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 advisers@chem.washington.edu

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!

 

McNair Scholars

Congratulations to Chinonso Opara, Misghana Andemichael, and Amir Hassen who have recently been named McNair Scholars.  These three students join Vicky Herrera at the McNair Program.

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.

 

Departmental Scholarships

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.

For the 2012-13 academic year, applications for the departmental scholarships are available in Bagley Hall Room 303. Students can also print out the scholarship application here.

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.

Amgen Scholars announced

Three Biochemistry students  have been named Amgen Scholars! Congratulations  Chinoso Opara, Guillermo Romano, and Denis Smirnov.

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.