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Kefa Onchoke Dissertation

Dr. Brian Barngrover - Assistant ProfessorEducational Background: Kansas Wesleyan University, 2010, B.S. Forensic Science/Biomedical Chemistry; Kansas State University, 2014, Business Administration Graduate Certificate; Kansas State University, 2015, Ph.D., Physical ChemistryResearch/Areas of Interest: Computational/Physical ChemistryOffice: Math Building; Room 124Phone: 936.468.1568E-mail:barngrovbm@sfasu.eduDr. Barngrover's research emphasizes computational chemistry. His research involves studying thiolate protected noble metal and bimetallic nanoparticles. Thiolate protected noble metal nanoparticles are of great interest in many applications such as drug delivery and therapy, catalysts, sensors, electronics, and optics. This research will study the underlying growth mechanism of noble metal thiolate protected nanoparticles in an effort to understand the driving forces that play key roles in their growth. Research will parameterized the reactive force fields for the noble metal nanoparticles.
Dr. Russell Franks - Assistant ProfessorEducational Background: SFASU, 1994, B.S. Chemistry, 1996, M.S. Chemistry; University of Oklahoma, 2002, Ph.D. ChemistryResearch/Areas of Interest: Organic chemistry, Alternative fuels, organometallic chemistry, chemical educationOffice: Math Building, Room 114Phone: 936.468.2199E-mail:rjfranks@sfasu.edu

Dr. Franks' research interests are in the study of the chemical and physical properties of biodiesel fuels made from a wide variety of plant- and animal-derived triglyceride sources. His group is presently studying the use of microwave heating methods to facilitate biodiesel synthesis, the synthesis of biodiesels made from less-commonly used alcohol sources, and the synthesis and characterization of biodiesels made from plant-derived feedstocks that are not used for food by humans. Biodiesel samples are characterized using IR spectroscopy, NMR spectroscopy, GC/MS, viscometry, and bomb calorimetry.

I was born and raised in San Antonio, TX. My dissertation research was in organometallic catalysis. I taught for two years at OU, and have been at SFA since July of 2005. I teach General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry here at SFA. In my free time, I enjoy music, cooking, reading, family activities, and following OU Football.

