Recent News

Suzanne Ruder to receive national award for excellence in chemistry instruction

August 21, 2023

Ruder will be honored for her work with two colleagues on an NSF-supported research project focused on process skills in undergraduate STEM classrooms.

With $1.52M grant, VCU chemistry professor seeks a solution to benefit chemo and dialysis patients

April 19, 2023

Xuewei Wang and his team are targeting the risk of clotting and infection in a common medical implant in the veins.

Danielle Ansong pursues longtime interest in medicine with research and volunteer work

March 8, 2023

Ansong, a VCU junior and president of the African Student Union, volunteers as an EMT and greeter and helps with the Simple Sunflower program.

VCU chemistry professor appointed to direct a research program at NSF Chemistry Division

October 25, 2022

Among his areas of emphasis, M. Samy El-Shall hopes to create new funding opportunities in the chemistry of sustainable water and energy.

Major gift funds new position for an interdisciplinary mass spectrometry facility

September 7, 2022

The $500,000 gift is the second largest one-time donation in the department's history.

VCU receives $1 million grant to increase minority Ph.D. STEM students

July 5, 2022

The funding is designed to guide students through the early years of a doctoral program when many drop out.

Class of 2022: Commuting hundreds of miles per week, Trevohn Robinson has the drive to succeed in chemistry

May 9, 2022

Graduating senior Robinson credits his mentors at VCU, his parents and his Honda Civic as he prepares for a doctoral degree and career as a chemist.

How do bones change in outer space? This chemistry major is doing research to find out

April 15, 2022

Lovell Abraham's hard work earned him a VCU Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program fellowship and an award in last fall's undergraduate poster symposium.

VCU Students open Hopewell grade schoolers' eyes to science at STEAM Day

March 15, 2022

On their first day of spring break, VCU science, techonology, engineering, arts, and math students showed off science experiments to students at Patrick Copeland Elementary school.

Congratulations to Assistant Professors Lucas and Belecki for receiving a NSF grant that makes use of Green Chemistry

September 3, 2021

Congressman McEachin announces over $1.5 million in grants for funding for VCU to support environmentally focused research projects.

$1.1M grant supports VCU research focused on drug discovery for "undruggable" diseases

August 25, 2021

Matthew Hartman's research could one day lead to a new drug delivery system

Undergraduate students present research to industry partners

June 14, 2021

NASA, Altria and GSK are just a few of the national companies that participate in the annual Chemistry Undergraduate Research Symposium.

It takes a village to succeed: Student earns national scholarship to finish her Ph.D.

April 30, 2021

Josly Pierre-Louis' parents immigrated to America from Haiti. Their daughter, a VCU grad, is the rising tide for all boats when it comes to her success in chemistry and health research.

VCU's new STEM building is beginning to take shape

February 22, 2021

Steel beams for the building will be delivered next week. The project at the site of the Franklin Street Gym will expand lab, classroom and office space for the College of Humanities and Sciences.

Promoting diversity in the field of chemistry

December 2, 2020

In 2019, 67 women graduated from VCU with bachelor's degrees in chemistry, the fifth-most in the nation.

VCU Chemistry professor one of two at VCU, named senior members of the National Academy of Inventors

August 18, 2020

P. Srirama Rao and Everett Carpenter inventors on 15 U.S. patents between them, are recognized for their innovative work through being elected as NAI senior members.

Five VCU alumni selected for 2020-21 Fulbright student scholarships

July 20, 2020

Five recent graduates from VCU have been awarded Fulbright Scholarships for 2020-21.

New study reveals a graphene sheet behaves "like a mirror" for water molecules

July 15, 2020

The study led by VCU researchers addresses an important area for medicine, industry and science: Understanding how liquids - mainly water - interact with surfaces.

Keeping our campus going

June 1, 2020

While the rest of the university went remote, these employees continued showing up to keep things running during the coronavirus pandemic.

Alumni Profile: Jalynn Taylor-Farmer (B.S. '16/H&S)

August 5, 2020

Now a successful alumna, Jalynn remembers the confidence earning a scholarship instilled in her and has made a gift in support of the very funds that she benefitted from as a student.

Sally Hunnicutt, Ph.D., introduced as new interim dean for faculty affairs

May 18, 2020

Sally Hunnicutt will be the interim associate dean for faculty affairs for the College of Humanities and Sciences effective May 10, 2020. Sally is currently associate chair and professor in the Department of Chemistry.

