The Research Office is accepting applications for the Undergraduate Research, Innovation, Scholarship and Creativity (URISC) program for Winter and/or Spring terms 2014-15. This program supports undergraduate research activities from all academic disciplines within the university. NOTE: the program description and application have been revised: http://oregonstate.edu/research/incentive/urisc. Information: Debbie Delmore at debbie.delmore@oregonstate.edu. Deadline: Nov. 3.

Faculty Release Time (FRT): The Research Office, Incentive Programs is accepting applications for the FRT Winter or Spring 2014-15 release. The program provides limited funding for individuals developing external grant proposals or who wish to further their scholarly activities. Program description and application: http://oregonstate.edu/research/incentive/frt. Information: Debbie Delmore at debbie.delmore@oregonstate.edu. Deadline: Nov. 3.

Good morning. I would like to alert you to a new program we have set up for our undergrads to provide internship opportunities in companies throughout Oregon for them during the summer.  We hope to continue to grow this list to become the “one stop” shopping for our majors when looking for summer internship experiences using their chemistry skills.

http://chemistry.oregonstate.edu/content/osu-chemistry-internship-2014-summer-program

Please alert any Chemistry majors that are interested in this opportunity to the website. The deadline for summer 2014 applications from students is April 15.

If you are aware of a company looking for interns who is not listed, please direct them to the website where there is information on how to get their information listed.

I would like to inform you about the TUM Research Opportunities Week for postdoctoral researchers, which will take place October 20th through 24th 2014.

This event, which is fully financed by TUM, offers up to 50 postdocs from around the world the opportunity to get to know faculty and explore research facilities at our university during a five days stay in Munich. The most promising participants will be offered a TUM University Foundation Fellowship to spend one year as a postdoc at our university. Application deadline is May 30th 2014.

If you can think of any young researchers of your acquaintance that might be interested in this, please spread the information:

http://www.tum.de/en/research/postdocs/research-opportunities-week/

For more information, please contact Dr. Christiane Haupt – Tel.: +49.89.289.25235, email:
haupt@zv.tum.de.

The Office of Undergraduate Research seeks to recognize students and their faculty mentors for significant contributions to undergraduate research with two awards – Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentor of the Year and  Undergraduate Researcher of the Year.  Nominations are due by April 14 and 16, respectively. Nomination forms and more information about the awards are available on the URSA Web page – http://oregonstate.edu/students/research/

Ken Hedberg
Ken Hedberg, a professor in the department of chemistry, moved into his office in the basement of Gilbert Hall in the early 1960s. (Photo by: Justin Quinn – Daily Barometer)

Originally printed in The Daily Barometer, Wednesday, February 5, 2014 (used with permission)

By: Dacotah-Victoria Splichalova

Professor Ken Hedberg makes waves in his field after nearly 30 years in retirement.

He tells everyone to “just call me Ken.”

Professor Ken Hedberg is an Oregon State University alumnus and the longest emeritus faculty researcher to continue researching after retirement for nearly 30 years.

Hedberg was born in Portland on Feb. 2, 1920. His father only completed eighth grade, and his mother didn’t continue her education after high school.

“Both of my parents were incredibly smart,” Hedberg said.

When the Great Depression hit, Hedberg’s father lost his job, which put the family in financial straits.

Hedberg recalls the lights being shut off in his home for periods of time; food rationing became a reality.

This experience left a strong imprint on Hedberg.

“My father said to me in my early teens that with every dollar I made, he would match for my college education,” Hedberg said, “but then how the depression hit us and with my father being out of work for such a long time — I knew that this promise would not come to be.”

Readjusting through a series of moves across the state, Hedberg, his mother and his sister moved to Corvallis with the goal in mind for the Hedberg children to attend OSU, while Hedberg’s father took a job working on the coast.

“I was so impressed by how my mother and my father came together to see what options they had in order to do the best for our family,” Hedberg said.

In order to meet this goal, Hedberg’s mother ran a boarding house within their home.

“It was a lot of work for my mother — the cooking the cleaning,” Hedberg said. “Almost 75 years later, I wouldn’t be seated here nor carrying out my research if my mother didn’t work as hard as she did.”

Graduating OSU in the 1940s, Hedberg attended graduate school at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., where he first met Dr. Linus Pauling, a fellow OSU graduate and head of the department of chemistry at the California Institute of Technology.

For the young graduate student, Pauling took note of Hedberg’s talents and intelligence and pushed Hedberg to pursue research that he was interested in. Pauling supported Hedberg by cultivating channels of opportunities and became a close, lifelong mentor and friend.

Upon completing his Ph.D., Hedberg was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship and Fulbright Scholar Program within the same year carrying out his research in Oslo.

Hedberg enjoyed exploring and seeing all the sites that the Norwegian culture offered him.

One warm summer evening in Oslo, Hedberg, a lover of chamber music, booked a ticket to attend an outdoor performance.

While waiting in line to pick up his ticket, Hedberg looked over to see a young woman, a woman researcher who worked with him in his new lab. She too was picking up her ticket for the show.

They entered together.

“Following, we went to a famous restaurant called Blom,” Hedberg said. “We had some snacks and munchies and walked our separate ways home.”

That was the first evening of the rest of their lives.

The couple married. Sixty years later, Lise and Ken Hedberg have two children — who respectively graduated from Stanford University and Harvard University — and four grandchildren.

