Seven Chemistry graduate students awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

GRFP_logo smallCongratulations to the seven graduate students in the Department of Chemistry who were awarded 2015 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships, and to the nine graduate students who received honorable mentions. The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited U.S. institutions.

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship recipients:
Zuzana Culakova (Goldberg research group)
Tyler Chozinski (Vaughan research group)
Emily Dieter (Maly research group)
Rachel Eaton (Bush research group)
Marco Howard (Vaughan research group)
Johanna Schwartz (Boydston research group)
Karena Smoll (Goldberg research groups)

Honorable Mentions:
Maike Blakely (Kovacs research group)
Caitlin Cornell (Keller research group)
Andy Dang (Turecek research group)
Lauren Gagnon (Vaughan research group)
Michael De Siena (Gamelin research group)
Michael Enright (Cossairt research group)
Troy Kilburn (Gamelin research group)
Francis (Ray) Lin (Jen research group)
Chloe Lombard (Maly research group)

Congratulations!

For more information, please see the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program website and the full listing of NSF GRFP Awards and Honorable Mentions.

Andrea Carroll promoted to Senior Lecturer

CarrollThe Department of Chemistry congratulates Lecturer Andrea Carroll on her promotion to Senior Lecturer, effective September 16, 2015.

Dr. Carroll joined the Department of Chemistry as a full-time lecturer in Fall 2011 after having been an instructor in the general chemistry course since Fall of 2009. She has served as the general chemistry laboratory instructor, as well, since Fall of 2006, guiding the laboratory portion of the general chemistry series for approximately 3,000 students each year.

Dan Fu to join faculty

FuWe are delighted to announce that Dr. Dan Fu will be joining the Department as Assistant Professor of Chemistry for the 2015-16 academic year. Dr. Fu completed his undergraduate studies in chemistry at Peking University. He earned his Ph.D. in chemistry with Professor Warren Warren at Princeton University, where he developed novel nonlinear absorption microscopy for visualizing non-fluorescent biomolecules and applied it to early melanoma diagnosis. Dr. Fu briefly conducted postdoctoral work on quantitative phase microscopy with the late Professor Michael Feld at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before moving to his current postdoctoral position at Harvard University with Professor X. Sunney Xie. While at Harvard, Dr. Fu has focused on the development of multiplex and hyperspectral stimulated Raman scattering microscopy, which he has applied to the study of biological problems such as lipid metabolism, drug transport, and cell growth.

Dr. Fu will launch his research program at the University of Washington in the summer of 2015. He will focus on the development of novel quantitative optical spectroscopy and imaging techniques to study the spatial-temporal dynamics of biomolecules in living biological cells and organisms, with an overarching goal of using analytical and physical chemistry approaches to explore the cellular mechanisms of complex diseases, develop early disease diagnosis tools, and establish effective drug screening processes.

For more information about Dr. Fu and his research, please visit his faculty page or contact him directly via email.

Stefan Stoll named a 2015 Cottrell Scholar

Stoll_headshot_150pxAssistant Professor Stefan Stoll has received a 2015 Cottrell Scholar Award from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA). The Cottrell Scholar Award provides $75,000 in funding to support innovative teaching and research. The RSCA granted fifteen awards this year to early career scientists in the fields of chemistry, physics, and astronomy at institutions across the United States, recognizing the recipients as outstanding teacher-scholars with innovative research programs and academic leadership skills.

Stoll uses an experimental biophysical approach to pursue a deeper understanding of the molecular structure and dynamics of proteins and protein complexes that underlie the mechanisms of all chemical processes in life. He is developing highly sensitive and accurate methods to measure the flexibility of protein shapes using double electron-electron resonance (DEER) spectroscopy, a pulsed electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) technique that measures nanometer-scale distances between spin labels attached to proteins, allowing the determination of conformational distributions and flexibility in a manner unattainable by other methods. With DEER, it is possible to distinguish rigid proteins from flexible ones, and to quantify and visualize the flexibility, though Stoll is also working to significantly increase the sensitivity of the DEER technique to improve its use as a measurement tool.

As an educator, Stoll is interested in enhancing student engagement and increasing learning outcomes through the use of digital media. He is working to design and produce an extensive series of brief lecture videos and a set of tutorial videos, which will be integrated into his physical chemistry courses, as well as an online open-access textbook for undergraduates in physical chemistry.

Please visit the Research Corporation website for more information about the Cottrell Scholars program and the 2015 award recipients.

For more information about Professor Stoll and his research, please visit his faculty page and research group website.

Dustin Maly promoted to Professor

MalyThe Department of Chemistry congratulates Associate Professor Dustin Maly on his promotion to Professor, effective September 16, 2015.

The Maly group is interested in developing new chemical tools that will allow a greater quantitative understanding of cellular signaling than is possible with currently available methods. Using the tools of organic synthesis they are generating cell permeable small molecules that allow the activation or inactivation of specific signaling enzymes in living cells.

To learn more about Professor Maly’s research, please visit his faculty page and research group website.

