Chemistry and Biochemistry Alumni
The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is proud of its graduates. Our alumni have achieved success as industrial chemists, research chemists, university professors, high school teachers, physicians, dentists, pharmacists, veterinarians, entrepreneurs, lawyers and many other professions. Below, read about the interesting career paths of some our alumni.
Christopher D. Kane, Ph.D. (BCH 1990): Chris obtained his Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics with Dr. David A. Bernlohr at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in 1995. His graduate research involved the characterization of the three-dimension structure of intracellular lipid binding proteins with their function as lipid trafficking molecules. He then went on to perform postdoctoral research with Dr. Anthony R. Means at Duke University Medical Center where he discovered a novel crosstalk mechanism between Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinases and selected orphan nuclear receptors. In 2001 he joined Pharmacia Corporation (St. Louis, MO) as a Genomics Scientist and used genetic techniques to identify and validate multiple nuclear receptors as novel therapeutic targets for atherosclerosis and metabolic disease. After the 2003 acquisition of Pharmacia Corporation by Pfizer Inc, he joined the Atherosclerosis therapeutic area in Groton CT and became a Senior Research Scientist and later Principal Scientist. In 2010, he joined MedImmune LLC in Gaithersburg, MD as a Principal Scientist where he led the exploratory biomarker strategy for Mavrilimumab. Since 2014, Chris has supported USAMRIID therapeutic development efforts for biodefense against botulinum neurotoxin and viruses that cause hemorrhagic fever. He served as a founding member of the Therapeutic Development Center (TDC) at USAMRIID, with the primary goal of implementing a biopharmaceutical model for development of medical countermeasures against biodefense pathogens and toxins. Chris led and coordinated the TDC’s Ebola response during the 2014 West Africa outbreak to rapidly assess, evaluate and prioritize externally partnered therapeutics including GS-5734.
David G. Hangauer, Ph.D. (CHM 1974): Dave completed his Ph.D. in natural product synthesis at the University at Buffalo in 1980. After, he worked as a medicinal chemist at Merck in Rahway, NJ and then in 1989 he accepted a position at the University at Buffalo as Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry. His laboratory developed a new technology for the discovery of protein kinase inhibitors. He also served as a consultant or Scientific Advisory Board Member for many biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies worldwide. Dave is the original founder of Kinex Pharmaceuticals (renamed Athenex Inc in 2015), a Buffalo biopharmaceutical company he started in 2002 as a spin out from his University at Buffalo laboratory research that is largely focused on the discovery and development of novel drugs for cancer. After starting Kinex Pharmaceuticals, Dave’s laboratory launched a new fundamental research program aimed at experimentally unraveling the detailed energetics of drugs binding to their receptors. In 2013 Dave retired from his academic position to serve as the Chief Scientific Officer of Kinex Pharmaceuticals. Dave is an inventor or author on numerous patents and publications and has received many awards including the New York State Research Foundation Outstanding Inventor Award (2002), the Canisius College Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry James H. Crowdle Award for Distinction in Chemistry (2006), the Niagara Frontier 2007 Inventor of the Year Award, and the 2012 University at Buffalo Faculty Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Teresa M. Amabile, Ph.D. (CHM 1972): Teresa has researched and written about creativity for over 40 years. Beginning with a series of empirical and theoretical papers in the 1970s and 1980s, she was instrumental in establishing the social psychology of creativity – the study of how the social environment can influence creative behavior, primarily by influencing motivational state. Originally focusing on experimental studies of individual creativity, Teresa’s research expanded to non-experimental, field-based studies that also encompassed individual productivity, team creativity, and organizational innovation. This decades-long program of research has yielded a comprehensive theory of creativity and innovation; methods for assessing creativity, motivation, and the work environment; and a set of prescriptions for maintaining and stimulating both individual creativity and organizational innovation. Her more recent research investigates how everyday life inside organizations can influence people and their performance by affecting inner work life, the confluence of motivation, emotion, and perceptions. Teresa’s scholarly work on creativity has appeared in a variety of psychology and organizational behavior journals, as well as her 1983 book The Social Psychology of Creativity and its 1996 update, Creativity in Context. In 1989, she published Growing Up Creative for parents and teachers. Her most recent discoveries on organizational creativity, drawing on nearly 12,000 daily diary entries from over 200 professionals inside organizations, appear in The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work (2011). Her current research program investigates attitudes toward, decisions about, and adjustment to retirement, with a particular focus on creative behavior. In January 2018, Teresa accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Israel Organizational Behavior Conference; in March 2018, she accepted the Distinguished Scholar Award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology; and in August 2018 she will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Organizational Behavior Division of the Academy of Management. She received the E. Paul Torrance Award from the Creativity Division of the National Association for Gifted Children in 1998, and The Leadership Quarterly Best Paper Award from the Center for Creative Leadership in 2005; in 2011 and 2013, she was named to the global Thinkers50 list. Teresa holds a Ph.D. in psychology from Stanford University.
Simon "Skip" Ulmer, Ph.D. (CHM 1967): After receiving his Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from Cornell University, Skip began an 18 year career with DuPont in Wilmington, Delaware. After working as a chemist for 4 years at Dupont, he turned his attention to the business side, working with products as varied as Kevlar for bullet resistant vests to Tyvek for commercial and residential building construction wrap. In 1991 Skip left Dupont for Johns Manville in Denver, Colorado to become Vice-President/General Manager of specialty fiberglass insulation (automotive, aerospace, HVAC). In 1998 he left Johns Manville and founded SIMON SAYS Consulting, which focuses on strategic plans, marketing plans, customer service, and leadership.