Champak Chatterjee to join faculty as Assistant Professor

We are delighted to welcome Dr. Champak Chatterjee to the Department of Chemistry. Dr. Chatterjee is an expert in the field of synthetic protein chemistry and biochemistry.

Dr. Chatterjee received his M.S. degree from the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay, where he did research with Professor Sambasivarao Kotha, and earned his Ph.D. in 2005 with Professor Wilfred van der Donk at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Chatterjee is currently a postdoctoral research associate in the Ruben Laboratory of Synthetic Protein Chemistry at The Rockefeller University, where he is investigating the mechanism of cross-talk between histone ubiquitylation and histone methylation with Professor Tom Muir.

Dr. Chatterjee will begin his research program here in July, using a combination of synthetic protein chemistry, protein engineering, and molecular and cell biology to interrogate the mechanisms underlying the regulation of protein function by ubiquitin-like proteins. For more information, please visit his  faculty page or contact him directly via email at chatterjee@chem.washington.edu.

David Masiello to join faculty as Assistant Professor

We are delighted to welcome Dr. David Masiello to the Department of Chemistry. Dr. Masiello specializes in the many-body theory of atomic and molecular systems and their interaction with the electromagnetic field.

Dr. Masiello received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Florida, earning his Ph.D. in Chemical Physics in 2004 with Professor Yngve Ohrn. After two years as a postdoctoral research associate with Professor William Reinhardt here at the University of Washington, Dr. Masiello moved to Northwestern University to study the first-principles theory of molecular spectroscopy and optics on the nanoscale with Professor George Schatz. Dr. Masiello is currently serving as a lecturer at the University of Washington, and will be teaching physical chemistry this spring quarter.

Dr. Masiello will begin his research program here in June, with a focus on the fundamental theory of a variety of plasmon-enhanced molecular processes from linear and nonlinear spectroscopy and molecular sensing, to charge transfer in condensed-phase environments with application to enhanced solar energy conversion. For more information, please visit his  faculty page or his research group website, or contact him directly via email at masiello@chem.washington.edu.

Larry Dalton Named ACS Fellow

Professor Larry Dalton has been selected to be an ACS Fellow – a member of the very first class of fellows to be chosen by the American Chemical Society.  ACS announced the new Fellows program as a way to recognize members who “share a common set of accomplishments, namely true excellence in their contributions to the chemical enterprise coupled with distinctive service to ACS or to the broader world of chemistry”, says ACS Past-President Bruce Bursten. The first class of ACS Fellows included 162 members from a variety of backgrounds – including high school teaching, entrepreneurship, government service, industry and academia.

Read the ACS press release

Professor Dalton’s faculty page and research group website.

Munira Khalil receives NSF CAREER Award

Assistant Professor Munira Khalil has received a 2009 CAREER (Faculty Early Career Development) Award from the National Science Foundation. The CAREER Program is a Foundation-wide program that “offers the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.”

Khalil received her NSF CAREER Award for her research proposal, “CAREER: Correlation of coupled electronic and nuclear motions in biological photoreceptors using femtosecond multidimensional spectroscopies.”

For more information about the NSF CAREER Award program, please visit the program website.

For more information about Munira Khalil and her research program, please visit her faculty page.

Xiaosong Li receives NSF CAREER Award

Assistant Professor Xiaosong Li has received a 2009 CAREER (Faculty Early Career Development) Award from the National Science Foundation. The CAREER Program is a Foundation-wide program that “offers the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.”

Li received his NSF CAREER Award for his research proposal, “CAREER: Advancing Electronic Structure Theories for Properties and Dynamics of Large Scale Systems: Developments and Applications Integrated with Educational Efforts.”

For more information about the NSF CAREER Award program, please visit the program website.

For more information about Xiaosong Li and his research program, please visit his faculty page or his research group website.

Kahr, Kaminsky, et al. determine structural origin of light polarizing properties of herapathite

A paper by Professor Bart Kahr and members of his research group appeared in this week’s issue of Science, published by the American Associate for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The paper details the crystal structure of herapathite (iodoquinine sulfate), a crystal structure that had remained unknown since the crystalline compound was first discovered in 1852. Herapathite, which functions as a linear dichroic light polarizer, was used to produce the first large-aperture light polarizers, patented as Polaroid in 1929.

Citation: “Herapathite.” Bart Kahr, John Freudenthal, Shane Phillips, and Werner Kaminsky. Science 324 (5933), 1407 (12 June 2009). [DOI: 10.1126/science.1173605]

To view the abstract and full text, please visit: Science Magazine.

Pradip Rathod receives Gates Foundation grant

Professor Pradipsinh Rathod was one of 104 recipients of a grant through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation‘s new initiative, Grand Challenges Explorations in Global Health. Rathod’s grant will support a project titled “Strategies to Disable Hypermutagenesis in Malaria Parasites,” which targets components of the malaria genome and develops partner drugs to disable parasite hypermutagenesis, allowing older methods of treatment to be effective against the disease.

The Gates Foundation believes that “creative, unorthodox thinking is essential to overcoming the most persistent challenges in global health,” and the Grand Challenges Explorations initiative is designed to “foster innovation in global health research and expand the pipeline of ideas that merit further exploration.” The initiative features an accelerated grant-making process with short two-page applications requiring no preliminary data. Initial grants of approximately $100,000 are awarded, with the possibility of additional funding ($1 million or more) for projects that show promise. The projects selected fit into the fourteen “grand challenges” set forth by the Gates Foundation, which address seven long-term goals to improve health in the developing world, such as creating new vaccines, improving nutrition, and establishing quantitative assessments of overall population health.

To view the full article in UWeek, please visit: GCGH article.

The awarding of the GCGH grants was covered by the local press, with articles in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Seattle Times.

For more information about Pradip Rathod and his research, please visit his faculty page.