News and Research

April 28, 2022

Next-generation laboratory course developed for online chemistry students

School of Molecular Sciences Professor Jeff Yarger pioneers an innovative approach to a laboratory course.

April 27, 2022

Lecturer and ASU alum Gary Cabirac to retire in June

While wandering Arizona State University’s campus in the late 1970s as a self-professed chemistry nerd, the young Gary Cabirac had no idea he would return and become a beloved lecturer in the School of Molecular Sciences. 

April 25, 2022

Scientists study microorganisms on Earth to gain insight into life on other planets

To find these clues, a team of scientists from Arizona State University, who are members of the Group Exploring Organic Processes in Geochemistry led by Everett Shock of ASU SESE and SMS, traveled to Oman to investigate a geological process unique to these rocks, where water reacts with them to create hydrogen gas. 

April 22, 2022

SMS graduate student wins NSF award

Shundene Key awarded a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program on surface proteins in the immune system.

April 20, 2022

School of Molecular Sciences Dean's Medalist is an inspiration to all

Next month, Phoenix native and School of Molecular Sciences Dean’s medalist Aaron Jafar Hernandez Flores will graduate with a bachelor's degree in chemistry.

April 13, 2022

ABOR funds to support Valley fever research

Pierre Herckes and Matthew Fraser to lead a newly funded study on environmental detection and modeling of Valley fever in Arizona.

April 13, 2022

ASU School of Molecular Sciences professor receives teaching award

The 2022 Distinction of Merit and Scholastic Occupation (DMSO) teacher award was presented to Laura Ackerman-Biegasiewicz, who teaches in Arizona State University's School of Molecular Sciences. The award is given by the Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society (SAACS).

April 12, 2022

ASU student awarded inaugural carbon capture scholarship

The first recipient of the Martin Hudson Scholarship for Carbon Capture and Sustainable Energy, Riley Seminara, is a sophomore majoring in biochemistry and chemical engineering.

March 31, 2022

ASU undergrad Lauren Harstad awarded Goldwater Scholarship

ASU School of Molecular Sciences student Lauren Harstad is the recipient of a 2022 Goldwater Scholarship. The Goldwater Scholarship, established by Congress in 1986, is the most prestigious award for undergraduate STEM majors.

March 30, 2022

Tim Long honored with American Chemical Society's Paul J. Flory Award

At the American Chemical Society’s national spring meeting in San Diego, Arizona State University Professor Tim Long was honored by the society's Division of Polymer Chemistry with the Paul J. Flory Award for Polymer Education.

March 18, 2022

Keck award will help scientists take quantum leap to explore the mysteries of life

Professor Mujica will lead a three-year, $1 million award from the prestigious Keck Foundation for quantum research.

March 11, 2022

Paul Weiss to deliver distinguished Eyring Lecture Series at ASU

Paul Weiss, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences with many international awards, will be the featured School of Molecular Sciences’ Eyring Lecture Series speaker.

February 25, 2022

Learn, earn and return: School of Molecular Sciences supports military students

Cory Smith, an online biochemistry major, currently serving in the Air Force as a U-28A mission pilot, recently completing his 7th deployment in the Middle East. Smith has his sights set on earning entry into medical school, and then returning to active duty as a military physician.

February 25, 2022

Study shows that proteins can act as electrical conductors

In new research appearing in the journal ACS Nano, Stuart Lindsay and his colleagues show that certain proteins can act as efficient electrical conductors.

February 25, 2022

Lost in the moss: ASU scientists answer key questions regarding photosynthesis evolution

A team of scientists from Arizona State University has taken a significant step closer to unlocking the secrets of photosynthesis, by determining the structure of a very large photosynthetic supercomplex in mosses.  Yuval Mazor is the paper’s senior author and an assistant professor in the School of Molecular Sciences.

February 21, 2022

New technology fused with photosynthetic life offers path to green energy

Research appearing in the current issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, lead author Christine Lewis and her ASU colleagues describe a patented hybrid device — part living organism, part bio battery, capable of producing stored energy by increasing energy flow under light conditions where natural photosynthesis is normally inhibited.

