SAFE Faculty Spotlight: Megen Culpepper

SAFE Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Megen Culpepper

Dr. Megen Culpepper, assistant professor, Department of Chemistry and Fermentation Sciences

Student and Faculty Excellence (SAFE) fund recipient

Project: “Funding to cover publication costs of a manuscript under review”

A SAFE fund grant was used to partially fund the publication costs to the article "Identification and Characterization of a DmoB Flavin Oxidoreductase from a Putative Two-Component DMS C-Monooxygenase" in American Chemical Society (ACS) Omega, a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

The publication analyzes factors related to climate change. Dimethylsulfide (DMS) emission is directly linked to climate cooling and has been proposed as a means to mitigate global warming as a result of carbon emissions. However, more research needs to be conducted before utilizing it to address climate change concerns.

In total, 21 research students contributed to the publication. The additional funding supported seven of the researchers in authoring the paper. Student authors included David Hammers ’20, Caroline Donaghy ’20, Sarah Heiss ’19, Lydia Harris ’18, Jackson Gordon ’17, John Stevens IV ’19 who studied chemistry and Lucian Murray ’19, a graduate student studying engineering physics. Dr. Brooke Hester, associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, also collaborated with Culpepper and student researchers on this project.

“The students’ commitment to learning and pursuing the research is why I became a professor. Students that participate in my laboratory research program gain the skills to be successful in their next career path. They learn the culture of how a lab is run and the techniques to be independent researchers.

Former students of mine currently attend graduate school, professional school or have become industrial chemists. Most incorporating the skills they learned as an undergraduate,” said Culpepper.


About The SAFE Fund
Initially endowed by Hughlene and Bill Frank, the College of Arts and Sciences Student and Faculty Excellence (SAFE) Fund provides resources that can be used to support undergraduate, graduate and faculty experiences. The SAFE Fund provides funding for college priorities and opportunities that arise throughout the year. These unrestricted funds support student and faculty travel, publication support for faculty and student research opportunities. Learn more at:

About the A.R. Smith Department of Chemistry and Fermentation Sciences
The A.R. Smith Department of Chemistry and Fermentation Sciences offers a Bachelor of Arts in chemistry, a Bachelor of Science in chemistry with eight different concentrations and an interdisciplinary Bachelor of Science degree in fermentation sciences. The department’s programs prepare students to attend graduate and professional schools, as well as for employment in the pharmaceutical and fermentation industries and other business sectors. Learn more at

About the Department of Physics and Astronomy
The Department of Physics and Astronomy’s curriculum has an applied nature that includes a core of fundamental physics courses and laboratory experiences. The department prepares graduates for a variety of scientific, teaching or engineering professions, as well as future educational endeavors. Learn more at

Compiled and written by Sophia Woodall and Ellen Gwin Burnette
July 15, 2021


SAFE faculty recipient, Megyn Culpepper, assistant professor, Department of Chemistry and Fermentation Sciences
Published: Jul 14, 2021 3:09pm