Chemistry & Biochemistry

Notable Faculty & Student Achievements

May 2018

  • Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Maha Zewail-Foote was invited to give a seminar at the University of Houston on her research involving genetic instability and cancer. She also met with faculty and students from the chemistry and biochemistry departments.





March 2018

  • Director of General Chemistry Labs Willis Weigand and Professor of Chemistry Emily Niemeyer went with six Southwestern students to the American Chemical Society National Meeting in New Orleans, La., on March 19, 2018. The following students presented their research:

      • Tyler Adams , class of 2018, presented a poster on his research with Weigand titled “Synthesis and characterization of a copper (II) ethylene amine complex by an improved reaction methodology.”
      • Ryan Peraino , class of 2018, presented a poster on his research with Weigand titled “Synthesis and characterization of new thiadiazole sulfonamide ligands reacted with copper (II) salts.”
      • Margaret Rowand , class of 2018, presented a poster on her research with Weigand titled “Synthesis and characterization of a novel copper (II) thiosemicarbazone complex.”
      • Triston Beadle , class of 2018, presented a poster on his research with Niemeyer titled “Anthocyanin concentrations, antioxidant properties, and phenolic contents among commercially available acai berry supplements.”
      • Jillian Bradley , class of 2018, presented her poster “Surface functionalization of silicone films using click chemistry: synthetic strategies for designing mechanically tunable surfaces” based on her Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
      • Alison Riggs, class of 2018, presented a poster, “Effects of oxidative stress on non-B DNA structures in a yeast model system,” based on her research with Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Maha Zewail-Foote and Part-time Assistant Professor of Chemistry Michael Douglas.




  • Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Maha Zewail-Foote was awarded a prestigious research grant from the National Institutes of Health. Over the next two years, Zewail-Foote and colleagues will utilize a cutting-edge technology to detect DNA damage caused by environmental agents within specific DNA sequences. DNA damage can lead to genetic mutations and instability, which is responsible for many human diseases.





August 2017

  • Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry Maha Zewail-Foote published the article “Alternative DNA structure formation in the mutagenic human c-MYC promoter” in the highly ranked journal Nucleic Acids Research. This research is significant because it implicates the involvement of a three-stranded DNA structure in genome instability associated with the human c-MYC oncogene region and cancer. Chemistry alumni Sarah Coe ’17 and Olivia Drummond ’17 were involved in this research project.