Departments in College of Humanities and Sciences Donate Protective Equipment to VCU Health

April 2, 2020

Departments in the College of Humanities and Sciences are donating personal protective equipment to VCU Health in an effort to combat the spread of the of the coronavirus.

Chesterfield Education Foundation 2019 BRAVO! Award Honorees includes VCU Chemistry's LaChelle Waller

October 30, 2019

LaChelle Waller, Ph.D. is one of the six recipients of the 2019 BRAVO! Awards, recognizing outstanding and professional community achievements of Chesterfield County Public Schools' alumni. 

In Memoriam, Professor Alenka Luzar

March 5, 2019

Professor Luzar, who joined the VCU Chemistry Department in 2004, passed away March 5th, 2019. Dr. Luzar taught Physical Chemistry Graduate and Undergraduate courses at VCU. She will be missed by her students and colleagues at VCU.

NIH awards $1.65M to professor to study the role of brain metals in Parkinson's Disease

October 9, 2019

Heather R. Lucas, Ph.D., received a $1.65 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the impact of brain metals such as iron and copper on a protein implicated in Parkinson's Disease.

Welcoming new faculty for 2019

August 1, 2019

We enthusiastically welcome Brian Fuglestad, Ph.D., Ka Un Lao, Ph.D., and Xuewei Wang, Ph.D, to the Department of Chemistry.

Professor receives U.S. government's highest honor bestowed to early career scientists and engineers

July 12, 2019

Katharine Tibbetts, Ph.D., is a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government to outstanding scientists and engineers who are beginning their independent research careers and who show exceptional promise for leadership in science and technology.

Chemistry of Materials: 30th anniversary editorial interview with Charlene Crawley, Ph.D.

June 11, 2019

As part of a new celebratory 30th anniversary edition, Chemistry of Materials interviewed contributors from its first issue. Charlene Crawley, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry, was one such contributor.

Lidia Vallarino Memorial Lecture

March 2, 2017

Luisa De Cola has been Professor Exceptionnelle at the University of Strasbourg (ISIS) as chair of Supramolecular and Bio-Material Chemistry since September 2013, and part time scientist at the INT-KIT, Karlsruhe, Germany. She has also been Professor at the Institut Universitaire de France (IUF) since 2016.

Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) Program

January 8, 2019

National Science Foundation – Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) Program

A summer research experience for undergraduates in chemistry and chemical engineering

"Practices and Perspectives in Nanoscience and Chemical Biology"

The Department of Chemistry at Virginia Commonwealth University invites applications for participation in the Research Experience for Undergraduates for the summer of 2019. This program is being funded by the National Science Foundation-Division of Chemistry. The "Practices and Perspectives in Nanoscience and Chemical Biology " program is designed to provide an experience that combines practical training in specific research techniques (practices) with activities designed to put the research into the context of larger goals of modern science and technology (perspectives) specifically in the field of nanoscience and chemical biology. The program will also provide career planning and management components through collaboration with local industry. The research projects offered involve experience in chemical synthesis, data analysis and/or computer modeling.

April 11, 2019 Join VCU Chemistry for the 2019 Mary E. Kapp Lecture

April 11, 2019

Join VCU Chemistry for our annual Mary E. Kapp Lecture with guest speaker Dr. Terrence J. Collins 

March 22, 2018 John B. Fenn Lecture

February 9, 2018

Please join VCU's Chemistry department in our annual John B. Fenn Lecture series; featuring Richard Smith of the Pacific North National Lab (PNNL). 

Spring '18 Commencement- Friday, May 11, 2018 GRCC Exhibit Hall C

May 11, 2018

VCU Chemistry will hold our Spring 2018 Commencement ceremony Friday, May 11, 2018 at 6 pm in the Greater Richmond Convention Center Exhibit Hall C. Our commencement speaker has been announced, Dr. Keyanna Conner, Secretary of Administration for the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Nick Farrell named University Professor

December 11, 2017

VCU Board of Victors named Professor Nick Farrell a University Professor which recognizes faculty members who teach or conduct research that crosses discipline boundaries and have an established prominence in multiple fields of study, with national or international recognition in at least one field of study. Dr. Farrell’s research crosses the disciplinary boundaries of chemistry, biochemistry, chemical biology and medical sciences, and he has achieved prominence and international recognition in each of those fields.