Dr. Alyx Frantzen - Associate ProfessorEducational Background: Texas Lutheran University, 1991, B.S. Mathematics, Chemistry; New Mexico State University, 1996, M.S. Chemistry, Mathematics; New Mexico State University, 1998, Ph.D. Physical ChemistryResearch/Areas of Interest: Physical ChemistryOffice: Math Building, Room 119Phone: 936.468.2338E-mail:afrantzen@sfasu.eduDr. Frantzen's research involves phylloaluminosilicates. These materials are commonly used as ubiquitous adsorbents, but can also be tailored for use as highly selective adsorbents. The clays have been modified using amino acids and have been successfully used to separate racemic mixtures. Clays are also being exchanged with metalloporphyrins to examine the changes in the absorption/emission spectra of the macro cycle. While most of Dr. Frantzen's research involves clays, research is also being done on the effects of Yaupon, Chinese Tallow, and Chinese privet on surface fuel volatility in the East Texas Region. These all represent invasive plant species that have been introduced into East Texas. The work being done with these species will investigate total volatility of these surface fuels in fire models. The volatile components of each invasive species will be evaluated using oxygen bomb calorimetry, thermal gravimetric measurements, and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry.
Dr. Darrell Fry - Associate ProfessorEducational Background: Stephen F. Austin State University, 1995, B.S.; University of Arkansas, 2001, Ph.D. Analytical ChemistryResearch/Areas of Interest: Analytical Chemistry -- Fourier Transform methods in Microsoft ExcelOffice: Math Building, Room 120Phone: 936.468.1406E-mail:frydr@sfasu.eduDr. Fry's experience and training have fed two passions in research which he continues to pursue: understanding fluorescent probes molecules, exciting students about chemistry. In his Ph.D., Dr. Fry worked extensively with fluorescent probe molecules in hydrophobic environments. He has extended this interest to understanding the interaction between the chemical microenvironment and the probe molecule. Currently, Dr. Fry is working with fluorescein and porphyrins. For fluorescein, his goal is to understand fluorescein in different solvent systems. With this understanding, some of the limitations of fluorescein as a probe molecule can be overcome. His goals with the porphyrins are to develop a solid-state fluorescence sensor for various metals in solution. As a college professor and high school teacher, Dr. Fry has learned the importance of exciting students about learning chemistry. Currently he is working with college students in developing a series of chemical demonstrations for younger students. Moreover, he is also working at developing new laboratories for college students.
Dr. J. Brannon Gary - Assistant ProfessorEducational Background: University of Texas at Tyler, B.S. Chemistry; University of Michigan, Ph.D. Inorganic ChemistryResearch/Areas of Interest: Bioinorganic and bioinspired catalysisOffice: Math Building, Room 116Phone: 936.468.2189E-mail:garyjb@sfasu.eduDr. Gary earned his B.S. in chemistry with a minor in mathematics from the University of Texas at Tyler. He received his Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry with Prof. Melanie Sanford at the University of Michigan studying organometallic C-H activation. He then served as a NIH postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University under Prof. T. Daniel P. Stack studying the potential biological role of the copper(III) oxidation state. Following his time at Stanford, he served as a postdoctoral fellow with Prof. Tom Cundari at the University of North Texas studying inorganic and organometallic reaction mechanisms using density functional theory calculations. His current research interests are generally in the theme of bioinorganic and bioinspired catalysis. His lab utilizes computational and experimental chemistry to study inorganic complexes for the development of new oxidation reactions.
Dr. Xiaozhen (Jenny) Han - Assistant ProfessorEducational Background: Huangshan University, 2009, B.S. Chemistry; Nankai University, 2012, M.S. Organic Chemistry; Baylor University, 2016, Ph.D. Inorganic ChemistryResearch/Areas of Interest: Inorganic Chemistry - Organometallic Synthesis, Inorganic Reaction Mechanism and Bioinorganic CatalysisOffice: Math Building, Room 117Phone: 936.468.2384E-mail:hanx1@sfasu.eduDr. Han received her Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry with Prof. Patrick Farmer at Baylor University investigating enzymatic and non-enzymatic reaction process of bioactive molecule flavonol with HNO and oxygen. Dr. Han's research interests are in the field of inorganic & organic synthesis, structure characterization, reaction kinetics and mechanism, and bioinorganic catalysis. The group is involved in designing and synthesizing new flavonol derivatives as ligands and their platinum, ruthenium, osmium coordinated complexes for biomedical applications. Another area of research interest is designing and synthesizing coenzyme NADH/NADPH model molecules to investigate the process of electron transfer, proton transfer, hydrogen atom transfer and hydride transfer in vitro. Students in Dr. Han's lab will learn about inorganic &organic synthesis and various instruments such as Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (1HNMR, 13CNMR, COSY, gHSQC, HMBC), Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry, Liquid Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry, Tandem Mass Spectrometry, KF Titration, High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), Column Chromatography, Cyclic Voltammetry, glove box, crystallization, FT-IR, fluorescence and UV-vis.
Dr. Michele Harris - Professor, Assistant Chair, and Graduate AdvisorEducational Background: University of Central Oklahoma, 1990, B.S. Chemistry; University of Arkansas, 1994, Ph.D. Biochemistry,Research/Areas of Interest: Biochemistry -- Biotransformations using whole plant cellsOffice: Chemistry Lab Building, Room 104APhone: 936.468.2485E-mail:mharris@sfasu.eduDr. Harris' research is focused on biotransformation reactions using whole cells on the surface of vegetable strips as the catalyst and pro-chiral ketones as the starting reagent. Specifically, we have characterized the production of S-1-benzofuran-2-yl-ethanol from benzofuran-2-yl-methylketone using carrot strips. The group has characterized the reaction and is still working on isolating the functional protein from the surface of the cells. Preliminary studies have shown S-1-benzofuran-2-yl-ethanol possesses both antifungal and antibacterial properties. More detailed antimicrobial studies are planned. We wish to explore the biotransformation of other pro-chiral ketones and study their antimicrobial activity as well as try to purify the R-1-benzofuran-2yl-ethanol to compare the antimicrobial activities of each enantiomer.
Dr. Michael Janusa - Professor and ChairmanEducational Background: Louisiana Tech University, BS; Louisiana State University, Ph.D.Research/Areas of Interest: Analytical/Inorganic chemistry; Environmental chemistryOffice: Math Building, Room 104Phone: 936.468.3606E-mail:janusama@sfasu.eduDr. Janusa teaches General Chemistry, Inorganic, Analytical, and Environmental Chemistry. His research interest focuses on the environmental science areas of water, soil, and air quality involving metals and anions. Present research involves studying the water quality in Lanana Creek in Nacogdoches, Texas and the Nacogdoches Surface Water Treatment Plant. He holds a U.S. patent in complexing heavy metals with bagasse (sugar cane by-product). Dr. Janusa believes there are many different ways to reach students and educate them. The most recent trend is the use of technology. Technology can help students learn the material, and it is for this reason that Dr. Janusa has co-developed (with Dr. Lo - Nicholls State University) an on-line homework system that delivers homework assignments via the Internet (i-assign.com) and an e-textbook (Chemistry: The Core Concepts, Part I and II) that he uses in his courses.
Ms. Catherine Kwiatkowski - LecturerEducational Background: New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM; B.A. Chemistry, B.S. Biology, B.S. Secondary Education; Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ; M.S. BiochemistryOffice: Math Building, Room 110Phone: 936.468.2175E-mail:kwiatkowc@sfasu.eduCatherine Kwiatkowski's Master's thesis investigated the purification and characterization of neurotoxic venom obtained from Crotalus horridus atricaudatus, the Timber rattlesnake. She has taught for twenty years at the secondary science level while authoring several young adult fiction novels, including Mr. Haley's Summer School: A Novel Approach to Learning Chemistry, by C.R. Kwiat. She is married to Dr. Matthew Kwiatkowski in the SFA Biology department and has three children who are heavily involved in academics, sports, and art.
Dr. Odutayo Odunuga - Associate ProfessorEducational Background: Ogun State University (Nigeria), 1991, B. Sc. Biochemistry; University of Ibadan (Nigeria), 1995, M. Sc. Biochemistry; Rhodes University (South Africa), 2003, Ph.D. Biochemistry / Molecular BiologyResearch/Areas of Interest: Biochemistry -- Chaperones in health and diseases, Biochemical mechanisms of rare diseases (Ellis van Creveld syndrome)Office: Math Building, Room 122Phone: 936.468.6468E-mail:odunugaoo@sfasu.edu

While working on his Ph.D., Dr. Odunuga received additional training and research experience at the University of Saarland (Germany). Dr. Odunuga joined the Department of Chemistry after completing post-doctoral work the University of Cape Town (South Africa), and UTMB in Galveston TX.

