Madura awarded for chemistry work

Courtesy Photo. Jeffrey Madura won an ACS award.
Courtesy Photo. Jeffrey Madura won an ACS award.
Courtesy Photo. Jeffrey Madura won an ACS award.

By Brittney Jackson | The Duquesne Duke

The Pittsburgh Section of the American Chemical Society awarded Duquesne professor Jeffrey Madura its 2014 Pittsburgh Award, which recognizes outstanding leadership in chemical affairs.

Madura, the Lambert F. Minucci Endowed Chair in Engineering and Computational Sciences and a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, works with elements of computational chemistry and how to apply it to biological and chemical systems.

The award, established in 1932, “symbolizes the honor and appreciation accorded to those who have rendered distinguished service to the field of chemistry,” according to the American Chemical Society.

Madura works with students and teachers at Shaler High School as part of the program ACS Science Coaches. Nationally, Madura served as chair of the ACS Computers in Chemistry program.

Graduate student Riley Workman said Madura takes “any opportunity to integrate himself into the chemical community.”

“I think he’s a great person to work for because he really supports all of his students,” graduate student Emily Benner said. “He encourages us to get more involved with the scientific community like himself.”

Madura said he is interested in neurotransmitter transporters, specifically serotonin, in the development of new compounds to treat depression. He is also investigating polyglutamine aggregation, which can trigger the onset of mental diseases such as Huntington’s disease.

Madura, who has received more than $6 million in funding and published more than 100 journal articles, said he is most passionate about trying to understand chemical behavior at a fundamental level through the use of computers.