February 10, 2022

ASU professor accepts international award for research in marine, aquatic sciences

Research led by Arizona State University Professor Hilairy Hartnett is being honored with the 2022 John Martin Award from the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO).

February 8, 2022

Mentorship program to address graduate student inclusion

The mentorship will help faculty to understand differences in student experiences and perceptions, and how their goals might be different from what the faculty members’ goals were when they were graduate students. 

February 1, 2022

The dynamic duo who sparked a worldwide chemistry revolution

And no one was more fitting to kick off the lecture series than former ASU faculty member Professor Omar Yaghi, who together with ASU Professor Emeritus Michael O’Keeffe made their 1990s breakthrough discoveries on reticular chemistry.

January 28, 2022

New program creates pathways for Native American student success

ASU-Berkeley Lab program seeks to increase number of Native students pursuing STEM graduate studies.

January 26, 2022

Marcia Levitus aids in DIY air filters to help Valley schools fight COVID-19

Levitus has used carbon dioxide monitors to spot check the effectiveness of some of the filter boxes inside classrooms.

January 24, 2022

Yuval Mazor receives NSF CAREER award

SMS Assistant Professor, Yuval Mazor, will study the structural biology of photosynthetic supercomplexes with NSF CAREER Award.

December 10, 2021

Christina Birkel receives NSF CAREER award

Christina Birkel and her group are diligently working to create new materials that can be used for renewable energy, catalysts and permanent magnets.

December 2, 2021

Rare blood clots linked to adenovirus COVID-19 vaccines

Scientists led by a team from ASU, Cardiff University and others worked with AstraZeneca to investigate vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT).

November 22, 2021

New possibilities for life at the bottom of Earth's ocean

In a newly published study, biogeoscientists Jeffrey Dick and Everett Shock have determined that specific hydrothermal seafloor environments provide a unique habitat where certain organisms can thrive. 

November 17, 2021

ASU's SMS Jacob Garcia awarded prestigious NRC postdoc

Garcia recently successfully defended his doctoral thesis, titled “The ultrafast excited — state dynamics of first-row transition metal oxide clusters.” His laser studies on uncharged transition metal oxide clusters could ultimately lead to the development of new and less expensive industrial catalysts.

November 17, 2021

Center for Meteorite Studies named in honor of Peter Buseck

Regents Professor Peter Buseck has an enduring and productive relationship with Arizona State University’s Center for Meteorite Studies.

November 1, 2021

SMS Alum Josh Vermaas returns for lecture

ASU alumnus Josh Vermaas came full circle, delivering the School of Molecular Sciences’ weekly seminar in the Biodesign auditorium. Vermaas graduated with degrees in biochemistry, physics and computational math from Arizona State University in 2010.

October 29, 2021

In memoriam: Emeritus Professor Sandra Pizzarello

Emeritus Professor Sandra Pizzarello is remembered by friends and colleagues in Arizona State University's School of Molecular Sciences for her kindness, achievements and integrity. She passed away on Sunday, Oct. 24. Pizzarello, a native of Italy, earned her doctorate in biological sciences in Padua. In 1977, she joined the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department (now the School of Molecular Sciences), working with John Cronin and studying organic compounds associated with meteorites.

October 27, 2021

Nobel laureate Mario Capecchi to deliver distinguished Eyring lectures

Mario Capecchi is an Italian-born molecular geneticist known for his pioneering work on the development of gene targeting in mice. This technology allows creation of mutations in any desired gene, giving virtually complete freedom to manipulate the genome of living mice.

October 21, 2021

ASU Regents Professor receives award for excellence in aerosol research

Regents Professor Peter Buseck is the 2021 recipient of the David Sinclair Award from the American Association for Aerosol Research (AAAR), the leading international scientific research organization for the study of aerosols, with emphasis on atmospheric chemistry. This significant honor recognizes the sustained excellence of an active, established scientist who has made a lasting impact in aerosol research and technology throughout their career.

October 14, 2021

Circular economy research makes plastic more sustainable

Developing a viable plan for a circular plastics economy is the key focus of a National Science Foundation Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation, or EFRI, project Long is leading with an interdisciplinary team of researchers. 

