Chemistry professor receives research award from Scranton alumni chapter

Dr. Phuong Truc-Pham working with students in the campus' chemistry lab

Phuong-Truc Pham, associate professor of chemistry at Penn State Scranton, was the recipient of the Faculty Endowed Research Award from the Greater Scranton Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association. Here she is shown in the lab, working one-on-one with some of her students.

Credit: Penn State

DUNMORE, Pa. — Every year, the Greater Scranton Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association honors a Penn State Scranton faculty member who has made a strong commitment to scholarly research. 

This year, the Greater Scranton Chapter honored Phuong-Truc Pham, associate professor of chemistry, with the Faculty Endowed Research Award, which was presented at the chapter’s 41st annual Penn State Night dinner at Fiorelli’s in Peckville.

The award, which came with $1,420 in research funding, was a welcome surprise for Pham, a faculty member at the campus for more than a decade.

“I feel honored and at the same time humbled to have received the research award from the Greater Scranton Penn State Chapter,” Pham said. “While it was a pleasant surprise to be recognized for my research work, it is more gratifying for me to see the alumni’s ongoing support of faculty research at Penn State Scranton.”

Pham will use the funding to advance her work on the synthesis of metal complexes containing phenolic derivatives. She intends for her undergraduate students to assist with the research.

“Phenolic compounds have been shown to exhibit various biological activities but have limited medicinal applications due to poor bioavailability and stability. Formation of metal complexes with different derivatives of phenols aims to improve these properties,” Pham said. “Due to their fluorescent nature, the second goal of my research is to look into the potential use of these metal complexes in various analytical applications.” 

The award also brings with it more than just material rewards, Pham said.

“Funding from the Alumni Association will not only help me further my research,” she said. “The award carries additional value — it allows me to give undergraduates meaningful research opportunities and reflects the tradition of generations of Penn State alumni supporting the continued success of the institution, its faculty and students.”