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Chemistry News

Emeritus Professor of Chemistry and Physics Howard Taylor teaching at USC in the mid-1970s. Photos courtesy of Leeza Taylor Reisig.

In Memoriam: Howard Taylor, 79

May 22, 2015

Howard Taylor, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry and Physics at USC Dornsife, has died. He was 79. Taylor died at home in Los Angeles surrounded by his wife and family on May 17. “Howard Taylor was a brilliant…

Keith Pluymers and Zhe Zhang have both secured postdoctoral positions for the Fall. Pluymers is bound for the California Institute of Technology, and Zhang will further her research at the Weill Cornell Medical College. Photos by Peter Zhaoyu Zhou.

Guided by ‘What If?’

May 13, 2015

Doctoral researchers Keith Pluymers and Zhe Zhang followed very different paths to USC Dornsife — however, their motivations were essentially the same. As children, both dared to imagine that they could make a…

Soonja Choe, the first woman president of Inha University, talks with students. Choe has taught and conducted research there for 28 years. Photo courtesy of Soonja Choe.

Strength of Spirit and Mind

April 29, 2015

Growing up in Incheon, South Korea, Soonja Choe’s family was very poor. Her mother never went to school and her father had a limited grade-school education. Choe was just 12 years old when he died, leaving her mother to…

Professor Valery Fokin uses his innovative methodology as a chemist to assist biomedical researchers discover new diagnostics and treatments. Photo Courtesy of Valery Fokin.

USC Dornsife Recruits Leading ‘Click Chemist’

April 27, 2015

The USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences has recruited leading chemist Valery Fokin to join its faculty. He will begin in the Department of Chemistry this Fall. “I am thrilled to have yet another stellar…

Artist's rendering of an exploding Buckyball. USC/Holly Wilder.

Bucky-Balls Become Buckybombs

March 27, 2015

1996, a trio of scientists won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for their discovery of Buckminsterfullerene — soccer-ball-shaped spheres of 60 joined carbon atoms that exhibit special physical properties. Now, 20 years…

Ray Irani’s gift also establishes the Ghada Irani Chair in the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Photo courtesy of Occidental Petroleum Corp.

Irani Pledges Support for Residential College

March 2, 2015

USC Trustee Ray Irani Ph.D. ’57 has pledged $20 million to the university, of which $15 million will create the Ray Irani Residential College at the new USC Village. The additional $5 million will endow two faculty…

Peter Kuhn presented his “no cell left behind” approach to detecting and characterizing circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in the blood during a Dean's Special Lecture on Jan. 26. Photo by Peter Zhaoyu Zhou.

Better Cures, Better Care

February 5, 2015

On a recent trip to Washington, D.C., USC Dornsife’s Peter Kuhn was sitting in a restaurant when a server walked up to him and said simply, “Thank you for saving my mother’s life,” before walking…

Soon to become a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, Mark Thompson invented the molecules that make the colors red and green appear on the Samsung phone’s screen. Photo by Matt Meindl.

Thompson Hailed as Innovator

December 16, 2014

USC Dornsife’s Mark Thompson will become a new fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), an elite group of innovators that includes 21 Nobel laureates from around the world. Thompson and two other USC…

Matthew Pratt's research aims at understanding and stymieing cancer. Photo by Susan Bell.

Recognition for Pratt’s Work

November 18, 2014

Six years into his career at USC Dornsife, Matthew Pratt is on a roll — gaining attention for cutting-edge research aimed at understanding and stemming cancer. Pratt’s research focuses on glycosylation, the…

Chemistry major Beatriz “Abril” Lopez-Bermudez works in the laboratory of Brent Melot, assistant professor of chemistry (right). Melot’s team is researching ways to produce safer, higher-voltage and more compact batteries. Photos by Pamela J. Johnson.

Big Boost for the Bench

October 9, 2014

For Beatriz “Abril” Lopez-Bermudez, advancing energy efficiency is a cause near and dear. Growing up in Ayotla, a suburb of Mexico City, her family home and entire neighborhood were often without electricity for…