October 14, 2021

New theories and materials aid the transition to clean energy

In a new study, Gary Moore and his research group explore different approaches to catalysis, a chemical process that plays an essential role in biological reactions, as well as many industrial applications.

October 14, 2021

Improvements in microscopy home in on biology's elusive details

Researchers at Arizona State University's Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery and School of Molecular Sciences, as part of a multi-institutional research collaboration, are carrying the field of microscopy a step further, refining a technique known as cryogenic electron microscopy, or cryo-EM.

October 12, 2021

Miriam Goras combines passion for ethics and science

Lincoln Scholar Miriam Goras exemplifies this commitment while studying abroad in Germany with the department of molecular neurobiology at the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, conducting research on sphingomyelin synthase inhibitors and their ability to induce controlled autophagy in vitro. 

October 6, 2021

Carleton Moore: meteorites and moon rocks

In recognition of Moore’s many notable achievements, Asteroid 5046 Carletonmoore was named in his honor in 1981. In 2021, a new mineral found in a large, rare meteorite was named “carletonmooreite,” also in recognition of Moore’s importance to meteorite research throughout his career.

October 6, 2021

ASU research on protein responsible for detection, marking Nobel Prize

Included in the collection is a paper published by scientists from ASU's SMS and the Biodesign Institute in Nature Communications that helps clarify the contributions to an ion channel’s temperature-dependent activation.

September 29, 2021

The 'FORCE' is with ASU, thanks to a $13.7M NSF grant

The National Science Foundation has just announced the award of $13.7 million to Arizona State University to build a one-of-a-kind high-pressure research facility, the FORCE (Facility for Open Research in a Compressed Environment).

September 29, 2021

Study seeks to settle debate about oxygen in Earth's early atmosphere

A team of scientists, led by former Arizona State University doctoral student Aleisha Johnson, has been working to unravel the mystery of how the stage was set for the Great Oxidation Event.

September 28, 2021

ASU President's Professor Ariel Anbar elected as an AGU fellow

Arizona State University Professor Ariel Anbar has been elected as an American Geophysical Union (AGU) fellow. He joins 59 other individuals in the 2021 Class of Fellows.

September 24, 2021

SMS graduate student Gafaru Adam dies in accident

Gafaru Adam, who arrived from Ghana at the end of July to begin a PhD in biochemistry in the School of Molecular Sciences at Arizona State University, died in a tragic accident off campus on Sept. 13.

September 24, 2021

In memoriam: Regents Professor George 'Bob' Pettit

It is with sadness that the ASU School of Molecular Sciences announces the death of Regents Professor George “Bob” Pettit, who died on Tuesday, Sept. 21. Pettit was a giant in the field of natural products and anti-cancer research, holding nearly 70 patents on anti-cancer compounds. 

September 14, 2021

Study explores a unique material with tunable properties

In a new study, Scott Sayres and Jacob Garcia, use mass spectroscopy and ultrafast laser pulses to interrogate chromium oxides in unprecedented detail.

September 14, 2021

Alexandra Navrotsky increases ASU donation to $10M

In addition to the leadership and internationally recognized scholarship that Alex brings to ASU, she has made a personal $10 million investment which will ensure the long-term growth of materials science in this area at ASU.

September 8, 2021

Inspired by photosynthesis, scientists double reaction quantum efficiency

Regents Professors Tom Moore and Ana Moore and their groups have introduced a bioinspired catalyst that lengthens the productive state of some chemical reactions.

September 8, 2021

Computational protein design utilizes unnatural amino acids

Assistant Professor Jeremy Mills and his group have just published their research in the journal Biochemistry and present a novel solution to this problem.

September 7, 2021

Tim Long's work on polymers recognized through NSF grant and ACS Award

To tackle this and other challenges, Arizona State University's Tim Long, brings together research in chemistry, chemical engineering, health sciences and mechanical engineering.

September 3, 2021

SMS alum receives prestigious NIH early-career award

Arizona State University alumnus Chris Gisriel, currently a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Chemistry at Yale University, was recently awarded a Pathway to Independence Award by the National Institutes of Health.

September 3, 2021

New research advances clean energy solutions

Gary Moore, a researcher at Arizona State University's Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery, thinks chemistry will play a vital role in the development of clean solutions to the world’s mounting energy dilemma.

