Message from the Chair

Summer 2022

Greetings, Cougar Chemists!

In addition to what you’ll find in the pages of this newsletter, some other brief updates here on the goings-on in Chemistry. Our two new assistant professors who started in the fall of 2020 – Liane Moreau and Jeff Bell – taught their first few courses and have research programs well under way (Moreau: the nanoscale properties of f-element materials, particularly at their surfaces and interfaces; Bell: integrating magnetism with electrochemistry to develop diagnostic tools for biomarkers of disease). I’m happy to report that they are both making excellent progress. We also have a new assistant professor joining the department this fall. Anjali Sharma comes to us from a postdoctoral fellowship in nanomedicine at Johns Hopkins University with a PhD from McGill University in Montreal. She will set up a new laboratory in Troy Hall focusing on chemical biology and the use of nanotechnology for target-specific drug/gene delivery. More details on Prof. Sharma will be forthcoming in the next newsletter. We will also begin searching this fall for an additional two new faculty members, so expect even more new and exciting science to be coming out of the department that will greatly impact both undergraduate and graduate student researchers in Chemistry.

In our last newsletter, much of the conversation was about the effects of the pandemic on the department. I’m happy to report that as of Fall 2021, we have been back to relatively normal operations, including face-to-face classroom teaching. Our Departmental Seminar program was back up and running (see pg. 10-11) and our faculty were traveling to re-opened scientific conferences and fulfilling invitations to speak at universities around the country.

In closing, I will note that this is my last newsletter as chair of the department; Prof. Cliff Berkman began serving as department chair in August. With a new budget model soon in effect for the University, the next few years hold potential for strong growth in the department and I’m confident Prof. Berkman will help chart a successful course for Chemistry. The six years of my tenure as chair have been incredibly challenging but also personally fulfilling in many ways. I have to admit it will be strange to go back to “just” teaching and carrying out research!

Go (Chem) Cougs!

Kirk Peterson
Professor and Department Chair
Fellow of the ACS, APS, and AAAS

P.S. To learn about making a gift to support chemistry education and research, please visit WSU Foundation

Gifts of any size help to enhance the student experience and support top-quality research.

Kirk Peterson