Levinson Emerging Scholar Award Winners Announced


The Levinson Emerging Scholars Program supports talented and highly motivated UW juniors and seniors who want to pursue creative and advanced bioscience and related research. Two of our students, Daniel Brock and Ethan Hills, have received the 2018-2019 Levinson Emerging Scholar Award.

Daniel is a senior majoring in biochemistry and molecular, cellular, and developmental biology, with a minor in chemistry.  An internship at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center during his sophomore year got him interested in research.  Daniel joined the Brockerhoff lab in the department of biochemistry during the summer of 2017. His current project focuses on studying how the mitochondria in the retina respond to circadian rhythm and cellular stress.  His research aims to support advancements in understanding blindness associated with mitochondrial damage, like Age-Related Macular Degeneration. After graduation, Daniel plans on taking a gap year, conducting clinical research at the NIH’s National Cancer Institute.  He eventually plans on pursuing an MD/PhD degree and researching Leukemia.

Ethan is a senior majoring in biochemistry with a minor in mathematics. After his freshman year, he began working in Dr. Stan Fields’s lab studying genetics and molecular biology. In his current research, Ethan is investigating the biosynthesis and evolvability of lasso peptide antibiotics and how they respond to genetic mutation. Through this study, he hopes to gain insight on how manipulating the microbial pathways in which these peptides are synthesized allows for the discovery of novel antibiotics and their ability to overcome bacterial resistance. After graduating from UW, Ethan hopes to attend a graduate program in biochemistry studying drugs and medicine.

Congratulations to both Daniel and Ethan!


Congratulations to Freshman Medalist Jason Wien!

Congratulations to  the 2017-18 Freshman Medalist Jason Wien!

The President’s Medalist Award celebrates the top student in each undergraduate class. Each medalist is selected by a committee for their high GPA, rigor of their classes and number of Honors courses.

In high school, Jason was a national A.P. scholar and a national merit finalist. He also played alto sax in jazz band and percussion in concert band. He went on to earn the outstanding musician award for his percussion skills. Jason was directly admitted to the UW Chemistry major as an entering Freshman and dove into the rigor of Honors General Chemistry, ultimately sharing  the award given to the top students in the Honors General Chemistry series.  When Jason isn’t studying, he enjoys spending time with friends and playing computer games. He also enjoys Rubik’s-type puzzles because of the logic and algorithms involved in solving them.

We congratulate Jason on his excellent academic record!

Washington Research Foundation Fellowships Announced

Washington Research Foundation Fellowships support promising students who work on creative and sophisticated science and engineering research projects under the guidance of UW faculty. Three of our students, Jack Jiang, Dane Johnson, and Heather Klug, have been awarded 2018-2019 WRF Fellowships.

Jack is a senior majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. With a deep interest in protein-small molecule interaction and protein engineering, he joined the Gu lab in the Institute for Protein Design to study the facilitation of small molecules in protein-protein interaction and high throughput methods to quantitatively characterize these interactions. Jack’s current project focuses on developing a Chemical Induced Dimerization system, in which the antiviral drugs Valacyclovir and lamivudine are used as the small molecules to facilitate the binding of two single-domain antibody binders. After graduation, Jack plans to attend graduate school to conduct further research in the biomedical field.

Dane is a junior studying chemistry and biochemistry. In the summer of 2017, he joined the Cossairt Lab to help investigate the syntheses of indium phosphide quantum dots (InP QDs). Currently, he is exploring factors in quantum rod formation, a morphology of InP with greater advantages in bioimaging and photovoltaics. After graduation, he plans to attend graduate school and pursue a Ph.D. in chemistry.

Heather is a senior majoring in biochemistry. She joined the Murry lab in the fall of her sophomore year and has been working on improving the maturation process of stem cell derived-cardiomyocytes in vitro. The goal of her project is to understand cardiomyocyte maturation during development. After graduating this spring, she hopes to pursue a PharmD and eventually work in the research and development sector of the pharmaceutical industry.

Congratulations to Jack, Dane, and Heather!

University of Washington iGEM team wins silver prize!

