Chemistry and Biochemistry

Chemistry Department News

One PhD Candidate’s Path to BYU

Posted: Aug 02, 2019

PhD candidate Ashari Kannangara came to BYU from Sri Lanka to study how to make chemotherapy more effective. “I have seen a lot of people go through the pain of cancer,” she said. One of those was her uncle, who battled bladder cancer for several years. She witnessed not only her uncle’s suffering, but also how “their family went through this miserable pain.”

But even before her family’s life was impacted by cancer, she was ...

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BYU team breaks down major players in cell to score future cancer therapy wins

Posted: Jul 12, 2019

For the past five years, researchers at BYU have studied protein complexes that have the job of regulating cell growth and survival, processes that are essential for cells to grow healthily. Consequently, these protein complexes are also a target for cancer and other diseases.

The team is working to better understand the role and functionality of the complex, named the mechanistic target of rapamycin - or mTOR for short.

Learning more about mTOR and how ...

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Uniting Women in Chemistry

Posted: Jul 09, 2019

In 2016, Dr. Stowers — a then new member of the Department — met with a handful of women in the department to discuss a potential program for female chemistry students. The meeting also addressed the challenges that female BYU students face within the chemistry major. This meeting was the catalyst for the idea of the Women in Chemistry Club. In Winter 2018, Naomi Flindt (a then, first year-graduate) approached Halle Murray (a chemistry student ...

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NASA turns to BYU for critical Mars research ahead of human missions

Posted: Jun 18, 2019

A multidisciplinary team of BYU chemistry and engineering researchers has been tasked by NASA to develop a system to measure the size and electrical charge of Mars dust — a detail seemingly innocuous, yet critical to the success of human missions to the Red Planet.

“The next great challenge in human space flight is Mars,” said BYU chemistry professor Daniel Austin. “And of course, Mars is very dusty. The problem is we don’t know very ...

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Dr. Jennifer Nielson Wins Citizenship Award for Chemistry

Posted: May 03, 2019

Congratulations to Dr. Jennifer Nielson for winning the Citizenship Award for Chemistry given by the BYU Faculty Women’s Association. The association was founded to improve the quality of professional life for faculty women, to increase awareness of and sensitivity to gender issues, and to promote solidarity and a sense of community among the members of Brigham Young University.

"Dr. Nielson is an excellent teacher, serves as a new faculty member and is an associate dean ...

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Dr. Ryan Kelly is Awarded Georges Guiochon Faculty Fellowship

Posted: Mar 26, 2019

Dr. Ryan Kelly, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at BYU, has been awarded the 2019 Georges Guiochon Faculty Fellowship.

The fellowship is in honor of Georges Guiochon, a chemist who was “the undisputed master of the theory” in all of chromatography, but especially the field of high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).

The fellowship is awarded annually to one member of a U.S. academic or government institution whose research has shown excellence in fields aligned with ...

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3-Minute Thesis College Competition Winners

Posted: Mar 01, 2019

BYU Chemistry Graduate Students Brittany Knighton and Naomi Flindt placed first and third at the Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) College Level Competition of the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences at BYU. Brittany's presentation entitled “Coherent Control,” which deals with high-field Terahertz spectroscopy, landed her first prize, and the opportunity to represent our college at the university level.

Naomi's research was entitled, "How Not to Die From Disease,” or, in more scientific terms, “Quantification of Fe ...

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Upcoming 2019 Izatt-Christensen Lecture

Posted: Feb 25, 2019

BYU’s Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Chemical Engineering are proud to welcome Dr. Geraldine Richmond, 2018 Priestley Medal winner and the Presidential Chair in Science at the University of Oregon as this year’s speaker in the Izatt-Christensen lecture series.

Dr. Richmond has served in many leadership positions within international, national, and advisory boards, including the National Science Board, where she currently serves as the U.S. Science Envoy to the Lower Mekong River Countries. She ...

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