Texas State University announces first recipient of Denise M. Trauth Endowed Presidential Research Professorship

Featured Faculty

Jayme Blaschke | July 2, 2021

Alexander Kornienko headshot

Alexander Kornienko, a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, has been selected as the inaugural holder of the Texas State University Denise M. Trauth Endowed Presidential Research Professorship. His research explores novel synthetic organic chemistry and possible applications in anticancer drugs.

The endowed presidential research professorship was established in 2020 with a $1 million gift from Miriam McCoy of San Marcos and named after Texas State President Denise Trauth at McCoy’s request. This research professorship marks the first time the university has had such a prestigious award for faculty. 

Kornienko’s research explores novel synthetic organic chemistry and its utilization for anticancer drug discovery. During the three-year professorship, he will focus on high risk and high impact research on the mechanism of action by which a common ornamental flower, the daffodil (Narcissus), may provide an innovative strategy for combatting many types of cancer. This project is grounded in ancient writings, historical medical practices, and recent studies and publications by Kornienko and his research collaborators. Their seminal paper in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry has reinvigorated worldwide interest in this line of research. 

“The endowed presidential research professorship reflects the quality of our world-class faculty and the enduring support Miriam McCoy has given our students and the university,” said Trauth.

The professorship is a special academic appointment recognizing a faculty member engaged in compelling and transformational research or creative expression. It rewards a faculty member for previous accomplishments and allows the holder to carry out a specific project. Kornienko was selected through a competitive process that drew applications from 21 faculty members representing 15 schools and departments across the university.  

Since joining Texas State in 2012, Kornienko has received more than $3 million in research funding from the National Institutes of Health. He has received multiple patents and produced more than 120 publications. 

For more information, contact University Communications:

Jayme Blaschke, 512-245-2555

Sandy Pantlik, 512-245-2922