Xiaosong Li promoted to Professor

li150The Department of Chemistry congratulates Associate Professor Xiaosong Li on his promotion to Professor, effective September 16, 2015.

Research in the Li group focuses on the development of low-scaling methods to resolve excited state properties of many-electron systems, both in the time and frequency domains. This work is complimented by, and finds uses in, the development of efficient methods for studying non-adiabatic dynamics in large-scale systems.

To learn more about Professor Li’s research, please visit his faculty page and research group website.

Brandi Cossairt awarded 2015 Sloan Research Fellowship

Cossairt_HeadShot_sqAssistant Professor Brandi Cossairt has been awarded a 2015 Sloan Research Fellowship, awarded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The fellowships are “given to early-career scientists and scholars whose achievements and potential identify them as rising stars, the next generation of scientific leaders.”

Cossairt’s research is in the area of synthetic inorganic chemistry, with a focus on building up molecules and materials for targeted applications in light harvesting and catalysis.

The fellowships include a grant of $50,000 over a two-year period. Once chosen, Sloan Research Fellows are free to pursue whatever lines of inquiry are of most interest to them, and they are permitted to employ Fellowship funds in a wide variety of ways to further their research aims.

“We are very proud of these young scientists who have received these very meaningful and prestigious early career fellowships,” said UW Provost and Executive Vice President Ana Mari Cauce. “The awards will enhance the innovative work they are doing in their respective disciplines. The number of recipients this year is also a tribute to the talent our departments have brought to the UW in recent years — these young faculty members are at the top of their fields at this point in their careers and as such the future of the University looks very bright.”

This year’s 126 fellows come from 57 colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada and cover many different fields in the sciences, including oceanography, computer science, astronomy, neuroscience, economics and chemistry. Since the program began in 1955, 43 fellows have received a Nobel Prize in their respective fields, along with many other prestigious awards.

Candidates are nominated by their fellow scientists, and winning fellows are selected by an independent panel of senior scholars on the basis of a candidate’s independent research accomplishments, creativity and potential to become a leader in his or her field.

Please visit the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation website for more information about the Sloan Research Fellowship and a full list of recipients.

For more information about Professor Cossairt and her research, please visit her faculty page and research group website.

Daniel Gamelin wins 2015 Inorganic Chemistry Lectureship Award

GamelinThe American Chemical Society Division of Inorganic Chemistry has announced Professor Daniel Gamelin as the winner of the third Inorganic Chemistry Lectureship Award. Prof. Gamelin was nominated by his peers for his broad, unique, and outstanding sustained contribution to the development of inorganic nanoscience. He will be presented with the award at a symposium held in his honor at the 250th ACS National Meeting in Boston, August 16-20, 2015.

Gamelin’s research combines synthesis, spectroscopy, and ligand field theory or ab initio electronic-structure methods to elucidate key functional properties of inorganic materials. His work has been recognized with numerous awards including the ACS Inorganic Nanoscience Award, a Sloan Research Fellowship, a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Senior Fellow of the Zukunftskolleg, and a Scialog Fellow of the Research Corporation.

For more information about Professor Gamelin and his research, please visit his faculty page and research group website.

Recent work by Jesse Zalatan featured on the cover of Cell

Assistant Professor Jesse Zalatan and co-workers at the UCSF have developed a method to encode complex, synthetic transcriptional regulatory programs using the CRISPR-Cas system. Natural biological systems can switch between different functional or developmental states depending on the particular set of genes being expressed, and the ability to synthetically control gene expression has important implications as both a research tool and as a means to engineer novel cell-based therapeutics and devices.

Zalatan and coworkers designed CRISPR-Cas RNA scaffold molecules that specify both a DNA target and the function to execute at the target, so that sets of RNA scaffolds can be used to generate a synthetic, multigene transcriptional program in eukaryotic cells in which some genes are activated and others are repressed. These types of programs can be used to reprogram complex reaction networks in biological systems, such as metabolic pathways or signaling cascades.

For more information about Professor Zalatan and his research, please visit his faculty page and research group website.

Three Chemistry graduate students honored as inaugural PNNL Graduate Fellows

PNNL logo squareCongratulations to Chemistry graduate students Jose Araujo (Gamelin research group), Rachel Eaton (Bush research group), and Michael Enright (Cossairt research group), who have been named as the first-ever PNNL Graduate Fellows. The awardees will be supported by research assistantships funded by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) for Spring Quarter 2015.

The PNNL Graduate Fellowship Program provides recipients with valuable research experiences complementary to their graduate education at the University of Washington. This program was recently established by the Department of Chemistry and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory with the goal of generating new opportunities for collaboration, accelerating progress in research areas of mutual interest, and strengthening existing ties between the Department and PNNL. Our institutional ties were also recently expanded through the addition of PNNL scientists Dr. Thom Dunning and Dr. James De Yoreo to the Chemistry faculty; each holds an appointment as Affiliate Professor of Chemistry with graduate faculty status, which allows them to supervise graduate students at the University of Washington.

Please see the Graduate Program website for more information about the awardees: Jose Araujo, Rachel Eaton, and Michael Enright.