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We are an experimental inorganic group in the Department of Chemistry at Binghamton University with an interest in understanding how light be used to drive and understand chemical reactions. 


NSF CAREER Award Funded!

The group is pleased to receive a 5-year, $630,000 CAREER Award from NSF, which will support our studies into the mechanism and kinetics of photoredox catalysis, as well as photochemistry in highly ionic environments. In addition, the award will support our efforts to develop better STEM transfer pathways for community college students. Read more here.


John at Kopernik Observatory

Check out John on the Kopernik Observatory's Friday Night Livestream talking about Alchemy and the Birth of Modern Science here.


Summer Fellowships

It's going to be a busy summer in the lab! An extra special congratulations to Nicole and Nora for receiving summer fellowships in recognition for their outstanding teaching this year. Also, a big congrats to Francis for receiving a Summer Scholars award from the University and to Bernie and Michael for receiving Beck and Starzak Summer Fellowships from the Department. 


Congrats to Bernie for receiving SUNY GREAT award!

The GREAT (Graduate Research Empowering and Accelerating Talent) award provides flexible funding to acknowledge SUNY graduate and undergraduate students who receive recognition from prestigous national fellowships. 


John on NPR's Shortwave

Check out John talking about our work on tattoo photochemistry on NPR's science podcast, "Shortwave," with Nell Greenfield-Boyce


Welcome Nora and Nicole!

The group welcomes two new graduate students today, Nicole VanKirk from East Stroudsbourg University, and Nora Burnett from St. Joseph's College. Welcome to the group!


NIH Grant on Tattoo Photochemistry Funded!

An exciting day for the group as our R15 proposal dealing with tattoo photochemistry has been funded ($450,480/3 years). Despite the growing popularity of tattoos and massive economic footprint of laser tattoo removal, how light changes tattoos and what corresponding risks are introduced are poorly understood. Over the next 3 years, the Swierk group plans to map out what tattoo inks photodegrade into and what risks those photodegraded products pose to humans. Studies are also planned to understand how laser tattoo removal degrades tattoos, which may lead to better and more effective methods. Collaboration with Prof. Laura Rhoads (SUNY Potsdam) will allow the group to study the photochemical effects of tattoo in model biological systems.


Congrats to Victoria and Bernie!

Congratulations to both Victoria and Bernie for passing their oral exams and becoming Ph.D. candidates!


Departmental Awards for Lab Members

Congratulations to to Emily Z. for receiving the Stanley K. Madan Award in Inorganic Chemistry. The Madan award recognizes a graduating senior demonstrating excellence in inorganic chemistry. Congratulations also go to Sarah Kromer for receiving the ACS Award in Inorganic Chemistry from the Department of Chemistry. 


Summer Awards for Students

A big congrats to Sarah Kromer for receiving a Summer Scholars award from the University and Emily Loiaconi for receiving the Jeffery S. Beck Summer Undergraduate Research Award to support their summer research activities!


Congratulations to Bernie!

Congrats to second year graduate student for receiving an Honorable Mention from the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program.


ADL Small Grant Funded!

A big thanks to the Analytical and Diagnostics Laboratory at Binghamton for funding our small grant applications ($2500 for 1 year) that will help us to understand how light causes tattoos to breakdown. 


The group is growing again!

Welcome to our newest undergraduate group member Roman and a belated welcome to Kelli, a second year graduate student who joined the group during the fall. 


Welcome to our new lab members!

The group is growing! Welcome to our new undergraduate members Emily, Sarah, Tom, Emily, Emma, Danielle, and Francis! 


ACS Petroleum Research Fund Doctoral New Investigator Award Funded!

The group has received a Doctoral New Investigator Award from the American Chemical Society ($110,000 for 2 years) to investigate methods for using visible light to desulfurize fuels. Sulfur-containing molecules represent a major source of pollution in fuels and their removal during the refining process is inefficient and energy intensive. The grant will investigate molecules that selectively bind sulfur-containing impurities and then subsequently transform those molecules into an easily removed form using only light and oxygen. Thanks ACS!


Congratulations to Bernie and Victoria for receiving summer fellowships

Both received summer fellowships from the department in recognition for their "excellent performance in teaching assistantship duties"


Congratulations to Victoria for receiving the Lois D. Mackey Award

The Mackey award is given to "an outstanding first-year teaching assistant in general chemistry."


Congratulations to Ethan for receiving the Jeffery Beck Summer Research Grant

The grant is given by the department to an "exception undergraduate student who has shown an interest in continuing research in chemistry." Over the summer, Ethan will be working on characterizing and understanding the quantum yields in photoredox reactions. 


Congratulations to Alex for being selected for a 2019 Summer Scholars Fellowship

The highly competitive fellowship "allow undergraduates to engage in special research, scholarship or creative activities during the summer."  Over the summer, Alex will be working on new catalysts for electrocatalytic nitrogen reduction. 

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