Dr. Odunuga's research focuses on: 1) Using the Ellis van Creveld (EvC) syndrome as a model to study the functions of certain proteins in muscle, bone and related tissues. The long-term goal of his research is to elucidate the functions of these two genes and their products during and after development. 2) Chaperone biology, especially Hsp90-binding proteins, such as the Hsp70/Hsp90 organizing protein (Hop) and UNC-45, a myosin-targeting Hsp90 co-chaperone linked to cardiac development and cancer. 3) Studies on inhibition of elastase from Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacterium that causes common infections in clinics and hospitals. The aim of his research is to generate crystal complexes of elastase with small molecule inhibitors for potential therapeutic applications. The multi-disciplinary approach to his research provides opportunity for students at all levels to learn the concepts of and techniques used in genetics, biochemistry, molecular, cellular and structural biology.

Dr. Kefa Onchoke - ProfessorEducational Background: The Ohio State University, Ph.D. (Analytical Chemistry, 2006), M.S. (Hampton University, Analytical Chemistry, 2000), B.Sc. (University of Nairobi, Chemistry, 1989)Research/Areas of Interest: Environmental, bio-analytical, computational and physical-organicOffice: Chemistry and Math Building; Room 118Phone: 936.468.2386E-mail:onchokekk@sfasu.edu

Dr. Kefa K. Onchoke came to SFASU in Fall 2006. His multi-pronged research projects are spread between food chemistry, water chemistry, experimental and computational Chemistry (spectroscopic studies of environmental pollutants, use of QSAR methods to predict/address experimental results), and electrochemical studies of environmental toxicants. Current interests are focused on studying environmental toxicants, mutagens, carcinogens such as nitrated PAHs, particulate matter, nanoparticulates, The water and food chemistry projects utilize chromatographic (HPLC, ion chromatography, GC-MS) and spectroscopic methods (ICP-OES, ICP-MS). The experimental and computational methods investigate physico-chemical properties (and predictions) that make nitrated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (nitro-PAHs) more mutagenic and/or carcinogenic than their parent PAHs. Synthesis and spectroscopic methods (1H/13C NMR, 2-D NMR methods, FT-infrared, FT-Raman, UV-Vis, fluorescence, ion chromatography, HPLC, GC-MS, ICP-OES) and cyclic voltammetry in conjunction with computational methods are used.

In his spare time, he reads (auto)biographies for inspiration, writes poetry, jogs and enjoys nature walks.

Dr. Matibur Zamadar - Assistant ProfessorEducational Background: University of Calcutta, 2003, B.Sc. Chemistry; Indian Institute of Technology, 2005, M.Sc. Inorganic Chemistry; The City University of New York, 2010, M.Phil. Organic Chemistry; The City University of New York, 2011, Ph.D. Organic ChemistryResearch/Areas of Interest: Organic Chemistry -- Organic Synthesis/Photochemistry/Polymer ChemistryOffice: Math Building, Room 112Phone: 936.468.2243E-mail:zamadarmr@sfasu.eduDr. Zamadar joined the department after completing his second postdoctoral research work at the University of Colorado, Boulder in 2013-1014. His research interests are in the field of organic synthesis, photochemistry, and polymer. The group is involved in designing and synthesizing new photosensitizer molecules for solar energy utilization or biomedical applications. The group is also involved in synthesizing a new type of catalyst of alkaline earth metals for polymerization of non-activated alkenes. Another area the group is involved is synthesizing a complexing agent of porphyrin and different chelating agents for the development of new chemical sensors for toxic metal ions dangerous for living organisms. Students in Dr. Zamadar's lab learn about organic synthesis, polymer synthesis and spectroscopic methods such as 1H/13C/31P NMR, UV-visible, fluorescence, GPC, DSC, TGA, MS, and IR.
Ms. Jennifer Edwards - Inventory Control SupervisorOffice: Chemistry Building, Room 104BPhone: 936.468.2143E-mail:jedwards@sfasu.edu
Ms. Caroline (Carrie) Stover - Administrative AssistantOffice: Math Building, Room 108Phone: 936.468.3606E-mail:stoverch@sfasu.edu
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

Dr. Isai Urasa

Professor And Chairman, Ph.D. 1977, Colorado State University; Analytical Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry; Trace element speciation in aqueous media; analytical methods development with atomic spectroscopy, Ion Chromatography and High Performance Liquid Chromatography; Solid phase extraction applied in metal speciation.


  • Ph.D., Analytical Chemistry, 1977, Colorado State University
  • M.A., Analytical Chemistry, 1972, State University of New York, Buffalo
  • B.A., Chemistry and Mathematics, 1970, Hampton Institute (Hampton University)

Positions Held

  • 1989 - Present: Professor of Chemistry and Chairman, Department of Chemistry, Hampton University
  • 1983 - 1988: Associate Professor of Chemistry and Chairman, Hampton University
  • 1980 - 1983: Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Other (Special) Appointments

  • September 1, 2000 - February 28, 2001:
    Higher Education Specialist, Education for Development and Democracy Initiative, U.S. Agency for International Development (AAAS Science Scholar in Higher Education Program)
  • March 1, 2001 - August 31, 2001:
    Water Team, Global Environment Center, USAID (AAAS Science Scholar Program)

Professional Awards

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow, Science Scholar, 2000-2001
  • Recipient, Edward L. Hamm, Sr. Distinguished Teaching Award, Hampton University, 1996.
  • Recipient, The Outstanding Faculty Award, State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, 1991.