In the early years, Hedberg worked at Caltech. Yearning to leave the Southern California smog, Hedberg decided to return with his family to beautiful Oregon to carry out his research and teach chemistry at his alma mater in the 1960s.

Hedberg retired from OSU in 1986.

Monday through Friday, Hedberg still arrives in the mornings to work on his research.

Hedberg is considered a sort of phenomena in the chemistry department.

He is an internationally recognized scientist and is one of the world’s pioneers in the development of electron diffraction and the study of molecular structures and intramolecular dynamics.

Moreover, Hedberg is the only researcher in OSU history to remain continuously funded, while being retired.

“Ken’s been retired — but not retired — for almost as long as I’ve been here,” said Phillip Watson, professor of chemistry at OSU.

Working for free, Hedberg continues to conduct his research at OSU and make scientific advancements within his field.

by David Stauth

1/6/2014 – Reprinted from News & Research Communications

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Researchers at Oregon State University have discovered novel compounds produced by certain types of chemical reactions – such as those found in vehicle exhaust or grilling meat – that are hundreds of times more mutagenic than their parent compounds which are known carcinogens.

These compounds were not previously known to exist, and raise additional concerns about the health impacts of heavily-polluted urban air or dietary exposure. It’s not yet been determined in what level the compounds might be present, and no health standards now exist for them.

The findings were published in December in Environmental Science and Technology, a professional journal.

The compounds were identified in laboratory experiments that mimic the type of conditions which might be found from the combustion and exhaust in cars and trucks, or the grilling of meat over a flame.

“Some of the compounds that we’ve discovered are far more mutagenic than we previously understood, and may exist in the environment as a result of heavy air pollution from vehicles or some types of food preparation,” said Staci Simonich, a professor of chemistry and toxicology in the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences.

“We don’t know at this point what levels may be present, and will explore that in continued research,” she said.

The parent compounds involved in this research are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, formed naturally as the result of almost any type of combustion, from a wood stove to an automobile engine, cigarette or a coal-fired power plant. Many PAHs, such as benzopyrene, are known to be carcinogenic, believed to be more of a health concern that has been appreciated in the past, and are the subject of extensive research at OSU and elsewhere around the world.

The PAHs can become even more of a problem when they chemically interact with nitrogen to become “nitrated,” or NPAHs, scientists say. The newly-discovered compounds are NPAHs that were unknown to this point.

This study found that the direct mutagenicity of the NPAHs with one nitrogen group can increase 6 to 432 times more than the parent compound. NPAHs based on two nitrogen groups can be 272 to 467 times more mutagenic. Mutagens are chemicals that can cause DNA damage in cells that in turn can cause cancer.

For technical reasons based on how the mutagenic assays are conducted, the researchers said these numbers may actually understate the increase in toxicity – it could be even higher.

These discoveries are an outgrowth of research on PAHs that was done by Simonich at the Beijing Summer Olympic Games in 2008, when extensive studies of urban air quality were conducted, in part, based on concerns about impacts on athletes and visitors to the games.

Beijing, like some other cities in Asia, has significant problems with air quality, and may be 10-50 times more polluted than some major urban areas in the U.S. with air concerns, such as the Los Angeles basin.

An agency of the World Health Organization announced last fall that it now considers outdoor air pollution, especially particulate matter, to be carcinogenic, and cause other health problems as well. PAHs are one of the types of pollutants found on particulate matter in air pollution that are of special concern.

Concerns about the heavy levels of air pollution from some Asian cities are sufficient that Simonich is doing monitoring on Oregon’s Mount Bachelor, a 9,065-foot mountain in the central Oregon Cascade Range. Researchers want to determine what levels of air pollution may be found there after traveling thousands of miles across the Pacific Ocean.

This work was supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Science Foundation. It’s also an outgrowth of the Superfund Research Program at OSU, funded by the NIEHS, that focuses efforts on PAH pollution. Researchers from the OSU College of Science, the University of California-Riverside, Texas A&M University, and Peking University collaborated on the study.

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About Oregon State University: OSU is one of only two U.S. universities designated a land-, sea-, space- and sun-grant institution. OSU is also Oregon’s only university to hold both the Carnegie Foundation’s top designation for research institutions and its prestigious Community Engagement classification. Its more than 26,000 students come from all 50 states and more than 90 nations. OSU programs touch every county within Oregon, and its faculty teach and conduct research on issues of national and global importance.

1/7/2014 – See article on Science Daily

Undergraduate researcher wanted for a project investigating new ways to make next generation materials for light emitting devices (LEDs). The Herman lab in chemical engineering is using a continuous flow microwave reactor to synthesize semiconductor nanoparticles called quantum dots, the undergraduate researcher would aid in the synthesis and purification of these materials.  If you are interested in a career in Oregon’s growing greentech industry this is a great way to gain experience.

More info on the project can be found in this press release: http://oregonbest.org/commercialization/pacific-light-technologies

Those interested should contact Bob Fitzmorris (fitzmorr@onid.orst.edu) with a brief explanation of their interest and previous experience.  Students who have taken, or are currently taking organic chemistry are preferred.

The Research Office, Incentive Programs is accepting applications for the RERF Fall 2013 solicitation. The intent of the RERF program is to enable faculty to acquire, repair, renovate, or improve equipment directly used for research. Program description and application: http://oregonstate.edu/research/incentive/rerf. Information: Debbie Delmore at debbie.delmore@oregonstate.edu. Deadline: Nov. 11.