RajcaLab: A Look Back at 2007 and Happy New Year 2008!

A Look Back at 2007:
It has been a heck of a year! I term of accomplishment, it was a reasonably good year for us with 7 publications (JPCC, JOC Note, JACS Communication, JACS Article, Tetrahedron Symposium-in-Print, SynLett Account and a Book Chapter). We also have a JPC manuscript accepted. We were happy (or better to say that we were relieved!) that our NSF grant was renewed and THANKS for the continued support since 1989. This was very rewarding. At the other end, our NIH proposals on the development of high-spin radicals as contrast agents for biomedical imaging did not received high enough scores. The proposal went through 3 submissions as RO1 project and a modified version was resubmitted as R21. It was frustrating, as we learned that novel ideas, good records and etc. were not good enough. Ah ha, the Correspondence to Cells, American Idol and NIH Grant Review, by Michele Pagano was quite interesting to read.

Other good news includes the following awards: the 2007-2008 UCARE awards to undergraduate students: Bridget Foley, Nick Lehmann and Joshua Lovell; the Chemistry Department Graduate Research Assistant Award to Kausik Das; Andrzej Rajca received the Certificate of Recognition for Contributions to Students from the University of Nebraska Teaching and Learning Center and University of Nebraska Parents Association, and was named Professor of the Month (September 2007) by the UNL Mortar Board (The Black Masque Chapter). Congratulations to all!

There was a big change in the lab, with Gaëlle Spagnoll, Makoto Miyasaka and Kausik Das moved on to their new horizons and with a warm welcome new members, Ch. V. Rajasekar, Sulagna Brahma Roy, Sandip Kumar Roy, Shuzhang Xiao, Arnon Olankitwanit and Santanu Sarkar, who brought us a fresh perspective and a brand new attitude.

A Look Ahead:
Good news, we will have a great start in 2008 with the Featured Article in the first issue of JOC. In term of publications, we expect to have quite a few. An article was already accepted for publication in the JPC and we are working on the following manuscripts: an invited article to the Journal of Sulfur Chemistry (January submission), 2 articles on high-spin nitroxides (almost done) and 2 articles on carbon-sulfur helicences. This new year, we wish to have good news from the NIH; our RO1 (A new class of spin labels) and R21 (High-Spin Nitroxide Diradicals for Biomedical Imaging) will be reviewed in February.

In term of research, we expect to make good progress. Shuzhang Xiao has been hard at work and doing really well. We are just a couple steps from obtaining a [15]helicene; we also have in our hands a new [7]helicene and its analogous partial circulene.

There will be another big change in the lab, with Ch. V. Rajasekar to complete his postdoc at the end of January. Due to medical emergency, Sulagna Brahma Roy and Sandip Kumar Roy will return to India to take care of their family. We wish them the best. Once again, we look forward to welcome new members–postdoctorals and students–if you are interest in working with us, just email me (srajca1 at unl dot edu).

Best Wishes for a Very Happy New Year 2008 to All.

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