Munira Khalil promoted to Professor

The Department of Chemistry congratulates Associate Professor Munira Khalil on her promotion to the rank of professor, effective September 16, 2018.

Research in the Khalil group focuses on the development and application of advanced spectroscopic techniques to understand the ultrafast structural dynamics of light-driven chemical and biological processes in solution. Using multidimensional infrared (IR) and ultrafast x-ray absorption spectroscopies, the Khalil group studies how coupled electron and vibrational motions and their interactions with the surrounding solvent dictate the course of ultrafast charge transfer reactions in chemical and biological systems. This work will ultimately provide fundamental understanding of molecular energetics and the dynamics of chemical reactions, with broad practical applications in the design of new materials and molecular devices.

To learn more about Professor Khalil and her research program, please visit her faculty page and her research group website.

Brandi Cossairt promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure

The Department of Chemistry congratulates Assistant Professor Brandi Cossairt on her promotion to associate professor with tenure, effective September 16, 2018.

The Cossairt research group uses synthetic inorganic chemistry approaches to address key problems related to sustainability, such as developing new, efficient light emitting materials for display technologies, designing catalysts to make fuel from water or carbon dioxide and sunlight, and exploring new inexpensive materials for solar energy harvesting. To advance clean energy technology, the Cossairt group is developing low-tech solution methods to synthesize high-tech electronic materials from Earth-abundant elements, as well as methods to capture and store solar energy in the form of chemical bonds. They have advanced the understanding and control of leading alternatives to replace toxic cadmium-containing materials in solid-state lighting and display applications through innovative syntheses of phosphide nanocrystals, particularly zinc phosphide (Zn3P2) and indium phosphide (InP). They are also building energy conversion devices for water reduction to generate solar H2 based on the motif of catalyst-modified photocathodes, developing new hydrogen evolution catalysts that can be easily attached to electrode or semiconductor surfaces.

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

Stefan Stoll promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure

The Department of Chemistry congratulates Assistant Professor Stefan Stoll on his promotion to associate professor with tenure, effective September 16, 2018.

The Stoll research group uses cutting-edge magnetic resonance tools to study the structure and function of proteins and enzymes. Central to this work is their use of advanced electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy, a spectroscopic method that provides information on the structure and dynamics of systems with unpaired electrons (i.e., paramagnetic systems)—while conceptually similar to nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), in EPR the magnetic moments observed are electron spins rather than nuclear spins. In addition to continuing contributions to the field of theoretical and computational EPR spectroscopy, particularly through the EasySpin EPR spectra simulation package, the Stoll group is advancing the experimental and theoretical methodology for pulse EPR spectroscopy and its application to important problems in structural biology.

To learn more about Professor Stoll and his research program, please visit his faculty page and research group website.

Brandi Cossairt named newest Associate Editor of Inorganic Chemistry

Assistant Professor Brandi Cossairt was announced as the newest Associate Editor of the American Chemical Society journal Inorganic Chemistry. Her appointment to the journal’s editorial board will begin January 1, 2018.

The announcement via the ACS Axial blog regarding the appointment of Professor Cossairt and two others to the journal’s editorial board included thoughts from Inorganic Chemistry Editor-in-Chief William B. Tolman about what each appointee would add to the journal.

“Brandi Cossairt brings new expertise in inorganic materials chemistry to the Associate Editor team. As an early-career investigator, Brandi has established herself as an outstanding leader in the field, whose work focuses on phosphide and arsenide colloidal nanoclusters, quantum dots, and other materials, as well as on the development of bimetallic catalysts for small molecule conversions,” Tolman says. “Also notable is her additional background in main-group small-molecule chemistry. Importantly, Brandi will play a key role in handling the growing number of submissions to Inorganic Chemistry focused on inorganic materials and nanochemistry.”

See the ACS Axial announcement for more information, including Professor Cossairt’s thoughts on her research, challenges in the field of inorganic chemistry, her goals for this new role, and more.

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

Bo Zhang promoted to Professor

The Department of Chemistry congratulates Associate Professor Bo Zhang on his promotion to Professor, effective September 16, 2017.

Professor Zhang’s research focuses on the development and application of electroanalytical measurement tools to study single electrochemical events and processes. The Zhang group uses nanometer-scale electrodes to study electron transfer reactions of single molecules and single metal nanoparticles, electrocatalysis, and mass transport at the electrode/solution interface. This work is being conducted in pursuit of fundamental understanding of heterogeneous electron-transfer reactions and electrode/solution interfaces as well as single-cell chemistry and biological function such as neuronal secretion and brain activity.