Congratulations to the University of Washington iGEM team for winning a silver prize at the annual International Genetically Engineered Machine competition.

The University of Washington iGEM team brings students together from multiple disciplines to work together to design, build, test, and measure a system of their own design using interchangeable biological parts and standard molecular biology techniques.  The team consisted of 37 undergraduates from multiple disciplines including Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Informatics, Biology, Physics, ACMS, and Chemical Engineering.  Seven Biochemistry students that are on the team include Angela Wong, Hannah Redden, Karl Anderson, Renaldo Sutanto, Angie Dang, Kateka Seth, and Kristine Leano.

The UW iGEM team worked on Chemically induced dimerization of Nanobodies for the Development of Versatile Biosensors.

Chemically induced dimerization (CID), in which two proteins dimerize only in the presence of a small molecule, has been widely used to control cell signaling, regulatory, and metabolic pathways, and used as logic gates for biological computation in living mammalian cells. However, few naturally occuring CID systems and their derivatives are currently available. Creating a CID system with desired affinity and specificity for any given small molecule remains an unsolved problem for computational design and other protein engineering approaches. To address this challenge, the team has used a novel strategy to select CID binders from a vastly diverse combinatorial nanobody library. They created new CID systems that can sense cholecalciferol and artemisinin. They are also validating CID biosensors by a yeast three-hybrid system and building structural models to understand the small molecule-induced dimerization.

Postcards from Study Abroad

Summer is a great time to study abroad!  Here are a few photos students have sent us.

Chantalle Bell studied Health & Community in Cape Town, South Africa!


Kristine Leano did research at the Sorbonne in Paris, France!

Ashna Deo did environmental Chemistry in Peru!

Top Scholars in Chemistry Announced

Each year the Department of Chemistry acknowledges our top students in the Honors General Chemistry series, the Honors Organic Chemistry series, and the Physical Chemistry series.

The P.C. Cross award for the top students in Physical Chemistry has been awarded to Sabrina Estes and Ryan Flores.

The Hyp Dauben award for the top student in Honors Organic Chemistry has been awarded to Grace Wang.

The Honors General Chemistry Achievement Award for the top students in Honors General Chemistry has been awarded to Jason Wien, Irika Sinha, and Isaiah Lemmon.

Congratulations to all of our top scholars!

Congratulations Class of 2018!

We are tremendously proud of the  375 students who graduated with Bachelor degrees in Chemistry and Biochemistry as part of the Class of 2018!

Approximately 225  students celebrated with us on June 7 at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.We wish all our graduates congratulations!  Please stay in touch!

Hyeon-Jin Kim wins the Dean’s Medal for the Natural Sciences!

Congratulations to Hyeon-Jin Kim who has been selected as the Dean’s Medalist for the Natural Sciences! Each year the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences recognizes the top student in each of the College’s four divisions of arts, humanities, social sciences and natural sciences.  Recipients are selected on the basis of grade point average and faculty recommendations. Hyeon-Jin Kim is graduating Summa Cum Laude with a BS Biochemistry, BS Chemistry and BS ACMS with departmental honors.  We are fortunate that he will be staying at the UW as he matriculates into the UW PhD program in Genome Sciences next year!

Research Awards Announced!

Congratulations to our graduating seniors that have been selected to receive our award for Distinguished Research in Chemistry and Distinguished Research in Biochemistry!  This year’s recipients of the award for Distinguished Research in Chemistry are:

Kimberly Anderson (Professor Synovec group)

Catherine Chang (Professor Keller group)

Ryan Chu (Professor Theberge group)

Mitchell Kaiser (Professor Gamelin group)

Hyeon-Jin Kim (Professor Vaughan group)

Felix Leeb (Professor Maibaum group)


This year’s recipients of the award for Distinguished Research in Biochemistry are:

Hyung Chan Brian Kim (Professor King)

Andrew McAlister (Professor Ruohola-Baker)

Cecilia Nguyen(Professor Kwon)

Donovan Phua (Professor Klevit)

Natali Shumlak (Professor Klevit)

Penghan Yang (Professor Kimelman)