Professional Affiliations And Committee Activity

  • Member, International Activities Committee, American Chemical Society, 2011- Present, (Chair, Global Waters Working Group).
  • Member, Committee on International Activities, 2011 - Present
  • Member, Committee on Minority Affairs, American Chemical Society, 2000-2010.
  • Member, International Activities Committee, American Chemical Society, 1991-1999 (Chair, Task Force on Southern Africa - 1993-1997)
  • Member, Advisory Committee, National Science Foundation Center for Workshops in the Chemical Sciences, 2002 - 2008.
  • Member, Project Advisory Committee, American Water Works Association Research Foundation, 2001 – 2005.
  • Member, Advisory Board, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and Hampton University Research and Training Partnership, 2003 -2007.
  • Board of Trustees, Hampton University, 2000-2001.
  • Board of Trustees, Southeast Universities Research Association (SURA), 2007-2010.
  • Member, American Chemical Society
  • Member, Tanzania Chemical Society
  • Member, National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers.
  • Member, Beta Kappa Chi Honor Society
  • Member, Editorial Board, Instrumentation Science and Technology, 1995-2000
  • Member, Editorial Board, Tanzania Journal of Science, 1999-2005
  • Member, Steering Committee, HBCU/MI Environmental Technology and Education Committee (Chair, Subcommittee on Undergraduate Education), 1990-2005.
  • Member, Committee of Visitors, National Science Foundation, 1997
  • External Examiner, University of Nairobi, Kenya, 1990
  • External Examiner, Monsoura University, Egypt, 1996
  • External Examiner University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 1998

Other Professional Contributions

Program Reviews

  • Science Review Committee, Louisiana Board of Regents - reviewed chemistry programs at several State University campuses in the State of Louisiana, 1992, 2011.
  • U.S. Agency for International Development (Education for Development and Democracy Initiative, EDDI) - reviewed a partnership project between Mississippi Consortium for International Development and Agostinho Neto University (Angola), 2001
  • U.S. Agency for International Development, EDDI - reviewed a partnership project between West Virginia State College and National University of Benin, 2001
  • U.S. Agency for International Development, EDDI - reviewed a partnership project between Virginia Tech and Malawi Ministry of Education, 2001
  • U.S. Agency for International Development, EDDI - reviewed a partnership project between Howard University and graduate programs at several African Universities

Service on Proposal Review Panels for:

  • U.S. National Science Foundation
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • U.S. Department of Education
  • U.S. Department of Energy
  • American Chemical Society
  • Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
  • International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry
  • U.S. Agency for International Development

International Activities And Experience

Member, The Water Team, Global Environment Center, USAID.: as a team member, I developed Public Private Partnership program in the water sector for developing countries; organized Water and Agriculture session of Global Environment Workshop (July, 2001).

Higher Education Specialist, Education for Development and Democracy Initiative (EDDI): coordinated higher education partnership projects involving higher education institutions in the US and developing countries; developed planning, monitoring, and performance (PMP) tool for EDDI.

Resource person, and Workshop Presenter: American Chemical Society-National Science Foundation Environmental Quality Workshop for Developing Countries, Dakar, Senegal, July, 2001.

Research and Study Abroad Program, 1994 - Present (Project Director): a research collaboration and training program that sends students and faculty to the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and Egerton University in Kenya to conduct research during the summer. The program is supported by U.S. NIH.

Chemical Instrumentation Program for Developing Countries, 1993 - 1995 (Project Co-Director): a project to provide opportunities for scientists from Sub-Saharan Africa to travel to the U.S. to participate in chemical instrumentation training workshops. The project was supported by a grant from U.S. Trade and Development Agency to the International Activities Committee of the American Chemical Society. Scientists from eight African countries participated in the program.

Egyptian Foreign Study Program, 1992 - 1994 (Collaborating Scientist, Research Advisor): a program of Egyptian government designed to bring students to selected academic research laboratories to conduct research for advanced degrees to be awarded by Egyptian universities. Under this program, I mentored and served on the Ph.D. dissertation committee of an Egyptian student from Monsoura University.

Water Quality Project for the Great Rift Valley of East Africa, 1984 - 1987 (Project Director ): a collaborative project with scientists at the university of Nairobi, Kenya. The project involved water quality research requiring the collection of water samples from several Great Rift Valley lakes and shipping them to Hampton University; presentation of lectures at the University of Nairobi; and mentoring a Kenyan student who spent a year in the environmental analytical chemistry laboratory at Hampton in conjunction with the project. The project was funded by U.S. NSF.

Travel Award, 1992: to present lectures and establish linkages at University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Sokoine University of Agriculture in Morogoro, Tanzania.

Examination Committees:External Examiner for University of Dar es Salaam (1998); Monsoura University (1993) University of Nairobi (1986).

Recent Publications and Selected Presentations

I.T. Urasa, A. Kimaro, W. J. Mavura "Developing a Bioreactor for Water Defluoridation: A University-community partnership", Symposium Proceedings, Water: A Global Problem, Local Solutions, Environmental Chemistry Division, American Chemical Society National Meeting, September 10, 2013, Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A., Paper Number 118.

I.T. Urasa and Nixon Mwebi, "Factors influencing the behavior of land applied biosolids", Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part A (2011) 46, 1625-1631.

(2)Isai T. Urasa, Anael Kimaro, Samuel Manyele, "Wastewater stabilization ponds: Water quality Assessment", Proceedings, World Chemistry Congress, San Juan, Puerto Rico, paper Number 214, August 4, 2011.

