News & Announcements

Chemistry News

Practice PCAT Exam - Posted on January 18,2008

The College of Science Advising Center and Kaplan will be hosting a FREE PCAT Practice Test at Cleveland State University! Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions has been around for nearly 70 years preparing students to take a number of standardized tests. We specialize in helping students achieve their goals and get into the Graduate School of their choice.

The Practice Test will be held on February 2nd, in MC 444 at 9:00am. The event is a great way to see how you would perform on the PCAT. You will receive analyzed score results that will breakdown your performance in each section. This is an excellent way to gain experience with the PCAT without the worry of your scores being recorded. You will be the only one to see your score and a Kaplan expert will be available to help you read your report and answer any questions you may have.

To register for this FREE event, log onto or call the Cleveland Kaplan Center at 216-831-2233.

The second REEL Chemistry Symposium- Posted on October 10,2007


The second REEL Student Symposium, showcasing undergraduate chemistry research, will be held on November 10, 2007. We are excited to be hosting the meeting. The first symposium was held at The Ohio State University and well over 100 undergraduate students participated in the event. The REEL (Research Experience to Enhance Learning) program, involving fifteen institutions across the state, was funded by the National Science Foundation in 2005. This program aims to provide greater research opportunity for undergraduate students to solve critical problems that science can address. Undergraduate students from Cleveland State University presented five posters at the first symposium in Columbus, and a greater number of students are expected to present their research at the second symposium. The CSU is welcome to attend, but participant registration must be completed by October 19, 2007 ( More information about the event can be found here.

Chemistry Student Wins FBI Scholarship - Posted on June 22,2007

Michael Bukys, a Cleveland State University doctoral chemistry student in the College of Science, has been awarded the prestigious J. Edgar Hoover Foundation Scientific Scholarship” to advance law enforcement, it was announced today.

The $25,000 scholarship is nationally competitive and awarded each year to just one student from an exclusive pool of candidates. This year, only 10 universities from across the U.S. were invited to apply, said William D. Branon, president and director of The J. Edgar Hoover Foundation, who presented the scholarship. Candidates must major in a scientific field that has relevance to modern criminal investigation, such as analytical chemistry, cell biology, computer science, forensic technologies, pathology, pharmacology and toxicology.

The scholarship recognizes the essential role that science plays in the work of law enforcement professionals, and the need to support students who are pursuing degrees relevant to the field. Now in its seventh year, previous winners include students at George Washington University, Ohio University, Columbia University and University of Georgia.

The scholarship honors Hoover for his 48 years of leadership as head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, where he is credited with transforming the Bureau into one of the world’s premier law enforcement agencies, employing the most advanced scientific techniques.

Bukys is considered among the top current students in Cleveland State’s doctoral chemistry program, a joint program with the Cleveland Clinic Foundation with over 50 students. He is pursuing a Ph.D. with a specialization in molecular medicine.

His advanced research on blood coagulation and thrombosis may result in the synthesis of potential molecules that could be used for advancing the treatment of heart disease and stroke. This work may have benefits for forensic science as well.

Bukys’ research is unique in that it deals with a very large protein (factor V) that is quite fragile. In addition, the genetic material corresponding to this protein is also difficult to manipulate. In spite of these difficulties, he identified a small molecule that has the potential to be a powerful anticoagulant, and successfully created a stable cell line that is expressing full length recombinant factor V, something that no other lab in the world has succeeded in doing.

“Mike has my highest recommendation for the Hoover scholarship,” said Michael Kalafatis, Ph.D., an internationally known researcher and chemistry professor in whose laboratory Bukys works. “He is creative and has a high degree of integrity. He has an impressive ability to identify the important problems and always tries to assist others. I rank him in the top one percent of students.”

Bukys has three first-author manuscripts already published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry and is second author on three manuscripts that will be submitted soon. In 2005, he received a two-year fellowship from Cleveland State and the Cleveland Clinic. This summer, he will present at the meeting of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis in Switzerland. As an undergraduate student at Cleveland State, he maintained a GPA of 3.87 with a double major in biology and chemistry, both very difficult and demanding programs.

Cleveland State’s College of Science is the second largest of the University’s seven colleges with more than 2,000 students and nearly 100 full-time faculty. The College is comprised of six departments: Biological, Geological, and Environmental Sciences, Chemistry, Health Sciences, Mathematics, Physics and Psychology. The College has a wide variety of academic programs, including Ph.D. programs in Regulatory Biology and in Clinical Bioanalytical Chemistry, which are in collaboration with the Lerner Research Institute at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. The College has 14 master’s programs and 16 undergraduate programs focused on educating future researchers in both basic and applied science and health, clinicians in an array of health and social service professions, and teachers in mathematics and science.

