Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hiyam Hamaed is awarded the Governor General's Gold Medal

Although she enjoys all the sciences, Hiyam Hamaed chose to specialize in chemistry because it has so many applications to everyday life.

"I love chemistry because it goes beyond numbers—you can do it by hand, you can touch it, you can feel it," says the doctoral graduate, who volunteered for years performing a chemistry magic show for local schoolchildren. "I love to show everybody that chemistry is fun."

Dr. Hamaed received the Governor General's Gold Medal as the top graduate student in her cohort at Convocation ceremonies on Oct. 17, 2010. She received her B.Sc. with distinction in chemistry from the University of Windsor in 2005. She began graduate studies at the Master’s level in September 2005 and transferred to the Ph.D. program in 2006, completing her doctorate in June with a grade point average of 12.4 over her graduate career.

Her graduate supervisor, Robert Schurko, describes her as passionate about the science."She loves the work. That sort of attitude carries through in what she does," he says.

He points to her idea to use nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to distinguish between polymorphic forms of pharmaceuticals."She pushed us to think outside of the box," Dr. Schurko says. "Four people are now working on a project she started."

Read more about this story on the UWindsor Daily News website

Monday, October 4, 2010

Inorganic Discussion Weekend (IDW) - Nov. 5-7, 2010 at the University of Windsor

Inorganic Discussion Weekend (IDW) - Nov. 5-7, 2010 at the University of Windsor

Plenary Speakers:
- Professor Gerard Parkin, Columbia University, New York, New York (2010 Chem. Soc. Rev. Award Lecture)
- Professor Paul J. Chirik, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

General Information:
- The Friday evening mixer will be held at Peppers Bar & Grill located in downtown Windsor at 375 Ouellette Avenue starting at 7 p.m.
Oral presentations will be held in the Toldo Health Education Centre, rooms 100 and 102 on Saturday, Nov 6th and Sunday, Nov 7th.
The Poster session will be held in the foyer of the Toldo Health Education Centre on the afternoon of Saturday, Nov 6th.
The IDW banquet and awards ceremony will be held on the evening of Saturday, Nov 6th at the Riverfront Club Room of the Radisson Hotel on Riverside Drive in downtown Windsor.
- Blocks of rooms have been reserved at the Hilton and Radisson Hotels on Riverside Drive.

Visitors from outside Canada:
Individuals entering Canada from the USA who are not citizens of Canada or the USA may require travel visas. Please visit the conference website at
www.idw2010.ca or www.cic.gc.ca for further information. Be sure to bring appropriate ID (passport, driver's license, etc.).

Dates to Remember:
- Accommodation deadline for guaranteed rates: Friday, October 15, 2010
- Abstract submission deadline: Friday, October 22nd, 2010
- Conference registration deadline: Friday, October 29th, 2010

For further information, please visit our website at
For direct contact with the organizers please email us at

Monday, September 20, 2010

October 1 - NSERC post-graduate scholarship internal deadline

NSERC: All scholarhips - Department Deadline - October 1, 2010Application information is available on NSERC's website. http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Students-Etudiants/PG-CS/BellandPostgrad-BelletSuperieures_eng.asp

Forms are completed on-line and printed prior to submission to the department.NSERC has changed a lot of the process this year. See description below.


The Department deadline for NSERC applications is Friday, October 1, 2010.
Several changes to the application process have been made this year. Please carefully read the information below.
Highlights of the memo are:
*Faculty-The reference forms submitted for the students cannot be viewed or proof read before being submitted. Please use extreme caution when submitting the letters. Check that the student names are correct, both in the body of the reference, and the top portion. No corrections can be made after submitting.
*Students - must request original transcripts from the Registrar's office and give to Marlene, room #273 Essex Hall.
*Students - print the application before submitting and give to Marlene


Important information regarding NSERC applications
This last Friday, NSERC, finally provided instructions and updates to Ontario Universities for the current application round. This comes late in the season! The number of NSERC scholarships awarded is going down this year - the government's temporary boost of 400 to meet the challenge of the economic downturn will not be renewed. Our allocation will shrink accordingly.
Applications are all on-line this year. Like the Vanier process last year, this new e-application process has not been piloted, is being implemented very quickly, and very late. It is fraught with errors, omissions, oversights that we are going to have to deal with locally. Applicants need to get onto the applications early since there WILL be wrinkles that we will need to iron out with NSERC.

