Four Faculty Members Elected Fellows of AAAS

In November 2011, the Council of the American Association for the Advancement of  Sciences (AAAS) elected 539 members as Fellows of the AAAS. These individuals will be recognized for their contributions to science and technology at the Fellows Forum to be held on 18 February 2012 during the AAAS Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia. Four faculty members from the UW Department of Chemistry were elected:

Daniel Chiu, A. Bruce Montgomery Professor of Chemistry and Endowed Professor in Analytical Chemistry

Daniel Gamelin, Harry and Catherine Jaynne Boand Endowed Professor of Chemistry

Karen Goldberg, Nicole A. Boand Endowed Professor in Chemistry

Bruce Robinson, Professor of Chemistry

See the full list of 2011 AAAS Fellows.

Sarah Keller Elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society

Sarah Keller, Professor of Chemistry, Adjunct Professor of Physics, and Associate Dean for Research Activities, was recently elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS). Professor Keller was nominated by the Division of Biological Physics “For her pioneering, fundamental contributions to the understanding of miscibility phase transitions in model surfactant and membrane systems”.

Newly elected APS Fellows number no more than one-half of one percent of Society membership and election is considered a distinct honor because the evaluation process, conducted by the Fellowship committees of individual divisions, topical groups and forums, is done entirely by one’s professional peers.

The list of 2011 Fellows will be published in the March 2012 issue of APS News and a list of all Fellows, past and present, can be
found at

UW team wins iGEM grand prize

The Department of Chemistry congratulates Chemistry graduate student Justin Siegel and undergraduate Chemistry and Biochemistry majors Casey Ager, Juhye An, Sydney Gordon, Elaine Lai, Seth Sagulo, Liz Stanley, Sarah Wolf, and Lei Zhang for a remarkable accomplishment. These students and 14 others were members of the UW team that won the Grand Prize in the sixth annual International Genetically Engineered Machine World Championship Competition (iGEM). This is the first time a team from the United States has won the award. Members of the UW community are invited to a celebration of their accomplishment on Monday, December 12, at 4:00 pm in the atrium of the Electrical Engineering/Computer Science and Engineering Building.

This year, 160 teams from around the world competed in regional competitions. The 65 most competitive teams worldwide convened at MIT to present their synthetic biology projects. Awards were presented and the four top teams (from Imperial College London, MIT, ZJU-China, and the University of Washington) were named as finalists. An international panel of judges awarded the University of Washington the grand prize.

The University of Washington project is an example of undergraduate students engineering solutions to real-world problems. The students developed a novel protein with promise for the treatment of gluten intolerance (Celiac disease), to be taken as an oral therapeutic similar to the lactaid pill. Additionally, they produced diesel fuel from sugar by engineering a novel biological system. These projects demonstrate how synthetic biology can be used to solve many of the world’s problems, and that significant progress can be made by a group of undergraduate students with little formal training in just one summer. More information can be found at For more info about iGEM, visit