Physics Alum named Associate Vice President for Innovation and Commercialization
January 19, 2023
Dr. Kevin Leslie, whose work involves optics and nanotechnology applied to interrogating biological systems, has been selected to serve as ODU's first Associate Vice President for Innovation and Commercialization, charged with transforming ODU’s technology transfer operation to better identify, develop and market faculty, staff and student intellectual property and startups. Here is the link to the news story.
Paper by VCU Physicists named Cover Article.
September 1, 2022
Physics Researchers, Shiv Khanna and Turbasu Sengupta, from Virginia Commonwealth University have investigated the possibililty of using Metal-Chalcogenide clusters to convert CO2 into CO and O. This is the critical step in carbon capture, a technology that may help mitigate climate change. In their paper, they find that certain bimetallic metal-chalocgenide clusters, cluster of r transition metal atoms and Selenium atoms may cleave the energetic C=O bond. This discovery could offer a new strategy for carbon capture.
Their paper, Rational Design of Bimetallic Metal Chalcogenide Clusters for CO2 Dissociation, was selected as a cover article.
From theory to practice: New stable, magnetic superatom could power innovations in nanomaterials
May 23, 2022
Researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University, Columbia University and Harvard University have taken a superatomic principle, long explored by VCU researchers, from theory to practice by designing a stable, magnetic superatom — a discovery that could change how magnetic materials are made at the smallest level.
Superatoms are clusters of atoms that can act like elements on the periodic table, but with specific properties that are difficult to replicate using elements found in nature.
The structure of the superatom these researchers have developed can serve as a building block in the creation of new nanomaterials for data storage, cellphones, motors and sensors, said Shiv Khanna, Ph.D., Commonwealth Professor and chair of the Department of Physics in the VCU College of Humanities and Sciences. Khanna and his coauthors published their findings earlier this spring in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
Physics Major, Adrian Vagberg, wins A-10 Championship in Golf
May 16, 2022
VCU Physics Major Adiran Vagberg won the A-10 championship in golf at the Reunion Resort and Golf Club in Orlando on Sunday, May 1.
For more information read the story from the Richmond Times Dispatch.
Congratulations to the phenomenal student on this rare and impressive achievment!
Physics Alum is First Director of Hampton Roads Biomedical Consortium
January 5, 2022
Dr. Kevin Leslie is the Executive Director of the Hampton Roads Biomedical Research Consortium (HRBRC), a partnership between ODU, EVMS, NSU, and Sentara Healthcare that aims to reduce health disparities and build a strong biohealth vertical in the region. Prior to his role at the HRBRC, he was the Associate Director of VCU Ventures and provided scientific leadership for Richmond’s Health Innovation Consortium (HIC), a national private-public platform for supporting novel healthcare technologies. In addition, Kevin led strategy and oversight at a university spinout developing novel molecular diagnostic techniques with applications in cancer medicine and the detection of genetic disorders. He earned his Ph.D. from Virginia Commonwealth University and his B.S. and M.S. from the College of William & Mary.
According to Dr. Leslie, "The six years I spent in VCU’s Physics Department were transformational for both my education and career. I conducted research with a team of international collaborators at the intersection of biophysics, engineering, and medicine. This work then led to my participation in commercialization efforts around the technology we developed, enabling me to build programs for scientists and physicians at VCU and beyond. None of this would not have been possible without the support of Dr. Jason Reed and his team."
Perspective on Metal-Chalcogenide Clusters has been named an Editor's choice in the Journal of Chemical Physics.
September 28, 2021
A paper by VCU physicists has been named an Editor's choice by the Journal of Chemical Physics. The paper on Metal-Chalcogenide clusters is entitled "The superatomic state beyond conventional magic numbers: Ligated metal chalcogenide superatoms". It was written by Department Chair Shiv Khanna, Professor Arthur Reber, a postdoc, Dr. Turbasu Sengupta, and graduate students Dinesh Bista and Ryan Lamber. The paper details how the superatom concept, that certain cluster may have a well-defined valence that allows for the properties of the cluster to be organized in something like a third dimension of the periodic table.
Study by VCU Physicists shows zinc’s oxidation state can be made +3.
August 16, 2021
A new paper by VCU researcher Puru Jena "shows that fundamental chemical properties of an atom can be changed? and could lead to the synthesis of new materials with applications to many industries.
Physics postdoc Sean Koebley receives VCU Science Communication Award
May 6, 2021
The 2021 VCU Science Communication Award was awarded to Sean Koebley, Ph.D., for his presentation: “Goodbye, P-value: Practical Bayesian Statistics To Replace Frequentist Statistics.” Koebley is a postdoctoral fellow in the Physics Department at VCU where he works with Jason Reed, Ph.D., studying novel methods for detecting genetic mutations using biophysics.