You may submit only one application per academic year to NSERC or CIHR or SSHRC.
Regarding NSERC-assigned PIN (Personal Identification Numbers) numbers:
1. Former applicants MUST use their PIN numbers from prior years, and if they do not have them, they need to immediately contact NSERC to get them
2. New applicants now leave the PIN number field blank
3. If new applicants leave the PIN number field blank, and the application process stalls mid-way, then it is likely that there is anther prior candidate with a similar name, or the e-application is flawed at the NSERC end of things. Contact the Program Officer at NSERC to clear things up (

Transcripts will be scanned and uploaded for you by your Departmental Graduate Secretary (Marlene Bezaire). It is important that you give them ALL of your transcripts together - they need to be scanned and uploaded as a single contiguous file, and the system permits them to upload only once.

Fast track PhD students
If you were accelerated from the MSc to the PhD program (didn't complete the MSc) be sure to specify your conversion date - this is important for ensuring that you are eligible for the maximum number of years.

PhD students
There are two places where you enter information that are "free-form" and uploaded as text files. It is safest to ensure that the uploaded files have headers with your name and PIN numbers on them. The first section pertains to work already completed, and would entail a brief outline of MSC work (title, significance etc as per instructions) but you can also install PhD work completed to date. The second section is the PhD proposal. DO NOT repeat what is put on the first section, but outline the scope of the project, objectives, and where you are going next.

Countdown Clock
There is a due date countdown clock on the NSERC application website that is confusing and will be removed.

Recommendation letters
Only the referees and the Scholarship Liaison Officer at Graduate studies can see and print off the referee reports. She in turn will have to provide these in either electronic or paper form to the ranking committees at the departmental and university levels.
Contact Svetlana (svetlana@uwindsor.ca) to request a copy of your applicants' reports for your committee's rankings.

Is your proposed research related to health?
The following are considerations when preparing or assessing the eligibility of the subject matter of applications related to health:
Eligible for NSERC support:
* Research in animal health and veterinary medicine.
* Research in nutrition related to food components, nutraceuticals1 or functional foods.1
* Research seeking to further our understanding of fundamental processes in humans.
* Research whose primary purpose is the development of monitoring and diagnostic technologies (such as health IT, in-vitro diagnostics, diagnostic imaging, patient monitoring and endoscopic devices) unless it is at the clinical trial stage. The research challenge must lie within the NSE.
* Research whose major challenges lie in the NSE (materials science, engineering, computer science, chemistry, etc.) which could eventually lead, among other applications, to the treatment or prevention of human disease.
Not eligible for NSERC support:
* Research involving the refinement of already existing technology for facilitating clinical therapies or health delivery systems.
* Research whose primary purpose is the investigation or development of vaccines, active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), or other therapeutic agents for human applications.
* Research whose primary purpose is the investigation or treatment of injuries or human performance.
* Research seeking to develop animal models of human diseases in order to study, primarily, the disease state, or treatments for injuries or diseases represented by the model.
* Applied research for disease treatment, diagnosis or prevention.
* Research involving clinical trials.2

Start early and let us know when things go wrong (They will! This has not been well thought out or implemented) so that we can intervene to help.

NSERC contacts you via email if successful. Address changes must be made to your online account by March 1st, or you risk missing notification and forfeiting your scholarship.

From: Michael Crawford Ph.D.
Associate Dean Graduate Studies

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wayne State: 12th Annual Graduate Research Symposium on October 9, 2010

The Department of Chemistry at Wayne State University will be holding its twelfth Annual Graduate Research Symposium on October 9, 2010. The symposium is a unique, student organized event for graduate students to present their research to fellow students, faculty and the regional scientific community. This event also serves to introduce new graduate students to cutting edge research in the department and acquaint prospective graduate students and their faculty advisors from regional institutions with our department.

For more information, please visit:

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Lab Coats For Sale!! Cheap!! Support your department!

The Graduate Chemistry Club will be selling lab coats during the weeks of:

September 13th -17th, 2010, and
September 20th - 24th, 2010

in Essex Hall Room 173-2 (between Labs D and E)

before labs from 8:00-8:30 am, 2:00-2:30 pm, and 5:30-6 pm.

Labs coats are being sold for $15 and safety glasses are being sold for $5 and all sales are CASH ONLY, profits going to support Chemistry and Biochemistry events!