Samy El-Shall named Commonwealth Professor

December 11, 2017

VCU Board of Victors named Professor Samy El-Shall a Commonwealth University which recognizes faculty members with extraordinary scholarly attainment, educational advancement, or leadership in an academic discipline or field of study, with national or international distinction. Dr. El-Shall’s research couples intrinsic scientific merit in the fields of clusters, nucleation, nanostructured materials and catalysis with significant real-world applications in energy production, conversion and storage as well as for clean environment, including pollution-free air and sustainable clean-water resources.

Maryanne Collinson receives the 2017 American Chemical Society-VA Section Distinguished Research Award

December 11, 2017

Maryanne Collinson, the John B. Fenn Professor in Chemistry, received the 2017 American Chemical Society-VA Section Distinguished Research Award.

Dr. Charlene D Crawley will be honored by Minority Access Inc.

September 27, 2017

Dr. Charlene D Crawley will be honored by Minority Access Inc. as a National Role Model for her exemplary work as a mentor, advisor, and advocate for students pursuing a variety of careers in the natural and health sciences. 

Dr. Lachelle Waller Honored

September 18, 2017

Dr. Lachelle Waller was honored by the Office of the Provost with their Excellence in Advising/Advising Innovator Award.

Charlene Crawley to be honored at annual PACME ceremony

April 13, 2017

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Charlene Crawley on being the recipient of the 2017 Presidential Awards for Community Multicultural Enrichment (PACME) faculty award.  

Indika Arachchige received the CHS Excellence in Scholarship Award

April 11, 2017

Indika Arachchige received the 2017 College of Humanities and Sciences Excellence in Scholarship Award.

Scott Gronert received the 2016 American Chemical Society-VA Section Distinguished Research Award

July 31, 2017

Scott Gronert received the 2016 American Chemical Society-VA Section Distinguished Research Award.

Richmond Public High Schools come to visit VCU Chemistry

April 11, 2017

VCU Health Sciences Academy and the Chemistry Department hosted a group of students from Richmond Public Schools to explore health science careers last week!


2017 Chemistry Graduation Ceremony

April 5, 2017

We are honored to have Dr. Amy Rose, a surgeon with Surgical Associates of Richmond on Richmond’s southside and a Chemistry alumni speak at graduation. Amy T. Rose, MD, is an advanced minimally invasive surgeon with Surgical Associates of Richmond on Richmond’s southside.  She was a 1990 graduate of VCU with a degree in Chemistry, having worked closely with Dr. Lidia Vallarino during her undergraduate years, after growing up in Spotsylvania County.  She was a participant in the young Honor’s Program and one of the first participants in the Early Acceptance Program to the medical college of VCU.

STEAM Day 2017

March 25, 2017

The STEAM Day 2017 event held at Marguerite Christian Elementary School, on March, 6, 2017, was a HUGE success! The event was student driven and led by our very own Chemistry@VCU ACS student affiliates.  We had over 30 volunteers (undergraduate students, faculty graduate students, and community partners)!!!

Nicholas Farrell on Cover of ChemComm

January 31, 2017

Nick Farrell receives Chemical Communications cover for Issue 1 of 2017. Article Link

Alenka Luzar was appointed by Elsevier as Editor-in-Chief

November 1, 2016

Alenka Luzar was appointed by Elsevier as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Molecular Liquids (MOLLIQ) starting October 1, 2016. 

Sally and Mike Hunnicutt named Blue Sky Fund ‘Volunteers of the Year’

July 31, 2017

VCU Chemistry’s Sally and Mike Hunnicutt have been named Volunteers of the Year for their work with the Blue Sky Fund.  Blue Sky Fund is a local organization that looks to transfer the lives of urban youth through outdoor education. For more information please visit:

Congratulations to Samy El-Shall & Maryanne Collinson

July 31, 2017

”It is my distinct honor to congratulate two of our distinguished faculty members: Dr. M. Samy El Shall, who has been appointed by the President and the Board of Visitors as the Mary Eugenia Kapp Chair in Chemistry, and Dr. Maryann Collinson, who has been appointed as the John B. Fenn Professor in Chemistry effective June 23, 2017. These appointments recognize Samy and Maryann’s exemplary contributions to teaching, research and public service.

Chemistry professor receives project funding from the university's Presidential Research Quest Fund

July 6, 2021

Inidika Arachchige, Ph.D., is one of the 18 VCU researchers to receive part of a $512.000 award to fund research projects.