Group Members & News
The group got to attend some more great conferences: Dr. DeYonker presented a poster at the 2022 Metallocofactors Gordon Research Conference in Newport, RI. Dr. DeYonker and Dr. Cheng attended WATOC 2020 in Vancouver, BC, Canada, and Dr. Cheng attended the Computational Chemistry Gordon Research Conference in Castelldefels, Spain!
After five years of development, the Residue Interaction Network ResidUe Selector software toolkit is finally publicly released! Give it a try and build some QM-cluster enzyme models!
We had Paige Bowling, a 4th year graduate student from John Herbert's group at The Ohio State University, spend a week in the lab. Paige learned how to use RINRUS and taught the group some new fragmentation modeling skills. We also fed her a lot of BBQ.
While Dr. Cheng and Dr. DeYonker were attending conferences and vacationing, TJ and Atsu helped to train and manage five undergraduates! Atsu's first first-author publication is available at Journal of Phyiscal Chemistry A, and we are all very proud of his work.
The group is looking for new graduate students and we are hiring up to THREE postdocs between now and January 2023. It's an exciting time to be in the University of Memphis Department of Chemistry!
Justin Miller is the second undergraduate researcher in the DeYonker group to be awarded a prestigious JC Williams Memorial Scholarship from the Department of Chemistry! Congrats Justin!
Dr. DeYonker has joined the Twitter-sphere! Check here to learn about the highs and lows of being a PI, recent success from the DeYonker lab, and ramblings about weird music.
Two new publications so far this year! Dr. DeYonker and Dr. Fioroni published an excited new cluster model study on astrochemical HCN polymerization at MNRAS. Dr. Cheng and Dr. DeYonker published a QM-cluster model study on Glycoside Hydrolase as part of an "Editor's Showcase" special issue of Frontiers in Chemistry.
Atsu has submitted his first first-author publication, contributing to a Journal of Physical Chemistry A special issue on 10 years of astrochemistry @ ACS! Reviews were positive and we should be hearing back about the resubmission soon. Congratulations, Atsu!
We said goodbye to Dr. Reza Hemmati, who moved to Atlanta to be with his family and pursue a second postdoctoral appointment. Reza contributed to two excellent manuscripts that should be published later this year.
Sarah Pak did a wonderful job finishing her comphrensive exams and Second Year Conference. She earns the first MS degree supervised by our friend Dr. Nascimento!
The group attended several outstanding virtual and in-person conferences, signifying a relative return to "normal". Dr. DeYonker and Dr. Cheng gave multiple invited virtual talks at the 2021 Pacifichem meeting. Dr. DeYonker presented a poster at the 2022 Biophysical Society meeting. Dr. DeYonker and Dr. Cheng presented at the Spring 2022 ACS meeting. The entire group attended the 50th SETCA meeting held at Georgia Tech in May 2022 and we had a fantastic time!
Still in the throes of the pandemic, but the DeYonker group had a productive and exciting semester. We said goodbye to Thomas Summers, who is now a postdoc at University of Nevada-Reno with Prof. David Cantu.
Dr. DeYonker has been appointed Councilor for the Memphis Local Section of the American Chemical Society. This is a three-year term that began in Spring 2021.
We have a few new undergraduates in the group! We welcome Taylor Christian, Khloe Scott, and Kaustubh Koya.
The most exciting thing in Fall 2021 was that we were able to attend a conference in person and safely! We had a great time at SERMACS 2021 in Birmingham, AL. TJ, Atsu, and Sarah got to present their first conference posters.
Dr. DeYonker organized a symposium entitled "Ground truth: bridging knowledge gaps between computational and experimental enzymology", with some fantastic junior biochemists from the region. We had an amazing dinner afterwards at Blueprint on 3rd! From left to right: Dr. Qianyi Cheng (Memphis), Prof. Denise Okafor (Penn State), Prof. Patrick Frantom (Alabama), Prof. DeYonker, Prof. Justin Miller (Middle Tennessee State), Valerie Welborn (Virginia Tech), Prof. Samer Gozen (Georgia State), and Senal Delwakkada Liyanage (Mississippi State).
The DeYonker group had a wonderful summer doing productive research. We even got to have a few parties to celebrate Thomas Summers' PhD graduation and three MS degrees awarded in the group (Agbaglo, Dahlberg, Frost).
Dr. DeYonker has been awarded tenure and promotion to Associate Professor, effective September 1, 2021. That's a platinum achievement!
We will soon welcome Dr. Reza Hemmati as the first postdoc in the group. Reza comes from Auburn University, where he got his PhD from our old friend Konrad Patkowski. Welcome to Memphis, Reza! Reza will be funded by our DOE Basic Energy Sciences SBIR Phase I award, in partnership with Q-Chem, Inc.
We also welcome our new colleague in theoretical chemistry, Professor Daniel Nascimento, who joined the Department of Chemistry in January 2021. He's been here awhile, but there have not been a lot of photo opportunities lately!
The DeYonker group is making progress and working hard in the time of COVID-19. We welcome motivated undergraduates at UM who are interested in doing research, and students from other universities who are looking at UM for graduate school!
