Lab Updates

Mar. 2015 - In collaboration with researchers at Virginia Tech, Dr. Alexander, Dr. DeYonker, and UofM undergraduate Katherine Charbonnet have published a paper in Environmental Science and Technoclogy Letters entitled "Partitioning, Aqueous Solubility, and Dipole Moment Data for cis- and trans-(4-Methylcyclohexyl)methanol, Principal Contaminants of the West Virginia Chemical Spill". This is the first of many papers that will come out of our NSF-funded work in esponse to the Elk River chemical spill in Jan. 2014. The paper can be accessed here.

Mar. 2015 - First-year graduate student Cade Grigsby has joined the lab. Cade will be working on the TN SCORE biomaterials project. Welcome to the group!

Jan. 2015 - Dr. Alexander hosted a group of over two dozen preK-7th grade homeschool students and their parents in the chemistry department. Dr. A presented a morning full of chemical demonstrations involving vacuum chambers, liquid nitrogen, catalysed reactions, and a whole lot of fun!

Jan. 2015 - The National Science Foundation has awarded funds to sponsor a workshop entitled "Fostering Advances in Water Resource Protection and Crisis Communications, Lessons Learned from Recent Disasters" that will focus on research outcomes from work on the Elk River (Jan. 2014) and Dan River (Feb. 2014) spills. Dr. Jennifer Weidhaas (PI, WVU) and and Dr. Alexander (co-PI) are organizing the workshop to be held at the end of May 2015. Information about the workshop, and a compendium of research resources related to these disasters can be found at our Water Workshop site.

Jan. 2015 - Nate Van Kampen was again selected for a MemphisSTEM Undergradaute Research Fellowship for the Spring!

Dec. 2014 - Undergrad Kristy Levin has joined the group and will be involved in some chemical education projects. Welcome Kristy!

Dec. 2014 - Dr. Alexander was awarded a grant for a project entitled "Electric-field induced morphology of covalently-bound peptide surfaces: Toward switchable biological interfaces" from the TN-SCORE Seed Program in Collaborative Quantitative Biology. Dr. Firouzeh Sabri (UM Physics) and Dr. Tessa Calhoun (Department of Chemistry, UT Knoxville) are Co-PIs on the grant.

Oct. 2014 - Kate Charbonnet won third prize at the 2014 ACS Undergraduate Symposium Poster Competition at Rhodes College. Kate presented her work studying conformations of compounds related to the Jan. 2014 Elk River chemical spill. Congrats, Kate!

Oct. 2014 - Dr. Alexander presented a talk "The Elk River chemical spill and beyond: Progress in developing quick and accurate computational models for on-demand physicochemical properties of emerging environmental contaminants" at the 2014 Southeastern Regional Meeting of the ACS in Nashville. Katherine Charbonnet also presented a poster "Theoretical exploration of isomerization energies and conformational space of Elk River spill contaminants."

Sept. 2014 - Sophomore Nate van Kampen has joined the research group as a MemphisSTEM Undergradaute Research Fellow. Nate will be working on designing and characterizing biomaterials coatings to tune the interfacial properties of "smart" implants. Welcome to the group!

Aug. 2014 - The University of Memphis Chemistry Dept. welcomed its incoming Graduate class. Welcome! We look forward to great things from you all.

Aug. 2014 - Former group member news: Clay Scruggs is starting Graduate School at Virginia Tech this fall. Matt Luckey has started a job with Valero.

July 2014 - Ian Romines competed in the 2014 MemphisCRESH poster competition to cap off his research experiences for the summer. Ian was awarded 2nd place honors for his work! Congratulations on a great job this summer.

July 2014 - Dr. Alexander presented highlights of the group's research at the 2014 Gordon Research Conference on Atomic and Molecular Interactions held at Stonehill College outside of Boston, MA

June 2014 - Jimmy Nguyen and William Lucas joined the group to work on the NSF RAPID project. They will be using computational chemistry methods to study the physical properties of various compounds implicated in the Jan. 2014 chemical spill in WV. Welcome to the group! Jimmy is a rising Senior at Christian Brothers University here in Memphis majoring in biochemistry.
Will is an incoming graduate student for this fall's class. He has previously worked in a variety of teaching roles in the Memphis schools, Southwest Community College, and Victory University, as well as having experience in some analytical labs.

June 2014 - Ian Romine joined the group as part of the 2014 MemphisCRESH program. Ian attends Evangelical High School in Cordova, TN. He will be analyzing coating materials for biomolecular implants in collaboration with Dr. Sabri (UoM Physics). Welcome to the group!

June 2014 - University of Memphis Undergraduates Jay Yarbro and Kate Charbonnet are working on the NSF RAPID project. They will be using computational chemistry methods to study the physical properties of various compounds implicated in the Jan. 2014 chemical spill in WV. Welcome to the project!

May 2014 - Dr. Alexander's short paper/note "On the accuracy of analytical potentials: Comment on Accurate ab initio calculation of the Ar–CF4 intermolecular potential energy surface" was published in the journal Molecular Simulation. It can be accessed here.

Apr. 2014 - Dr. Alexander's grant "RAPID: Computation of accurate binding energies of emerging organic contaminants on environmental and infrastructural interfaces" has been funded by the NSF! Dr. Nathan DeYonker is a Co-PI on the grant. We are grateful for the opportunity to help answer many fundamental questions about the fate of the organic compounds released into the Elk River in West Virginia in Jan. 2014. Drs. Alexander and DeYonker are working to understand and predict the physical properties of crude MCHM and PPH compounds using computational methods.

