Category Archives: News

Interested in a Teaching Assistant (TA) position with Chemistry in Spring 2021?

 Please complete the form below, including uploading your CV and cover letter. Your cover letter should describe how you meet the minimum qualifications listed on the form.

The deadline is November 14, 2020.  After that the instructors for the various labs will have an opportunity to review the applications and select TAs.

If you have questions, please email

UH Mānoa graduate Andrew Turner selected for national astrochemistry award

student working on lasers in a lab
Andrew Turner performs work using lasers in the W.M. Keck Laboratory in Astrochemistry.

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa alumnus received a prestigious astrochemistry honor.

Andrew Turner, a 2018 PhD graduate in chemistry and current W.M. Keck Laboratory in Astrochemistry assistant director, was selected as the astrochemistry outstanding doctoral dissertation award winner, presented annually by the American Chemical Society (ACS). The honor includes a $500 prize and an opportunity to present at the spring 2021 national ACS astrochemistry symposium.

“I have seen the work of previous dissertation award winners and knew the high quality and impact of their research, and after the initial surprise, I was honored that the American Chemical Society believes my research rises to their level,” Turner said.

Turner’s dissertation focused on the biological origin of the element phosphorus. He noted that alkyl phosphonic acids were discovered in the Murchison meteorite, which fell to Earth in 1969, and said these acids may have been an early source of phosphorus. Turner’s research looked at the formation of these acids in interstellar ice by creating ices of phosphine, water and methane under low pressures and temperatures of -450 degrees Fahrenheit. Experiments involved subjecting these ices to ionizing radiation and they provided evidence that these molecules could be formed in interstellar clouds.

“This award shows very clearly the excellence in physical chemistry research being conducted at the Department of Chemistry of the University of Hawaiʻi with (former) students such as Andrew receiving excellent research training and conducting cutting-edge graduate work on campus,” said UH Mānoa Professor Ralf Kaiser, who is the W.M. Keck Laboratory in Astrochemistry director and served as Turner’s research advisor.

Assistant Professor Matt Cain Earns Prestigious NSF Grant!

The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded a University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa assistant professor one of its most prestigious awards for junior faculty. Matthew Cain, assistant professor of chemistry, received a $675,000 grant over a five-year term from the NSF Early Career Development program.

The award is bestowed on teacher-scholars pursuing cutting-edge research while simultaneously advancing excellence in education.

Full article on UH News site.

Please welcome the newest addition to our faculty, Dr. Ellinor Haglund!

The Department of Chemistry is excited to announce that Dr. Ellinor Haglund will be joining our department as an Assistant Professor this fall. Dr. Haglund received her Master of Science in Molecular Biology and Chemistry from Umeå University, Sweden, and her Ph.D. at Stockholm University in Stockholm, Sweden, under the supervision of Professor Mikael Oliveberg.

Dr. Haglund’s research is focused on the folding event in proteins, utilizing both computational and experimental techniques to understand the molecular details of how proteins fold into biologically active molecules.

Please join us in welcoming her to our faculty!

Ellinor Haglund’s Directory Entry

Spring 2018 Dept. of Chemistry Student Awards

From our Chair, Dr. Jarrett:

The following students are receiving special recognition and awards for outstanding work over the last year. Those that made the trip up to Laie were recognized at the annual American Chemical Society – Hawaii Chapter awards banquet, hosted by BYU-Hawaii this last Saturday.

Outstanding Teaching Assistants: Hope Sartain, Tim O’Donnell, Julie Cramer, Bryson Nakamoto, Cody Dickinson, Casey Kubota

Young Fellowship (outstanding 1st year PhD student): Toma Louis-Goff

Akasaka-Riek Scholarship (Organic or Organometallic Chemistry): Jonathan Congmon

Zuckerman Award (Inorganic Chemistry): Hope Sartain

ARC Foundation Fellowship: Julie Cramer

Rechnitz Award (Outstanding PhD Thesis): Jhonsen Djajamuliadi

Magistad Award (Top Graduating BS Chem): Mark Maryott

Top Graduating BS Biochemistry: Katie Lee, Katelyn Saiki (tie)

Fujimoto Scholarship (Top Juniors): Cyrus Ma, Eileen Chen, Casie Kubota

Iwamoto & Scheuer Award (Top Sophomores): Christian Tamashiro, Gabor Nemeth

Alice August Ball Endowed Scholarship: Alison Nguyen

Top General Chemistry Student: Kaela Iwai

If you know any of these students, please take the time to congratulate them on the award and on a successful and productive year!

Congratulations to our Paul J. Scheuer Travel Award Winners!

Congratulations to our 2018 Paul J. Scheuer Travel Award winners!

Matthew Abplanalp, Kaiser Lab – 255th American Chemical Society’s National Meeting & Exposition

Josh Gurr, Williams Lab – Marine Natural Products Gordon Research Conference

Mika Nakashige, Cain Lab – 255th American Chemical Society’s National Meeting & Exposition

Hope Sartain, Jensen Lab – 255th American Chemical Society’s National Meeting & Exposition

Congratulations, safe travels, and enjoy talking science!

Please welcome our newest faculty member, Dr. Jakub Hyvl!

Dr. Jakub Hyvl will be joining our department as our newest faculty member starting Fall 2017. He earned his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague, with Dr. Jiri Srogl as his advisor. Prior to becoming a faculty member, Dr. Hyvl has been a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry in Prague, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Congratulations to our 2017 Departmental Award winners!

Congratulations are in order for all of our Spring 2017 Chemistry Department Award Winners!

Our top graduating senior Chemistry and Biochemistry students. Congratulations to:

Diana Holden, B.S., Biochemistry
Kimberly Teehera, B.S., Biochemistry
Nguyen Nu, B.A., Biochemistry
Amy Chinen, B.S., Chemistry (Magistad Award)

Congratulations to our Fujimoto Scholars:

Katelyn Saiki
Kayzel Rose Tabangcura
Brett Cain

Congratulations to our Iwamoto-Scheuer Scholars:

Casie Kubota

Congratulations to our top new graduate students, both winners of the Young Fellowship:

Duk Hwan Kim
Timothy O’Donnell

And finally, congratulations to our top Teaching Assistants for AY2017!

Emily Taylor
Josh Velasco
Maryssa Shigesato
Stephen Kim
Jonathon Congmon
Hope Sartian
Julie Cramer

Nice job everyone!  Keep up your hard work!