August 19, 2021

ASU researchers develop artificial enzyme to harness light for renewable energy systems

Using an artificial enzyme embedded in a transparent, conductive material, researchers at Arizona State University's School of Molecular Sciences report in Catalysts their success in developing a highly efficient system to convert light energy into chemical energy.

July 28, 2021

Researchers at ASU's SMS, Biodesign Institute, Mayo Clinic unravel DNA repair mechanism

Chloe Truong and Po-Lin Chiu of ASU's School of Molecular Sciences and The Biodesign Institute, along with Mayo Clinic biochemically characterize the protein-protein interactions of a huge DNA repair enzyme, DNA polymerase zeta, which is responsible for repair across damaged DNA, known as DNA translesion synthesis (TLS).

July 23, 2021

ASU student first author on dynamic water-protein interactions research article

ASU online School of Molecular Sciences alumna Tawny Fajardo and School of Molecular Sciences Assistant Professor Matthias Heyden, through computer simulations of a small peptide, studied the underlying components of the potential energy and entropy that determine the peptide’s structural and dynamical properties.

July 21, 2021

Seed grants bring ASU, Mayo Clinic researchers together to advance patient care

Two researchers are trying to find a way to identify biomarkers for specific diseases by studying the differences between patients who lose their sense of smell from either infectious diseases or neurodegenerative ones. The project is one of seven pilot studies that will be explored through the 2021 Mayo Clinic and Arizona State University seed grant program.

July 16, 2021

ASU researchers collaborate to develop innovative manufacturing for modern industries

Alternative diluents that are more environmentally friendly and can be used in manufacturing are a focus of research in Timothy Long’s laboratory in Arizona State University's School of Molecular Sciences.

July 15, 2021

New study targets molecular culprit of liver disease

In a new study, the research team, under the directorship of co-author Petra Fromme, at Arizona State University's Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery and colleagues from the Biodesign Center for Innovations in Medicine, ASU’s School of Molecular Sciences and researchers at Mayo Clinic use nuclear magnetic resonance technology to probe a protein known as G0S2. By understanding the molecular structure in minute detail, researchers hope to develop drugs capable of targeting this protein and alleviating symptoms of NAFLD, or perhaps preventing the disease altogether.

July 15, 2021

SMS announces Tijana Rajh as new director

Tijana Rajh has been announced as the new director of Arizona State University's School of Molecular Sciences. She comes to ASU from a 25-year career at Argonne National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary science and engineering research center of the U.S. Department of Energy.

June 30, 2021

Hope for more effective antibiotics comes from ASU research of protein structure, folding and dynamics

Arizona State University researchers Tushar Modi and Banu Ozkan of the Department of Physics, and Wade Van Horn and Mubark Mebrat, both of the School of Molecular Sciences, along with colleagues from other institutions, report on a breakthrough that improves understanding of the relationship between protein structure, dynamics and function.

June 25, 2021

ASU researchers aim to expand possibilities for restoring human health

Effective diagnostics, therapies and treatments for diseases and infections could increasingly involve reengineering the body’s internal biomechanisms at their most basic chemical and molecular foundations.

June 25, 2021

Earth's oldest photosynthetic organisms provide insight into clean energy solutions

ASU scientists, in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Michigan, studied the reaction center from heliobacteria — the simplest, and most similar to the earliest photosynthetic reaction centers that first appeared on Earth over 3 billion years ago.

June 16, 2021

2 recent promotions in ASU's School of Molecular Sciences poised to have positive impact on growing number of students

Congratulations to Ara Austin and Orenda Griffin on their recent promotions. 

May 28, 2021
Inclusion, diversity focus of School of Molecular Sciences JEDI Grant Award

The College established JEDI seed grants to promote an environment of equity and inclusion. The School of Molecular Sciences partners with the School of Earth and Space Exploration and the School of Life Sciences on the award and the grant’s fulfillment.

May 28, 2021
Faculty promotions announced in the School of Molecular Sciences

Arizona State University's School of Molecular Sciences recognizes and congratulates its faculty member promotions, as announced by The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. These promotions will take effect in August of this year.

