Slide1The 2015 National Chemistry Week theme is “Chemistry Colors Our World”.  The American Chemical Society is celebrating Chemistry Week to increase awareness for Chemistry.  Dr. Mas Subramanian’s research focuses on colorful materials, so he made a graphic featuring his pigment to help the NSF promote Chemistry.

More information regarding the American Chemical Society, the National Science Foundation, National Chemistry Week and Dr. Subramanian’s research can be found on their websites.

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Yes, you heard it right, it’s almost Food Drive time again.  This year, we’re using the KISS method when it comes to our event.  We’re just taking donations.  All through the month of February, the main office staff will be collecting food and cash donations to help the Linn/Benton Food Share feed local families in need.  Every little bit helps.

Foods the Food Bank needs:

  • Shelf-stable milk
  • Canned goods
  • Rice, cereal and pasta
  • 100% fruit juice
  • Cooking Oils
  • Other nutritious “healthy-choice” foods

The Division of University Outreach and Engagement is seeking nominations for the 2015 Vice Provost Awards for Excellence. These annual awards recognize outstanding contributions by faculty and staff that significantly advance the mission of outreach and engagement. Award winners receive $1,000 provided as OSU funds in a services and supplies index and a commemorative plaque.

Nominations are submitted online providing specific examples demonstrating how the individual or team has provided outstanding contributions.  Award categories include: service, strategic impact, program, innovation and diversity.  Nominations are due February 17.

A luncheon will be held to honor award winners on Monday, April 13th at the CH2M Hill Alumni Center.

Please forward in your unit.  Contact Jackie Russell with any questions.

The OSU Diversity Development and Student Events & Activities present an evening of Halloween fun. Starting at  6:30 p.m.  on Oct. 31, there is trick-or-treating for children of students, staff, faculty and administrators. From 8:30 – 11:30 p.m. there will be activities for OSU students. Memorial Union Ground Level- Ballroom.

Dear grad students,

Join the ChUME (Chemistry Undergraduate Mentorship and Empowerment) Initiative. 

ChUME was founded by six chemistry grad students and one post-doc in Fall 2013. Our mission is to foster professional long-lasting relationships between undergraduate and graduate chemistry students. In addition, we host seminars, socials, and professional development workshops every Term to assist undergraduate chemistry students in their success here at OSU and beyond.

ChUME Grad Student Responsibilities:
  • One hour weekly meeting with all ChUME mentors.
  • Participation in ChUME events.
  • Actively working with a minimum of one undergraduate mentee. 
  • Documenting your mentoring activities (meetings, research advising, etc) with ChUME. 
Benefits for you:
  • You can add an outreach activity to your grant proposals, CVs, resumés, etc.
  • You hone communication skills from one-on-one/group mentoring, and public speaking skills from ChUME events.
Looking for an opportunity to mentor undergraduate chemistry students? ChUME is ready to expand! A brief, rolling application for graduate students mentors can now be found here.
For inquiries, please email us at

By David Stauth, 541-737-0787

Contact: Vincent Remcho, 541-737-8181 or

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Chemists and students in science and engineering at Oregon State University have created a new type of chemical test, or assay, that’s inexpensive, simple, and can tell whether or not one of the primary drugs being used to treat malaria is genuine – an enormous and deadly problem in the developing world.

The World Health Organization has estimated that about 200,000 lives a year may be lost due to the use of counterfeit anti-malarial drugs. When commercialized, the new OSU technology may be able to help address that problem by testing drugs for efficacy at a cost of a few cents.

When broadly implemented, this might save thousands of lives every year around the world, and similar technology could also be developed for other types of medications and diseases, experts say.

Findings on the new technology were just published in Talanta, a professional journal.

“There are laboratory methods to analyze medications such as this, but they often are not available or widely used in the developing world where malaria kills thousands of people every year,” said Vincent Remcho, a professor of chemistry and Patricia Valian Reser Faculty Scholar in the OSU College of Science, a position which helped support this work.

“What we need are inexpensive, accurate assays that can detect adulterated pharmaceuticals in the field, simple enough that anyone can use them,” Remcho said. “Our technology should provide that.”

