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    Hello! Welcome to Breakthroughs, a site devoted to sharing with you the latest, greatest advancements from the College of Science at Oregon State University. From breakthroughs in research to transformational philanthropy to interesting tidbits from the daily life of the College, we'll post frequently to keep you up-to-date. Please visit often and absolutely let us know what you might like to learn more about. Enjoy, and of course, GO BEAVS!
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Archive for the ‘Chemistry’ Category

Accidental OSU discovery produces new blue pigment

Posted by The College of Science at OSU on November 16, 2009

blueFrom today’s Gazette Times:

“Basically, this was an accidental discovery,” said Mas Subramanian, the Milton Harris Professor of Materials Science in the OSU Department of Chemistry. “We were exploring manganese oxides for some interesting electronic properties they have, something that can be both ferroelectric and ferromagnetic at the same time. Our work had nothing to do with looking for a pigment.

“Then one day a graduate student who is working in the project was taking samples out of a very hot furnace while I was walking by, and it was blue, a very beautiful blue,” he said. “I realized immediately that something amazing had happened.”

What had happened, the researchers said, was that at about 1,200 degrees centigrade – almost 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit – this otherwise innocuous manganese oxide turned into a vivid blue compound that could be used to make a pigment able to resist heat and acid, be environmentally benign and cheap to produce from a readily available mineral.

Read more at the GT, or at OSU News and Communications.


Posted in Chemistry | Leave a Comment »

Terra – Winter 2009

Posted by The College of Science at OSU on February 17, 2009

The Winter 2009 issue of Terra is now available. Stories from the College of Science include Ajeet Johnson’s study of the Brothers Fault Zone in Central Oregon, and how Chemistry is going green in the new Green Materials Chemistry Center.

Posted in Chemistry, Geosciences, Terra | Leave a Comment »

Letting the Hua Cat Out of the Bag

Posted by The College of Science at OSU on October 5, 2008

Good news from 10-2-08 OSU Media Release:

Dr. Rich Carter is at it again! Working with Hua Yang, an OSU postdoctoral research associate, Carter has developed a new and improved “organocatalyst”. Hua Cat is environmentally friendly, inexpensive and very effective chiral compound (chiral compounds are the basis for about 90% of all new drug development, which by the way is soon to be a $5 billion industry). It provides solubility that’s more than 10 times higher than related compounds now being used. Thusly:

Good Hua Cat
Good hua cat

Hua Cat Competitor
Hua Cat competitor

Dr. Carter explains, “This is a comparison image of our invention, Hua Cat, versus a competitor. As you can clearly see, the vial on the top is clear and all of Hua Cat is dissolved. In contrast, the vial on the bottom contains one of our competitors, which is completely insoluble in the same solvent. As our catalyst Hua Cat is completely dissolved, it is much more readily able to catalyze the reaction. In contrast, the competitor is not dissolved and unable to catalyze the reaction.”

Posted in Chemistry | Leave a Comment »

David T. Wong named Indiana Living Legend

Posted by The College of Science at OSU on July 30, 2008

DavidWongOn July 18, 2008, Dr. David T. Wong (’64 Chemistry) was honored as an Indiana Living Legend by the Indiana Historical Society. LL-Program-(27)He is best known for his work discovering Prozac, Strattera and Cymbalta, but here at OSU, we also know him as a 2003 OSU Alumni Fellow. He remains active in the OSU community, serving as a member of the Department of Chemistry Advisory Board–we are fortunate to have his ongoing guidance and friendship.

David has made OSU proud in yet another way this summer. Along with four other Hoosiers, he has been selected from more than 150 nominations by a committee of civic and corporate leaders, volunteers and IHS trustees as an Indiana Living Legend. Here’s a bit more background on David:

Dr. Wong is President of DT Wong Consulting, LLC, and is an internationally renowned biochemist and neuropharmacologist. He worked at the Lilly Research Laboratories from 1968 until his retirement in 2000 as a Lilly Distinguished Research Fellow. He is a co-discoverer and co-inventor of several centrally acting drugs, which have revolutionized the fields of psychiatry and neuropharmacology, including Prozac for the treatment of depression (1986) and related disorders (1988); Strattera for attention deficit disorder (2003); and Cymbalta for depression (2004), diabetes neuropathic pain (2004) and general anxiety disorder (2007).LL-Reception-(05)

Dr. Wong has received several notable awards for his contributions to science, including the Discoverer’s Award, Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association in 1993; the Pharmaceutical Discoverer’s Award, National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression in 1996; the Outstanding Achievement in Research, Development and Innovation Award, Indiana Health Industry Forum in 1996; the Outstanding Achievement in Neuroscience Research Award, Lilly Neuroscience, Eli Lilly and Company in 2000; and the Excellence in Science Award, U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce in 2002.

Dr. Wong has published more than 160 papers and book chapters in the fields of neuropharmacology and biochemistry and is an inventor or co-inventor for some 35 U.S. Patents. Dr. Wong is an adjunct professor, Neurobiology, Department of Psychiatry, at the Indiana University School of Medicine and Nankai University in Tianjin, China.

Our hearty congratulations to an Indiana Living Legend!

Images and biography provided by the Indiana Historical Society

Posted in Alumni, Chemistry | Leave a Comment »

Tom Webb Stops By

Posted by The College of Science at OSU on July 24, 2008

Tom Webb stopped by the Breakthroughs HQ Annex (aka the OSU Foundation) today for a visit. He’s recently “retired” from his career on the chemistry faculty at Auburn University (he kept his office there, so I suspect he’s still making frequent appearances at work).

