Rita Upmacis

Rita Upmacis

Associate Professor
Dyson College of Arts and Sciences
Chemistry and Physical Sciences
NYC

Biography

Faculty Bio

Dr. Upmacis obtained both her BSc and PhD degrees in Chemistry from the University of Nottingham, UK. She was a postdoctoral fellow in Bio-inorganic Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology, and performed research at Rohm and Haas Company (Philadelphia) and Weill Cornell Medical College (New York) before coming to Pace University in 2010.

Awards and Honors

  • Royal Society of Chemistry, 2014, Elected to Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC)
  • Dyson College, 2014, Inducted as Dyson Fellow in the Society of Fellows
  • Provost's Office, 2014, Provost's Award (2nd Annual Research Day)

Research and Creative Works

Research Interest

Dr. Upmacis’ research focuses on investigating factors that lead to oxidative and nitrative stress under conditions of inflammation during disease states and also infections. Oxidative and nitrative stress occurs when there is an overproduction of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species that can act together to cause toxic effects in cells and contribute to inflammation. Recent research has examined the products formed when certain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, found in fish oils, scavenge oxygen. In addition, the effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and their oxidized products on parasite survival are under investigation.

Grants, Sponsored Research and Contracts

Calcium and Atherosclerotic Vascular Disease: Acquisition of a Calcium Ion Electrode
Scholarly Research, Pace University, $1,495.00. Funded.

An Alternative Method of Fingerprint Analysis Based on Mass Spectrometry
September 2014 - May 2015. Undergraduate Student-Faculty Research Program, Pace University, $1,250.00. Funded.

Calcium and Magnesium Levels in Atherosclerotic Tissue Samples: INfluence of Gender and Diabetes
2013 - 2014. Undergraduate Student-Faculty Research Program, Pace University, $1,250.00. Funded.

An Undergraduate Green Chemistry Course & Videotaping Experiments in an Analytical Chemistry Course
Kenan Fund for Faculty Development, Pace University, $1,000.00. Funded.

Gender-Specific Prostaglandin Production
Dyson College 2014 Faculty Summer Research Grant, Pace University, $1,000.00. Funded.

Interactive whiteboards and computerized assistance in Chemistry.
Verizon Thinkfinity Foundation through Pace Provost's Office, Pace University, $11,647.00. Funded.

Development of Green Chemistry Experiments for a Laboratory Course
January 2013 - August 2013. Scholarly Research, Pace University, $1,256.00. Funded.

The Role of Reactive Nitrogen and Oxygen Species in Parasite Survival and Death
September 2012 - May 2013. Undergraduate Student-Faculty Research Initiative, Pace University, $1,500.00. Funded.

Oxidative Alterations of Cyclooxygenase in Atherogenesis
2010 - 2012. NIH, Federal, $40,000.00. Funded.

Courses Taught

Past Courses

BIO 480: Research in Biology
BIO 491: Internship in Biology
BIO 492: Internship in Biology II
BMB 710: Research I
BMB 711: Research II
CHE 111: Chemistry I Discussion Group
CHE 111: General Chemistry I
CHE 111: General Chemistry I (Lecture)
CHE 112: General Chemistry II
CHE 112: General Chemistry II (Lab)
CHE 112: General Chemistry II (Lecture)
CHE 112: General Chemistry II- Dis Grp
CHE 221: Analytical Mthds & Techniques
CHE 310: Green Chemistry
CHE 330: Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
CHE 480: Research in Chemistry
UNV 101: First-Year Smnr Unvrsty Cmmnty

Publications and Presentations

Publications

Crystal Structure of Bis[1-(2-hydroxyethyl)-2-methyl-5-nitro-1H-imidazole-κN3]silver(I) tetrafluoroborate methanol monosolvate
(2015, February). Acta Crystallographica. Vol E71 , pages 284-287.

Coordination of metronidazole to Cu(II): Structural characterization of a mononuclear square-planar compound.
(2015, February). Journal of Molecular Structure. Vol 1091 , pages 177-182.

Teaching Green Chemistry principles to undergraduate students.
Athens Journal of Sciences.

Mass spectrometric analysis of oxidized eicosapentaenoic acid sodium salt.
(2013). Lipid Insights. Vol 6 , pages 21-35.
DOWNLOAD

Inducible nitric oxide synthase provides protection against injury-induced thrombosis in female mice.
(2011). Am. J. Phys. Heart and Circ. Phys.. Vol 301 , pages H617-H624.

Human SolCD39 inhibits injury-induced development of neointimal hyperplasia.
(2010). Thrombosis and Haemostasis. Vol 103 , pages 426-434.