The physics of baseball, and other ‘minimester’ classes to check out
February 3, 2021
What makes a curveball curve? How much power is generated when a batter hits a home run? Pat Woodworth, an assistant professor in the Department of Physics, will lead students on an exploration of these questions and more in “The Physics of Baseball,” a study of topics in introductory physics as applied to America’s national pastime. The department of Physics is offering a 5-week course on the physics of baseball.
VCU technology could upend DNA sequencing for diagnosing certain DNA mutations
January 27, 2021
Doctors are increasingly using genetic signatures to diagnose diseases and determine the best course of care, but using DNA sequencing and other techniques to detect genomic rearrangements remains costly or limited in capabilities. However, an innovative breakthrough developed by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Department of Physics promises to diagnose DNA rearrangement mutations at a fraction of the cost with improved accuracy.
Nobel Laureate Prof. William D. Phillips is giving a Seminar at the VCU Department of Physics on March 19.
January 15, 2021
Professor William D. Phillips, from the Joint Institute at NIST and the University of Maryland is giving a colloquium at the VCU Physics Department on March 19. He was a 1997 Nobel Laureate in Physics, and his talk is entitled "A New Measure: Revolutionary Quantum Reform of the Metric Sytstem."
VCU physics major awarded prestigious Schwarzman Scholars fellowship
December 7, 2020
Raven Witherspoon is the first VCU student to be named a Schwarzman scholar, and will travel to China to complete a master's degree in global affairs next summer.
VCU Physics Department Welcome
August 21, 2020
Welcome to a new Semester at the VCU Physics Department.
VCU physics professor receives NSF grant to develop new process for early cancer detection
June 10, 2020
A new type of sensor for cancer markers could mean improved chances of survival for patients.
Physicist prints 3D models of cancer cells to mimic tumor growth and provide insight for novel therapeutics
April 24, 2020
Congratulations to the Fall 2019 Physics Graduates.
December 16, 2019
This fall, the department of Physics has graduated a Ph.D. student in the Nanoscience and Nanotechnology program, a master of science student in physics, and 10 students with their Bachelor of Science in Physics.
ISCAN Conference Hosted by VCU
October 30, 2019
The International Symposium on Clusters and Nanomaterials will be hosted by Virginia Commonwealth University, chaired by Puru Jena. The conference will be held November 3-7. This interdisciplinary symposium, a continuation of the Richmond Conference series,
will focus on the unique properties of materials at the nanoscale with emphasis on energy and medicine. In addition to invited talks and poster sessions, the symposium will feature “hot-topics” to be selected from contributed abstracts for oral presentation.
New Funding and Projects
October 3, 2019
Congratulations to Dr. Puru Jena on his three year grant from DOE/EERE on First-Principles Modeling of Cluster Based Solid Electrolytes.
Congratulations to Dr. Jason Reed for his 1-year grant from the Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund for A nanotechnology approach for streamlining detection of prognostic translocations in multiple myeloma. He also received a 1-year grant from the VCU School of Medicine for Single-cell RNA sequencing for selection of therapeutic targets for triple negative breast cancers.
Congratulations to Dr. Loren Picco, for his Jeffress Foundation award Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) Feedback Control Principles to Bypass Acquired Chemotherapy Resistance in Breast Cancer, in which he also will colloborate with Dr. Reed.
Congratulations to Dr. Khanna (co-PI) and Dr. El-Shall (PI) on their three year grant from the National Science Foundation on Heterogeneous Catalysis for Carbon-Carbon Bond Forming reactions using clusters supported on Graphene-based materials.
Congratulations to Dr. Reber (co-PI), Dr. Frank Gupton (co-PI), and Dr. John Monnier (PI), on their funding from the National Science foundation through the CERCAS center on catalysis. The project is on Silver catalysts for direct formation of propylene oxide.
Welcoming New Faculty Members, and Honoring Promotions
July 30, 2019
The VCU department of Physics would like to welcome two new assistant professors, Prof. Richard "Inho" Joh, and Prof. Daeha Joung. We would also like to congratulate Prof. Carissa Capuano, and Prof. Patrick Woodworth for their promotion to Assistant Professor.
A simple, fast and less-costly approach to diagnosing blood cancers?
June 7, 2019
A physics professor and Massey Cancer Center researchers are studying the viability of ‘DNA barcoding’ under a grant from the Commonwealth Health Research Board.
Congratulations to the Spring 2019 Physics Graduates!
May 11, 2019
Congratulations to the Class of 2019 Spring Physics Graduates.
2D Wonder Material
April 10, 2019
Since the isolation of 2-dimensional phosphorene — the phosphorus equivalent of graphene — in 2014, more than 100 theoretical studies have predicted that new and exciting properties could emerge by producing narrow “ribbons” of the material.
Now, those ribbons have been made and measured for the first time, and they could revolutionize electronics and fast-charging battery technology.
In a new study published in Nature, researchers from University College London, the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, Virginia Commonwealth University and Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Lausanne, Switzerland, describe how they formed quantities of high-quality ribbons of phosphorene from crystals of black phosphorous and lithium ions.
