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UNF unveils new chemistry wing and support from Johnson & Johnson Vision

Chemistry ribbon cutting The UNF Department of Chemistry recently unveiled a grand addition and renovation project to improve teaching and research spaces and officially announced the partnership with Johnson & Johnson Vision in the investment of new equipment and support for undergraduate chemistry and biochemistry students.

The event featured remarks from Xiao-Yu Song, MD and Ph.D., Global Head, Research and Development, Johnson & Johnson Vision’, and Kaveri Subrahmanyam, Ph.D., dean of the UNF College of Arts and Sciences. Student research demonstrations using the new Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrometer supported by Johnson & Johnson Vision also took place.

Chemistry student and professor The new additions and renovations include approximately 20,000 square feet of space providing six new research labs, three new teaching labs, a computer lab, a classroom, student study areas, a locker room and more. In addition, Johnson & Johnson Vision has partnered in the investment of a new Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrometer and additional support for the undergraduate chemistry and biochemistry summer research program.

UNF chemistry students and faculty mentors are conducting breakthrough research utilizing the new facilities as part of the Johnson & Johnson Vision Summer Undergraduate Research Program. These research projects include

  • Students Elise Ballash and Zachary Burkhead are working with Dr. Amy Lane to understand the biosynthetic pathway of natural products in bacteria for the development of anti-cancer drugs.
  • Student Jordan Tucker is working with Dr. Bryan Knuckley to study Protein Arginine Methyltransferase Inhibitors as anti-cancer drugs.
  • Students Natacha Tirado, Seth Shearer, Brandon Guerin, and Caroline Teeter are working with Dr. Szymon Ciesielski to study the role of molecular chaperone proteins called Hsp70/JDP systems in human health and diseases including cancer and mitochondrial disorders.
  • Student Amanda Jessel is working with Dr. Michael Lufaso to synthesize and characterize mixed-metal oxides as potential electronic materials and catalysts to degrade environmental pollutants.
  • Students Isabella Cioffi and Brooklyn Dailey are working with Dr. Hannah R. Malcolm on the characterization of mechanosensitive (MS) ion channels in novel bacterial strains.

The chemistry department is looking for additional corporate partners to complete the remaining spaces including an organic chemistry teaching laboratory. For more information, contact Anne-Marie Campbell, UNF development director, at