He has maintained his connections at his alma mater, OSU, stopping by to see old and new friends a few times a year. It was especially nice to catch him today between some pretty great trips he’s taking. Most recently, he was in Scotland, next he’s going to London, then it’s back to Scotland, then maybe a visit to the German coastline after that.

Tom had the vision to establish an endowed equipment and instrumentation fund in the Department of Chemistry here. Having spent a career doing research and teaching, he well knows what happens to the enterprise when a piece of equipment breaks or a new gizmo is required to do some cutting-edge work. He’s also been generous with his annual gifts, helping the Department seize opportunites that arise on a day-to-day basis.

Here’s Tom being a very good sport:


Posted in Alumni, Chemistry, Philanthropy | Leave a Comment »

Flat Screen TV’s for EVERYONE!

Posted by The College of Science at OSU on July 3, 2008

This article points up OSU as a pioneer in transparent electronics and touts a partnership among the U.S. government, private industry and university research to enable critical innovations for future display technology.

For the non-pioneers among us here’s what wiki has to say about thin films.

Flat screen TV’s are clearly the least of it.

Beavers, always building stuff.

Posted in Chemistry, Physics | Leave a Comment »

Transparent integrated circuit finds industrial use

Posted by The College of Science at OSU on June 16, 2008

transparenttransistorIn early 2006, OSU researchers announced that they had created a completely transparent integrated circuit from inorganic compounds.

Now, reports the Corvallis Gazette Times, that technology has found its first industrial use in solar panels:

Silicon-based solar cells — the heavy black panels currently in use — require mechanical devices to pivot them and track the sun across the sky. Transparent transistors can do that optically, making the sandwich of lenses, cells and electronics much lighter.

And since most of the panel is clear, architectural elements such as color and texture can show through them, opening up the technology to become an integral part of a building’s design.

(In the photo: OSU graduate student Rick Presley was instrumental in creating the transparent integrated circuit.)

Posted in Chemistry, Physics | Leave a Comment »

Synthetic Organic Chemistry Star Makes Headlines

Posted by The College of Science at OSU on March 25, 2008


Rich Carter is an Associate Professor of Chemistry at OSU. He studies synthetic organic chemistry, publishes like mad, runs a big lab, teaches and oh yes, raises a family. He’s one of those people who, when you meet him, you wonder what the heck you’ve been doing with your life. His latest achievement is his breakthrough with biaryl compounds, which are used in liquid crystal displays, computer monitors and even therapeutic drugs. A new approach to making these organic molecules could expand their range of uses, Rich says.

Thus far, he’s already produced siamenol, an agent being studied as a possible AIDS drug.

Click here for the full story.

Posted in Chemistry | Leave a Comment »

Tell the truth: You wonder what ONAMI is and why you should care

Posted by The College of Science at OSU on February 6, 2008

A recent article in the Corvallis Gazette-Times about Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI) explains why the support of higher education is so key to the economic health of Oregon in the global market:

Oregon needs to start ramping up its support of higher education, or else the state will be unable to compete in the global marketplace. That’s both the fear and the mission of Skip Rung, executive director of the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute in Corvallis. “This is the one thing that Oregon still doesn’t get enough,” Rung said during an interview Tuesday. “Higher education is absolutely critical to any region’s economic future.”

ONAMI’s mission is to support new research and to provide seed money to help small tech companies grow. Without its academic partners, the project couldn’t succeed. Likewise, Rung said, Oregon won’t be able to thrive without the research and development at public universities, which provide the talent and the ideas that produce new technology.

Read the entire article here: Tech exec: Higher Ed Lagging, by Theresa Hogue, Gazette-Times reporter.

Posted in Chemistry, ONAMI, Philanthropy, Physics | Leave a Comment »

$77M for new Science Center

Posted by The College of Science at OSU on January 10, 2008

lpsc_270x230.jpgOregon State University has received $77 million in private and public commitments to construct the Linus Pauling Science Center and provide support for associated research and education programs.

The new facility, named for Linus Pauling, a 1922 OSU graduate and the only person to win two unshared Nobel Prizes, will house the Linus Pauling Institute and chemists from the College of Science. The facility will also contain classroom and laboratory space for undergraduates, graduate students, and researchers studying chemistry, biology, and life sciences.

”This investment will have a transformational impact on the sciences at Oregon State University,” said President Ed Ray. “It will advance health care research, spur the development of new discoveries and programs that will bolster our economy, and help educate the next generation of scientists, who will define the future of health care.”

Funding for the $62.5 million state-of-the-art building includes a $20 million commitment from the Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation of Oakland, Calif., which was matched by gifts from other donors. These private commitments helped the university secure another $31.25 million in state bonds.

The Valley Foundation has also challenged OSU to raise at least $15 million in additional support for science research and education programs, including faculty positions and scholarships. To date more than $14 million has been committed from nearly 750 donors.

Approximately 120,000 square feet, the Linus Pauling Science Center will occupy the corner of Campus Way and 30th Street, next to existing science facilities.


We are working with donors to offer naming opportunities in the new building for gifts designated for chemistry and life sciences. Naming can be acquired for a gift of $10,000 or more.

Posted in Chemistry, Linus Pauling Science Center | Leave a Comment »