Changing the Way Science Is Taught


A new YouTube video highlights Emory’s ORDER program (“On Recent Discoveries by Emory Researchers”), which bridges the gap between graduate and undergraduate education by having graduate students and postdoctoral fellows teach about their research to undergraduate freshmen and seniors.

The semester-long ORDER courses are co-taught by teams of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows called teacher-scholars. Each teacher-scholar teaches a course module that focuses on some aspect of his or her research. They explain the origins of their discoveries and the different elements that build the research process within their respective disciplines. The freshman course is taught during the fall semester, and the senior course is taught during the spring semester.

An important objective of ORDER is to change the way science is taught to undergraduates, moving it away from the traditional lecture-based curriculum to a more research-oriented curriculum that actively involves students in posing questions and seeking solutions.



Dennis Liotta Named to National Academy of Inventors

LiottaDennis Liotta, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Chemistry and executive director of the Emory Institute for Drug Development, has been named to the 2013 class of National Academy of Inventors Fellows along with 143 innovators from 94 prestigious research universities, governmental agencies, and non-profit research institutions. Election to NAI Fellow status is an honor given to academic inventors who have created or helped to create or facilitate inventions that have had a positive impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society.

Liotta, who has been at Emory since 1976, developed an HIV antiviral drug for the treatment of HIV called Emtriva, now used by more than 90 percent of HIV/AIDS patients in the United States. His collaborators in the project were postdoctoral researcher Woo-Baeg Choi and Emory virologist Raymond Schinazi (who was named a charter NAI Fellow in 2012). Liotta has also had a hand in developing therapies for cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and hepatitis B in his lab at Emory. In addition to serving as the executive director of the Emory Institute for Drug Development, Liotta also serves as the co-director of the Republic of South Africa Drug Discovery Training Program and acts as editor-in-chief of ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters. He was also recently inducted into the Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame. While at Emory, Liotta has received the Emory Williams Distinguished Teaching Award, the Emory University Distinguished Faculty Lecturer Award, and the Thomas Jefferson Award, among many others.

See full story at Emory News Center

Related Media

The Drug Discovery Process: Dennis Liotta on Emtriva (YouTube)


Out-of-the-classroom Experiences This Spring

In an Emory News Center feature on innovative classes this semester, the work of several College faculty is highlighted, including those below.


Black Odyssey, Black Migration

Instructors: Dwight Andrews, associate professor of music theory and Mark Sanders, professor of African American studies and English and chair of African American Studies

Cool factor: Ties in with Michael C. Carlos Museum exhibit of Romare Bearden’s collages and watercolors based on Homer’s epic poem “The Odyssey.” Also ties in with the related exhibit, “Southern Connections: Bearden in Atlanta” that features materials from Emory’s Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL).

Course description: Examines artistic interpretations of African American identity through music, literature, film and the visual arts, notably including the campus exhibit of Romare Bearden’s Odysseus series and the related exhibit about the artist’s regional connections that draw on resources from Emory’s special collections. A meditation on the Western epic tradition and African American mobility, the series invites a broader examination of African American culture and issues of migration, escape, home and belonging.

Department: African American Studies; cross-listed in Music

Coastal Biology with Lab

Instructor: Leslie A. Real, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Biology

Cool factor: Field trip to study preserved areas of the Georgia coast.

Course description: Introduces students to coastal Georgia’s major ecosystems and to plant and animal communities through an intensive field experience on St. Simon’s, Cumberland, Blackbeard, Sapelo and Jekyll islands. Includes excursions in small boats to Blackbeard Island and on the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ research trawler, “Anna,” to study organisms in the sound surrounding the islands.

Department: Biology

Freshman Seminar: Vaccines and Society

Instructor: Elena Conis, assistant professor of history

Cool factor: First-year students study vaccines on the campus of a leading research university and in proximity to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Course description: Explores the history of vaccination against infectious diseases such as smallpox, polio and measles as well as the opposition among some groups to vaccines. Uses these case examples to think critically about the state’s interest in protecting public health and about the nature of medical controversies.

Department: History; cross-listed with Human Health Program

Risk & Resilience in Shaping Identity

Instructors: David Lynn, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Chemistry and Biology, and chair of chemistry department and Leslie Taylor, professor of theater studies and director of the Center for Creativity and Arts.

Also, graduate students Julia Haas, philosophy; Brian Dias, behavioral neuroscience and psychiatric disorders; Carolina Campanella, psychology; Constance Harrell, neuroscience; Ashley Coleman, religion; Daniel Pierce and Jillian E. Smith, chemistry.

Cool factor: Interdisciplinary capstone course, combining aspects of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, that helps seniors capture their liberal arts experience in a research university and allows them to present their lessons through novel artistic expressions.

Course description: Helps students ask, “What has made me a stronger, smarter and more resilient student at Emory University and what strengths have allowed me to successfully navigate college?” Provides them with an opportunity to develop a research idea for possible funding while being mentored on grant proposal writing and research design.

Department: Senior Seminar

Read full article

Craig Hill (Chemistry) Elected to European Academy

Craig L. Hill, Goodrich C. White Professor of Chemistry at Emory University, has been elected to the Academia Europaea (EA), the Academy of Europe.