(3) I.T. Urasa, Kefa Onchoke, Barbara Shipes, "The Influence of Biosolids on Lead and Copper Uptake by Rapid Radish (Raphanus sativus L.) Plants", In Preparation (J. Env Qual).

I.T. Urasa, and Gervas Assey, "Comparative Study of the Capabilities of LC-MS and GC-ECD/FID for the Determination of Pesticides in Environmental Samples" In Preparation.

M.J. Moshi, E. Innocent, P.J. Masimba, D.F. Otieno, A. Weisheit, P. Mbabazi, M. Lynes, K. Meachem, A. Hamilton, and I. Urasa, "Antimicrobial and brine shrimp toxicity of some plants used in traditional medicine in Bukoba District, north-western Tanzania", Tanzania Journal of Health Research, Vol. 11, No. 1, January 2009, 23.

S.J. M. Mdachi, M.H.H. Nkunya, V.A. Nyigo, and I.T. Urasa, "Amino Acid Composition of Some Tanzanian Wild Mushrooms", Food Chemistry, 2004, 86, 179-182.

I.T. Urasa and S.F. Macha, "Investigation into Heavy Metal Uptake by Waste Water Sludges", J. Water, Air and Soil Pollution, 2000, 109, 207-218.

I.T. Urasa, The Use of Ion Chromatography – D.C. Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometry for the Speciation of Trace Metals, Final Technical Report, U.S. Department of Energy, Contract Number DE-FG05-86ER13589, 1998.

I.T. Urasa, S.F. Macha, and W.M. El Matty, "Application of Solid Phase Extraction in Metal Speciation"; J. Chromatographic Science, 1997, 35, 519-524.

I.T. Urasa and S.F. Macha, "Speciation of Heavy Metals in Soils, Sediments, and Sludges Using D.C. Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometry in combination with Ion Chromatography, Int. J. Environ. Anal. Chem. 1996, 64, 83-95.

I.T. Urasa, "Development of new methods for speciation analysis"; In Element Speciation in Bio-inorganic Chemistry, S. Caroli, Ed., Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, Chapter 4, 1996.

I.T. Urasa and W.J. Mavura, "The Influence of Sample Acidification on the Speciation of Iron (II) and Iron (III)", Int. J. Environ. Anal. Chem., 1992, 48, (34), 229-240.

I.T. Urasa, and W.J. Mavura, "The Speciation of Iron, Manganese, Phosphorus, and Platinum in Aqueous Solutions by using Ion Chromatography Coupled with Element Selective Detector" Journal of Chromatography, 1991, 547, 211-223.

I.T. Urasa, "Element Selective Detectors for Ion Chromatographic Separations In "In Advances in Ion Chromatography, Vol. 2, P. Jandik and R.M. Cassidy, Eds., Century International, pp. 93-110, 1990.

I.T. Urasa and S.H. Nam, "Direct Determination of Chromium (III) and Chromium (VI) with Ion Chromatography Using Direct current Plasma Emission as Element Selective Detector," J. Chromatographic Science, 1989, 27, 30-37.

I.T. Urasa, V.D. Lewis, and J. DeZwaan, "Characterization and Purity Determination of Trans (+) 1,2-diamino-cyclohex-ane platinum (IV) tetrachloride by using Liquid Chromatography with Platinum Selective Detector", Anal. Lett.1989, 22(3) pp. 597-619.

I.T. Urasa, V.D. Lewis, and S.H. Nam, "Speciation of Trace Metals by Ion Chromatography with Element Selective Detectors," J. Chromatogr. Sc.1989, 27, 468-473.

I.T. Urasa, and V.D. Lewis, "Chromatographic Characterization of Platinum-Containing Compounds," Virginia Journal of Science,1988, 39(2), 143.

I. T. Urasa and F. Ferede, "The Use of D.C. Plasma as an Element Selective Detector for Simultaneous Ion Chromatographic Determination of As(III) and AS(V) in the Presence of Other Common Anions," Analytical Chemistry,1987, 59, 1563-1568.

I. T. Urasa In Proceedings of the Water Quality Technology Conference, American Water Works Association, Baltimore, 1987, pp. 557-575.

I. T. Urasa, Element Speciation Studies, Final Technical Report to National Science Foundation, Project Number RIII83-05293, 1986.

I.T. Urasa, "Development of Analytical Methods for Trace Element Determination using Direct Current Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometry", Final Technical Report, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1984.

I.T. Urasa, "Determination of Arsenic, Boron, carbon, Phosphorus, Selenium, and Silicon in natural Waters by Direct Current Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometry", Anal. Chem., 1984, 56, 904-908.

Master's Theses Directed

Development of Analytical Methods for the Determination and Characterization of Emerging Contaminants (Dawanna White, M.S. 2012).

Lead (II) PVC Membrane Based Ion Selective Electrode: Increasing Selectivity and Lowering, (Brandy Alford, M.S. 2006).

Evaluation of the State-of-the-Art Analytical Technology for the Study of Pesticides and Other Persistent Organic Pollutants, (Gervas E. Assey, M.S. 2002).

The Influence of Biosolids on Metal Uptake By Plants (Kefa Onchoke , M.S., 2000).

Mechanistic Studies of Heavy Metal Uptake by Composted Waste Water Sludge (Nixon O. Mwebi, M.S. 1999).

Investigation of the interaction of Wastewater Sludges with Agricultural Soils (Cherese D. Winstead, M.S. 1998).

