2018 George R. Pack Award for Most Outstanding Chemistry Ph.D. Dissertation

On November 30, 2018 the Department of Chemistry held its annual ceremony to honor Dr. Kelly Mouapi-Davis with the George R. Pack Award. The award is named after a former department chair.
2018 George R. Pack Award for Most Outstanding Chemistry Ph.D. Dissertation

2018 Pack Award

On November 30th the Department of Chemistry held its annual ceremony to honor Kelly Mouapi-Davis with the George R. Pack Award. The award is named after a former department chair and was first awarded in 2014. The George R. Pack Award was established by colleagues, family and friends in his memory to recognize Dr. Pack’s achievements in building the research program of both Chemistry and the University and his appreciation of the key role of graduate students in the research process.

This Year's Award Recipients

2018 Pack Award Recipient

Kelly Mouapi-Davis, PhD

Dr. Kelly Mouapi-Davis received her BA in Chemistry (cum laude) with a minor in Spanish from Berea College in 2012, and obtained her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Louisville in 2017 under the mentorship of Dr. Muriel Maurer. For her dissertation, she used mass spectrometry and NMR spectroscopy to elucidate the mechanisms utilized by two important proteins, Fibrinogen and Factor XIII, involved in the formation of stable blood clots. Dr. Mouapi is currently a NIH T32 Research Fellow at the Smidt Heart Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA. At the Advanced Clinical BioSystems Institute, Dr. Mouapi designs and applies targeted mass spectrometry-based assays that combine proteomics and lipidomics for early prediction of major adverse cardiac events. She has presented her research at several national and international conferences and was awarded a Young Investigator award at the International Fibrinogen Workshop (2014). Her current work on remote microsampling was recently selected for a talk at the International Human Proteome Organization on targeting Women’s Health. Dr. Mouapi has authored and co-authored several peer-reviewed publications. She loves to travel, volunteer locally to promote healthy lifestyles, inspire young minds to pursue STEM-related fields, and share tips and resources for success with the next generation of scientists.

Previous Award Recipients


Andrew Haddad, PhD
Mentor: Craig A. Grapperhaus, PhD
Thesis Title: Homogeneous Ligand-Centered Hydrogen Evolution and Hydrogen Oxidation: Exploiting Redox Non-Innocence to Drive Catalysis

Shenzong Liang, PhD
Mentor: G.B. Hammond, PhD
Thesis Title: Development of Recyclable Gold Nanoparticles for Routine Benchtop Catalysis in Organic Transformations


Rafael Masitas, PhD
Mentor: Francis Zamborini, PhD
Thesis Title: The Unique Electrochemical Reactivity of Small Metal Nanoparticles


Ralph Knipp, PhD
Mentor: Michael H. Nantz, PhD
Thesis Title: Triggered Release of Small Molecules from Solid Supports Using Heat or an Applied Magnetic Field


Deepika Malhotra, PhD
Mentor: G. B. Hammond, PhD
Thesis Title: Expanding the Frontier of Gold Catalyzed Cyclizations and Rational Ligand Design

About Dr. George R. Pack (1946-2013)

Dr. Pack received his PhD from State University of New York at Buffalo in 1973. He spent his postdoctoral career at University of Rochester, New York University Medical Center, and Stanford University. In 1978, he began his career as Professor of Biophysics at the University of Illinois College of Medicine.

Dr. Pack joined the University of Louisville Chemistry Department in August 1998 as Professor (tenured) and Chair. Dr. Pack's dedication to research and establishing a robust graduate program is evidenced with a few statistics. Nineteen faculty were hired between 1999 and 2010; those hires now make up 57% of the Department's current faculty membership. During the years 2004 to 2014, the department conferred 58 doctoral degrees. These represent students that would have entered the program during Dr. Pack's tenure as Chair.

In 2007, he was appointed Associate Vice President of Research under the Executive Vice President of Research & Innovation. Dr. Pack fulfilled this dual role of AVP of Research and Department Chair until 2010, when he stepped down as Chair to continue as Associate Vice President of Research full-time until his passing in 2013.

The George R. Pack Award for Most Outstanding Chemistry PhD Dissertation was established by colleagues, family, and friends to recognize in perpetuity Dr. Pack's role in growing a vigorous departmental research program, his contributions to the University's research environment, and his appreciation of the key role that graduate students provide in the research process.

The George R. Pack Award Endowment is funded by gifts from Family, Friends, and Colleagues

Dr. Richard Baldwin • Ms. Linda Baumann • Mrs. Margaret Brown • Dr. Florence Brunel • Drs. Robert & Rhonda Buchanan • Ms. Lydia Burkett • Ms. Cathy Carter • Chemistry Graduate Student Association • Dr. Lionel Cheruzel • Ms. Holly Clark • Dr. Christopher R. Cunninham • Mr. & Mrs. Joseph (Diane) Dailing • Dr. M. Cecilia Yappert • Mr. Brent Fryear • Dr. G.B. Hammond & Ms. Mari Mujica • Mrs. Rebecca Higgins • Ms. Carla Hilse • Mr. David King, JD • Mr. & Mrs. Richard (Rita) Liebheit • Mr. Charles Maisch • Dr. Muriel Maurer • Dr. Michael H. Nantz & Ms. Jody Renner-Nantz • Dr. Eugene Mueller • Mr. and Mrs. Thomas (Geri) Pack • Dr. Sasha D. Pack & Ms. Emilie Pack • Ms. Lydia Pack • Ms. Patty Pack • Dr. William M. Pierce, Jr. • Mr. Daniel Reynolds • Dr. Christine Rich • Dr. & Mrs. K. Grant (Carla) Taylor • Dr. David Taylor • Dr. Helge Toufar • Dr. Charles Trapp • Upstate Internal Medicine and Pediatrics • Dr. Russell J. Vandenbroucke • Mrs. Linda K. Ward • Dr. Richard Wittebort • Dr. & Mrs. James (Mitzie) Wittliff • Dr. Xiang Zhang & Ms. Xinmin Yin