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Chemistry and Biochemistry Faculty and Staff

The Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Physics is located on the second floor of the Science Building, on the Cheney campus. The main department office is in SC226 in the Science Building. To obtain answers to questions not covered by this web site, please feel free to contact us by phone or email.

  • Eric Abbey, PhD
    Eric Abbey, PhD
    Assistant Professor of Chemistry
    Science Building, SCI 206A
    Phone: 509.359.7476
    Fax: 509.359.6973
  • Nicholas E. Burgis, PhD
    Nicholas E. Burgis, PhD
    Professor of Chemistry
    Patterson Hall, PAT 229M
    Phone: 509.359.7901
    Fax: 509.359.6973

    Dr. Burgis was trained in the fields of DNA repair and toxicology.  He earned his Ph.D. from The University at Albany, S.U.N.Y. and his post-doctoral training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research interests focus on understanding certain aspects of nucleotide metabolism, toxicology and drug metabolism using biochemical techniques.  His lab is currently investigating the mechanism of substrate specificity and catalysis for the human ITPase enzyme. This enzyme is essential for life in mammals due to its ability to prevent abnormal or damaged DNA/RNA building blocks from being incorporated into nucleic acids. By studying the human ITPase, his lab aims to contribute to the fields of cardiovascular development, purine metabolism, cancer development, ageing and drug metabolism. Techniques used in this research program include molecular cloning, protein purification, biochemical assays (including enzyme kinetics), HPLC and drug sensitivity assays.  Dr. Burgis' research program has been supported by external grants from the American Heart Association and American Cancer Society. The current project, entitled "Biochemistry and Modeling of Human ITPase Substrate Specificity Mutants," is in collaboration with Dr. Yao Houndonougbo and is funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health. He currently serves on the American Chemical Society Biochemistry Examination Committee and as an S-STEM advisor (Co-PI) on a National Science Foundation grant entitled "Increasing the Participation of First-generation and Underrepresented Students in the Sciences." 

    Selected publications:

    Gall, A.D., Gall, A, Heid, S. Mori, A., Aune, M., Moore, A.C., and Burgis, N.E.  (2013) Analysis of human ITPase nucleobase specificity by site-directed mutagenesis. Biochimie 95(9): 1711-1721.  

    Sipes, R.K., Xue, X., Lewis, B.S., and Burgis, N.E. (2012) Evidence that aberrant protein metabolism contributes to chemoresistance in multiple myeloma cells.  Oncology Reports 27(6): 2031-2038. 

    Pang, B., McFaline, J.L., Burgis, N.E., Dong, M., Taghizadeh, K., Sullivan, M.R., Elmquist, C.E., Cunningham, R.P., Dedon, P.C. (2012) Defects in purine nucleotide metabolism lead to substantial incorporation of xanthine and hypoxanthine into DNA and RNA. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109(7):2319-24.  

    Herting, G., Barber, K., Zappala, M.R., Cunningham R.P. and  Burgis, N.E. (2010) Quantitative in vitro and in vivo characterization of the human P32T mutant ITPase. Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta- Molecular Basis for Disease 1802(2): 269-274.   

    Burgis, N.E. and Samson, L. D. (2007) The protein degradation response of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to classical DNA-damaging agents. Chemical Research in Toxicology, 20(12): 1843-1853.   

    Burgis, N.E. and Cunningham, R.P. (2007) Substrate specificity of the RdgB protein, a deoxyribonucleoside triphosphate pyrophosphohydrolase. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 282(6): 3531-8.   

    Burgis, N.E., Brucker, J.J. and Cunningham, R.P. (2003) Repair system for noncanonical purines in Escherichia coli. Journal of Bacteriology, 185(10):3101-10.

