Congratulations 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.
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.
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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.
The Ronald E. McNair Program prepares undergraduates for doctoral study through involvement in research and scholarly activities. The purpose of the McNair Program is to assist in the academic and professional development of undergraduates whose goals are to teach and research at the college level. In order to help students achieve those goals, the program sponsors and supports undergraduate experiences that lay the foundation for a successful graduate school experience.
Thanks to the generosity of several alumni and others interested in helping deserving chemistry and biochemistry students, the Department of Chemistry has some scholarships and book prizes available to students who are currently UW students and declared biochemistry or chemistry majors.
Depending on the particular award, academic merit, financial need, career goals, employment history, extracurricular activities, and undergraduate research record are among the criteria used to determine the recipients. Generally, the scholarships are awarded to students who have been in the Department for a year or more.
Completed applications are due by 4pm on November 30, 2012. The scholarship committee will meet in December 2012 to choose recipients. Awards will be disbursed for Winter quarter 2013.
Chinonso Opara is a rising junior in the department of Biochemistry at the University of Washington. This summer, he is working in the lab of Dr. William Atkins on developing a novel method of quantifying the concentration of quantum dots, using various biophysical techniques. Quantum dots are small nanoparticles with the capability of fluorescing under ultraviolet light, and have several applications ranging from enhancing LED lighting to cellular imaging and drug delivery.
Guillermo Romano is a rising senior at the University of Washington, working on a double degree in Public Health and Biochemistry. This summer he is working in the Maly lab to synthesize a small molecule capable of profiling Sarcoma Family Kinases.
Denis Smirnov is a rising junior at the University of Washington studying biochemistry and neurobiology. He is working with Dr. Chatterjee in the Department of Chemistry to investigate the ubiquitin-like protein degradation pathway in Mycobacerium tuberculosis, through mechanistic studies of the ligase enzyme PafA. Current research is aimed at working to determine the substrate scope of PafA by using novel chemical tools to monitor enzyme activity.
Congratulations to Michael Bocek who has has won the prestigious Goldwater scholarship. Michael is a Biochemistry major at the University of Washington. He has done research in the department of Bioengineering involving the design and evaluation of polymer-based vectors to deliver therapeutic genes to neurons. After graduation Michael plans to pursue a Ph.D in bioengineering, focusing on engineering bio-materials. Afterwards, he hopes to go on to a scientific research career, either in academia or industry.
We are also happy to announce that Evan Boyle has been named as an honorable mention for the Goldwater Scholarship. Evan is a Biochemistry and Microbiology double major, and works in the Gelb lab. His lab work is aimed at characterizing a class of enzymes implicated in asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Evan wishes to counter the burgeoning wave of chronic conditions by pinpointing promising therapeutic targets in genetic technology. After his undergraduate career, Evan will pursue a Ph.D in Genetics, and aspires to make a difference in medical outcomes for patients worldwide and to enhance the impact that biomedical research has on people’s lives.
Congratulation also go to Derek Nhan who has also been named an honorable mention for the Goldwater Scholarship. Derek is a junior majoring in Neurobiology and Biochemistry. He is currently performing research in Dr. Kyra Becker’s neurology lab focused on understanding the molecular and behavioral basis behind the systemic immune response to stroke. Currently, his project involves monitoring the consequences of post-stroke infection in an animal model and its impact on neurological outcome. After graduation, Derek plans to pursue a career in medical research and become involved in the development of targeted approaches for treatment of neurological disorders.
Michael Choi, Benjamin Horst, and Kwang Kim have each won a Washington Research Foundation Fellowship.
Michael Choi has been investigating embryonic stem cells and stem cell maintenance in the Ruohola-Baker laboratory, focusing on the metabolism of embryonic stem cells and how it relates to their function. Stem cells play a critical role in development and disease; by better understanding how these cells function in both normal and pathological conditions, scientists can learn how to control, treat, and cure disorders that arise.
Benjamin Horst works in the Keller Chemistry group where he has worked on refining a new fabrication technique for the formation of vesicles. He will be starting a new project aimed at determining how the miscibility temperature of lipid membranes varies with the composition as the surface pressure is held constant.
Kwang Seob Kim’s project with Dr. Ludo Max aims to better understand the central nervous system functioning in speech and non-speech movements, as well as the neural mechanisms underlying stuttering in particular. The goal of his project is to design a protocol/procedure to quantify the ability of the speech sensorimotor systems to learn a completely novel sensorimotor mapping. This protocol has the potential to not only enhance our knowledge of motor learning, but to also improve the rehabilitation of individuals with movement disorders.
Congratulations Michael, Benjamin and Kwang Seob!
Cameron Turtle, who has conducted research in the Keller Chemistry group and in Bioengineering, has been selected for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship. The scholarship provides full financial support for scholars to study at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. Cameron is majoring in Bioengineering. His research in the Keller Chemistry group involved studying the 2-dimensional phase separation in lipid membranes. Cameron’s project was to incorporate charged lipids into the membranes and study the membranes’ miscibility transition temperatures.
Among his various accolades, Cameron is a Mary Gates scholar as well as a Goldwater scholar. He co-founded Bioengineers Without Borders and is also founder and CEO of Point of Care Technologies.