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

New CRC Chair - Professor Jeremy Rawson

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry welcomes its newest member - Jeremy Rawson - who takes the post of Canada Research Chair in Inorganic and Molecular Materials. Prof. Rawson comes to us from Cambridge University, where he was a Senior Lecturer. One of his inspirations for applying for this position at Windsor was Prof. Dennis Tuck, a senior inorganic chemist in our department who passed away in 2003. To read more about this, click here. Also, please visit Prof. Rawson's profile page.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tenure-Track Position in Materials Chemistry

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Windsor invites applications for the position of Assistant Professor in any area of Materials Chemistry including Biomaterials. The successful candidate is expected to enhance the existing strengths of the Department and will be appointed commencing July 1, 2011 or as negotiated. This tenure-track position is subject to final budgetary approval. Deadline for application: October 25, 2010.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Crystal Flask Golf Tournament, July 21, 2010

This year's Crystal Flask Golf Tournament will be taking place at Roseland Golf Club on Wednesday July 21, at 9:30am. All of the faculty, graduate and undergraduate students working in the labs regardless of the golf skill level are encouraged to come out for a fun day of golf. Chemistry club will be covering half of the green fee for the participants. For any further information or reservation please contact Sinisa Djurdjevic (djurdjes@uwindsor.ca). Interested participants should confirm the reservation no later than Monday July 19 to ensure the spot in the tournament.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Congratulations to our Graduate Students

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry wishes to congratulate the Ph.D. and M.Sc. students who recently graduated:

Ph.D. Students
Ruchi Chaube (Mutus)
Bhartesh Dhudshia (Green)
Hiyam Hamaed (Schurko)
Anna Kozarova (Vacratsis)
Sapna Sharma (Loeb)

M.Sc. Students
Rebecca Heeney (Mutus)
Alan MacGregor (Schurko)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Student chemist perfecting data transfer for electronic devices

[Excerpt from the University of Windsor Daily News]

To read the full article,
click here.

Silicon-based integrated circuits currently used in cell phones and mp3 players are about as small as they’re going to get with current technology. Now, in response to consumer demand for even faster, more efficient electronic devices, chemists are racing to develop tiny molecular structures that would process data instead—and a UWindsor PhD student in chemistry has joined the race.

"Everyone knows that if we want data to be transferred faster we need to make things smaller, but we’ve almost reached the limit now with how small we can go," said Mike Miller, who recently won a three-year post-graduate doctoral scholarship from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council worth $63,000.

Miller, who works under the supervision of associate professor Tricia Carmichael, said many scientists are trying to create molecular wires and resistors by linking together chains of functional molecules that could be lined up in such a way so that one day, data could be transferred through them and they could replace conventional circuits. Miller’s attention, meanwhile, is devoted to studying ways to smooth the surfaces those molecules would bond with, as a way of ensuring better conductivity and data transfer.

To read the full article, click here.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Mango Party - June 9 at 3 p.m.

Dr. Pandey will be having his annual Mango Party on Wednesday June 9 at 3pm just outside the main entrance of Essex Hall. Mangoes and various food items will be served. Donations will be accepted for the Canadian World Education Foundation. Please invite your friends as all are welcome. So come eat some awesome food, help a good cause, and Mingle With Mangoes!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Process could help drug companies with simpler quality assurance, student finds

[Excerpt from the University of Windsor Daily News - to see the full article, click here]

Pharmaceutical companies may find it faster and easier to assure the quality of their drugs, thanks to the findings of a PhD student in chemistry.~
Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy—technology normally associated with medical diagnostics—is a simpler method than the time-consuming techniques pharmaceutical companies currently use to make sure drugs such as painkillers or allergy medications remain effective through the manufacturing process, said Hiyam Hamaed.

When drugs are made, they're created in liquid solution and then transformed into a solid state for manufacturing, packaging, and shipping. Some substances crystallize in varying forms; each of these polymorphs has different properties which can influence the way people metabolize drugs, as well as their shelf life, packing, and handling. To see what final form the polymorphs have taken, pharmaceutical companies will try to make single crystals out of their drugs for molecular X-ray analysis, which can be painstakingly slow or sometimes impossible, Hamaed said.

"The problem is obtaining a single crystal," said Hamaed, who defended her thesis last week. "This can be very difficult. Crystals can be very hard to make."

Hamaed said NMR can be used to analyze the molecular structure of solid pharmaceuticals, eliminating the need to form crystals. Her work focused on the hydrochloride salts, often the most stable forms of many solid pharmaceuticals. She found that NMR is a better method for determining the identity and purity of these pharmaceuticals when standard methods, such as X-ray diffraction, fail.
"These are very fast experiments," said chemistry professor Rob Schurko, Hamaed’s academic advisor. "We can take a snapshot and quickly confirm whether a polymorph has formed. Each NMR signature acts as a fingerprint for each type of pharmaceutical or polymorph."

