A grant from the Welch Foundation will be funding four $2500 scholarships for Sul Ross State University undergraduate students to conduct chemistry research this summer under the supervision of SRSU chemistry faculty members Dr. Hong-Young Chang and Dr. David Leaver.  These students will also receive funds to purchase chemicals, basic equipment, consumables, and other items needed to complete their projects.  Potential projects for these students include the rational design of new functional fluorides that have macroscopic phenomena (ferroelectricity, magnetism and nonlinear optics), the synthesis and characterization of new polyoxometalates (POMs), the development of synthetic carbohydrate biomimetics as urinary tract infection prophylactics, and the synthesis of suicide inhibitors that can kill parasitic nematodes.

“Every problem we face in society such as meeting global food shortages, developing novel drugs to kill antibiotic resistant pathogens, and enhancing renewable energy technology to meet fuel shortages and retard global warming can be solved through applied chemical research,” said Dr. David Leaver, Associate Professor of Chemistry.  “Every undergraduate research project sponsored by the Welch Foundation at Sul Ross State University will involve the development of new technology that could help solve some of the biggest problems currently facing humanity.  We are grateful that the Welch Foundation has chosen to invest in the chemistry program at Sul Ross State University and provide new and exciting research opportunities for our undergraduate students.”

The Welch Foundation, based in Houston, Texas, is one of the nation’s largest private funding sources for chemical research.  Since its founding in 1954, the organization has contributed to the advancement of chemistry through research grants, departmental programs, endowed chairs, and other special projects at educational institutions in Texas.

The chemistry program at Sul Ross State University was awarded a three-year grant for $75,000 in Fall 2020 from the Welch Foundation to support chemistry research by SRSU faculty and undergraduate students starting in Summer 2021.  During the next three summers, four to five SRSU undergraduate students will have the opportunity to undertake pure and applied research in inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, analytical chemistry, physical chemistry, chemical biology, or geochemistry.

For more information on the SRSU Welch Foundation Chemistry Research Program, please visit:  https://www.sulross.edu/page/4936/welch-foundation-research-program or contact Dr. David Leaver at david.leaver@sulross.edu or 432-837-8115.