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

Alexandra Velian to join faculty

We are delighted to announce that Dr. Alexandra Velian will join us as Assistant Professor of Chemistry.

Dr. Velian completed her undergraduate studies in chemistry at Caltech, where she conducted research with Professor Jonas C. Peters prior to developing the synthesis of low-valent mono- and bimetallic complexes supported by a rigid terphenyl diphosphine framework with Professor Theodor Agapie. She received her Ph.D. under the direction of Professor Christopher C. Cummins at MIT, where she developed the synthesis of anthracene and niobium-supported precursors to reactive phosphorus fragments and studied their behavior using chemical, spectroscopic, and computational methods. Notably, this work gave rise to the synthesis of the 6π all-inorganic aromatic anion heterocycle P2N3, produced in the “click” reaction of P2 with the azide ion. She is currently a Materials Research Science & Engineering Center postdoctoral fellow with Professor Colin Nuckolls at Columbia University, where she is working to create well-defined functional nanostructures by linking atomically precise metal chalcogenide clusters.

Dr. Velian will launch her research program at the University of Washington in July 2017. Her independent program will focus on the development of synthetic strategies to access new generations of molecular and heterogeneous inorganic catalysts and electronic materials. In the long term, she seeks to contribute fundamental understanding of chemical processes happening at the surface of semiconductor materials. With a primary foothold in inorganic and organometallic chemistry, her research program will interface with chemical engineering and materials science.

For more information about Dr. Velian and her research, please visit her faculty page or contact her directly via

Champak Chatterjee promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure

The Department of Chemistry congratulates Assistant Professor Champak Chatterjee on his promotion to associate professor with tenure, effective September 16, 2017.

Research in the Chatterjee group focuses on various aspects of protein regulation by reversible chemical modifications. By investigating how the biophysical and biochemical properties of key bacterial and human proteins change with their modification states, the Chatterjee group is uncovering the molecular mechanisms that drive critical events in cell growth and survival, such as gene transcription and protein degradation. This mechanistic knowledge enables the design of therapeutics that selectively target protein-mediated processes that are misregulated in a wide range of human diseases.

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

Open tenure-line faculty position in inorganic chemistry

UW_W-Logo_RGBApplications are invited for a full-time, tenure-track appointment in the Department of Chemistry. Outstanding candidates in all areas of inorganic chemistry and interdisciplinary areas involving inorganic chemistry will be considered for appointment at the Assistant or Associate Professor level; a hire at the Professor level may be considered in exceptional circumstances.

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 foreign equivalent degree by date of appointment.

For information about the Department and to apply, 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 complete applications received by November 14, 2016. The search will be led by Professor Julia Kovacs; please direct all inquiries or disability accommodation requests to

University of Washington is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or genetic information.

Sotiris Xantheas to join faculty

xantheas-squareWe are delighted to announce that Sotiris S. Xantheas has joined the Department as Affiliate Professor of Chemistry. He also holds the title of UW-PNNL Distinguished Faculty Fellow.

Dr. Xantheas is a Laboratory Fellow in Chemical Physics & Analysis, part of the Physical Sciences Division at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Dr. Xantheas is widely recognized for his expertise related to the molecular science of aqueous systems. His innovative studies of intermolecular interactions in aqueous ionic clusters and use of ab initio electronic structure calculations to elucidate their structural and spectral features are at the forefront of molecular theory and computation.

As Affiliate Professor of Chemistry with graduate faculty status, Dr. Xantheas is able to serve as a graduate advisor. Dr. Xantheas’ research 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

Deborah Wiegand promoted to Principal Lecturer

Wiegand 2013 cropThe Department of Chemistry congratulates Senior Lecturer Deborah Wiegand on her promotion to Principal Lecturer, effective September 16, 2016.

Dr. Wiegand joined the Department of Chemistry as Lecturer in 1990, and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1995. From 2001-2013, she served as Director of Academic Counseling and the UW Gateway Center and then as Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs, making wide-ranging contributions to student welfare and improving undergraduate services and education.

Dr. Wiegand returned to Chemistry full-time in 2013 as Senior Lecturer and Director of Entry-Level Programs. She regularly teaches courses in our introductory-level general chemistry sequence and serves as the sole instructor for our General, Organic, and Biochemistry sequence, which targets students preparing for the study of nursing. As Director of Entry-Level Programs, Dr. Wiegand leverages her previous administrative experience to provide critical leadership for our large introductory-level instructional programs. Her administrative contributions include leading a significant revision of our introductory-level general chemistry curriculum and the development of a placement test for introductory chemistry courses; when fully implemented, these will help us to better educate and serve the thousands of students who take our introductory-level courses each year.