Three Chemistry/Biochemistry majors win Washington Research Foundation Fellowships

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!

UW student selected for Rhodes Scholarship

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.

Congratulations Cameron!

Team of UW undergraduate science majors wins iGEM genetic engineering contest

A team of 23 UW undergraduates science majors has won the prestigious iGEM genetic engineering competition. The UW undergrad members came from the departments of biochemistry, microbiology, bioengineering, materials science, and computer science. The team did months of lab work to genetically engineer microbes that could either produce diesel fuel or help treat the difficult digestion problems for people with gluten intolerance.

Team members from Biochemistry and Chemistry include:
Casey Ager, Juhye An,Sydney Gordon, Elaine Lai, Austin Moon, Seth Sagulo, Sarah Wolf, Sean Wu, and Lei Zheng.

This year’s faculty advisers were David Baker, a UW biochemistry professor who predicts proteins’ 3-D structures in order to design new proteins; Eric Klavins, whose research investigates how bacteria and other systems can self-organize and Herbert Sauro, a UW bioengineering associate professor who does computer-aided design of biochemical interactions.

The research done by these students will likely be published in a peer-reviewed science journal. Congratulations!