Department of Chemistry

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Congratulations to the 2019-2020 Chemistry TA Award winners!

Andre Castillo was awarded the William Patrick Doolan Award in Chemistry for 1st Year Chemistry Laboratory. Alastair Kierulf received the Friends of Chemistry Award – For Excellence in Teaching CHEM112 Tutorials. Dianne Lee received the Friends of Chemistry Award – For Excellence in Teaching 2nd Year Synthetic Labs. Andrew Williams received the Friends of Chemistry Award – For Excellence in Teaching 2nd Year Physical and Analytical Labs. Hannah Ramsay received the Friends of Chemistry Award – For Excellence in Teaching 2nd Year Physical and Analytical Labs. Yizhe (Sherry) received the Fisher Scientific Award for Excellence in Teaching 3rd Year Labs. Congratulations to our TA Award winners!

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Queen’s Chemistry is proud to announce that Prof. Cathleen Crudden has been elected to the Royal Society of Canada!

Photo: Dr. Cathleen CruddenQueen’s Chemistry is proud to announce that Prof. Cathleen Crudden has been elected to the Royal Society of Canada (RSC)! Only Canada’s top scientists achieve such recognition. The RSC states Prof. Crudden has made “lasting contributions to organic chemistry and materials science. She has employed the principles of organometallic chemistry to develop catalytic transformations of importance to pharmaceutical research and to develop novel techniques for the formation of organic monolayers on metal surfaces. The latter work has resulted in the most robust organic monolayers to date, high stability nanoparticles and novel metal nanoclusters.” Details on the RSC class of 2020 can be found here: https://rsc-src.ca/en/news/press-release-rsc-presents-class-2020 Well done Prof. Crudden!

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Congratulations to Drs. Howe and She who are recipients of the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund

Photo: Drs. Howe & SheCongratulations to Drs. Howe and She who are two of the 18 researchers that are recipients of the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF). The JELF helps exceptional researchers at universities across the country conduct leading-edge research by giving them the tools and equipment they need to become leaders in their fields. Dr. Graeme Howe’s project is Elucidating the Evolutionary Enhancement of Enzymatic Efficiency and Dr. She’s project is Visualizing Soft Surfaces using Scanning Probe Microscopy. The story was featured in the Queen's Gazette.

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New Bioanalytical Project Funded by NSERC COVID-19 Alliance Grant

Photo: Drs. She, Oleschuk & ShethDr. Zhe She in collaboration with Dr. Richard Oleschuk and Dr. Prameet Sheth (Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine) will develop an integrated and portable COVID-19 detection system using microfluidic and electrochemical biosensing technologies. The project, which has received support from Department of National Defence Canada, is aiming to enhance the capability of providing medical surveillance on-sites and supporting vulnerable communities. Dr. Sheth’s team will assist validating the performance of the system and comparing it with methods currently used at Kingston General Hospital.

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Introducing Dr. Paul Duchesne to the Department of Chemistry

Photo: Paul DuchesneDr. Duchesne completed his PhD studies at Dalhousie University, where he specialized in electrocatalytic nanomaterials and X-ray spectroscopy, and was supported by Killam Trust and NSERC research scholarships. Later, as an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto, he worked to directly incorporate solar energy into catalytic carbon dioxide reduction. Dr. Duchesne’s research group will emphasize the in situ characterization of nanoscale materials, particularly those used to synthesize renewable fuels and value-added chemicals. This research will employ low-cost, Earth-abundant materials and powerful X-ray absorption spectroscopy techniques to provide critical insights into the chemical speciation and interactions occurring at the surfaces of heterogeneous catalysts. By better understanding the surface processes involved in these chemical reactions, it will be possible to design next-generation catalyst materials with increased activity and stability.

