Multi-disciplinary approach to understanding Botulinum toxin

RonetalFigResearch Associate Professor Werner Kaminsky contributed to a research project recently highlighted in Nature. With the catch phrase “BOTOX paralyses zebrafish muscles and blocks fin regeneration”, Nature highlighted a publication on the effect of Botulinum toxin on bone regeneration,[i] tested on small fish, whose fins were cut-off (under sedation), then regrown while testing different amounts of medications administrated to the fish’s dorsolateral trunk and the base of the tail fin prior to surgery.[ii] Nature summed up the findings with “muscle paralysis (was) similar to that seen in mammals and humans in that it was focal, dose-dependent and short-lasting.” and “BTx treatment had a negative impact on bone formation during fin regeneration.” The work involved a truly diverse multi-discipline co-operation between members of three departments on the UW campus: Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, Pharmacology, and Chemistry. The regenerating zebrafish tail fin often provides a compelling model for therapeutic studies. However, a major hurdle to such efforts is the lack of quantitative modalities for bone mineralization analysis. Kaminsky contributed his patented microscopy technology to determine bone mineralization with a custom built automated polarized light microscope to sequentially acquire images under a stepwise rotating polarizer. This enabled birefringence to be decoupled from transmittance and orientation, allowing for quantitative analysis.




Open tenure-track faculty positions in Chemistry

Applications are invited for full-time, tenure-track appointments in the Department of Chemistry. Outstanding candidates in all areas of chemistry and interdisciplinary areas involving chemistry will be considered for appointment at the Assistant, Associate, and Full Professor levels. We especially welcome applications in the areas of analytical, inorganic, and organic chemistry.

University of Washington faculty members engage in teaching, research, and service. Successful candidates will be expected to participate in undergraduate and graduate teaching and to develop innovative, vigorous, externally-funded research programs. Applicants must have a Ph.D. or domestic or foreign equivalent degree by date of appointment.

For information about the Department and to apply, please visit; applications should include a cover letter, curriculum vitae, statement of future research interests, and (at the Assistant Professor rank) three letters of reference. Priority will be given to applications received by October 3, 2014. Please direct all inquiries or disability accommodation requests to

The University of Washington is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to, among other things, race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, status as protected veterans, or status as qualified individuals with disabilities.

Alvin Kwiram elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences

Alvin KwiramEmeritus Professor Alvin Kwiram is among the 18 new members elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences in recognition of their “outstanding record of scientific achievement and willingness to work on behalf of the Academy in bringing the best available science to bear on issues within the State of Washington.” The Washington State Academy of Sciences provides expert scientific and engineering analysis to inform public policy-making, and works to increase the role and visibility of science in the State of Washington. The new members, elected based on their achievements, will be inducted during the academy’s seventh annual meeting at the Seattle Museum of Flight on September 18, 2014. Thew newly elected members bring the academy’s total membership to 221.

WSAS Press Release: 18 New Members Elected by Science Academy

For more information about Professor Kwiram and his research, please visit his faculty page.

Gary Christian named 2014 ACS Fellow

gary3 squareEmeritus Professor Gary Christian has been named a 2014 Fellow of the American Chemical Society. This honor is bestowed upon scientists “who have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in chemistry and made important contributions to the American Chemical Society.” Professor Christian will be recognized at an induction ceremony during the 248th ACS National Meeting in San Francisco, CA in August 2014. A full list of 2014 ACS Fellows was published in Chemical & Engineering News.

The ACS Fellows Program was created by the ACS Board of Directors in December 2008 “to recognize members of ACS for outstanding achievements in and contributions to science, the profession, and the Society.” Fellows come from academe, industry, and government. More information about the ACS Fellows Program, including a complete list of all ACS Fellows, is available on the ACS Fellows website.

For more information about Professor Christian and his research, please visit his faculty page.

Sam Jenekhe receives the 2014 AIChE Charles M. A. Stine Award

jenekhe150_2Sam Jenekhe, Professor of Chemistry and Boeing-Martin Professor of Chemical Engineering, is the recipient of the 2014 Charles M. A. Stine Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). The award recognizes Professor Jenekhe for outstanding and pioneering contributions to the development of semiconducting polymers for applications in organic electronics and optoelectronics. The award is given annually to a leading researcher in recognition of outstanding contributions to the field of materials science and engineering and is sponsored by E. I. duPont de Nemours & Co. Professor Jenekhe will present the keynote talk in the MESD Plenary Session at the 2014 AIChE Annual Meeting in Atlanta.

