Center for Nanoscience Member Named NAI Fellow

Zhi Xu
Dr. Zhi Xu, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Member of the Center for Nanoscience

Last month, the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) named 170 distinguished innovators to NAI Fellow status including UMSL's Dr. Zhi Xu, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Member of the Center for Nanoscience.

Election to NAI Fellow status is a high professional distinction accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society.

The NAI Fellows will be inducted on Mar. 20, 2015, as part of the 4th Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Deputy Commissioner for Patent Operations Andrew Faile will deliver the keynote address for the induction ceremony. Fellows will be presented with a special trophy, newly designed medal, and rosette pin in honor of their outstanding accomplishments.

UMSL's Dr. George Gokel, Director, Center for Nanoscience, was elected NAI Fellow last year. The University of Missouri Columbia is represented by two faculty on the list of NAI Fellows, and the University of Missouri System by one.

> NAI Press Release
> Full List of NAI Fellows

St. Louis Institute of Nanoscience & Nanomedicine Symposium - SLINN 2014

November 22, 2014 on the Saint Louis University Campus

SLINN 2014


UMSL scientist named 2014 Inventor of the Year

zhi xu

UMSL’s Zhi Xu has been named 2014 “Inventor of the Year” by The Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis for creating an inexpensive, noninvasive blood glucose monitor. (Photo by August Jennewein)

A University of Missouri–St. Louis researcher, who developed a portable, inexpensive, noninvasive blood glucose monitor for people with diabetes, has been named 2014 “Inventor of the Year” by The Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis.

Zhi Xu, associate professor of chemistry at UMSL, is lead researcher on the project, which involves a small monitor that will allow for pain-free, convenient detection of glucose levels in capillaries of the finger with no waste (strips, lancets, etc.) and no need to draw blood.

Xu and St. Louis Medical Devices Inc., which was formed to commercialize his technology, won the “Inventor of the Year” competition in the “Start-ups” category. There were 14 nominees in the startup category. UMSL has licensed patent rights for the device to St. Louis Medical Devices Inc., a company headquartered at UMSL’s own startup company incubator, Innovative Technology Enterprises, to bring the device to market.

Currently, the monitor is undergoing international clinical testing.

“There have been 25 years of attempts to create such a noninvasive glucose monitor. I think we’ve done it,” Xu was quoted as saying in a 2011 article in UMSL Daily.

The noninvasive glucose monitor is based upon multiple inventions from Xu’s lab that are either patented or pending patents in the United States and other countries.

Diabetes is a disease in which the body either does not produce insulin (Type 1 diabetes) or does not properly use insulin (Type 2 diabetes). Blood glucose monitoring plays a critical role in the treatment of diabetes, and frequent measurement has been shown to significantly decrease the risk of negative health outcomes such as damage to the nerves, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and heart.

The BAMSL competition is based on submittals that can come from any member of the entire The Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis that has more than 5,600 lawyers, judges, paralegals and legal support professionals.


Dr. Keith Stine, Center for Nanoscience, named as an ACS Fellow

The American Chemical Society (ACS) Fellows Program was created by the ACS Board of Directors in December 2008 to recognize members of ACS for outstanding achievements in and contributions to science, the profession, and the Society.
Fellows are selected by a broadly representative Selection Committee appointed by the ACS Board Committee on Grants & Awards, which has governance oversight for the program.

The body of Fellows is expected to reach a steady state of 1 to 2% of the ACS membership and to reflect not only excellence, but also the diverse contributions made by ACS members.

A member who is nominated and not selected may be re-nominated in subsequent years by the same or different nominators. Nominations are not carried over from year to year.

Members retain the designation as an ACS Fellow, ACSF, for life.

A list of 2014 fellows is found here


UMSL Inventor of the Year: Dr. Janet Braddock-Wilking, Associate Professor, Chemistry

Dr. Janet Braddock-Wilking investigates synthetic pathways for the preparation of novel luminescent silicon or germanium-containing ring molecules known as metalloles and metallafluorenes. Luminescent molecules can have a number of applications in technology such as organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) used in screen display lighting and as chemical or biological sensors. A major emphasis is the development of robust air stable blue, green, and the more rare red light-emitting molecules. The unique optoelectronic properties exhibited by these molecules that make them desirable for these applications are linked to their structures and these can be modified by incorporating a variety of chemical functional groups within the molecule through chemical synthesis.

