Nobel Laureates Meeting in Lindau, Germany. She was one of 23 delegates funded by Oak Ridge Associated Universities to represent the United States at the meeting (selected from over 200 applicants around the nation) and was one of only two students representing Florida institutions at the global event.