We are delighted to announce that Dr. Cody Schlenker will be joining the Department as Assistant Professor of Chemistry. Dr. Schlenker conducted his undergraduate work in chemistry at Linfield College, where he studied porphyrin synthesis with Professor Thomas J. Reinert, followed by an NSF REU in chemical engineering at Cornell University researching hydrogels for soil remediation with Professor Claude Cohen. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, where he synthesized small molecule dyes and charge transport materials and developed advanced device concepts for thin film photovoltaics with Professor Mark E. Thompson as an Anton B. Burg Foundation Fellow in Chemistry. He is presently an NSF Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability (SEES) Postdoctoral Fellow with Professor David S. Ginger in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Washington studying photoinduced charge transfer and recombination in novel semiconducting polymers relevant for light harvesting applications.
Dr. Schlenker will launch his program at the University of Washington in July 2014. His research interests concern the integration of spectroscopy, synthesis, and electrical characterization to develop new insight into the mechanisms governing energy transduction in heterogeneous materials relevant for solar energy harvesting and storage devices like organic and organic/inorganic photovoltaics and meso-structured next-generation rechargeable batteries.
For more information, please visit his faculty page or contact him directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Assistant Professor Munira Khalil has been named one of the 2014 Journal of Physical Chemistry lecturers by the Physical Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society (ACS). Lecturers will present their work at a special symposium at the Fall ACS National Meeting in San Francisco (August 10-14, 2014). The lectureships were established to recognize the contributions of young investigators who have made major impacts on the field of physical chemistry related to research areas published in the Journals of Physical Chemistry; Professor Khalil’s lectureship is for the Journal of Physical Chemistry B covering biophysical chemistry, biomaterials, liquids, and soft matter.
To learn more about this award, please see the ACS lectureship announcement. To learn more about Professor Khalil’s research, visit her faculty page and her research group site.
AJ Boydston, University of Washington assistant professor of chemistry, has been selected as one of 12 Cottrell Scholar Awardees for 2014. The awards are presented by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA) to early career faculty who are committed to excel at both research and teaching. RCSA Interim President Jack Pladziewicz, notes, “It may well be that not all research faculty can do this simultaneously and early in their careers, but the very best can.” Previous awardees from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Washington include Professors David Ginger, Daniel Gamelin, Sarah Keller, and Phil Reid.
Boydston’s research group is developing synthetic materials capable of mechanochemical transduction. They have recently reported “flex activated” mechanophores, which are capable of converting mechanical input into chemical output via force-guided changes in molecular-level geometry. Boydston has also been active in redesigning his introductory organic chemistry course to help undergraduate students learn how to apply concepts and develop problem-solving strategies, similar to how experts in the field approach their research. The Cottrell Scholar Award, which provides $75,000 in funding, will help support Boydston’s ongoing research and teaching efforts.
For more information about the Cottrell Scholars Award, visit their announcement page. More more information about Prof. Boydston’s research, visit his research page.
Matthew Bush, University of Washington assistant professor of chemistry, has been selected as one of 126 Sloan Research Fellows for 2014. The fellowships are given to early-career scientists and scholars whose achievements and potential identify them as rising stars, according to the announcement Feb. 18 by the Sloan Foundation. Fellows receive $50,000 to further their research.
Bush leads a lab that develops mass spectrometry-based technologies to study the structures, assembly and dynamics of protein complexes. His group applies these approaches to a wide range of biological systems including those involved in bacterial secretion, regulating protein degradation and protein maintenance. Bush, whose bachelor’s degree is from Carleton College, Minn., and doctorate from the University of California Berkeley, did post-doctoral research at the University of Cambridge and then the University of Oxford. He joined the UW in 2011.
See this UW News original article (by Sandra Hines) here.
A new University of Washington institute to develop efficient, cost-effective solar power and better energy storage systems launched December 12 with an event attended by UW President Michael K. Young, Gov. Jay Inslee and researchers, industry experts and policy leaders in renewable energy.
The Clean Energy Institute formed when Washington’s governor and state legislators last summer allocated $6 million to create a research center at the university that will advance solar energy and electrical energy storage capacities. The institute will better connect and boost existing energy research at the UW as well as attract new partnerships and talent, including new faculty members.
The opening of the Clean Energy Institute was covered by KIRO 7 News, the Seattle Times, and UW News. Chemistry Professor David Ginger, Raymon E. and Rosellen M. Lawton Distinguished Scholar in Chemistry, is the Associate Director of the Clean Energy Institute. Daniel Gamelin, Harry and Catherine Jaynne Boand Endowed Professor of Chemistry, serves on the Faculty Advisory Board.