Dr. Braddock-Wilking said, “The research oriented atmosphere at UMSL provides the resources necessary to perform cutting-edge research. Key to this project was supportive colleagues and state-of-the-art instrumentation provided by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Center for Nanoscience. I especially benefited from outstanding graduate students who advanced this research project and the strong backing of the Office of Research Administration.”


UMSL scientist named National Academy of Inventors Fellow


George Gokel, Distinguished Professor of Science and director of UMSL’s Center for Nanoscience, has been named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. (Photo by August Jennewein)

George Gokel continues to garner attention for his innovative work in the sciences.

Gokel, Distinguished Professor of Science at the University of Missouri–St. Louis and director of the Center for Nanoscience at UMSL, has been named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

The distinction is accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.

Gokel is an expert in the area of supramolecular chemistry. He has published more than 400 peer-reviewed papers, authored, co-authored or edited 10 books and is named as an inventor on more than 15 patents.

Gokel was among 143 innovators elected fellow status. Other St. Louis academic heavy weights in the 2013 class include Washington University Chancellor Mark Wrighton and Richard Bucholz, professor and vice chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. Henry Foley, executive vice president for academic affairs for the University of Missouri System was also accorded fellow status.

“I am honored to be included among such a distinguished group of individuals, many of whom I know and all of whom I admire,” Gokel said. “This recognition would have been impossible without my collaboration with other researchers and the many wonderful students that have worked in and are working in my laboratory. At UMSL, in particular, I have enjoyed excellent support from my colleagues in the Office of Research Administration, without whose efforts no patents would ever be filed or granted.”

The new fellows will be inducted during the 3rd annual conference of the National Academy of Inventors March 7 in Alexandria, Va. The inductees will be presented with a special trophy and a rosette pin.

This past spring Gokel was honored by the Academy of Science of St. Louis, with the James B. Eads Award. It recognizes a distinguished individual for outstanding achievement in engineering or technology.

Gokel sits on the editorial boards of numerous scientific journals and was named to a scientific review committee at the National Institutes of Health through 2013. He came to UMSL in 2006 after 13 years at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, where he was a professor of molecular biology and pharmacology. Gokel earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Tulane University in New Orleans and a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship at UCLA. His research took him to some of the nation’s top universities.

The inventors and innovators elected to the rank of NAI fellow were nominated by their peers.


Center for Nanoscience Associate Director named the June Guest Editor for the Materials Research Society Bulletin (MRS Bulletin)

June 2013: Metal hydrides for clean energy applications

Guest Editors: Ewa C.E. Rönnebro (PNNL) and Eric H. Majzoub (University of Missouri, St. Louis)

AbstractMetal hydrides are a fascinating class of materials that can be utilized for a surprising variety of clean energy applications, including smart solar collectors, smart windows, sensors, thermal energy storage, and batteries, in addition to their traditional application for hydrogen storage. Over the past decade, research on metal hydrides for hydrogen storage increased due to global governmental incentives and an increased focus on hydrogen storage research for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell operation. Tremendous progress has been made in so-called complex metal hydrides for hydrogen storage applications with the discovery of many new hydrides containing covalently bound complex anions. Many of these materials have applications beyond hydrogen storage and are being investigated for lithium-ion battery separator and anode materials. In this issue of MRS Bulletin, we present the state of the art of key evolving metal-hydride-based clean energy technologies with an outlook toward future needs.

Single Atoms Mediate Reaction
Catalysis: Isolated platinum atoms remain stable and active in oxidations