The EA is a European non-governmental association of scholars from the physical sciences and technology, biological sciences and medicine, mathematics, the letters and humanities, social and cognitive sciences, economics and law, who are recognized as global leaders in their field. The 3,000 scholars in its ranks, from 35 European countries and eight non-European countries, include 38 Nobel Prize winners.

Hill will be formally inducted into the EA during its annual conference in Barcelona, Spain, in July 2014. He is the first Emory faculty member to join the EA, and one of only seven Americans elected to the chemical sciences section of the association during its 25-year history.

Hill joined Emory in 1983 and is a pioneer of green chemistry and molecular cluster science.

Read more

photo courtesy of Craig Hill

The Drug Discovery Process: Dennis Liotta on Emtriva

In this new Youtube video, Dennis Liotta, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor, talks to undergraduates about  his discovery (along with Drs. Raymond F. Schinazi and Woo-Baeg Choi, also of Emory) of Emtricitabine, a breakthrough HIV drug that was sold to Royalty Pharma and Gilead Sciences in July 2005 for $525 million and is marketed under the name Emtriva (October 22, 2013). Currently Emtriva is part of drugs used by 94% of HIV-positive patients in the U.S.

Dr. Liotta’s fields of research are organic synthesis and medicinal chemistry. His groundbreaking discovery also highlights how the process of theory, scholarship and practice in Emory College strengthens work in the nearby disciplines of the health sciences.

Emory’s Center for the Study of Human Health brings together the resources of a major research university to advance knowledge and undergraduate education in the area of human health.

Human Health Youtube Playlist

Joe Bowman (Chemistry) Receives Top Honors

Joel Bowman, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at Emory University, received the Herschbach Prize for Theory, presented this summer at the Dynamics of Molecular Collisions 2013 Conference. The prize is named for Nobel Prize winning chemist Dudley Herschbach, who describes the award’s criteria as “bold and architectural work” that “addresses fundamental, challenging, frontier questions … and typically excites evangelical fervor that recruits many followers.”

Bowman also was recently elected to the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Sciences, and is lauded in the August 15 issue of the Journal of Physical Chemistry, the leading journal in its field. This special “Festschrift Issue” includes a tribute article to Bowman.

Bowman is considered “one of the founding fathers of theoretical reaction dynamics,” the tribute authors write. More recently, they add, he has made exceptional contributions to modeling potential energy surfaces, or PESs: “Without the PESs emerging from Joel’s group, many theorists would be unable to apply powerful methods of modern quantum dynamics to some of the most challenging problems of great current interest.” One of the many applications of Bowman’s work in PESs includes weather forecasting and cloud formation.

Full story at eScienceCommons


Chemistry Gets a Makeover


A $52 million expansion and renovation of the Stanford S. Atwood Chemistry Center will begin in May 2013, with completion expected in early 2015. About 40,000 square feet of existing space in Atwood will be renovated, and 70,000 square feet of new space will be added to the existing 200,000 square-foot chemistry complex of Atwood and Cherry L Emerson Hall.

“Chemistry is foundational to solving many of the most critical problems facing society, but these problems need to be viewed from differing vantage points,” says David Lynn, the chair of chemistry. “The expansion and renovation of Atwood is designed to capture new and creative ideas, while strengthening our connections to the rest of the University.”

Read full story in eScienceCommons

Huw Davies Named AAAS Fellow

Huw M.L. Davies, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Organic Chemistry, has been selected as a 2012 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), an honor AAAS members bestow upon their peers. AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science.

Davies was cited “for distinguished contributions to the field of organic synthesis, particularly for developing new strategies for C-H functionalization.” His research group focuses on streamlined synthesis methods for drug discovery and has garnered 10 patents.

Davies is also director of the Center for Selective C-H Functionalization, a National Science Foundation Center of Excellence, which brings together scientists from leading research universities across the country working to revolutionize the field of organic synthesis. C-H functionalization is expected to have a huge impact on the development of new drugs and other fine-chemical products by breaking new ground for organic synthesis, and making it faster, simpler and greener.

See news release (Dec. 12, 2012)

Related Media

On the NSF Center for Chemical Innovation (2011)

On developing cost-effective medications (2010)

On starting his new lab at Emory (2009)

Creativity Conversation with Craig Hill (Chemistry)


What is the relationship between imagination and discovery? Craig Hill, Goodrich C. White Professor of Chemistry, and Rosemary Magee, Vice President and Secretary of Emory University, will posit this and other questions concerning the interaction of science and creativity as they discuss Hill’s recent work on a carbon-free molecular water oxidation catalyst (WOC), a crucial component for generating clean hydrogen fuel using only water and sunlight.

WHEN: Tuesday, September 27, 2011, 5:30pm

WHERE: Oxford Road Building, Presentation Room

More details

Liotta receives Emory’s highest award

Dennis Liotta
, professor of organic chemistry, received the 2011 Thomas Jefferson Award, the University’s top recognition for significant service to the institution through personal activities, influence and leadership.

In collaboration with postdoctoral researcher Woo-Baeg Choi and Emory virologist Raymond Schinazi, Liotta developed Emtriva, a breakthrough antiviral drug for the treatment of HIV, now used by more than 90 percent of HIV/AIDS patients in the United States, and by thousands more around the globe. Other medicinal inventions generated by Liotta’s lab over the years include therapies for everything from cancer and rheumatoid arthritis to hepatitis B.

See full Emory Report article (May 5, 2011)