A Study of the Interaction of Naturally Occurring Polymers with Heavy Metals (Julio C. Arce Mazuera, M.S. 1997).

The Speciation of Heavy Metals in Soils, Sediments, and Sludges by Using D.C. Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometry Coupled with Ion Chromatography (Stephen F. Macha, M.S. 1996).

Chitosan as Solid Phase Extraction Material (Jokoo M. Quaye, M.S. 1994) Application of Solid Phase Extraction in Trace Metal and Pesticide Determination (Weam El Maaty, Ph.D., 1994 - Monsoura University, Egypt).

Chromatographic and Spectroscopic Characterization of Isofenphos (Stephanie B. Peebles, M.S. 1990).

The Influence of Acidification on the Speciation of Iron (Ward Mavura, M.S. 1990).

A Study of the Solution Chemistry of Selected Platinum Compounds (Valerie D. Lewis, M.S. 1989).

Speciation of Trace Metals by Using Ion Chromatography with Direct Current Plasma Detection (Sang Ho Nam, M.S. 1989).

An Evaluation of the Factors that Influence Ion Chromatographic Determination of Arsenic, Phosphorus, and Selenium Species (Fernus Ferede, M.S. 1986).

The Fractionation of Magnesium, Calcium, Manganese, and Silicon in Surface Waters (Mark A. Taylor, M.S. 1986).

Selected Contributed Papers

Isai T. Urasa, Abiodun Adibi, Reena Blade, Shauntell Myles, Gabrielle Simms, and Courtney Edwards, "Factors Influencing the TDML of the Lower Chesapeake Bay", Research Symposium, School of Science, Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia, April 18, 2013.

I.T. Urasa, "Role of Academic Institutions on Science Policy", Annual Meeting of the national Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers, Washington, D.C., September 28, 2012.

I.T. Urasa, "Enhancement of the Chemistry Program by Diversifying the Curriculum", American Chemical Society Regional Meeting, Richmond, Virginia, October 18, 2011.

I.T. Urasa, "Strengthening Global Cooperation in Science and Scientific Research," 86th Annual Meeting, Virginia Academy of Science, Hampton University, May 23, 2008.

Rukundo A. Kambarami, S. Manyele, A. Kimaro, and I.T. Urasa, "Evaluation of Wastewater Quality from Wastewater Stabilization Ponds", University of Maryland at Baltimore County Poster Presentation, October 13, 2007.

Fulgentia N.Gang, M. J Moshi, P Masimba,. And E. Innocence, A. Kimaro, and I.T. Urasa "In Vivo Antimalaria Activity of Maranthes floribunda root Ethanolic Extract" University of Maryland at Baltimore County Poster Presentation. October 13, 2007.

Malcolm Mitchell, M. Moshi, A. Kimaro, and I.T. Urasa, "Investigation of an Aqueous Ethanol Extract of Strophanthus eminii for in vivo Antimalarial Activity in Mice", 15th Research Day Symposium, Hampton University, Hampton, VA March 14, 2008.

Luther Quarles, K. Moshi, A. Kimaro, and I.T. Urasa "Preliminary chemical characterization and antiviral activity of extracts from marine fungi", , 15th Research Day Symposium, Hampton University, Hampton, VA, March 14, 2008.

Marques Johnson, Cosam Joseph, A. Kimaro, and I.T. Urasa, "Asteranthe lutea and Its Anti-Fungal Properties", 15th Research Day Symposium, Hampton University, Hampton, VA March 14, 2008.

Regina Joice, Michael A. Kishimba, John A. Mahugija Marco, Isai T. Urasa, "Organochlorine pesticide residues in drinking water from sites near Vikuge storage site in Coast Region, Tanzania", International Symposium on Health Disparities: Research Centers in Minority Institutions, San Juan Puerto Rico, December 13-15, 2006.

Buki Kalejaiye, Anthony Ndichu wa Muiru, Toni Ebeigbe, Isai T. Urasa, "Investigation of the in-vitro vascular effects of Pyrenacantha Staudtii on isolated rat aortic smooth muscle", International Symposium on Health Disparities: Research Centers in Minority Institutions, San Juan Puerto Rico, December 13-15, 2006.

Jaqueena Manahan, Anthony Ndichu wa Muiru, Toni Ebeigbe, Isai T. Urasa, "In-vivo Effect of Pyrenacantha staudtii Extract on Blood Pressure and Heart Rate of Rabbits", International Symposium on Health Disparities: Research Centers in Minority Institutions, San Juan Puerto Rico, December 13-15, 2006.

Bettina Applewhite, Isai Urasa, Cosam Joseph, and M.J. Moshi "Investigation of Tanzanian Hugonia busseana as an Antidiabetic Agent", Annual Meeting of the National Organization for Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers, Orlando, Fla, Spring 2005.

Kia Walcott, Isai T. Urasa, and K.M.M. Hosea "Studies of Violet Dye Production by Marine Fungus", Annual Meeting of the National Organization for Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers, Orlando, Fla, Spring 2005.

I.T. Urasa, "Environmental Chemistry: Practice and Applications" 9th International Chemistry Conference in Africa, Arusha, Tanzania, August 5, 2004.

I.T. Urasa, "Research and Study Abroad: A Rewarding Scientific and Cultural Experience", International Research Experience for Undergraduates Symposium, American Chemical Society national Meeting, Anaheim, California, Spring 2004.

Hakeem Yusuf, and I.T. Urasa, "The Health Hazard of Water Pollution In a Developing Country: a Case Study of Sugarcane Juice In Dar es Salaam, Tanzania" Southern California Conference on Undergraduate Research, November 22, 2003.