A wet-chemistry method can be used to prepare catalysts featuring single isolated precious-metal atoms supported on a metal oxide surface, according to a research team based in China and the U.S. (Nat. Chem., DOI: 10.1038/nchem.1095). The work may lead to low-cost industrial catalysts and addresses questions in fundamental catalytic science. Supported catalysts consisting of particles of platinum and other precious metals anchored on oxides are widely used in automotive emissions cleanup and many industrial catalytic processes. Because only the metal atoms at the particle surfaces catalyze reactions, manufacturers aim to make these particles as tiny as possible to maximize metal use. But making uniform subnanometer-sized particles remains challenging. And the tiny particles' tendency to diffuse and agglomerate deactivates catalysts. By tuning the temperature, pH, and other parameters in a coprecipitation process, the China-U.S. team has come up with a synthesis that sidesteps those problems. Using atomic-resolution microscopy and other analytical methods, Botao Qiao and Tao Zhang of China's Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics; Jun Li of Tsinghua University, in Beijing; Jingyue Liu of the University of Missouri, St. Louis; and coworkers have determined that their procedure yields nanocrystallites of iron oxide with isolated platinum atoms dispersed across the surface. The group compared the single-atom catalyst with other platinum catalysts and with a high-performance gold reference catalyst in CO oxidation reactions. One set of tests evaluated the catalysts' ability to oxidize CO in the presence of an abundance of hydrogen. The reaction rids hydrogen of low levels of CO, a common contaminant that poisons fuel-cell catalysts. In all cases the researchers found that the single-atom catalyst remains stable under typical reaction conditions and is at least two to three times more active than the other catalysts. "This is very exciting and timely work," says Charles H. F. Peden of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The catalysis community has been considering whether a single atom can serve as the active site in heterogeneous catalysts, he notes. "This study answers the question with a resounding yes," he adds.
Chemical & Engineering News ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © 2011 American Chemical Society


New external funding opportunities database tool for faculty, staff and students

COS Funding Opportunities

UMSL now subscribes to the COS Funding Opportunities database (described briefly below). This is a great tool with which researchers within your department/college/school can identify funding opportunities posted by the federal government, foundations and other organizations.

Researchers can access online training on the COS User Training Page, which would be another useful link to provide to your faculty, staff and students.

Please note: the database can be accessed directly from a computer on the UMSL network at this website. However, researchers can set up a user name and password at this website with which they can access the database from computers off the network. An individual account with use name and password is also required to save searches and a profile within COS, whether on or off campus.


COS is the leading global resource for hard-to-find information critical to scientific research and other projects across all disciplines. Find funding with COS Funding Opportunities: search the world's most comprehensive funding resource, with more than 25,000 records worth over $33 billion. Opportunities posted in COS are categorized by the following purposes: · Artistic Pursuit · Collaboration or Cooperative Agreement · Contract or Tender · Dissertation or Thesis · Equipment, Materials or Facility · Facility Construction or Operation · Meeting, Conference or Seminar · Postdoctoral Award · Prize or Award · Program, Curriculum Development or Provision · Publishing or Editorial · Research · Training, Scholarship or Fellowship · Travel · Visiting Personnel Sponsor types include academic institutions, federal government, professional societies and associations, private foundations, other nonprofits, etc. Search results can be easily narrowed by selecting a purpose, sponsor type, requirement (e.g., academic institution, graduate student or undergraduate student), or top keywords.


Chancellor edits, writes nanoscience book

Jan 19, 2011 by Kylie Shafferkoetter

UMSL Chancellor Tom George edits new book on nanoscience. The University of Missouri-St. Louis Chancellor Tom George has edited the book, "Computational Studies of New Materials II: From Ultrafast Processes and Nanostructures to Optoelectronics, Energy Storage and Nanomedicine," published by World Scientific (Singapore). This is a sequel to his 1999 book "Computational Studies of New Materials." "Nanomaterials, i.e., materials with dimensions on the scale of a nanometer, play a prominent role in this current book," George said. "This includes ultrafast processes stimulated by short laser pulses, such as in connection with fullerenes (any molecules composed entirely of carbon), and the exciting field of nanomedicine, such as selective laser cancer therapy using gold nanospheres and nanorods." In addition to nanomaterials, topics in the book include energy storage and optoelectronics, such as in connection with polymeric light-emitting diodes, semiconductor quantum wells, and tailored negative-index metamaterials and microdevices. George has co-authored the introduction and 12 of the book's 18 chapters. "Computational Studies of New Materials II" was co-authored by leading scientists from the United States and around the world. The other co-editors, who also are contributing writers, are Daniel Jelski from the State University of New York at New Paltz, Renat Letfullin from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and Guoping Zhang from Indiana State University. George is a professor of chemistry and physics at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and has served as an adjunct professor of physics at Korea University in Seoul. He received two bachelor's degrees in chemistry and mathematics from Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania, and earned his master's degree and doctorate in chemistry from Yale University in New Haven, Conn., followed by postdoctoral work at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge and the University of California, Berkeley. His research interests are in the theory of chemical physics and laser-materials interactions. He has written 725 papers, 5 authored textbooks and 16 edited books/volumes. He has received many honors and awards, including the Marlow Medal from the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK), election to the Korean Academy of Science and Technology, an honorary doctorate in physics from the University of Szeged in Hungary and most recently the 2010 Medal of Honor from Gulf University for Science & Technology in Kuwait. George is an accomplished jazz pianist, playing frequently throughout the St. Louis region, and on occasion in other countries in connection with his travels associated with science and administration.