May 20, 2021
ASU professor Tim Steimle retires after fulfilling career of nearly four decades

Professor Timothy Steimle has enjoyed a productive career at Arizona State University's School of Molecular Sciences for nearly 40 years.

May 19, 2021
ASU alumnus Spencer Silver lived life as an inventor

ASU chemistry and biochemistry alumnus Spencer Silver died May 8 at age 80. Silver was a research organic and polymer chemist at the 3M corporation who invented the adhesive used in Post-it Notes.

May 17, 2021
American Chemical Society awards bridge program to ASU's School of Molecular Sciences

Arizona State University’s School of Molecular Sciences is one of three institutions nationwide selected this year to join the American Chemical Society’s Bridge Program.

May 4, 2021
Graduates fueled by ASU Biodesign research experiences credit opportunity, mentor trust

SMS PhD graduate Swarup Dey was recently offered a position as a postdoctoral candidate at Harvard Medical School. “I want to solve real-world problems, and I see this field as a very apt way to make a difference in human life."

April 30, 2021
Clinical Assistant Professor Ara Austin receives outstanding educator award

Austin’s passion and skill for teaching and her tireless efforts were recognized by The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, awarding her with this year’s Outstanding Lecturer/Clinical Professor Award.

April 22, 2021
Study paves the way for new photosensitive materials

In new research appearing in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, Arizona State University Assistant Professor Scott Sayres and his research group describe their investigations into the molecular dynamics of titania clusters.

April 22, 2021
Beating detectors at their own game: How to catch a fast molecule in action

Arizona State University researcher Steve Pressé and co-authors report a new mathematical method to extract changes in biomolecular shapes that occur on timescales that exceed detector exposure times.

April 13, 2021
In memoriam: Associate Research Professional Paul Liddell

Arizona State University employs many unsung heroes, like Paul Liddell, who devote their lives and careers not only to research, but to helping others. Liddell, an associate research professional in the School of Molecular Sciences, died in late February.

April 12, 2021
Fromme's pioneering efforts in X-ray crystallography honored with prestigious Anfinsen Award

Arizona State University researcher Petra Fromme has received the 2021 Christian B. Anfinsen Award. The honor is bestowed by the Protein Society, the premier international association dedicated to supporting protein research.

March 22, 2021
Variances in critical protein may guide fate of those infected with SARS CoV-2

A new study by Karen Anderson, Abhishek Singharoy and their colleagues at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, may offer some tentative clues. Their research explores MHC-I, a critical protein component of the human adaptive immune system.

March 19, 2021
Austen Angell left legacy of exploration

Austen Angell, a world-renowned Regents Professor of chemistry who plumbed into the behaviors and physical properties of glass-forming liquids, died on March 12 after fighting cancer for the past 17 years.

March 17, 2021
ASU researcher Gary Moore exemplifies scientific leadership through energy research

SMS Associate Professor Gary Moore and his research team seek to understand and advance the science of molecular materials for applications in transducing solar energy.

March 11, 2021
Double-masking the right way

ASU aerosol expert Pierre Herckes provides advice on the practice of wearing two face masks simultaneously.

February 22, 2021
ASU academic advisers excel during pandemic

Arizona State University's School of Molecular Sciences academic advisers are excelling and helping a record number of students.

February 18, 2021
School of Molecular Sciences faculty bring attention to diversity, equity, inclusion in academia

School of Molecular Sciences assistant professors Laura Ackerman-Biegasiewicz and Kyle Biegasiewicz to look inward at their own spheres of influence and examine sources of injustice and inequity in academia.

February 15, 2021
Mineral 'carletonmooreite' named for founder of ASU Center for Meteorite Studies

A new mineral has been named for Arizona State University Emeritus Regents Professor Carleton Moore, the founding director of ASU’s Center for Meteorite Studies.

February 12, 2021
ASU researchers unraveling protein structure to understand and fight disease

Abhishek Singharoy, assistant professor with ASU’s School of Molecular Sciences, led the CryoFold team.

February 8, 2021
ASU alumna designing vaccines at Moderna

Ana Julia Narvaez, a 2003 biochemistry PhD graduate from the School of Molecular Sciences is designing vaccines at ModernaTx.