The system created at OSU looks about as simple, and is almost as cheap, as a sheet of paper. But it’s actually a highly sophisticated “colorimetric” assay that consumers could use to tell whether or not they are getting the medication they paid for – artesunate – which is by far the most important drug used to treat serious cases of malaria. The assay also verifies that an adequate level of the drug is present.

In some places in the developing world, more than 80 percent of outlets are selling counterfeit pharmaceuticals, researchers have found. One survey found that 38-53 percent of outlets in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam had no active drug in the product that was being sold. Artesunate, which can cost $1 to $2 per adult treatment, is considered an expensive drug by the standards of the developing world, making counterfeit drugs profitable since the disease is so prevalent.

Besides allowing thousands of needless deaths, the spread of counterfeit drugs with sub-therapeutic levels of artesunate can promote the development of new strains of multi-drug resistant malaria, with global impacts. Government officials could also use the new system as a rapid screening tool to help combat the larger problem of drug counterfeiting.

The new technology is an application of microfluidics, in this instance paper microfluidics, in which a film is impressed onto paper that can then detect the presence and level of the artesunate drug. A single pill can be crushed, dissolved in water, and when a drop of the solution is placed on the paper, it turns yellow if the drug is present. The intensity of the color indicates the level of the drug, which can be compared to a simple color chart.

OSU undergraduate and graduate students in chemistry and computer science working on this project in the Remcho lab took the system a step further, and created an app for an iPhone that could be used to measure the color, and tell with an even higher degree of accuracy both the presence and level of the drug.

The technology is similar to what can be accomplished with computers and expensive laboratory equipment, but is much simpler and less expensive. As a result, use of this approach may significantly expand in medicine, scientists said.

“This is conceptually similar to what we do with integrated circuit chips in computers, but we’re pushing fluids around instead of electrons, to reveal chemical information that’s useful to us,” Remcho said.  “Chemical communication is how Mother Nature does it, and the long term applications of this approach really are mind-blowing.”

Colorimetric assays have already been developed for measurement of many biomarker targets of interest, Remcho said, and could be expanded for a wide range of other medical conditions, pharmaceutical and diagnostic tests, pathogen detection, environmental analysis and other uses.

With a proof of concept of the new technology complete, the researchers may work with the OSU Advantage to commercialize the technology, ultimately with global application. As an incubator for startup and early stage organizations, OSU Advantage connects business with faculty expertise and student talent to bring technology such as this to market.

Read the publication here.

OSU-ChUME celebrates Earth Day
Celebrate Earth Day 2014 with OSU-ChUME

“OSU-ChUME graduate student mentors invite you to celebrate Earth Day with us in Gilbert 324, 6pm, on April 24, 2014. Come and hear about all the sustainability initiatives occurring within the Chemistry department, and learn how to synthesize biodiesel in your own kitchen! Of course, refreshments will be provided.

OSU-CHUME graduate student mentors are dedicated to building strong, long-lasting, mentoring opportunities for undergraduate students in chemistry-related fields, and empowering them with the tools for successful careers in chemistry and other chemical fields.” 

Guest Blogger: Lindsay Wills

Students watching the Nye/Ham Debate

OSU-ChUME organized a watch party for the Tuesday night debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham entitled, “Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era?”. This was a long debate, scheduled to last two and half hours, so we got some pizza and gave people a place to watch the debate with fellow scientists and engineers.

The debate was a very interesting watch. Our audience was primarily on the evolution side of this debate, cheering several times at points made by Bill Nye. Nye made several excellent arguments to show that the earth is much older than the 6,000 years asserted by Ken Ham. Nonetheless, Ken Ham reiterated many times throughout the night that he believes that the bible is the literal word of god, and no one could ever convince him that the word of god is not true.

Students watching the Nye/Ham Debate

However, it didn’t seem like Bill Nye was there to change Ken Ham’s mind. Nye put a strong emphasis on reaching out to voters and kids during his chances to talk. He appealed to voters that the U.S. must continue to fund science education and warned that the U.S. could fall behind technologically if we do not keep science important in the classroom. For more information about the debate, or to watch a replay, visit

Students watching the Nye/Ham Debate

OSU-ChUME hosted this event to give undergraduate and graduate science students a chance to intermingle and talk about issues relevant to the lives of both groups. We will continue to host events like this throughout the remainder of the year. For more information about the OSU-ChUME program, contact Maduka Ogba ( or Lindsay Wills (