  • Jeffrey A. Corkill, PhD
    Jeffrey A. Corkill, PhD
    Professor of Chemistry
    Science Building, SCI 232
    Phone: 509.359.6518
    Fax: 509.359.6973

    PhD, University of Exeter

    Jeff Corkill's interests include: the use of gas and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry in the analysis of organic compounds in (i) smoke derived from agricultural and silvicultural burning practices, (ii) chemical communication between conifer during herbivory, (iii) pesticide residues in organic and conventional food; integration on state-of-the-art chemical laboratory and the development of course internet-based lecture notes.

  • Lorraine Heath
    Lorraine Heath
    Part-time Chemistry Faculty
    Science Building, SCI 226
    Phone: 509-359-2447 (chemistry office phone)
    Fax: 509-359-6973
  • Mrs. N'vida Houndonougbo
    Mrs. N'vida Houndonougbo
    Part-time Chemistry Faculty
    Science Building, SCI 297A
    Phone: 509.359.7461
    Fax: 509.359.6973

    MS, Organic Chemistry, University of Kansas
    BS, Clinical Laboratory, Kansas Medical Center
    BS, Chemistry, University of Paris XII (France) 

  • Yao Houndonougbo, PhD
    Yao Houndonougbo, PhD
    Associate Professor of Chemistry
    Science Building, SCI 230
    Phone: 509.359.4332
    Fax: 509.359.6973

    Yao Houndonougbo, Assistant Professor, PhD, University of Kansas, Lawrence

    Dr. Houndonougbo's research interests involve the use of statistical mechanics, numerical analysis, molecular dynamics amd Monte Carlo simulations, quantum mechanics, protein-protein docking, bioinformatics methods, gas adsorption and storage and protein-protein interactions. Current research projects include:

    • The charactization of Zeolitic Imidazolate Frameworks (ZIFs) for gas uptake and storage
    • Thermodynamic and transport of carbon dioxide, hydrocarbon and carbon dioxide and hydrocarbon mixtures with zeolit materials
    • Structures, dynamics and interactions of the proteins involved in the regulation of calcium in heart muscles
  • Ms. Brandy Fries
    Ms. Brandy Fries
    Science Building, SCI 193A
    Phone: 509.359.7935
    Fax: 509.359.6973
  • Janelle Jenkins, PhD
    Janelle Jenkins, PhD
    Chemistry Senior Lecturer
    Science Building, SCI224
    Phone: 509.359.7931
    Fax: 509.359.6973

    Dr. Janelle Jenkins earned her PhD in chemistry from Arizona State University. 

  • Ashley Lamm, PhD *On leave Spring Quarter 2019*
    Ashley Lamm, PhD *On leave Spring Quarter 2019*
    Assistant Professor of Chemistry
    Science Building, SCI 204A
    Phone: 509.359.7932
    Fax: 509.359.6973
  • Daniel Love, PhD
    Daniel Love, PhD
    Chemistry Senior Lecturer
    Science Building, SCI 214
    Phone: 509.359.6138
    Fax: 509.359.6973

    Daniel Love, Lecturer, PhD, University of Pittsburgh

    Daniel Love's current research and interest lie with the development of lecture demonstrations to promote student understanding of chemical principles. He is also interested in the integration of computer molecular modeling methods into chemical education.

  • Jamie Manson, PhD *On leave Spring quarter 2019*
    Jamie Manson, PhD *On leave Spring quarter 2019*
    Professor of Chemistry
    Science Building, SCI 202A
    Phone: 509.359.2878
    Fax: 509.359.6937

    Jamie Manson, Associate Professor, PhD, University of Utah

    Jamie Manson's research involves design, synthesis and detailed characterization of novel molecule-based quantum magnets that present interesting properties. Coordination chemistry and the self-assembly of 1-, 2- and 3-dimensional polymeric networks that feature strong hydrogen bonds. He conducts  x-ray studies of new magnets to understand the structure/property relationships.   

