UA News and the College of Arts and Sciences featured our work on the ultrasensitive detection of heavy metals that has recently appeared in Advanced Functional Materials. The interview and writeup provide a nice summary of the work for the general public. We are grateful for the honor and for their work!
We recently published one last portion from Dr. Yifei Xu's dissertation work on the discrimination of beta-lactam antibiotics in water. This paper was recently published in a special issue of the journal Sensors dedicated to sensors and applications in diagnostics, food and environmental analysis. Yifei, a recent PhD graduate from our group, had previously published a method for discrimination and quantitation of carboxylates in neutral water. Expanding on that work, she was able to develop a method to discriminate carboxylate-containing antibiotics in water media. Widespread abuse of antibiotics (e.g. added to animal feed to improve growth rates, or prescribed in excess) leads to a reduction in their efficacy, and may harm the environment. Yifei's rapid optical chemical sensing method detects very common beta-lactam antibiotics in the penicillin and cephalosporin families in water. This work was also featured in a press release by the Alabama Water Institute. Congratulations Yifei!
Gabrielle Covey, a student from UA, returned to our labs today for a ten-week REU summer research experience, during which she will continue her studies on the metal binding properties of a series of novel rhodamine dyes capable of fluorescence turn-on signaling.
Thanks to our collaboration with groups in MS and AL on an NSF-funded grant for detection of pollutants in the Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi river basin, students in our group had the opportunity to participate in a sample collection cruise of the research vessel Point Sur today, operated by the University of Mississippi at their Gulfport, MS campus.
Dr. Bonizzoni hosted a professional development workshop for UA students interested in becoming high school teachers. The workshop, titled Playing with our food, and sponsored by NSF through the Noyce program, focused on using concepts and experiments from modernist and avant-garde cuisine to integrate intermolecular interactions in the high school chemistry curriculum in a way that is fun and relevant to the students' everyday lives.
Logan, a senior student at the American Christian Academy high school in Tuscaloosa, will visit our lab today as part of his pre-college decision process. Logan and Alie will work on determining the spectral properties of a rhodamine dye in water.
Alie and Ashley will give talks at the Southeastern Regional Meeting of the ACS (SERMACS) in Raleigh, NC. Dr. Bonizzoni will also be at the UA Chemistry table at the graduate recruitment fair on Friday, so stop by and say hi if you are around!