Research News

COVID-19 Nasal Vaccine Candidate Effective at Preventing Disease Transmission
IN THROUGH THE NOSE... Breathe in, breathe out. That’s how easy it is for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, to enter your nose. And though remarkable progress has been made in developing intramuscular vaccines against…
  UH engineering professor Navin Varadarajan.
Docking Peptides, Slow to Lock, Open Possible Path to Treat Alzheimer’s
Frustration in Amyloid Fibrils as They Form Shows it May be Possible to Stop Their Growth   Progress on treating Alzheimer’s disease has been frustratingly slow. A group of scientists in Houston suggest frustration at a very…
Graduate student Yuechuan (Alex) Xu, left, and Professor Peter Vekilov of the University of Houston with an atomic force microscope of the sort they used to capture the growth of amyloid beta fibrils implicated in Alzheimer’s disease.
Cullen Professor Part of Fight Against Impure Honey
Adulteration and mislabeling of honey to mask its true origin has become a global issue. To evade tariffs or sanctions, some illicit importers slap fake labels on the honey, indicating it is from a different country of origin.…
Richard Willson, Huffington-Woestemeyer Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and principal investigator on the Honey DNA project, developed methods for sequencing DNA not only from whole pollen grains in unfiltered honey, but also from the small amounts of DNA leaked from broken pollen grains in filtered honey.
Karim earns NSF's Special Creativity Award
Alamgir Karim, the Dow Chairman and Welch Foundation professor of the William A. Brookshire Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the Cullen College of Engineering, has seen the potential of block copolymer when…
Cullen Alums, Prof's Smartphone-Based COVID-19 Test Hits Market
In 2020, just as the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus caused a pandemic of respiratory illness called COVID-19, two chemical engineers and alumni of the University of Houston decided to pivot the product strategy of Luminostics, the…
Andrew Paterson and Bala Raja, co-founders of Luminostics.
Grabow engineering dynamic solutions for carbon fiber market
Lars Grabow's Research to Bring Chemical Production and Manufacturing Together Could Revolutionize Numerous Chemical Processes You may know little to nothing about the carbon fiber market, but products produced with carbon fibers…
Acrylonitrile is the feedstock used to make carbon fiber, which is used in the manufacturing of an array of products, from vehicles and performance sports equipment to wind turbine blades and electronics.
Does Zinc Inhibit or Promote Growth of Kidney Stones? Well, Both.
First Study to Validate Conflicting Theories A funny thing happened on the way to discovering how zinc impacts kidney stones - two different theories emerged, each contradicting the other. One: Zinc stops the growth of the…
Jeffrey Rimer, Abraham E. Dukler Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, has published the first study that offers some resolution to the differing hypotheses of the role of zinc in kidney stones.
Examining the One-Two Punch of Malaria Drugs
When a mosquito begins to nibble on you, it is not merely feeding on your blood, it is also injecting its saliva into your skin. If that saliva happens to be full of parasites carrying malaria or other diseases from its last…
Peter Vekilov, Moores Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Houston, is examining why the two drugs that most often cure malaria can also fail because they tend to fight each other.
Stanko leads multi-department research into synthesis via SLRR reaction
Cullen College of Engineering professor Stanko R. Brankovic, Ph.D., of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, is the corresponding author for a new, multi-department perspective paper on potential advancements in…
Diagram of Dr. Brankovic's work
Improved Catalyst May Translate to Petrochemical Production Gains
Aromatics are major building blocks of polymers, or plastics, that turn up as everything from PET bottles for water to breathable, wrinkle-resistant polyester clothing. These petrochemicals comprise a specialized, value-added…
Jeffrey Rimer is the Abraham E. Dukler Professor at the University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering.
Cancer ‘guardian’ breaks bad with one switch, UH, Rice researchers show
A mutation that replaces a single amino acid in a potent tumor-suppressing protein turns it from saint to sinister. A new study by a coalition of Texas institutions shows why that is more damaging than previously known.  The…
 Kolomeisky Research Group/Rice.)
UH's Orman Researching Why Antibiotic-Resistant Cells Persist
University of Houston Biomolecular Engineer Receives NSF CAREER Award to Explore Cells That Defy Efforts to Kill Them Mehmet Orman, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of Houston Cullen…
Mehmet Orman, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, has received a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation to study so-called persister cells - those that go dormant and then become tolerant to extraordinary levels of antibiotics.
Grabow nets another $2M for research projects on small reactors, catalysts
A Cullen College of Engineering professor will be furthering his research into developing small, modular reactor systems and tuning the properties of catalysts after receiving a pair of grants expected to total more than $2…
Dr. Lars C. Grabow, the Dan Luss Professor in the Cullen College of Engineering’s William A. Brookshire Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, will be furthering his research into developing small, modular reactor systems and tuning the properties of catalysts after receiving a pair of grants expected to total more than $2 million in funding.
New paper from Vekilov Research Group changes fundamental thinking on crystal formation
A new paper from the Vekilov Research Group at the University of Houston’s Cullen College of Engineering is shedding light on how crystals form, and in the process, overturning a belief held for more than a century. Dr. Peter G.…
Dr. Peter Vekilov, the John and Rebecca Moores Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, is lead author for a new paper that changes fundamental thinking on crystal formation.
University of Houston Partners with AuraVax Therapeutics on COVID-19 Vaccine
The University of Houston has entered into an exclusive license option agreement with AuraVax Therapeutics Inc., a Houston, TX based biotech company developing novel vaccines to help patients defeat debilitating respiratory…
Navin Varadarajan, M.D. Anderson Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, has created a nasal vaccine for COVID-19 and a company to market it in partnership with the University of Houston.
Faster swimming bacteria could help with spills
A new paper and research from the Conrad Research Group of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Houston’s Cullen College of Engineering looks at how bacteria could be used to help with…
Narendra Dewangan, a graduate student of Dr. Jacinta Conrad, has completed work with the Conrad Research Group on how faster swimming bacteria could be used to help with removal of pollutants.
Rapid tests for COVID-19 now, other diseases later the goal for Kourentzi
The development of point-of-care tests – and as of late, for COVID-19 – has been the primary focus of Dr. Katerina Kourentzi, Research Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in the William A. Brookshire…
Dr. Katerina Kourentzi, Research Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, is developing a saliva-based lateral flow assay rapid test for COVID-19 detection. The test strips for the assay are designed using the Biodot XYZ3060 Dispensing Platform.
Grabow heading UH portion of team for $2M NSF Distributed Chemical Manufacturing Project
A partnership between researchers at the University of Virginia and the University of Houston has continued to flourish, and expanded to another professor at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, after the National Science…
Dr. Lars C. Grabow, Dan Luss Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the Cullen College of Engineering, received a NSF grant to continue studies on small-scale reactors and catalysts.
Breaking Molecular Traffic Jams with Finned Nanoporous Materials
Thousands of chemical processes used by the energy industry and for other applications rely on the high speed of catalytic reactions, but molecules frequently are hindered by molecular traffic jams that slow them down. Now an…
3D finned zeolite catalysts enhance molecule access to the interior of the particle (graphic created by J.C. Palmer).
Showing Promise: UH Researchers Explore Care Options for COVID-19
Not since the middle of the 20th century, amid the polio epidemic, have vaccines or drug treatment been so widely anticipated as those for COVID-19. In 1955 when the polio vaccine was licensed, the health outlook for millions of…
UH engineering professor Navin Varadarajan (L) and pharmaceutics professor Xinli Liu (R) are collaborating on development and testing of a COVID-19 inhalation vaccine.

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