Mar. 2014 - Our recent JACS paper is featured in the Mar. 5 JACS Image Challenge.

Feb. 2014 - Dr. Alexander and co-workers' work is featured on the cover of the Feb. 26th issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society. The work was also highlighted as a "JACS Spotlight" - Tool for Exploring Interfacial Solvated Electrons! The work can be accessed here.

Feb. 2014 - Matthew Luckey presented his research at the 34th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium hosted by the UoM Department of Chemistry.

Feb. 2014 - Clay Scruggs's research paper has been accepted for publication in the inaugural issue of The University of Memphis's new undergraduate research journal, QuaesitUM. Congrats Clay!
Jan. 2014 - Senior undergraduate Alex Smith joined the group. Alex will be working on various projects in the lab. Welcome to the group!
Jan. 2014 - Graduate student Lauren Wiser has accepted a teaching position at Memphis Catholic High School. Congrats Lauren, and best wishes in all your future endeavors!
Dec. 2013 - Dr. Alexander and co-workers from Montana State, U. Wisconsin-Madison, and Northwestern published an article "Collisions of Sodium Atoms with Liquid Glycerol: Insights into Solvation and Ionization" in the Journal of the American Chemical Society on sodium atom uptake and ionization at the glycerol surface. The paper can be accessed here.

Dec. 2013 - Clay Scrugss and Cullen Dye were the lone two graduates earning ACS-certified BS Chem degrees at the Fall 2013 commencement ceremony. Congrats guys!

Nov. 2013 - Dr. Alexander presented two talks at the 2013 SERMACS meeting in Atlanta, GA.

August 2013 - Senior undergraduate J. Cullen Dye joined the group for the fall semester. Cullen will be building up a vacuum chamber to measure sticking coefficients and temperature-dependent desorption profiles of molecules that are potential hydrogen storage materials. Welcome to the group!

August 2013 - The Chemistry Department welcomed a great class of 9 new graduate students to the UofM campus. We look forward to meeting you all. Welcome!

July 2013 - Niki and Anne competed in the 2013 MemphisCRESH poster competition to cap off their research experiences for the summer. Anne was awarded 3rd place honors for her work! Congratulations to both girls on a great job this summer.

July 2013 - We are using the confocal microscope in the UofM Integrated Microscopy Center to image surface patterns. Thanks Dr. Skalli for helping us!

June 2013 - The long-awaited UofM Materials Science Center is now open! Our group is already making use of the new Thermo K-alpha XPS system. It is sweet!

June 2013 - Niki Parekh and Anne Raheem joined the group as part of the 2013 MemphisCRESH (College Research Experience for Students in High School). Niki is a student at White Station High School, and Anne attends Collierville High School. Niki is working on synthetic methods for surface modification, and Anne is investigating metal-catalyzed coupling reactions to build micro-architectures. Welcome to the group!

May 2013 - Undergraduate Clay Scruggs joined the group. He previously did research at UofM in Dr. Fujiwara's group and will be using his synthetic experience for some projects in our group.

April 2013 - Dr. Alexander presented three talks at the 245th National ACS Meeting in New Orleans, LA. Matthew Luckey also presented a poster at the conference.

April 2013 - Matt Luckey competed in the 2013 UofM Student Research Forum and took home 2nd place honors in the Undergraduate Education category for his poster presentation. Matt's poster was titled "Enhancing Student Understanding of Intermolecular Interactions Using Surface Wetting Demonstrations and Calculations of Surface Contact Angles"

April 2013 - Dr. Alexander was awarded a 2013 Faculty Research Grant from The University of Memphis for a project titled "Infrared Probes of Biomolecular Surface Solvation Environments." Lauren Wiser is working on this project.

March 2013 - Matt Luckey was awarded a Travel Award from the MemphisSTEM program to attend and present at the 245th National ACS Meeting in New Orleans, LA.

Feb. 2013 - Dr. Alexander was awarded Spring 2013 Faculty Travel Enrichment Funds from the UofM College of Arts and Sciences to attend and present at the 245th National ACS Meeting in New Orleans, LA.

Feb. 2013 - Dr. Alexander travelled to Atlanta, GA to accept another amazingly generous donation of used lab equipment from the Centers for Disease Control.

Feb. 2013 - Thermo Nicolet 6700 FTIR installed!

Jan. 2013 - Our FTIR has arrived on the ground at the Memphis airport! Now if only it could clear customs and make it the last few miles to the lab!

Nov. 2012 - Dr. Alexander and co-workers from Virginia Tech published a review article in Progress in Surface Science. It can be accessed here.

Nov. 2012 - Graduate student Lauren Wiser joined the group. Lauren comes to us at the UofM after completing her undergraduate work at Freed Hardeman University. Welcome to the group!

Nov. 2012 - Dr. Alexander was awarded a 2012 KIMAX New Lab Startup Award!

Oct. 2012 - Dr. Alexander travelled to Atlanta, GA to accept a large donation of used lab equipment from the Centers for Disease Control.

Oct. 2012 - Undergraduate Matthew Luckey joined the group. Matt comes to us at the UofM after a 20-year career in the miltary. Thanks for your service Matt! He will be working on various projects. Welcome to the group!

Aug. 2012 - The Alexander Labs are born.