Three students win Washington Research Scholarships

Congratulations to Sedona Ewbank, Julia Joo, and Briana Lee for winning  Washington Research Scholarships!

Sedona is currently a senior majoring in Neurobiology and Biochemistry at the University of Washington. Most recently, Sedona’s interest in the relationship between the central nervous system and the gut microbiota has led her to join the Palmiter Laboratory in the Department of Biochemistry. In the Palmiter Laboratory, she is investigating whether a group of neurons in the hypothalamus which are known to drive feeding behavior, AgRP neurons, may also have a role in shaping the composition of the gut microbiota to promote energy homeostasis. This research project could provide insight into how humans regulate the microbiome in health and in disease. Following the completion of her bachelor’s degree, Sedona plans to attend graduate school in order to earn a Ph.D. and pursue a career in academic research.

Julia is a senior studying Biochemistry and Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. She is exploring the mutator phenotype of cancer, which theorizes that mutation rates are elevated in cancer cells and thus lead to the accumulation of mutations that accelerate tumorigenesis. She is interested in identifying mutations in genes that can modulate mutation rates, as understanding their functions may contribute to novel approaches for cancer treatments by targeting the mutator phenotype. She is specifically investigating the methods by which Chromosome Transmission Factor (Ctf18) suppresses mutation rates in yeast deficient in DNA polymerase epsilon proofreading, potentially via novel mechanisms involving direct interaction with the polymerase.

Briana Lee is a senior undergraduate student majoring in both neurobiology and biochemistry. Briana is interested in how physics and chemistry can be applied to explain biological phenomenon. She has a passion for interdisciplinary studies and her current research involves processing neuroimaging data to analyze functional connectivity networks in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Functional networks are clusters of neurons within the brain that activate together when completing a certain task. These networks are not well characterized or understood and Briana is interested in quantifying how a specific functional network called the default mode network (DMN) changes during AD progression. She is also interested in how the DMN behaves differently across individuals, potentially providing insight to how environmental or demographic characteristics can affect an individual’s network capabilities.  After graduating from UW, she hopes to attend medical school, while continuing research in a neurobiology-related field.

2017 Awards for Distinguished Research in Chemistry & Biochemistry

Nineteen graduating seniors have been selected for the 2017 Awards for Distinguished Research in Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Congratulations to:

Nasser Alrashdi (PI: Boydston)

Kyla Berry (PI: Fu)

Athena Bollozos (PI: Davis)

Quynh Do (PI: Luscombe)

Alice Dong (PI: Kimelman)

Ashlee Evans (PI: Brockerhoff)

Zachary Gottschalk (PI: Ruohola-Baker)

Aengela Kim (PI: Ailion)

Ulri Lee (PI: Theberge)

Tongyu Lin (PI: Gu)

Sarah Parkhurst (PI: Vaughn)

Anika Patel (PI: Zalatan)

Alexander Rachkov (PI: Gamelin)

Zachary Ramey (PI: Turecek)

Bobby Shih (PI: Klevit)

Zoha Syed (PI: Goldberg)

Kahtana Tran (PI: Ruohola-Baker)

Po Ki Tse (PI: Schlenker)

Phillip Zhu (PI: Kwon)




Four Chemistry/Biochemistry majors named to Husky 100!

Congratulations to Kyle Curtis, Michelle Ann Wasan, Tim Welsh, and Ernie Tao for being named to the Husky 100!  The Husky 100 honors 100 UW undergraduates and graduate students in all areas of study who actively connect what happens inside and outside of the classroom and apply what they learn to make a difference on campus, in their communities and for the future. Through their passion, leadership and commitment, these students inspire all of us to shape our own Husky Experience.

Three students win Undergraduate Research Awards!

LangeCongratulations to Malte Lange who has won a Washington Research Fellowship.  Malte works in Professor Xiaosong Li’s group where his research focuses on improving battery technology.





Congratulations to Amisha Parikh who has won a Washington Research Fellowship.  Amisha works in Dr. Poolos Cellular Neurophysiology Lab at Harborview where she is studying epilepsy.


Qu-Amanda-227x300Congratulations to Amanda Qu who has won a Levinson Emerging Scholar Fellowship.  Amanda works in the Catterall Lab doing structural studies of Calcium channels


Top Scholars in Chemistry announced

fireworksEach year the UW Department of Chemistry acknowledges our top scholars. 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:


  • Jeremy Tran
  • Christine Buffalow
  • Alec Heckert
  • Matthew Ellis
  • Branden Vandermoon
  • Torin Stetina

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

  • Jeremy Tran

The Award for the Outstanding student in Analytical Chemistry  has been awarded to

  • Christine Buffalow

The PC Cross Award for the top student in Physical Chemistry has been awarded to

  • Melvin Soetrisno

The Hyp Dauben Award for the top student in Honors Organic Chemistry has been awarded to

  • James White

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

  • Julia Joo
  • Hyeon-Jin Kim

Congratulations on your achievements!

Three students named Levinson Emerging Scholars

DNACongratulations to Jane Kwon, Cindy Wei, and Wenbi Wu who have been named Levinson Emerging Scholars!




kwonJane Kwon is a senior in the Department of Biochemistry. She joined Dr. Kaeberlein’s lab during her freshman year with an interest in aging and neurodegenerative diseases. Starting as a yeast dissector, she helped to collect and quantify Replicative Lifespan Data of S. cerevisae. She then shifted her focus onto the role of mitochondrial health in aging using  C. elegans, as a model system.  She aspires to become a physician.


weiCindy Wei is a senior majoring in Biochemistry (BS) and minoring in Global Health with Departmental Honors in Biochemistry. In her junior year she joined the Hoppins lab in the Department of Biochemistry, working on the molecular characterization of mitochondrial movement. Her current project focuses on the expression and purification of the proteins involved in microtubule directed mitochondrial transport: Trak1/2 and Miro1/2. Once these recombinant proteins have been obtained she will rebuild the transport machinery in vitro to investigate the function of each protein and their effects on each other in a simple system. Her undergraduate research experience has inspired her to continue to be involved in research and to go on to pursue a PhD after graduation in June 2015.

wenbiWenbi Wu is a senior in Biochemistry (BS), Chemistry (BS) and Mathematics (minor) with Departmental Honors in Chemistry and Biochemistry. Starting from her freshman year, Wenbi began doing research in the lab of Professor David Ginger. Her research area is in hybrid polymer/quantum dot solar cells, with a current research focus on the morphology in hybrid polymer/quantum dot solar cell treated with different quantum dot surface ligands. In collaboration with the Moule group at UC Davis, she is trying to obtain a detailed three-dimensional tomography images. The goal is to better understand and control of morphology in these films to optimize the solar cell performance.