Inducible nitric oxide synthase gene deletion exaggerates MAPK-mediated cyclooxygenase-2 induction by inflammatory stimuli.
(2010). Am. J. Phys. Heart and Circ. Phys.. Vol 299 , pages H613-H623.

Physical evidence for substrate in preservation of cyclooxygenase function under nitrative stress.
(2010). J. Am. Chem. Soc.. Vol 132 , pages 3914-3922.

Presentations

Gender-Specific Prostaglandin Production
(2015, May). LIPID MAPS Conference. UC San Diego.

Anti-Parasitic Activity of Copper(II) Complexes of Metronidazole
(2015, March). Dyson Society of Fellows 2015 Annual Meeting. Dyson Society of Fellows,

Videotaping experiments in Analytical Chemistry course
(2015, March 10). Pittcon Conference 2015. Pittcon,

Videotaping Experiments in an Analytical Chemistry Course
(2014, August). The 2014 Biennial Conference on Chemical Education. Grand Valley State University.

Videotaping experiments in an analytical chemistry course
(2014, August 6). 2014 Biennial Conference on Chemical Education (BCCE). ACS Chemical Education Division,

Nitric Oxide Production by Trichomonas vaginalis
(2014, May). American Society for Microbiology (ASM), 114th General Meeting. American Society for Microbiology,

Antioxidant Mechanisms of Docosahexaenoic Acid
(2014, April). Second Annual Provost’s Research Day. Provost's Office,

Calcium and Magnesium Levels in Atherosclerotic Tissue Samples: Influence of Gender and Diabetes
(2014, April). Second Annual Provost’s Research Day. Provost's Office,

Mass Spectral Analysis of the Chemical Composition of Fingerprint Residues
(2014, April). Second Annual Provost’s Research Day. Provost's Office,

Nitric Oxide Production by Trichomonas Vaginalis
(2014, April). Second Annual Provost’s Research Day. Provost's Office,

Antioxidant Mechanisms of Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)
(2014, March). Dyson Society of Fellows 2014 Annual Meeting. Dyson Society of Fellows,

Nitric Oxide Production by Trichomonas vaginalis
(2014, March). Dyson Society of Fellows 2014 Annual Meeting. Dyson Society of Fellows,

Teaching Green Chemistry Principles to Undergraduate Students
(2013, July). 1st Annual International Conference on Physics & Chemistry. Athens Institute for Education and Research,

Fish Oils and Parasites
(2013, April). 61st Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium. New York Section, American Chemical Society ,

Adaptation of a Laboratory Course for Green Chemistry
(2013, April). Dyson Day Conference. Dyson College,

Mass Spectrometric Analysis of Eicosapentaenoic Acid, a Fatty Acid Found in Fish Oil
(2013, April). First Annual Provost’s Research Day. Provost's Office,

Reactive Nitrogen and Oxygen Species in Inflammation and Disease
(2012). Research Expo. Pace.

The Oxidation of Specific Fatty Acids Modulates Parasite Survival.
(2012). The Beta Beta Beta NE-1 District Convention. TriBeta Society,

Divergent Effects of Native and Oxidized Fatty Acids on Parasite Survival.
(2012, August). The 244th ACS National Meeting. . American Chemical Society,

Green Chemistry: Adaptation of Experiments for a Laboratory Course.
(2012, August). The 244th ACS National Meeting. . American Chemical Society,

Fatty Acids and Parasite Survival
(2012, May). Faculty Institute. Pace University.

The Oxidation of Specific Fatty Acids Modulates Parasite Survival
(2011, December). Annual Dyson College Science Poster Session. Dyson College,

Gender Specific Role of Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase in Thrombosis.
(2011, December). The XVII Lipid Meeting. Leipzig, Germany.

The effect of oxidized and non-oxidized lipids on Trichomonas vaginalis
(2011, May). The American Society for Microbiology Conference. American Society for Microbiology,

Lipids and oxidized lipids: What effect do they have on invading pathogens?
(2010, December). Annual Dyson College Science Poster Session. Dyson College,

Cyclooxygenase Nitration in Atherosclerotic Tissue
(2010, December). The International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies. American Chemical Society,

Micro ATR-FTIR spectroscopic imaging of the atherosclerotic lesion
(2010, December). The International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies. American Chemical Society,

Nitrative and Oxidative Stress: Thinking Outside the Plaque
(2009, June). Gordon Conference on Atherosclerosis. New Hampshire.

Professional Contributions and Service

Professional Memberships

  • American Society for Microbiologists [Member]
  • American Society for Inverstigative Pathology [Member]
  • North American Vascular Biology Organization [Member]
  • American Chemical Society [Member]
  • Royal Society of Chemistry [FRSC]