For more information, please contact Cleveland State’s Department of Marketing and Public Affairs at (216) 687-2290.

Club helps drill paths for future dentists - Posted on March 06,2007

The buzz of a drill. The trickle of water. Metal hooks scraping against teeth.

To many, the dentist brings about thoughts of pain and torture. But for some, becoming a dentist is their goal in life.

While Cleveland State does not have an actual dentistry program, the university offers a general chemistry track for future dentists.

The track, specifically titled Bachelor of Science in Chemistry for Pre-Medical/Pre-Dental/Pre-Veterinarian, allows a student to gain a pre-dentistry degree. After graduating from CSU, the students then look for dental schools in which to further their degree.

This is where the Pre-Dental Society comes in to help.

The Pre-Dental Society was founded in the fall of 2005. At the time, a couple students wanted to create an arena for students in the pre-dentistry program to talk, network, and aid each other in successfully preparing for dental school.

Within two weeks, membership increased to over 25 students. The club meets twice a month and also participates in various activities. Past activities have included workshops to aid in dental school preparation and hosting speakers. The club also works closely with the Case Western School of Dental Medicine.

The club’s faculty supervisor, Dr. Alan Riga, is a professor in the CSU chemistry department. For Riga, it is all about the students. He works with students in both the pre-dentistry and pre-medical programs. One of his major concerns is helping students be ready for interviews with dental schools.

Students interested in the Pre-Dental Society can get more information from their Web site at .

(Written by by Jon Huff and published by the Cleveland Stater on February 26, 2007)

Dr. Sun Honored - Posted on February 27,2007

Congratulations to Dr. Xue-Long Sun, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, whose article "Carbohydrate and Protein Immobilization onto Solid Surfaces by Sequential Diels-Aldre and Azide-Alkyne Cycloadditions" was recently listed as one of the most-cited articles of 2006, according to Bioconjugate Chemistry, a publication of the American Chemical Society.

In addition, Dr. Sun has also been selected as a Peer Review Committee Member of the Bioengineering and Biotechnology Study Group-3 of the American Heart Association.

Combating Deadly Blood Clots: Using Chemistry to Save Lives - Posted on December 12,2006

Blood clots are the culprit behind many medical problems. According to the World Health Organization, in 2001, there were 20.5 million strokes worldwide, of which 5.5 million were fatal. In the U.S., heart disease and stroke are the first and third leading causes of death (cancer is #2), and both are related to the formation of a blood clot - in the coronary artery, the brain, or a vein. Each year, about 700,000 people suffer a stroke in the United States.

At Cleveland State University, a research team led by Dr. Michael Kalafatis of the Chemistry Department is working hard to make a dent in those statistics. As explained by Dr. Kalafatis, "Unnecessary blood clots, or thrombosis, is the number one killer in the world; this is also why some people die after surgery. In many cases, there is no warning of a blood clot until it is too late - often, the first symptom of a blood clot is death."

Dr. Kalafatis' research focuses on the molecular level to address blood clots. Through funding from the National Institutes of Health, he is working to discover and develop a more effective blood thinner, or anti-coagulant, with fewer adverse side effects for people at risk of developing potentially deadly blood clots. His research team has found a "small molecule" that has the potential to act as a blood thinner (see Figure 1). He focuses on the blood coagulation protein cofactor "Factor Va," studying how two proteins interact with each other during coagulation and the role they play during blood clotting and thrombin formation. He is also searching for a site on the Factor Va molecule that will enable a synthetic molecule to squeeze between the two proteins and prevent, or inhibit their interaction and thus prevent the clotting. This molecule, which is part of a protein, may be used as an anticoagulant once it is synthesized, but would be milder and more targeted than drugs such as Coumadin or Warfarin. The ultimate goal is to create a drug that will target the two proteins, stop the interaction, and prevent the unnecessary clotting.

Currently, Dr. Kalafatis is ready to move his work to the next stage along the drug-development pipeline-animal studies. Once through this stage of work (to be funded by the National Institutes of Health), the next steps are clinical trials and FDA approval. At that point, commercialization of this new drug can begin to occur. While the steps in the process are time-consuming, being able to move down this pipeline with such advancements is in itself a very important feat.

Reducing blood clots and premature death-a personal goal that has been made possible through research at Cleveland State University, yet another example of a public university using research to improve lives.