MSU faculty member recognized by top chemistry journal

Contact: Sarah Nicholas

Dongmao Zhang, MSU associate professor of chemistry, is among a prestigious group of researchers from around the world cited in the Journal of Physical Chemistry C. (Photo by Russ Houston)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—A senior member of Mississippi State’s Department of Chemistry is being recognized as one of the most prolific contributors to an international professional publication.

Dongmao Zhang, an associate professor at the university, recently joined a group of researchers from around the world cited by name in the Journal of Physical Chemistry C. The others work at major institutions of higher learning in China, England, Germany and India.

The journal was created in 2007 to highlight investigations of physical chemistry’s sub-disciplines. It is produced weekly by the American Chemical Society, the Washington, D.C.-based organization whose 158,000 members make it the world’s largest scientific body. The ACS also produces physical chemistry journals A and B.

“For those not living and breathing chemistry research and education every day, it’s important to emphasize that the journal is the premier stage and highest impact for scholarship in this essential sub-discipline,” emphasized Dennis Smith, head of MSU’s Department of Chemistry.

“In my view, this is more valuable than many of the more common awards passed around,” Smith said, adding that “recognition of this sort is focused on a concrete metric of performance” and, as such, “sounds the alert to the world that we absolutely are competing among the best.”

The chemistry department is part of the College of Arts and Sciences, MSU’s largest academic unit.

Zhang joined the MSU faculty in 2008 and currently is investigating nanoparticle interfacial interactions, optical spectroscopy and analytical method design. After graduating in 1987 from China’s Wuhan University, he earned a doctorate in 2002 from Purdue University in Indiana.

Giselle Thibaudeau, the college’s associate dean for research, said the insights and technologies resulting from Zhang’s research “are critical to understanding and developing nanoscale applications for chemical synthesis, functional nanomaterial design, and ultimately disease diagnosis and treatment.

“We are exceptionally proud of Dr. Zhang’s accomplishments in this area and of the recognition this brings to MSU, the College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Chemistry on a national and international scale,” Thibaudeau said.

Zhang said the journal recognition “truly is a surprising honor to be listed together with researchers from the top universities crossing the world.

“It is a manifest that our university and department are competing internationally in fundamental research,” Zhang continued. Receiving this distinction “would not have happened without the hard work of current and former students in my group, the vital help from our collaborators, and the strong support from the administrators, staff and fellow faculty colleagues in the Department of Chemistry.”

For more on Zhang and his research, see

The College of Arts and Sciences includes more than 5,000 students, 300 full-time faculty members, nine doctoral programs and 25 academic majors offered in 14 departments. Complete details about the College of Arts and Sciences and its Department of Chemistry may be found at, respectively, and

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, also available online at

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 - 3:35 pm