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Researchers associated with the Department of Chemistry are among a number of recipients of Queen’s University’s Rapid Response funding competition supporting COVID-19 research

Dr. Snieckus's team (in collaboration with Dr. Archer, School of Medicine) will work on the synthesis and preclinical testing of novel small molecule antiviral and/or prophylatic therapies for COVID-19. They will synthesize analogues of select antiviral molecules currently in clinical trials in the hope of improving their efficacy and reducing their toxicity. Dr. Archer will test these drugs in preclinical cellular and mouse models of COVID-19.

Dr. Capicciotti (in collaboration with Dr. Colpitts, Biomedical and Molecular Sciences) is developing carbohydrate-based antivirals as a prophylactic therapy for COVID-19. Viral attachment, the first step in infection, uses interactions between complex sugars called glycans and proteins to initiate binding to host cells. These interactions concentrate the virus onto cell surfaces to enable binding to receptors that allow for viral entry. Our strategy is to understand the glycans involved in these early-stage interactions, and use this information to develop and test carbohydrate-based inhibitors to virus attachment/entry for a novel antiviral prophylactic strategy to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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A message to the Queen’s Chemistry Community

Following statements from the Queen’s Principal and the Chemical Institute of Canada, we at the Queen’s Chemistry Department condemn anti-Black racism. The events of the past few weeks have emphasized the serious and systemic racial injustices and violence that are and have historically been committed against Black people, Indigenous peoples, and minorities in Canada.

We have an urgent obligation to act against the ideology of white supremacy and institutionalized racism that is experienced by Black chemists in Canada. As discussed in C&EN, our discipline continues to fail to recruit, retain, and support Black students, or to hire and promote Black chemists to faculty positions.

The Department of Chemistry at Queen’s University has a vision to become the most collaborative and diverse in Canada, and we recognize that there is significant work to be done to achieve this. We are taking the following actions:

  • We will write and establish a Code of Conduct that will ensure discriminatory behaviours and language are not acceptable in our Department.
  • We commit to self-education on the past and current racial injustices in chemistry and will not burden Black and Indigenous people with this invisible work.
  • We will begin the process to create Chemistry Graduate Awards for Black and Indigenous students. These will complement the recent university-wide awards for racialized students at Queen’s.
  • This year we created the Queen’s Chemistry Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Indigeneity Award, which is annual awarded to a graduate student and fully funds them to attend the LOGIC Retreat and also covers travel to the CCCE Conference.
  • We are in the process of creating a new member resource group, a chapter of the CWIC, that is aimed at promoting equity and inclusion for women and minorities in our Department.

The Queen's Chemistry Department commits to tackling anti-Black racism and affirming through direct action that Black lives matter.

Resources:
Resource list from the Queen’s Black Academic Society.
Anti-racism resources for white and non-Black/Indigenous people
Decolonizing science reading list, by Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

Donate:
Black Lives Matter Toronto (Toronto)
Black Legal Action Centre (Ontario)
Nia Centre for the Arts (Toronto)
Black Women In Motion (Toronto)

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Queen's Remembers Dr. Suning Wang

Photo: In memory of Dr. Suning WangWe report with great sadness that Dr. Suning Wang, 61, passed away on Monday, April 27, 2020 after a long illness. Dr. Suning Wang was a well-known, highly respected, distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemistry. Beloved wife of Kai Salomaa, dear daughter of Shulan Wu and the late Zhongye Wang, loving sister of Zhugang Wang and Zhude Wang. Suning will be sadly missed and dearly remembered by her extended family, colleagues, numerous students and the international Chemistry community. Dr. Wang was dedicated to her graduate students, she received numerous major awards and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Please view the Queen’s Gazette to read about the exceptional achievements of Dr. Wang. If desired, memorial donations for flowers for Dr. Wang can be sent/delivered on the afternoon of May 8th to Gordon F. Tompkins Funeral Home Central Chapel, 49 Colborne St., Kingston ON K7L 4Y8, Canada (for Suning Wang or a donation to in memory of Dr. Wang can be made to "The Palliative Care Trust Fund" on the page use the link "Donate today".

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