Sarah Keller has received the Thomas E. Thompson Award from the Biophysical Society. The Thomas E. Thompson Award recognizes an outstanding contribution in the field of membrane structure and assembly. Professor Keller received the award for her “contributions to our understanding of the lateral segregation of lipids into domains in membranes.” The award will be presented at the Membrane Structure & Assembly Subgroup 2014 Symposium on Saturday, February 15, 2014 in San Francisco, California.
For more information, see: http://www.biophysics.org/2014meeting/Program/Subgroups/MembraneStructureAssembly/tabid/4254/Default.aspx
To learn more about Professor Keller, visit her faculty page and research group page.
Chemistry Professor Charles Campbell and Chemical Engineering Professor Sam Jenekhe are among the 25 new members elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences in recognition of their distinguished and continuing scientific achievements. 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, were inducted during the academy’s sixth-annual meeting in Seattle and bring the academy’s total membership to 206.
Related link: http://www.washington.edu/news/2013/09/13/15-uw-faculty-members-named-to-state-academy-of-sciences/
For more information about Prof. Campbell and his research, please visit his faculty page and research group website.
For more information about Prof. Jenekhe and his research, please visit his faculty page.
A vial holds a solution that contains the UW-developed polymer “ink” that can be printed to make solar cells.
David Ginger, Professor and Raymon E. and Rosellen M. Lawton Distinguished Scholar in Chemistry, and Alex Jen, Boeing/Johnson Chair Professor of Materials Science & Engineering, along with other researchers, have recently reported on the role of electron spin in creating efficient organic solar cells. Their findings were recently published in the journal Nature.
Organic solar cells that convert light to electricity using carbon-based molecules have shown promise as a versatile energy source but have not been able to match the efficiency of their silicon-based counterparts. These researchers have discovered a synthetic, high-performance polymer that behaves differently from other tested materials and could make inexpensive, highly efficient organic solar panels a reality. The polymer, created at the University of Washington and tested at the University of Cambridge in England, appears to improve efficiency by wringing electrical current from pathways that, in other materials, cause a loss of electrical charge.
More information can be found at Nature and in the UW News press release.
To learn more about Professor Ginger and Professor Jen, please visit their research group websites.
Ginger Research Group: http://depts.washington.edu/gingerlb/
Jen Research Group: http://depts.washington.edu/jengroup/
Karen Goldberg, Nicole A. Boand Endowed Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Center for Enabling New Technologies through Catalysis, is one of eight UW professors appointed as Presidential Entrepreneurial Faculty Fellows. Entrepreneurial Faculty Fellows are selected for their success in initiating groundbreaking programs to translate research into products and therapies, in collaborating with industry, and in sharing their knowledge with other UW researchers.
Throughout their two-year terms the eight new fellows will serve as mentors to other UW faculty, researchers and staff with entrepreneurial aspirations, and also share their experiences at campus entrepreneurial events. At the end of the term, fellows are encouraged to continue participation in the program and to serve as program and activity advisors to the UW Center for Commercialization (C4C).
More information about the Entrepreneurial Faculty Fellows Program can be found at the C4C website.
To learn more about Professor Goldberg, visit her faculty page and her research group site.
Sarah Keller, working with Roy Black, affiliate professor of bioengineering, has helped to unravel some of the mystery surrounding the origin of cells in Earth’s ancient oceans. The work, recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, describes the unexpected interaction of the chemical components of RNA and fatty acids and their role in stabilizing the precursors to cellular membranes.
The chemical components crucial to the start of life on Earth may have primed and protected each other in never-before-realized ways. That could mean a simpler scenario for how that first spark of life on the planet came about. Scientists have long thought that life started when the right combination of bases and sugars produced self-replicating ribonucleic acid, or RNA, inside a rudimentary ‘cell’ composed of fatty acids. Under the right conditions, fatty acids naturally form into bag-like structures similar to today’s cell membranes. In testing one of the fatty acids representative of those found before life began – decanoic acid – Keller and Black discovered that the four bases in RNA bound more readily to the decanoic acid than did the other seven bases tested. By concentrating more of the bases and sugar that are the building blocks of RNA, the system would have been primed for the next steps, reactions that led to RNA inside a bag.
Descriptions of the published research can be found on the UW News website and on Babbage, the science and technology blog of The Economist.
To learn more about Professor Keller, visit her faculty page and research group website.