VCU invention improves solar cell light harvesting
April 8, 2019
Researchers believe the patent-pending technology could dramatically reduce solar energy material costs.
Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University have developed a new material they believe could deliver solar energy at a lower cost. The innovation harvests sunlight using a more affordable material that could address a long-standing barrier to solar power’s viability as a cost-efficient energy source.
Prof. Bertino wins Distinguished Scholar Award
April 4, 2019
Prof. Bertino of the Physics Department has won the VCU College of Humanities and Sciences Distinguished Scholar Award.
New research could dramatically decrease the cost of producing pharmaceuticals
February 28, 2019
Researchers in the Virginia Commonwealth University College of Engineering and departments of Physics and Chemistry have discovered ways to accelerate chemical reactions that could dramatically decrease the costs of producing pharmaceuticals.
With nanopore sensing, VCU physics researchers detect subtle changes in single particles, in real time
February 26, 2019
The researchers’ findings ‘open the door to observe all kinds of interesting phenomenon on nanosurfaces,’ an area of great interest to chemists.
Researchers in Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Physics have discovered that a technique known as nanopore sensing can be used to detect subtle changes in clusters, or extremely small chunks of matter that are bigger than a molecule but smaller than a solid.
How Lasers Might Help Solve Sex Crimes
February 5, 2019
Forensic science and physics researchers at VCU are studying how “optical tweezers” could address one of crime labs’ biggest challenges.
Physics Department Open House
January 7, 2019
The Physics Department Winter Open House was on December 15. Over forty prospective students and parents visited the physics department and learned about the exciting opportunities that our department has to offer. This included finding out about all the great biomedical and nanotechnology research going on in our department. They toured VCU's world class nanocharacterization and high performance computing centers, and had a pizza lunch with our current and former students!
Congratulations to the Fall 2018 Physics Graduates
December 9, 2018
Congratulations to the Class of 2018 Physics Graduates. Pictured are Professor Khanna, Corrinne Callison, Professor Bishop, and Nabeel Zahid. Two Master of Science students graduated, and 13 Bachelor of Science students graduated this Fall.
Physics Department named a Champion of Accessibility
October 16, 2018
VCU’s Transforming Accessibility Initiative hosted their inaugural event, “Entrepreneurship, ‘Way-Finding’ and the Value of Difference” on October 8. As part of the event, the university’s first-ever Champions of Accessibility awards were given to recognize faculty, staff, students and VCU departments who have made a significant contribution in the areas of accessibility or general disability support. The Department of Physics received a Digital Access Award for a medium unit.
Dr. Reed named Eminent Scholar
October 5, 2018
The VCU college of Humanities and Sciences has named Dr. Jason Reed of the Department of Physics to the first cohort of Eminent scholars. This award was created to recognize outstanding mid-career scholars at VCU. Dr. Reed's research uses physics principles to develop techniques to the provide information leading to novel ways of treating some of the deadliest cancers.
Template to create superatoms, created by VCU researchers improve the power and efficiency of batteries and semiconductors
June 21, 2018
Virginia Commonwealth University researchers have discovered a novel strategy for creating superatoms — combinations of atoms that can mimic the properties of more than one group of elements of the periodic table. These superatoms could be used to create new materials, including more efficient batteries and better semiconductors; a core component of microchips, transistors and most computerized devices.
Physics Grad Wins Young Investigator Award
May 22, 2018
Anita Olsen, who recently earned her Ph.D. in physics, received the 2018 Young Investigator Award from the International Society of Laboratory Hematology (ISLH).
Dr. Bertino has been appointed the Director of the Nanomaterials Core Characterization Facility
February 7, 2018
Congratulations to Prof. Massimo Bertino on his appointment as Director of the Nanomaterials Core Characterization Facility
Dr. Hong Fang has received a Travel Grant to attend the APS March Meeting
February 6, 2018
Congratulations to Dr. Hong Fang (postdoctoral associate with Prof. Jena) for receiving a Travel Grant to attend the APS March Meeting.
Dr. Khanna and Dr. Reber write article for Nature Chemistry
November 23, 2017
Dr. Khanna and Dr. Reber have written a News and Views article for Nature Chemistry about the role of Superatoms in developing new materials. The work highlights recent developments in superatomic materials, in which nanoscale clusters serve as the building blocks of the material, rather than atoms.
A team led by Dr. Reed has developed a revolutionary imaging technique to map DNA mutations
November 21, 2017
The team led by VCU physicist Jason Reed, Ph.D., has developed new nanomapping technology that could transform the way disease-causing genetic mutations are diagnosed and discovered.
Physics Faculty visit the MathScience Innovation Center to teach Nanoscience
June 27, 2017
Several Physics faculty members have visited the MathScience Innovation Center to teach Nanoscience. Faculty members presented demonstrations and talked about the unique behaviors observed in nanoscale materials.
Shiv Khanna to Become Chair of Physics
November 3, 2016
Beginning January 1, 2017, Commonwealth Professor Shiv Khanna will assume the role of Chair of the Department of Physics.