Department of Chemistry

The Department of Chemistry at University of Nebraska Kearney is committed to be a premiere undergraduate chemistry program that prepares its students for success in their academic, professional, or industrial careers. Our vision is to achieve distinction through excellence in teaching, high-quality research experiences, and engagement in the community and profession, focusing on the development of our students.
We offer high-quality undergraduate programs of study that provide our students with the background necessary to work as professional chemists or to prepare for graduate or professional school. Chemistry is a "hands-on" science, and we place an emphasis on providing students with the best laboratory experience possible through access to state-of-the-art equipment and participation in active undergraduate research programs.

News @ UNK-Chemistry
Catalysis as a Strategy to Generate Bioactive Heterocycles
Levi Stanley
Iowa State University
2:30 p.m. Friday, October 17
Bruner 267
Over 45% of the top 200 pharmaceutical compounds (by US retail sales in 2012) are small molecule heterocycles. These heterocycles are currently used to treat human disease ranging from cancer to diabetes to microbial infections. The prevalence of heterocycles as medicinally important compounds continues to drive research into strategies to from new heterocyclic scaffolds and methods that streamline the syntheses of complex heterocycles.
The focus of synthetic chemists is increasingly shifting toward the identification and development of catalysts that establish new reactivity patterns, enable the formation of new molecular architectures, and improve the efficiency of synthetic routes. However, the development of new catalysts and synthetic methods is often performed with simple molecules containing minimal functionality. Straightforward transfer of these catalytic methods to the synthesis and functionalization of heterocycles remains challenging and understudied.

UNK Faculty and Students Give Thirteen Presentations at the 48th ACS (Fall, 2013 - Oct 16 to 19) Midwest Regional Meeting in Springfield, MO
  • “ Excimer-monomer Switch: A New Method for Selective Measurement of Fluoride” Qiao Song, Dr. Haishi Cao
  • “Cooperative catalysis using Lewis acids and NHCs in biodiesel synthesis,” Hector Palencia
  • "g-Cyclodextrin mediated cross-photocycloaddition of alkenes in the solid-state"Aspen R Clements, Mahesh Pattabiraman
  • "Students develop an inquiry-based experiment for the biochemistry teaching laboratory" Tara E. Bjorklund, Emily P. Edwards, Amanda M. Glass
  • “Investigations into the individual nickel binding sites of the metallochaperone SlyD" Amanda M. Glass, Zachary R. Porter
  • "Characterization and engineering of a more stable ascorbate peroxidase from Panicum virgatum L" Jayne McGovern, Frank A Kovacs, Paul Twigg
  • "Comparing nickel binding in a metal binding protein with and without attached His6 tag" Zachary R. Porter, Amanda M. Glass
  • "Kinetics of gold nanoparticle synthesis monitored by Raman spectroscopy" Bethany A. Lueck, Christopher L. Exstrom, Scott A. Darveau
  • "Synthesis and mecanistic studies of new N-heterocyclic carbenes as organocatalysts" Murbach D Reed, Hector Palencia
  • "A well-defined NHC-Pd[Allyl] complex for the Suzuki-Miyaura cross-coupling of aryl chlorides and bromides" Hector Palencia, Noah C. Broekemier, Noland W. Broekemier, Randall T. Short
  • “A Novel Fluorescent Approach for Detection of Fluoride in Aqueous Media with High Affinity” Angela Bamseberger, Haishi Cao
  • "Development of fluoride sensor based on desilylation reaction" Lingyun Yang, Dr. Haishi Cao
  • "Effect of the structure of N-heterocyclic carbenes on their catalytic activity as organocatalysts" Noah C Broekemier, Assistant Professor Hector Palencia

Departmental Assessment Report
The Departmental Assessment Report describes the success of the department in producing positive student outcomes. The General Studies (GS) Report describes how well our courses meet GS objectives.

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