More information on the Charles M. A. Stine award can be found here.

For more information about Professor Jenekhe and his research, please visit his faculty page.

Benjamin Van Kuiken wins College of Arts and Science Dean’s Graduate Medal

BVK Picture_sqCongratulations to Benjamin Van Kuiken for his accomplishments earning the College of Arts and Science Dean’s Graduate Medal in Natural Sciences. Benjamin is a graduate student in Assistant Professor Munira Khalil’s laboratory. The Dean’s Graduate Medal is awarded to four exceptional graduate students – one in each division of the College of Arts and Sciences – representing Arts, Humanities, Natural Science, and Social Sciences.

Thom Dunning to join faculty

dunningWe are delighted to announce that Thom H. Dunning, Jr. will be joining the Department as Affiliate Professor of Chemistry.

Dr. Dunning is Co-Director of the Northwest Institute for Advanced Computing (NIAC), jointly founded in 2013 by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the University of Washington. NIAC, which has a physical location at the University of Washington, was established to advance the use of computing in discovery through a focus on research in big data, advanced computing, and high performance computing. Dr. Dunning is a leader in theoretical and computational chemistry, widely recognized for his expertise in electronic structure theory and scientific computing.

Dr. Dunning’s appointment is effective July 1, 2014. As Affiliate Professor of Chemistry with graduate faculty status, Professor Dunning will be able to serve as a graduate advisor, and his students will be located on the main University of Washington campus in Seattle.

For more information, please visit his faculty page, his NIAC staff page, or contact him directly via email at

James De Yoreo to join faculty

deyoreo2We are delighted to announce that James J. De Yoreo will be joining the Department as Affiliate Professor of Chemistry.

Dr. De Yoreo is Chief Scientist for Fundamental Materials Science and Materials Synthesis and Simulation across Scales (MS3) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and he is also affiliated with the UW Department of Materials Science & Engineering. Dr. De Yoreo is widely recognized for his pioneering research in materials science, with a research focus on macromolecular self-assembly, biomineralization, and biomimetic materials synthesis, and in situ imaging with transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM).

Dr. De Yoreo’s appointment is effective July 1, 2014. As Affiliate Professor of Chemistry with graduate faculty status, Dr. De Yoreo will be able to serve as a graduate advisor. Dr. De Yoreo’s primary laboratory facilities are located on the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory campus in Richland, WA.

For more information, please visit his faculty page, his PNNL staff page, or contact him directly via email at

Lawrence Goldman to join instructional faculty

Goldman pictureWe are delighted to announce that Dr. Lawrence Goldman will join the Department of Chemistry as Lecturer, with a focus on introductory organic chemistry lecture and laboratory courses.

Dr. Goldman received his undergraduate degree in chemistry and mathematics from Rutgers University, where he conducted research on organic synthesis with Prof. Spencer Knapp. He then received his Ph.D. in physical organic chemistry with Prof. Barry Carpenter at Cardiff University. Dr. Goldman has experience teaching organic chemistry lecture and laboratory courses at several institutions, and he will be moving to the UW from his current position as Visiting Assistant Professor at Whitman College.

We look forward to having Dr. Goldman join us in September as the fifth member of our lecturing faculty, and our first to specialize in organic chemistry instruction.

Jesse Zalatan to join faculty

Zalatan_picWe are delighted to announce that Dr. Jesse Zalatan will be joining the Department as Assistant Professor of Chemistry. Dr. Zalatan conducted his undergraduate work at Harvard University, performing research with Professor Stephen Harrison. He received his Ph.D. in chemistry with Professor Daniel Herschlag at Stanford University, where he studied enzyme-catalyzed phosphoryl transfer reactions. He is presently a postdoctoral fellow with Professor Wendell Lim at the University of California at San Francisco, where he has studied mechanisms for controlling specificity in cell signaling networks. He has received a Hertz Foundation graduate fellowship, a Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation postdoctoral fellowship, and a Burroughs Wellcome Career Award at the Scientific Interface for his research.

Dr. Zalatan will launch his program at the University of Washington in September 2014. His work will focus on the molecular mechanisms that allow living cells to efficiently process, integrate, and coordinate signals. He will use approaches ranging from mechanistic enzymology to synthetic biology to explore the physical organizing principles of biological networks.

For more information, please visit his faculty page or contact him directly via email at