Chemistry Events & News

July 26, 2018 - Students are conducting research this summer in a number of areas. 

ATP synthase is a biomolecular machine found in all organisms and completes the process that converts food into chemical energy for cells. Part of the machine operates like an electrically-driven rotary motor, but how it works is not completely understood.  Michaela Dodd Michael Founds, and Ben Pressley, working with Dr. Steed, are chemically and genetically modifying parts of the protein to uncover their role in the overall mechanism. Rosie Garris is optimizing a purified ATP synthase system in preparation for spectroscopic studies of the machine.

Working with Dr. Brock, Jasmine Burke, Steven Defiglia, Trevor Pentland, Deanna Elio and Emily Phillps are exploring the detoxification of xenobiotic chemicals by a family of enzymes called glucuronosyltransferases. These students use liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometer to measure the substrates and products of these reactions. Student then use modeling software to estimate Michaelis Menten Kinetic parameters.

Joshua Davis and other students in Dr. Love's research group are investigating methods of changing the surface structure of hydrothermally synthesized titanium dioxide, TiO2,  brookite nanoparticles and microparticles. A major focus is on the varying ratios of facets exposed on synthesized nanoparticles with the utilization of different mineralizers.

Students in the Wolfe Research group have been working on the isolation, synthesis and biochemical analysis of small molecule antibiotics. Andrew Ahearne, Catherine Allen, Grace Mott, and Clair Huffine have been screening bacteria for production antibiotics and working to elucidate the structures of the molecules. Marcia Thacher, Rayven VanKalker, Jordan Hartig, Jacob Shumate, Alex Hanamean, and Sara Wasserman have been synthesizing an array of pestalone, empetroxipine, pseudopyronine, and Denbinobin B analogs and examining them for antibiotic activity. 

July 4, 2018 - Senior Michael Founds has been awarded the Leo A. and Sharon K. Bares Chemistry Scholarship, a one-year scholarship based on the generous support of former UNC Asheville Chemistry Department faculty member and Professor Emeritus Dr. Leo A. Bares and his wife Sharon K. Bares. Congratulations, Michael!

April 23, 2018 - Dr. Bert Holmes, the Phillip G. Carson Distinguished Chair of Science, received the 2018 Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) Fellows Award and the 2018 Board of Governors Excellence in Teaching Award for UNC Asheville. The CUR Fellows Award is a national honor, bestowed by CUR every two years to two individuals who have developed internationally respected research programs involving undergraduate students. The Board of Governors Excellence in Teaching Award is an annual award given to a faculty member from each UNC campus; Dr. Holmes was nominated for the award by a committee of his colleagues. Learn more here

January 20, 2018 - Our Chemistry First day was a big success!  On January 20, 34 students from across western NC and 9 local science teachers participated in lab tours, hands on lab experiments and disuccsions with facutly and current research students.  

November 8, 2017 - Twenty-four Chemistry students travelled to the annual SERMACS conference, in Charlotte, where they gave poster presentations and delivered talks regarding their undergraduate research project.


October 26, 2017 - 20th Annual S. Dexter Squibb Lecture Series 

Featuring Dr. Dwaine Eubanks - "The evolution of Chemical Education, from Squibb to Eubanks." 

Public Lecture (free):  "How do We Know That They Know What We Know They Should Know? - The Challenges of Cognitive Assessment" 

  • Thursday, October 26, 2017 (11:45am)
  • Rhoades-Robinson Hall, Room 125

August 23, 2017 - Junior Blanton Gillespie, received two awards at the 254th ACS National meeting in Washington, D.C.   The first was the Wiley Outstanding Undergraduate Poster Award sponsored by The Journal of Computational Chemistry and the International Journal of Quantum Chemistry.  The second was Recognition for Outstanding Research for an excellent undergraduate poster presentation.  

August 21, 2017 - Dr. Wolfe & Leah Bouthillette present at the ACS National meeting.   Dr. Wolfe gave a talk titled "Bacterial Natural Products as a Renewed Source of Novel Antibiotics: Isolation, Characterization, and Evaluation of Antibacterial Agents Produced by Soil Bacteria" during the MEDI General Oral Session. 

Junior Leah Bouthillette gave her talk titled "Isolation and character- ization of pseudopyronine B from a Western North Carolina Pseudomonas sp. and SAR evaluation of synthesized analogs" during the CHED Undergraduate Research Oral Session and SciMix Invited Poster Presentation.

July 18, 2017Dr. John Brock's research group received funding from the Harvard School of Public Health and the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences for a pilot project to examine variation in human metabolism of environmental chemicals.  The group was also granted access to previously collected sample and data banks at Harvard.

June 15, 2017 - Dr. Wolfe's dedicated research group continued their hard work over the summer.  She and her students traveled to the annual Boston Bacterial meeting.  Junior Tess Handy presented her poster titled "Microbial Isolation, Characterization, and Antibiotic Extraction of Bacterial Strains of the Southwestern United States."  

May 25, 2017 - Dr. Herman Holt, Jr. is the 2017 award recipient for "Teaching Excellence in the Natural Sciences."  

May 25, 2017Dr. Amanda Wolfe is the 2017 award recipient for "Teaching Excellence - Untenured Faculty Member." 

May 5, 2017 - Through an interdisciplinary effort, Dr. Wolfe and juniors Leah Bouthillette and Tess Handy published a recent article in Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters on the isolation and evaluation of the known antibiotic pseudopyronine B resulting in the production of a better antibiotic compound.

"Isolation of the antibiotic pseudopyronine B and SAR evaluation of C3/C6 alkyl analogs"


Read the published article here.

May 1, 2017 - Gathering with friends while sharing food and a few laughs!

Annual Spring Picnic

March 20, 2017 - UNC Asheville’s Amanda Wolfe has been named a 2017 Cottrell Scholar, an honor that comes with a $100,000 prize from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA). The funding will be used to support Wolfe’s chemistry research and teaching over three years.

UNC Asheville Chemist Amanda Wolfe Named a Cottrell Scholar, with $100,000 Award

Read the full Cottrell Scholar Article.