Appointments, honors and activities

November 13, 2015  

Appointments and promotions:

- Zhong-Yin Zhang has been named head of the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology. Zhang is the Robert A. Harris Professor and Chairman of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Indiana University School of Medicine. He will also have a joint appointment in the Department of Chemistry and serve as the director for the new Chemical Genomics Core Facility in the Center for Drug Discovery. Zhang's recruitment was part of the Purdue Moves drug discovery initiative to translate basic research into life-changing treatments. He will begin at Purdue Jan. 4, 2016. He has been at IU since 2005, coming there from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where he was assistant professor and professor of molecular pharmacology. His areas of research are in chemistry and biology, with an emphasis on the structure and function of protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs), PTP-mediated signaling mechanisms, mechanistic enzymology, and design and synthesis of PTP inhibitors as tool compounds to interrogate PTP function and as novel therapeutics for the treatment of cancer, diabetes and obesity, autoimmune disorders and infectious diseases. Zhang received his bachelor's degree from Nankai University in Tianjin, China, and his doctorate from Purdue. A publication-quality photograph of Zhang is available at

Faculty and staff honors:

- An interdisciplinary team of faculty and researchers co-authored an article selected among the top 10 papers in the journal Energy Technology in 2014; the designation of "Best in Energy Technology" is based on how many times articles are downloaded and cited as well as the opinions and feedback of the editorial office of the journal. Timothy Fisher, the James G. Dwyer Professor of Mechanical Engineering, co-wrote the article "Graphitic petal micro-supercapacitor electrodes for ultra-high power density" with doctoral student Guoping Xiong; postdoctoral research associate Chuizhou Meng; Pedro Irazoqui, a professor of biomedical engineering; and Ronald Reifenberger, a professor of physics. Energy Technology is published in 12 online issues per year by John Wiley & Sons Inc. It is a general applied energy journal, focusing on energy generation, conversion and storage.

- Purdue University police officer Lt. Lesley Wiete on Nov. 4 was honored with a Career Service Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) - West Central Indiana. The award, presented at the organization's annual banquet, recognizes Wiete's work in helping to create and support the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program for law enforcement agencies and other emergency service providers in Tippecanoe County. CIT programs are designed to help first responders effectively deal with those experiencing a mental health crisis. Wiete has served on the Purdue University Police Department since 1999. She has been a patrol officer, shift sergeant and shift lieutenant. Wiete was one of the first PUPD officers to be CIT certified and has been the program leader for Purdue's police and fire departments. A publication-quality photo is available at 

Student honors:

- Five students from the College of Liberal Arts and Natasha Duncan, a visiting assistant professor of political science, participated in a Model United Nations Conference at the University of the Rosary, Bogota, Colombia. The five students are studying in the Department of Political Science. More than 500 students from more than 60 countries participated in various committees that engaged in discussions about current, historic and future global topics. More information about the Purdue students' participation is available online: 

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