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

  • Adam Officer.

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!

Bonderman Travel Fellowships Awarded

Hsieh_Emilytaipale2Congratulations to Alexandra Taipale and Emily Hsieh who have been named recipients 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.

Congratulations Alexandra and Emily!

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.

2013 Departmental Graduation Celebration

The Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry are pleased to announce our annual Graduation and Awards Recognition Celebration will be held Friday, June 14, 2013 from 6:00-7:30 pm at the HUB Ballroom.



Questions (including disability accommodation requests) may be sent to

Congratulations Graduates!

Amgen Scholars announced

PinneyCongratulations to Margaux Pinney who has been named an Amgen Scholar!

The University of Washington’s Amgen Scholars Program provides a transformative opportunity for some of the nation’s top undergraduates to explore and prepare for careers in scientific research.  This summer program places selected students in premiere research groups under the direction of UW faculty in the biomedical sciences and provides related seminars, career exploration, graduate school preparation, and other activities. The program enables students to explore connections between their undergraduate major areas of study and future post-graduate study focused on research in science, biotechnology and related fields.

Margaux has also the  been awarded an Alumnae Board Scholarship.The Alumnae Board Scholarship is a full-tuition scholarship awarded annually to one student. The Alumnae Board selects a scholarship winner based on scholastic achievement, financial need, leadership, and community service. Congratulations Margaux!

Five students receive Washington Research Foundation Fellowships

Congratulations to Marvin Nayan, Ben Horst, Evan Boyle, Derek Nhan, and Matt Sonnett who have received Washington Research Foundation Fellowships.  Washington Research Foundation Fellowships (WRFF)  for advanced undergraduates support promising students who work on creative and sophisticated science and engineering research projects under the guidance of UW faculty. WRFFs target undergraduates who have already participated in undergraduate research for at least three quarters and who are working beyond an introductory level in a project that requires creativity and advanced knowledge.

Marvin Nayan is a senior studying Neurobiology and Biochemistry. Marvin’s project investigates the genetic factors of dendrite patterning and maintenance morphology in fruit fly sensory neurons. He is hopeful this research will contribute to our understanding of genetic mechanisms underlying the maintenance of neuronal function.


Evan Boyle is a senior studying Microbiology and Biochemistry. Long fascinated by the often subtle distinction between healthy and diseased conditions, he worked on genotyped multiple transgenic mouse lines and expressed recombinant enzymes in E. coli and Sf9 cells to study the role of secreted phospholipases A2 in asthma and other conditions.


Ben Horst is  a senior in Chemistry & Biochemistry.  Ben works in the Mayer lab studying reduction/oxidation and biomimetic inorganic chemistry, and nanoparticles. Ben’s first project  involved studying a reduction/oxidation mechanism called a Multiple-Site Concerted Proton Electron Transfer reaction. His new project combines TiO2 nanoparticles and Concerted Proton Electron Transfer to complete a non-trivial two electron, two proton transfer.

Derek Nhan is a senior majoring in Biochemistry and Neurobiology. He is currently doing research in the Becker lab and has been involved in several projects associated with the consequences of post-stroke cerebrovascular damage and his most recent project focuses on the morphologies of neuronal damage as a marker for worse clinical outcome.


Matthew Sonnett is a senior Biochemistry major who is currently working with Professor Mike Gelb. His research involves  making small molecule inhibitors that can be used to better understand the role of several proteins intimately involved in a number of inflammatory events.

Two students named as Levinson Emerging Scholars

We are pleased to announce that Emily Hsieh and Ben Horst have been named Levinson Emerging Scholars.  The Levinson Emerging Scholars Program supports talented and highly motivated UW juniors and seniors who want to pursue creative and highly independent research in genetics, neuroscience, biochemistry, bioengineering, bioinformatics, and related fields in the life sciences.As Levinson Emerging Scholars,  undergraduates receive funding to support focused, independent research in these disciplines for up to two academic years.

Emily Hsieh was worked under the direction of her mentors Drs. Harmit Malik and Nitin Phadnis, where she has been involved in various projects exploring genetic conflict and speciation in the context of Drosophila. With the generous support of the Levinson Emerging Scholars Program, Emily hopes to continue her research in understanding the genetic basis of speciation in Drosophila and contribute to the understanding of the origin of species. The culmination of Emily’s undergraduate experience as a biochemistry student and as a Malik lab undergraduate researcher has strengthened her desire to pursue a PhD.

Ben Horst is currently a senior and will graduate in the spring with degrees in Chemistry (BS, ACS certified), Biochemistry (BA), and Mathematics (minor) as well as College Honors and Departmental Honors in Chemistry and Biochemistry. He got his first research experience the summer after his freshman year in the lab of Professor Sarah Keller fabricating and analyzing model cellular membranes. With the Keller group he presented work at the Undergraduate Research Symposium, the Northwest ACS Undergraduate Symposium, and the 2012 National Biophysical Society Meeting. The time he spent in the Keller Lab propelled him to take the next step in his research career by joining the group of Professor James Mayer in studying inorganic chemistry, specifically reduction/oxidation and biomimetic inorganic chemistry, and nanoparticles. When Ben first joined the Mayer group, he undertook a project himself without a graduate student or postdoctoral mentor to study a specific type of reduction/oxidation mechanism called a Multiple-Site Concerted Proton Electron Transfer reaction in which a carbon hydrogen bond is cleaved by transferring the proton to a base and the electron to an oxidant. Now he is collaborating on a new project that combines TiO2 nanoparticles and Concerted Proton Electron Transfer to complete a non-trivial two electron, two proton transfer under relatively mild conditions.When not in the lab, Ben enjoys TAing in the Chemistry department, running, hiking, sports, and music, playing snare drum in the University of Washington Drumline and singing bass in an a cappella choir on campus.

Congratulations Emily and Ben!