HPV drug one step closer with $3 million NIH grant to UMSL chemist, his company

A $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health brings a University of Missouri-St. Louis researcher and his company one step closer to developing an antiviral drug that could eliminate many types of the human papillomavirus from infected patients. HPV is the most prevalent sexually-transmitted virus in the world and is the cause of cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is second only to breast cancer among lethal cancers that affect women worldwide. Each year, nearly 11,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in the U.S. alone.


UMSL scientists earn $1.83 million NIH grant

Scientists at the University of Missouri-St. Louis have received a $1.83 million, five-year R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health for their research on new antiviral drug candidates that they hope will be used to fight high-risk human papillomavirus, or HPV, the cause of most cervical cancer. The grant is called "Biophysics of Drug Interactions with Viral Episomes."

The lead investigator for the project is James Bashkin, research associate professor, who will collaborate with associate professors Cynthia Dupureur and Michael Nichols, all members of the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry and the Center for Nanoscience at UMSL. These faculty members are collaborating with Chris Fisher of NanoVir, LLC, a drug discovery company dedicated to finding treatments for HPV, a primary cause of both abnormal pap smears and cervical cancer. Bashkin is a founding member of the company along with Fisher, who is director of biology at the company based in Kalamazoo, Michigan.


Nanotech Consortium Fosters Collaboration

CNS is very pleased to announce that at the recent Research Board meeting the Center for Nanoscience was awarded $124,500 for a period of 12 months to acquire an X-ray Diffraction/Small Angle X-ray Scattering instrument.

Other recent grants include:

DOE grant awarded to Eric Majzoub, PhD, CNS member and Assistant Professor, Physics & Astronomy
$2 Million for "Tunable Thermodynamics and Kinetics for Hydrogen Storage: Nanoparticle Synthesis using Ordered Polymer Templates"

Two NIH grants awarded to Chung Wong, PhD, CNS member and Assistant Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry
$217,742 for "Compter-aided design of anti-cancer drugs targeting protein kinases"
$428,375 for "Anti-plague agents targeting YopH of Yersinia Pestis"

One NSF grant awarded to Janet Braddock-Wilking, PhD, CNS member and Associate Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry
$343,000 for "Novel Metalloles containing heavy group 14 elements"
Small Grant award in the amount of $1,000

Research Board award to CNS director, Jingyue (Jimmy) Liu, PhD in the amount of $18,000

Sandia National Laboratories provided $100k/yr. for post doctoral support in the research area of "Development of Complex Ionic Hydrides for Hydrogen Storage Applications" to Eric Majzoub, PhD

Research Board award to Eric Majzoub, PhD in the amount of $20,000 for Hydrogen Storage research

Research award to Cindy Dupureur, PhD and Jim Bashkin, PhD in the amount of $12,000 for "Understanding Cervical Cancer Drugs"

Research award to Keith Stine, PhD in the amount of $6,000 for "Nanoporous Gold as a Support for Immunoassays in Cancer Diagnosis"

Research award to Michael Nichols, PhD in the amount of $12,500 for "Immune Receptors and the Alzheimer's Amyloid-Beta Peptide"
Small Grant award in the amount of $1,000

CNS Ph.D student Jinfeng Wang has received the Microscopy Society of America Presidential Scholar Award and a poster presentation Sigma Xi award for his poster on "Controlled Synthesis of ZnO Nanostructures"