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From the College of Natural Sciences
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.

Chemistry Faculty Member Selected for Texas 10 Recognition

Chemistry Faculty Member Selected for Texas 10 Recognition

Only three years after joining the faculty at The University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Kate Biberdorf has been chosen as one of this year's Texas 10. Nominated by alumni and celebrated in the Texas Exes' publication The Alcalde, the Texas 10 are dedicated educators who have had a profound impact on the lives of their students. Biberdorf and the other winners this year were selected from among 75 nominated campus educators.

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.

Freshman Research Initiative Opens New Possibilities for Student

Freshman Research Initiative Opens New Possibilities for Student

Because the College of Natural Sciences is where the groundbreaking Freshman Research Initiative began, we speak to students about their experiences in the program from time to time.

Chemist Sessler Offers Inspiring Story of Persistence

Chemist Sessler Offers Inspiring Story of Persistence

A profile of UT Austin chemist and professor Jonathan Sessler is inspiring scientists to share their stories about what drives them in their work.

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.