Tomika Bethea, Khalila Porome, Zaron Johnson, Eric Hayes, and Isai T. Urasa, "Investigation into Heavy Metal Uptake by Waste Water Sludge" Virginia Water Research Symposium, Blacksburg, Virginia, October, 2003.

Hakeem Yusuf, Donati Mosha, and I,T. Urasa, "The Impact of Urban Lifestyles and Water Utilization Practices on the Quality of Water in a Developing Country", American Chemical Society National Meeting, New Orleans, LA. March 2003.

I.T. Urasa, "Water Resource Issues of Developing Country Communities", Virginia Water Research Symposium, October, 2002.

I.T. Urasa, "Higher Education Partnerships for Developing Countries Water Resource Management, African Studies Association annual Conference, Washington", D.C. December 5, 2002.

Gervas E. Assey and I. T. Urasa, Virginia Academy of Sciences, "Evaluation of State-of-the art Analytical Technologies for the Study of Pesticides and Other Persistent Organic Pollutants", Virginia Academy of Sciences, Hampton, Virginia, May, 2002.

I.T. Urasa, Danielle Ward, D.S. Mosha, "Water Quality Profile of the City of Dar es Salaam", American Chemical Society National Meeting, San Francisco, CA, Spring, 2000.

I. T. Urasa and Nixon O. Mwebi, Gabriela Chytrova, "Uptake of Heavy Metals by Bio-Solids: Investigation of Attendant Mechanisms", Virginia Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, May 27th, 1999.

I.T. Urasa and Kefa Onchoke, "Influence of Bio-solids on Heavy metal Uptake by Plants", Virginia Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, May 27th, 1999.

I.T. Urasa, Nixon Mwebi, Charese Winstead, "Heavy Metal Uptake by Bio-solids", American Chemical Society Regional meeting, Raleigh, N.C., November 7, 1998.

I.T. Urasa, "Cooperative Graduate Degree Program in Chemistry", Symposium Contribution: Minorities in Science, American Chemical Society Regional Meeting, Raleigh, N.C., November 7, 1998.

I.T. Urasa, J. Greene, K. Onchoke, and D.S. Mosha, "Water Quality Profile of the City of Dar es Salaam: Physico-Chemical Parameters", 1998 National Minority Research Symposium, New York City, November 25, 1998.

I.T. Urasa, D. Ward, and D.S. Mosha, "Water Quality Profile of the City of Dar es Salaam: Microbiological Evaluation", 1998 National Minority Research Symposium, New York City, November 25, 1998.

I.T. Urasa and Nixon Mwebi, "Uptake of Heavy Metals by Composted Sludges", American Chemical Society Regional Meeting, Roanoke, Virginia, October 20, 1997.

I.T. Urasa, S.F. Macha, and Dereck Murray, "Use of Waste Water Sludges for the Immobilization of Heavy Metals" International Congress on Environment and Climate, Rome, Italy, March 4, 1996.

I. T. Urasa and S.F. Macha "Use of Waste Water Sludges as Solid Phase Extraction Material", Environment Virginia 1996, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, Lexington, VA April 1996.

I.T. Urasa, "Undergraduate Research: A Vital Component of a Science Curriculum"; Third Pan American Congress, San Juan, Puerto Rico, September 13, 1995.

I.T. Urasa and S.F. Macha, "Solid Phase Extraction Applied in Metal Speciation", Second DOE/ BES Research Meeting, Santa Fe, New Mexico, June 1995.

I. T. Urasa and S.F. Macha, "Use of Waste Water Sludges as Sorbents for Heavy Metals", Virginia Academy of Science Meeting, Lexington, Virginia, May 1995.

I. T. Urasa, S.F. Macha, "Use of Waste Water Sludges for the Immobilization of Heavy Metals", American Chemical Society National Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana, March 1995.

I.T. Urasa, Jokoo Quaye, and Weaam El-Matty, "Liquid Chromatography Applied in Metal Speciation", 40th Canadian Spectroscopy Conference, Halifax, Nova Scotia, August 1994.

I.T. Urasa and S.F. Macha, "Speciation of Heavy Metals in Soils, Sediments, and Sludges using D.C. Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometry coupled with Ion Chromatography", ACS National Meeting, Washington, D.C., August 1994.

I.T. Urasa, "Liquid Chromatography Applied in Metal Speciation", 1993 DOE/BES Separations Research Conference, Seattle, Washington, October 1993.

I.T. Urasa, "Element speciation by using chromatographic techniques in combination with spectroscopic techniques", 20th Annual Meeting of the Federation of Analytical Chemistry and Spectroscopy Societies, Detroit Michigan, October 1993 (invited paper).

I.T. Urasa, and J.Quaye, "Evaluation of factors affecting the use of chitosan for the determination of lead in environmental media", Virginia Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, May 1993.

I.T. Urasa and J. Arce, "The use of Chitosan for trace metal determination", American Chemical Society National Meeting, San Francisco, California, April 1993.

I.T. Urasa, "Element Speciation with D.C. Plasma Coupled with Ion Chromatography", Department of Chemistry, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, April 1993 (invited seminar).

I. T. Urasa, "Element Speciation by using Ion Chromatography Coupled with Elements Selective Detector", 21St International Symposium on Environmental Analytical Chemistry, Jekyll Island, Georgia, May 1991.

I.T. Urasa and J. Arce, "Analytical Applications of Chitin/Chitosan", Virginia Academy of Sciences Meeting, Blacksburg, Virginia, May 1991.

