Alshakim Nelson to join faculty

Alshakim NelsonWe are delighted to announce that Dr. Alshakim Nelson will be joining the Department as Assistant Professor of Chemistry for the 2015-16 academic year. Dr. Nelson completed his undergraduate studies in chemistry at Pomona College in 1999. He received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of California at Los Angeles in 2004, where he studied carbohydrate-containing polymers and macrocycles with Professor J. Fraser Stoddart. He was then an NIH postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology working for Professor Robert Grubbs on olefin metathesis catalysts for the formation of supramolecular ensembles. Dr. Nelson joined IBM Almaden Research Center as a Research Staff Member in 2005, where he focused on synthesizing building blocks that enable large area nanomanufacturing via self-assembly. His research interests also include silicon-based polymers for lithographic applications, magnetic nanoparticles, directed self-assembly of nanoparticles, and hydrogen bonding block copolymers. Dr. Nelson has over 40 publications and 11 issued patents, and in 2011 he was designated as an IBM Master Inventor. In 2012, he became manager of the Nanomaterials Group, which includes the Synthetic Development Lab.

Dr. Nelson will begin his research program at the University of Washington in September 2015. His research will focus on the synthesis, characterization, and patterning of polymeric and supramolecular materials for the bio-interface.

For more information about Dr. Nelson and his research, please contact him directly via email.

Alvin Kwiram wins 2015 Distinguished Retiree Excellence in Community Service Award

Alvin KwiramAlvin Kwiram, Emeritus Professor and Emeritus Vice Provost for Research, has been awarded the 2015 Distinguished Retiree Excellence in Community Service Award. Professor Kwiram was nominated for his contributions for the benefit of the University and the greater community – most notably, his promotion of UW’s research strengths in areas of clean energy production and storage, leading to the $6 million grant from the Washington State Legislature in support of The Clean Energy Institute, along with countless hours serving on committees and advisory boards and bringing together business leaders for collaborative projects.

Ashleigh Theberge to join faculty

Ashleigh Theberge PhotoWe are delighted to announce that Dr. Ashleigh Theberge will be joining the Department as Assistant Professor of Chemistry. Dr. Theberge completed her undergraduate studies in chemistry at Williams College, performing research with Professors Thomas Smith, Dieter Bingemann, Lois Banta, and Heather Stoll. She received her Ph.D. in chemistry with Professor Wilhelm Huck at the University of Cambridge in the field of droplet-based microfluidics. While pursuing her Ph.D., she was a visiting researcher at the Université de Strasbourg with Professor Andrew Griffiths, where she developed microfluidic methods for drug synthesis and screening. She completed her NIH postdoctoral fellowship with Professors David Beebe, William Ricke, and Wade Bushman at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, studying molecular mechanisms of prostate cancer using microscale culture and analysis platforms. She is presently an NIH K Award Scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Dr. Theberge will launch her research program at the University of Washington in January 2016. Her research centers on the development and use of microfluidic technologies to understand the chemical signaling processes underlying disease, with a particular interest in steroid hormones in prostate disease and testis development and oxylipins involved in the immune response. She will develop new methods for microscale cell culture, small molecule isolation, and metabolomics.

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

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.