Bonderman Travel Fellowship awarded to Nicolle Esparo!

kalifornia13 061Congratulations to Nicolle Esparo who has been named a recipient of the Bonderman Travel Fellowship.  The Bonderman Travel Fellowship awards $20,000 to support  students to engage in international travel.  Recipients must travel for a minimum of eight months in at least six countries in two or more major regions of the world.  Nicolle plans to visit Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.  Happy travels, Nicolle!

Student Speakers requested for 2014 Graduation Ceremony

FNTN_036This year the Chemistry Department has decided to have to two “Commencement” speeches given by two graduating students at our Chemistry and Biochemistry Graduation and Awards Recognition Celebration that will be held on Wednesday, June 11, at 8:30pm. We plan on selecting one biochemistry major and one chemistry major to each give brief (around 5 minutes) commencement speeches.  If you are interested in being considered for one of the speakers, please send a one page abstract of what your speech will entail to, by Friday, April 25. A committee will review the abstracts and then contact selected students who will be invited to present their speech before the committee. Students will be notified by mid-May of the Committee’s decision.

Goldwater Scholar

tranCongratulations to Jeremy Tran who has won the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship! Jeremy is a BS Chemistry ACS & BS Biochemistry major conducting research with the Karen Goldberg Group investigating the use of water as the terminal oxidant in the oxidation of aldehydes to carboxylic acids.

Alex Vaschillo wins Astronaut Scholarship Foundation Award


Congratulations to Alex Vaschillo who was won the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation award!

Alex works in the Masiello Group in the UW Department of Chemistry. His research studies the collective oscillations of conduction electrons in metal nanoparticles known as localized surface plasmon resonances (LSPRs). The LSPRs have been the source of much scientific study over the last decade due to their immediate and significant applications in chemical catalysis, drug delivery, and cancer reduction therapy.

Chrissy Stachl wins Pfizer Air Diversity Fellowship

stachlCongratulations to Chrissy Stachl who has won a Pfizer Air Diversity Fellowship! The fellowship will support her research in Chemistry Professor Matt Bush’s group where she is using ion mobility spectrometry and mass spectrometry to investigate the effects of divalent metal ion binding on the structures of monomers and dimers of the core domain of the protein B-crystalline.

Four students named Levinson Emerging Scholars

Congratulations to Margaux Pinney, Denis Smirnov, Christoffer Amdahl, and Derek Britain who have been named Levinson Emerging Scholars.

photoid150-150Margaux Pinney works in the lab of Chemistry Professor Jim Mayer. She originally investigated the potential for proton-coupled electron transfer at synthetic iron-sulfer clusters before moving on to her current independent project which investigates the reversibility of Compound I formation in horseradish peroxidase.


smirnov_dennisDenis Smirnov works with Prof. John Neumaier in Psychiatry to investigate the role of the Lateral Habenula and the Rostromedial Tegmental Nucleus in Cocaine Addiction. An important problem in the treatment of cocaine addiction is the vulnerability of previously addicted individuals to relapse to cocaine use months or even years after abstinence. The lateral habenula and the rostromedial tegmental nucleus are important regulators of the midbrain dopaminergic systems that are known to be involved in cocaine taking and relapse behaviors.


Derek_BritainDerek Britain works in Dr. Roger Brent’s lab at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Using budding yeast as a model organism, Derek researches how cells gather information from their environment, how this information is processed by the cell, and how a cell makes a decision based on the results. Currently, he is investigating the role microtubule end binding proteins play in signal transmission and fidelity. Derek is also investigating mutant forms of these proteins found in the human population, and if these mutations result in poor signal handling that could result in poor cell decisions.

Chris_AmdahlChristoffer Amdahl began work in the de la Iglesia lab sophomore year of college studying the Neurobiology of Circadian Rhythms. Currently, his project consists the examination of the phosphorylation state of Phosephodiesterase-5 and its role in the cGMP-mediated light induced phase advance that occurs in the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus. This will hopefully develop a better understanding of the neurochemical mechanisms underlying circadian rhythms, as well as the means to provide pharmacological treatment.

Three students win Washington Research Fellowships

Congratulations to Shiv Bhandari, Jeremy Housekeeper, and Alex Vaschillo who have won Washington Research Fellowships!

Shiv_BhandariShiv Bhandari works in the Murray lab at the UW Department of Pathology. His research is dedicated to developing stem-cell therapies for myocardial infarctions. Shiv is currently engineering a device to simulate the mechanical environment of the heart.




Jeremy Housekeeper works in the lab of Professor Christine Luscombe in Materials Science and Engineering.  He is currently working on the development of next-generation materials and synthetic techniques for organic electronics applications.
His current project focuses on the synthesis of dithienothiophene (DTT) and other molecules through C-H activation.



Alex Vaschillo works in the Masiello Group in the UW Department of Chemistry.  His research studies the collective oscillations of conduction electrons in metal nanoparticles known as localized surface plasmon resonances (LSPRs). The LSPRs have been the source of much scientific study over the last decade due to their immediate and significant applications in chemical catalysis, drug delivery, and cancer reduction therapy.

Congratulations Shiv, Jeremy and Alex!


Top scholars in Chemistry Announced

Each year the UW Department of Chemistry acknowledges our top scholars.  Our award for Distinguished Scholarship in Chemistry or Biochemistry is given to graduating seniors with exceptional academic records.  Our 2012-13 scholars are:


  • Michael J. Bocek,
  • Evan A. Boyle,
  • Michelle K. Drews,
  • Benjamin G. Horst,
  • Mathini S. Mohanachandran.

Our award for Distinguished Achievement in Chemistry Research is given to graduating seniors who have performed exceptional research in Chemistry.  This year’s recipients are:

  • Carolyn E. Gunthardt (for research in Inorganic Chemistry with Prof. Gamelin),
  • Eric M. Janke (for research in Materials Chemistry with Prof. Ginger),
  • Timothy A. Livingston Large (for research in Physical Chemistry with Prof. Campbell)
  • Matthew M. Sonnett (for research in Biological Chemistry with Prof. Gelb)

The Award for the Outstanding student in Inorganic Chemistry for 2012-13 has been awarded to

  • Carolyn Gunthardt.

The Hypercube Scholar Award for the top student in Chem 465 Computations in Chemistry has been awarded to

  • Benjamin Horst.

The PC Cross award for the top students in Physical Chemistry for 2012-13 has been awarded to

  • Sally Turner and Wei Huang.


The Hyp Dauben Award for the top students in Honors Organic Chemistry for 2012-13 has been awarded to

  • Calvin Le and Jeremy Tran.

The Honors General Chemistry Achievement Award for the top students in Honors General Chemistry has been awarded to

  • Natacha Lou Comandante and Mitchell Krawczyk.

Congratulations on your achievements!

President’s Medalist!

drewsCongratulations to Michelle Drews who has been named this year’s President’s Medalist!  Each year since 1932, the UW President has presented a medal to the graduating senior who has achieved the most distinguished academic record at the University.  Michelle is a senior at the University of Washington double majoring in Biochemistry and Neurobiology with departmental honors as well as a minor in Bioethics and Humanities.  After graduation she plans to pursue an MD/PhD and is interested in the use of neuroimaging to diagnose and study neurological conditions.