I.T. Urasa, "The Speciation of Trace Metals by using Ion Chromatography Coupled with Element Selective Detectors", 18th International Symposium on Chromatography, the Rai Congress Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Abstract Number TH-P-04.

Areas of Research Interests

Environmental Analytical Chemistry; Environmental Health; Water Resources Research; Development of Analytical Methods with Atomic Spectroscopy and Chromatography; Science Education.

Research Programs

Water Resources Research: There are three research themes that focus on water resources: (1) investigation of microbial mediation in phosphate removal by wetlands, (2) chemical characterization of biosolids and their impact on ground water quality, and (3) studies of emerging contaminants. These research efforts are supported by an analytical facility that consists of state-of-the-art analytical instrumentation for the determination of nutrients (phosphates and nitrates), heavy metals, organic pollutants, pharmaceuticals and personal care product contaminants.

Study of Environmental Processes at the Molecular Level: This research is focused on studying the interaction of chemical species with solid surfaces and the mitigating effects of these interactions on environmental contamination. It looks at environmental processes at the molecular level, seeking to elucidate how the natural environment is affected by contaminants, and how the affected environment can be restored. The materials under investigation include soils and sediments; bio-materials such as plants and bio-solids; natural organic matter; synthetic chelating agents; and naturally occurring polymers.

Heavy Metal Speciation Studies: This work is aimed at investigating the forms in which heavy metals exist in environmental systems and the factors that influence their distribution. The study has led to the development of new analytical methods which have been applied in the elucidation of the toxicity and other biological effects of heavy metals.

Distribution and Fate of Hazardous Substances in Environmental Systems: This research is aimed at studying the chemistry of pesticides, heavy metals, and other toxic substances in environmental systems. By knowing how these materials behave under various conditions, analytical methods for identifying and quantifying them can be developed.

Grants Received

Water Quality Research:Observing Emerging Water Contaminants ($600,000), U.S. Department of Education Title III Program, 2009-Present.

Establishment of a B.S. Degree program in Biochemistry within the Department of Chemistry, ($290,000, National Science Foundation, 2009 – 2013).

Promoting Minority Student Interest in Science and Scientific Careers Through Forensic Chemistry ($410,000) U.S. Department of Education – MSEP 2007- present)

Use of Television Drama to attract students into science ($151,000), NSF 2006-2008.

International Research Training in Natural products and Environmental Health, 1994-Present (>$2,500,000) (NIH)

Study of Environmental Processes at the Molecular Level, 2000-2010, ($500,000), U.S. Department of Energy.

Planning Grant for Center for Undergraduate Research, $50,000), National Science Foundation, 2004-2005.

Cooperative Graduate Degree Program in Chemistry, 1995-2000, ($500,000): A program developed in cooperation with Virginia Tech to provide intermediate graduate training at the master's level before embarking on doctoral work. The participating students transfer directly to selected Ph.D. granting institutions upon receiving the master's degree from Hampton.

Acquisition of Teaching and Research  Instrumentation, ($292,000) U.S. Army Office , 1998-2000.

Cooperative Graduate Degree program Training ($310,000) Sloan Foundation 2000 - 2003

Research Careers for Minority Scholars, 1990-1995,($525,000): A National Science Foundation supported program to promote undergraduate research and mentoring.

Research Experience and Enhancement, 1990-1993, ($300,000): A program supported by Packard Foundation to support undergraduate research

Research Improvement in Minority Institutions, 1982-1985,($244,000): A National Science Foundation supported program to improve scientific research in minority

Element Speciation Studies, 1981 – 1983 ($161,000): U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Minority Academic Institutions Traineeship Program, 1987, ($27,000): A program supported by USEPA to strengthen science programs in minority institutions.

Environmental Management Career Opportunities for Minorities, 1990-1995,($50,000): A program supported by the Department of Energy to promote environmental programs and careers.

Environmental Management Pre-college Analytical Chemistry Program, 1990-1995, ($75,000): A summer program designed to provide pre-college students research experience.

Other Programs And Grantsmanship Activity

  • Working Group for Environmental Science and Technology
  • Chemical Instrumentation Laboratory Facility
  • Water Quality Measurement Laboratory, Certified by EPA, Hampton University

Special Workshops Presentations

"Careers in Academia: Tips for Success, presented at American Association for the Advancement of Science", AAAS Fellows workshop, 2007.

"How to Improve Academic Performance", A Student-faculty Panel Discussion, Hampton University Research Day Symposium, School of Science, Spring, 2003.

"Ethical Issues in the Conduct of Science and Scientific Research", Hampton University Research Day Symposium, School of Science, Spring, 2002.

"Tips on Developing a Career in Academia", A Workshop for New Faculty Members, Hampton University, Spring, 2002.

"International Education Opportunities", Faculty Institute, Hampton University, Fall 2002.

"Demographic Changes in Global Higher Education", Global Forum, Hampton University Faculty Interest Group , Spring 2002

"A Career in Academia: How Do You Start?" National Science Foundation Career Workshop, Fall 1999.

"Minimum Standards for the delivery of Instruction", Hampton University Fall Faculty Institute, 1999.


State of Louisiana Board of Regents: Southern Review Committee for Academic Programs in Chemistry, 1991, 2011, 2013.

Hercules, Inc., Franklin, Virginia: The Determination of Trace Elements in Industrial Waste Water

Pear Corporation, Hampton, Virginia: The Use of Chitin/Chitosan in Water Chemistry Research

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