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From the College of Natural Sciences
Chemists Receive $2 Million to Develop Inexpensive Home Test for Heart Failure

Chemists Receive $2 Million to Develop Inexpensive Home Test for Heart Failure

With the prick of a finger, the new sensor could indicate whether a person has elevated levels of a biomarker associated with heart failure. Credit: iStock.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a team led by Richard M. Crooks, a chemistry professor at The University of Texas at Austin, a $2 million grant to develop an inexpensive, at-home test for people diagnosed with heart failure.

Scientists: New Device Accurately Identifies Cancer in Seconds (Updated)

Scientists: New Device Accurately Identifies Cancer in Seconds (Updated)

A team of scientists and engineers at The University of Texas at Austin has invented a powerful tool that rapidly and accurately identifies cancerous tissue during surgery, delivering results in about 10 seconds—more than 150 times as fast as existing technology. The MasSpec Pen is an innovative handheld instrument that gives surgeons precise diagnostic information about what tissue to cut or preserve, helping improve treatment and reduce the chances of cancer recurrence.

C. Grant Willson Receives ACS Award in Polymer Chemistry

C. Grant Willson Receives ACS Award in Polymer Chemistry

Photo of Dr. C. Grant Willson by Tamir Kalifa.

C. Grant Willson, professor of chemistry and chemical engineering and the Rashid Engineering Regents Chair at UT Austin, has been awarded the 2018 ACS Award in Polymer Chemistry.

Scientists Discover Powerful Potential Pain Reliever

Scientists Discover Powerful Potential Pain Reliever

Stephen Martin (left) and James Sahn have discovered a new pain reliever that acts on a previously unknown pain pathway. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Stephen Martin.

A team of scientists led by chemists Stephen Martin and James Sahn at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered what they say is a powerful pain reliever that acts on a previously unknown pain pathway. The synthetic compound, known as UKH-1114, is as effective at relieving neuropathic pain in injured mice as a drug widely used for pain relief called gabapentin, but it works at a much lower dose, with longer duration of action.

Chemist Searches for Less Toxic Compound to Preserve Organs

Chemist Searches for Less Toxic Compound to Preserve Organs

A computer simulation shows how DMSO molecules (red, white and yellow) form hydrogen bonds with water molecules (red and white). Credit: Carlos Baiz.

About a third of all deaths in the U.S. could be prevented or substantially delayed by organ transplantation, according to a 2015 report from the U.S. military. The main bottleneck is that there is no practical way to preserve organs for more than a few hours. If you try to freeze a whole organ, water within and between cells forms ice crystals that cause the cells to rupture.

UT Austin Mourns the Death of Former Provost Gerhard Fonken

UT Austin Mourns the Death of Former Provost Gerhard Fonken

A 1985 photo of, from left, newly appointed UT President William Cunningham, former President Peter Flawn and newly appointed Executive Vice President and Provost Gerhard Fonken. Courtesy of Briscoe Center for American History at The University of Texas at Austin.

Gerhard Fonken, former executive vice president and provost at The University of Texas at Austin, died this month at the age of 88. Fonken served the university for more than 35 years in various research, teaching and administrative roles, including professor in the Department of Chemistry and vice president of academic affairs and research.

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New Material Could Save Time and Money in Medical Imaging and Environmental Remediation

New Material Could Save Time and Money in Medical Imaging and Environmental Remediation

Chemists at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a material that holds the key to cheap, fast and portable new sensors for a wide range of chemicals that right now cost government and industries large sums to detect. The innovation could lead to major public health gains, as it holds the potential to drastically reduce the costs associated with cleaning-up accidental chemical spills, remediating old industrial sites, detecting radioactive contamination in drinking water, and operating medical and research imaging devices.

Chemistry Professor Receives Award for Research on Natural Compounds

Chemistry Professor Receives Award for Research on Natural Compounds

Stephen Martin, a professor of chemistry at The Univeristy of Texas at Austin, has garnered the American Chemical Society's Ernest Guenther Award in the Chemistry of Natural Products for a career of outstanding work in that area.

Chemistry Professor Wins NSF CAREER Award

Chemistry Professor Wins NSF CAREER Award

Sean Roberts, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at The University of Texas at Austin, has received the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation to pursue his research on the electrical properties of the surfaces of thin materials, which has long-range potential to inspire more energy efficient solar cells, lighting and electronic displays. The award will also support an outreach program designed to give community college students hands-on experience with research.

Chemistry Outreach Program Promotes Sustainability, Love of Science

Chemistry Outreach Program Promotes Sustainability, Love of Science

Ryan Pekarek, a fourth-year doctoral candidate in the Department of Chemistry, has two passions: renewable energy and science education. Luckily he's found a way to pursue both on the Forty Acres through his involvement in H2fromH20, an outreach program started by Michael Rose, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry.

Chemist Receives CPRIT Award for Tool to Recognize Thyroid Cancer

Chemist Receives CPRIT Award for Tool to Recognize Thyroid Cancer

Image credited to L'Oréal USA For Women In Science video

The Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) awarded an Early Translational Research grant to chemist Livia Eberlin, for the development of a new tool to accurately recognize thyroid cancer. The new tool, utilizing a technology called ambient ionization mass spectrometry, looks for patterns in the abundance of metabolites, or end products of biological processes, to rapidly determine whether cancer is present in a sample.

Sessler Awarded UT Inventor of the Year

Sessler Awarded UT Inventor of the Year

Professor of chemistry Jonathan Sessler has been named the 2016 UT Inventor of the Year for his prodigious work that contributed to groundbreaking new pharmaceuticals to fight cancer and a successful company, sold last year for billions of dollars.

UT Austin Chemist Chosen to Receive Early Career Award

UT Austin Chemist Chosen to Receive Early Career Award

Livia Eberlin of The University of Texas at Austin is one of five leading female scientists chosen to receive a 2017 Marion Milligan Mason Award for Women in the Chemical Sciences from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Evolution Inspires Anthrax Cure (Audio)

Evolution Inspires Anthrax Cure (Audio)

This fall marks the 15th anniversary of the U.S. anthrax letter attacks that sickened dozens of people and killed five. At the time, there was no effective treatment for a late stage infection. The attacks accelerated work already underway at the University of Texas at Austin. Brent Iverson, George Georgiou and Jennifer Maynard borrowed a page from Mother Nature's playbook to develop the world's first treatment for late stage inhalation anthrax.

Chemists Garner New Insights into Protein Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease

Chemists Garner New Insights into Protein Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer's disease, the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, has proven especially thorny for researchers: no cure has been found, nor has there been any treatment proven to slow the progression of the disease once it sets in. In a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists have taken a back-to-the-beginning approach, examining what happens at the start of a chain reaction that occurs before onset of the disease.