  • Tony Masiello, PhD
    Tony Masiello, PhD
    Associate Professor of Chemistry
    Science Building, SCI 228
    Phone: 509.359.6519
    Fax: 509.359.6973

    Dr. Masiello's research interest is focused on utilizing spectroscopic techniques to characterize, detect, and quantify gas phase chemicals.  The characterization of chemicals is accomplished through the analysis of high resolution (~0.001 cm-1) infrared and Raman spectra.  This analysis yields important information regarding molecular structural parameters such as precise bond lengths and bond angles, as well as yielding information regarding the bonding energy between atoms in a molecule.  Chemical concentrations are determined through analysis of low resolution (~0.125 cm-1) infrared spectra and has been used to 1) validate chemical agent detectors, 2) determine temperature dependent vapor pressure and enthalpy of vaporization parameters, as well as 3) determine Henry's Law constants.  Addition research interests involve the use of cavity enhanced techniques such as cavity ringdown spectroscopy and integrated cavity output spectroscopy to detect chemicals at trace levels. Current projects involve investigating reaction rates of ozone with anthropogenically produced carbon compounds as well as developing methods that increase the precision to which chemical concentrations are reported. 

  • Amber McConnell, PhD
    Amber McConnell, PhD
    Chemistry Lecturer
    Science Building 234A
    Phone: 509-359-2432
    Fax: 509-359-6973
  • Robin McRae, PhD
    Robin McRae, PhD
    Professor of Chemistry, Department Chair
    Science Building, SCI 222
    Phone: 509.359.2798
    Fax: 509.359.6973

    Robin McRae, Professor, Chair, PhD, University of California, Berkeley

    Robin McRae's research covers many theoretical aspects of chemical physics of liquids. Specific research topics include theory of first-order phase transitions (particularly freezing), dynamics of solvated reactions, kinetic theory of liquids and the kinetics of phase transitions (e.g. nucleation theory). Use of computers in chemistry, both for computation and experiment interface is also an area of interest. 

  • Jeffrey A. Rahn, PhD
    Jeffrey A. Rahn, PhD
    Professor of Chemistry
    Science Building, SCI 218
    Phone: 509.359.6069
    Fax: 509.359.6973

    Jeffrey A. Rahn, Professor, PhD, University of Nevada-Reno

    Jeffrey Rahn's interests include the synthesis and characterization of transition metal complexes to better understand structure/reactivity relationships, the synthesis of inorganic polymers as precursors to ceramic materials and the development of chemical demonstrations to aid student understanding of chemical principles.

  • Kenneth W. Raymond, PhD
    Kenneth W. Raymond, PhD
    Professor of Chemistry
    Science Building, SCI 220
    Phone: 509.359.6520
    Fax: 509.359.6973

    Kenneth W. Raymond, Professor, PhD, University of Washington

    Kenneth Raymond's interests lie in the investigation of bistability and oscillations in enzymatic reactions.

  • Jason Stenzel, PhD
    Jason Stenzel, PhD
    Part-time Chemistry Faculty
    Science Building, SCI 226
    Phone: 509-359-2447 (chemistry office phone)
    Fax: 509-359-6973
  • Wes E. Steiner, PhD
    Wes E. Steiner, PhD
    Professor of Chemistry
    Science Building, SCI 216
    Phone: 509.359.6521
    Fax: 509.359.6973

    Dr. Steiner earned his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry with focus on the development and use of analytical instrumentation to explore a variety of topics involving health, environment, agriculture, and defense. Presently his research group is interested in applications that are focused on the qualitative discovery and quantitative directed analysis of bio-markers that can be correlated to a specific disease trait, state, and/or rate. This in turn, has helped to facilitate the process for an earlier and more precise diagnosis, treatment, and possible prevention of that disease.   


  • Margaret Cox
    Margaret Cox
    Secretary Supervisor
    Science Building 226
    Phone: 509.359.2447
    Fax: 509.359.6973
  • Fred Joslin, PhD
    Fred Joslin, PhD
    Science Instructional Technician - Chemistry
    Science Building 209
    Phone: 509.359.2809
    Fax: 509.359.6973
  • Derek Trial, MS
    Derek Trial, MS
    Science Instructional Technician - Chemistry
    Science Building 297
    Phone: 509.359.7965
    Fax: 509.359.6973
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