Dr. DeYonker was one of thirteen early career scientists selected for the 2020-2021 Scialog conference, cosponsored by the Research Corporation for Scientific Advancement and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, titled Scialog: Chemical Machinery of the Cell. Dr. DeYonker looks forward to meeting with the other awardees in person at the end of 2021.
With collaborator and long-time friend, Prof. Ryan Fortenberry @ Ole Miss, Dr. DeYonker published a review in the high-impact journal Accounts of Chemical Research, titled "Rovibrational Quantum Chemical Treatment of Inorganic and Organometallic Astrochemicals".
First-year graduate student Sarah Pak has joined the DeYonker group part-time until Dr. Nascimento gets settled in the Department of Chemistry. Hooray!
Well, umm... it's been an interesting year since the last update!
In August 2019, Dr. DeYonker received two major awards: 1) The University of Memphis Research Foundation Ventures Professorship, created to support research and sponsored programs activities and 2) The University of Memphis Michael K. Harless Faculty Excellence Award, given to an outstanding junior faculty member!
Makenzie Griffing moved to the Baker-Parrill group and we wish her the best! Tejaskumar Suhagia joined the group in September 2019 and has been doing a wonderful job.
Connor Frost was a recipient of a UM Carnegie R1 Graduate Fellowship, and has already been a co-author on a manuscript with Dr. Brewster, currently under review at Dalton Transactions.
Dr. DeYonker paid a visit at the end of summer 2019 to the Chemical Engineering group at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, CO. Thomas Summers and Dr. Cheng visited the NIH NHLBI Laboratory of Computational Biology in early 2020.
Dr. DeYonker's 75th peer-reviewed publication went to press in May 2020: "CO2 Capture by 2‐(Methylamino)pyridine Ligated Aluminum Alkyl Complexes" in the European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry!
Dr. Cheng and Dr. DeYonker's publication "Acylation and Deacylation Mechanism and Kinetics of Penicillin G Reaction with Streptomyces R61 DD-peptidase" was selected to be a featured cover article in the Journal of Computational Chemistry!
Dr. DeYonker's NSF CAREER proposal entitled "The Three R's: A Model-Building Toolkit for Rational, Reproducible, and Rigorous Computational Enzymology" has been funded by the Infrastructure Innovation for Biological Research program! This is a 5-year $742,000 research grant, and will keep the quickly expanding group very busy!
Rising second-year graduate student Joseph Burns and rising junior undergraduate student Maura Washington have both been awarded a NASA TN Space Grant Fellowship for Summer 2019!
The DeYonker group will have FOUR new graduate students starting in the summer. We are excited to have Atsu Agbaglo (from Georgia Southern University), Makenzie Griffing (from Mississippi College), Davis Dahlberg (from University of Dubuque), and Connor Frost (from Rhodes College) joining the team.
Rising junior undergraduate Manuel Palma has been awarded the J. C. Williams Memorial Scholarship! This departmental award was established in 1997 in honor of a distinguished analytical chemistry professor to foster interest in chemistry as an academic major and assist students in the completion of the Bachelor's degree in preparation for going on to graduate studies in chemistry.
Fall 2018/Spring 2019
Dr. DeYonker, Qianyi, and Thomas just went to the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Orlando, FL! The lab gave four well-received lectures on computational biochemistry and astrochemistry. We didn't take any pictures though :(
Dr. DeYonker has published a new astrochemistry paper on PAPH reactions in Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics with long-time collaborator Dr. Marco Fioroni and undergraduate Robert Savage!
Joseph Burns has joined the group as a first-year graduate student. He is focusing on astrochemistry research and making short work of his first project.
3rd year graduate student Thomas Summers has been awarded a prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Congrats Thomas! This is on the heels of his first major publication, which was selected as a featured cover article in Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry!
Hannah Lozano is the first graduate of the DeYonker laboratory! Congrats Hannah! She obtained her MS in May 2018 and is now working as a Quality Control expert at Vi-Jon Laboratories in the Nashville area.
Dr. Qianyi Cheng (PhD University of Georgia 2011)
Roger Letterman (anticipated PhD 2017)
Katherine Charbonnet (anticipated PhD 2021)
Thomas Summers (anticipated PhD 2021)
Manuel Palma (anticipated BSc 2021)
Hrishikesh Tupkar (anticipated BS Chemical Engineering, U. Alabama - Tuscaloosa 2021)
Graduates from the DeYonker group
Hannah Lozano (MS Chemistry, May 2018)
Chloe Baker (BSc Chemistry, Memphis, 2018)
Tyree Morris (BSc Chemistry, Memphis, 2018)
Hannah Lozano received her Masters Degree in May 2018. The first advanced degree in the DeYonker lab!
May 2018, celebrating the end of the school year! L to R: Patti DeYonker, NJD, Hannah Lozano, Qianyi Cheng, Thomas Summers, and Kate Charbonnet
Summer 2016 group lunch, L to R: Hrishikesh Tupkar (Houston High School), Prof. Henry Kurtz, Hannah Lozano, Chloe Baker, Kate Charbonnet, Patti DeYonker, Prof. Nate DeYonker, Thomas Summers