[Excerpt from the University of Windsor Daily News - to see the full article, click here]
To read more about Dr. Schurko's research, visit his homepage at:

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ontario Graduate Scholarships Announced

Congratulations to the following students for obtaining Ontario Graduate Scholarships!
Michael Bolla (Loeb)
Chris Bonham (Vacratsis)
Eric Bushnell (Gauld)
Chris Caputo (Loeb)
Marcel Hildebrand (Schurko)
Bryan Lucier (Schurko)
Michael Miller (Carmichael)
Vedran Vukotic (Loeb)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

NSERC Graduate Awards

Chemistry had a great showing this year, with five graduate NSERC awards!

PGSD3 - Bushnell, Eric (Gauld)
CGSM - Caputo, Christopher (Loeb)
CGSM - Filiatrault, Heather (Carmichael)
PGSD3 - Miller, Michael (Carmichael)
CGSM - Vukotic, Vedran (Loeb)

Congratulations to all of our awardees!

Undergraduate Summer Research Awardees

Congratulations to our Undergraduate Summer Researchers, who obtained scholarships from NSERC to support their work in our department this summer:

Carolyn Adams (Loeb)
Ryan McLarty (Mutus)
Chris Mireault (Schurko)
Phillip Tremblay (Pandey)
Alex Reidel (Schurko)
Jordan Prince (Vacratsis)
Jennifer Nguyen (Macdonald)
Jessica Smith (Pandey)
Michael-Anthony Ferrato (Carmichael)
Gyllian Porteous (Carmichael)

Monday, April 26, 2010

April 28-29 - Final Defences - 59-410 Research Course

Please come and join us for the culmination of the 59-410 undergraduate research course, as the students present their final defences.

Everyone is welcome!

Defences take place on Wed. April 28 and Thu. April 29 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. in 186 Essex Hall.

The full schedule is available at: http://mutuslab.cs.uwindsor.ca/schurko/59-410/schedules.html

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Chem Prom 2010!!!! April 29, 2010

Chem Prom 2010!!!!

On Thursday, April 29th, 2010 we will be having our annual "Chem Prom". It is the last day of defences for the 410 students and it will be a nice way for everyone to unwind and close out the semester. It will be held at the Fogolar Furlan club in Windsor Hall (the back building). Doors open at 6:30pm and will run till approximately 1:00am.

Buffet style dinner, cash bar ($1.25 drinks), DJ for music and much more.

Tickets are $25 for students, $30 for staff and faculty. This is for all staff, faculty and students currently working in research labs. Significant others and friends are welcome, but must also purchase a ticket.

Please see Jillian or Meghan in room 367 for tickets. Also, please inform us if you are requiring a vegetarian meal.

CBA Fashion Show - March 21st, 7 p.m.

CBA Fashion Show:
The Chemistry and Biochemistry Association (CBA) presents:
The 3rd Annual Fashion Show: The Runway.
Sunday March 21st in the Ambassador Auditorium at 7 pm for $10.
Fundraising for CWEF and Red Cross. Doors open at 6:30pm.
Please come out and support our cause. Tickets will be on sale in the department all week.

For more information on the club, please visit:

Monday, February 1, 2010

NSERC USRA applications due Tues. Feb. 9

NSERC USRA (undergraduate summer research assistant) applications are due by 4:30 p.m. On Tues. Feb. 9, 2009. All applications should be handed in to Marlene Bezaire in the Chem/Biochem main office (Essex Hall 273-1).

For more information: http://web4.uwindsor.ca/units/biochem/web/chem.nsf/inToc/1D1C5216E8E29D29852571DA005D40D5?OpenDocument

Thursday, January 21, 2010

CBA dinner at Peppers - January 22, 2010

The Chemistry Biochemistry Association is holding a dinner for everyone of all ages this coming Friday, the 22nd at Pepper's Bar and Grill. The event starts at 7:00pm. Tickets will be on sale in the CAW and are $20/person, or 2 for $30. All profits go to the Canadian World Education Foundation (http://www.cwef.ca/index.php).

If you are interested in purchasing tickets, please email mukhopaa@uwindsor.ca. You can also pay at the door.

Please support CBA and come out to the event. You can enjoy a 6 course meal for only $20
Dinner Menu:
Fresh baked rolls with butter
Garden Salad
Penne with meat/tomato basil sauce
Chicken Alexandria/Stir Fry
Rice Pilaf or Spanish Rice
Seasonal vegetables

Vegetarian options are available.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Undergraduate Research Presentations

Are you interested in summer research opportunities? 59-410 research project? NSERC undergrad summer research assistantships?

Undergraduate Research Presentations will take place on January 15th in room 186 (Essex Hall) starting at 3:00 pm. Pizza and soft drinks will be provided. Come meet the faculty who will be taking on undergrad researchers!