Final Examination – Dissertation Defense

ConnellyCongratulations to Samantha J. Connelly, who defended her Ph.D. work, “Preparation and Reactivity of Sigma-Complexes,” on February 20, 2014. Her work in the Heinekey Research Group focused on understanding the interaction between small molecules and transition metal complexes. Sam is excited to start her post-doc position at Pacific Northwest National Lab.

Final Examination – Dissertation Defense

Jason SellersCongratulations to Jason R. V. Sellers, who defended his Ph.D. work, “Adsorption and Thin-Film Adhesion on Single-Crystalline Surfaces: Enthalpies, Entropies, and Kinetic Prefactors for Surface Reactions,” on November 12, 2013. As a student in the research group of Professor Charles Campbell, Jason’s work was focused on the design and construction of a new single crystal adsorption microcalorimeter for metal atom deposition. Jason will be sticking around the Department for a few months before leaving for a position in industry.

Final Examination – Dissertation Defense

Peter HsuCongratulations to Peter Hsu, who defended his doctoral thesis, “Structural and biochemical studies of the transcription termination machinery,” on November 22, 2013.
As a student in research group of Professor Gabriele Varani, Peter characterized a number of proteins governing messenger RNA transcription termination in eukaryotic cells, using a combination of biochemistry, X-ray crystallography, and spectroscopic methods. In January, Peter will be moving to the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Washington to conduct postdoctoral research with Associate Professor Ning Zheng.

Final Examination – Dissertation Defense

Rucker_RichardCongratulations to Richard P. Rucker, who defended his Ph.D. work “New Reactions of Organoboron Compounds” on November 15. As a student with Professor Gojko Lalic, Richard studied the development and mechanisms of reactions utilizing catalytic organoboron–copper transmetallation to create well-defined nucleophilic organocopper intermediates. In January, Richard will start a postdoctoral fellowship with Professor Michael Organ at York University in Toronto, Ontario, where he will study the fundamental reactivity of organopalladium complexes using a variety of experimental and computational techniques in an effort to develop more efficient catalysts for cross-coupling reactions.

Final Examination – Dissertation Defense

KnestingCongratulations to Kristina Knesting, who defended her Ph.D. work “Polymer / Transparent Electrode Interface Studies with Applications for Organic Solar Cells” on September 23. Kristina was a student in Professor David Ginger’s group where she was a U.S. Department of Energy graduate fellow and studied how the interfaces in organic solar cells effect their performance. In the next few months she will be taking a short vacation before starting a career in industry.

Final Examination – Dissertation Defense

WhittakerCongratulations to Aaron Whittaker, who defended his Ph.D. work “New Copper Catalyzed Reactions of Organoboron and Organosilicon Compounds” on August 21. Aaron was a student in Professor Gojko Lalic’s laboratory. In October he will be joining the laboratory of Professor Vy Dong as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of California, Irvine. Aaron’s future research will involve the use of ruthenium as a hydroacylation catalyst, as well as applications of this methodology towards natural product synthesis.

Final Examination – Dissertation Defense

HariCongratulations to Sanjay Hari, who defended his Ph.D. work “Investigating Inactive Conformations of Protein Kinases” on August 16. Sanjay was born and raised in Cincinnati, OH. He received his B.S. from Ohio State University in 2008 and entered the Biomolecular Structure and Design (now Biophysics, Structure, and Design) program at UW the same year. Sanjay has been a student in Professor Dustin Maly’s lab since 2009, where he has been studying protein kinase conformations. Sanjay will continue working in Professor Maly’s lab for the next few months while searching for a postdoctoral position.

Final Examination – Dissertation Defense

RiedelCongratulations to Theran Riedel, who defended his Ph.D. work “Constraints on Reactivity and Components of Nocturnal Nitrogen Oxides” on August 14. Theran was a student in Professor Joel Thornton’s atmospheric chemistry lab for the past five years. In the next few months, he will be heading to North Carolina to work with Professor Jason Surratt at UNC – Chapel Hill where he will study secondary organic aerosol precursors. Theran is excited to begin research there and eat Carolina style barbeque but less excited about the heat and humidity.

Final Examination – Dissertation Defense

ZhaoCongratulations to Mengxia Zhao, who defended his Ph.D. work “Sensitive and High-Throughput Detection, Separation and Analysis of Circulating Tumor Cells” on June 6. Mengxia was a student in Professor Daniel Chiu’s group for the last 5 years, working on single-cell related methods. He will work as a postdoctoral researcher in the Chiu laboratory after graduation.

Final Examination – Dissertation Defense

MarneyCongratulations to Luke Marney, who defended his Ph.D. work “Metabolomics and the Development of Nontarget Discovery Analysis Methods for Two-dimensional Gas Chromatography Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry” on May 30. The aim of Luke’s graduate work was to develop new computational methods for GC x GC – TOFMS metabolomics investigations. Using novel signal processing, statistical, and machine learning principles, the developed software now reduces large complex GC x GC – TOFMS data sets down to only the most important chemical changes for a class comparison experiment. Luke is teaching Chemistry 321 this summer at the University of Washington and will be moving to London, UK, at the end of the summer and will continue work on new data analysis techniques as well as working on many different publication projects.