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Steve McGregor, UTD, (972) 883-2293, [email protected]

Two UTD Researchers Win Grants Worth $300,000

Welch Foundation Supports Basic Chemistry Research in Texas

Dr. Dean Sherry
Dr. Dean Sherry

Dr. Inga Musselman
Dr. Inga Musselman

         RICHARDSON, Texas (May 3, 2002) - Two researchers at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) received grants totaling $300,000 from the Houston-based Welch Foundation, which annually funds basic chemistry research in Texas.

        The two scientists - both from UTD's Department of Chemistry - each received three-year grants of $150,000. The grant recipients and the titles of their respective research are:

  •    Dr. A. Dean Sherry, professor of chemistry, "Lanthanide DOTA-tetraamide Complexes as Biological Sensors."
  •    Dr. Inga Holl Musselman, associate professor of chemistry, "Chemical Contrast in STM Images of Materials for Molecular Scale Sensors and Device Structures."

        The grants are part of $19.3 million in funding provided by the foundation this year to 126 scientists at 20 Texas institutions.

        The objective of Sherry's research is to develop a novel class of new molecular imaging agents that provide specific biological or clinical data by magnetic resonance imaging. Sherry and his researchers recently discovered a class of molecular chelates that can be "switched" on and off by using a pulse of radiofrequency energy, which may prove useful in diagnosing human diseases.

        Musselman's research group at UTD is investigating contrast mechanisms and chemical specificity in images of molecular adsorbates, or molecules that bind to a surface of a solid object. The research involves the use of scanning tunneling microscopy, a technique using a powerful microscope which allows three-dimensional investigation of surfaces down to the atomic scale. This project will involve, in part, surface imaging of carbon nanotubes, which can be used in the construction of molecular scale sensors and other devices.

        The Welch Foundation was established in 1954 by the estate of Robert A. Welch, an oil and minerals entrepreneur. In addition to individual research grants, the organization underwrites 40 academic chairs in chemistry, including one at UTD filled by Dr. Ray H. Baughman, director of the UTD NanoTech Institute. The foundation also sponsors a wide array of conferences, lectures and scholarly programs to further chemistry education and research at the junior high school, high school and college levels in Texas.

About UTD

        The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor , enrolls more than 7,000 undergraduate and 5,000 graduate students. The school's freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UTD, please visit the university's Web site at

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August 03, 2013