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.
Assistant 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.
The American Chemical Society Division of Inorganic Chemistry has announced Professor Daniel Gamelin as the winner of the third Inorganic Chemistry Lectureship Award. Prof. Gamelin was nominated by his peers for his broad, unique, and outstanding sustained contribution to the development of inorganic nanoscience. He will be presented with the award at a symposium held in his honor at the 250th ACS National Meeting in Boston, August 16-20, 2015.
Gamelin’s research combines synthesis, spectroscopy, and ligand field theory or ab initio electronic-structure methods to elucidate key functional properties of inorganic materials. His work has been recognized with numerous awards including the ACS Inorganic Nanoscience Award, a Sloan Research Fellowship, a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Senior Fellow of the Zukunftskolleg, and a Scialog Fellow of the Research Corporation.
Assistant Professor Jesse Zalatan and co-workers at the UCSF have developed a method to encode complex, synthetic transcriptional regulatory programs using the CRISPR-Cas system. Natural biological systems can switch between different functional or developmental states depending on the particular set of genes being expressed, and the ability to synthetically control gene expression has important implications as both a research tool and as a means to engineer novel cell-based therapeutics and devices.
Zalatan and coworkers designed CRISPR-Cas RNA scaffold molecules that specify both a DNA target and the function to execute at the target, so that sets of RNA scaffolds can be used to generate a synthetic, multigene transcriptional program in eukaryotic cells in which some genes are activated and others are repressed. These types of programs can be used to reprogram complex reaction networks in biological systems, such as metabolic pathways or signaling cascades.
Congratulations to Chemistry graduate students Jose Araujo (Gamelin research group), Rachel Eaton (Bush research group), and Michael Enright (Cossairt research group), who have been named as the first-ever PNNL Graduate Fellows. The awardees will be supported by research assistantships funded by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) for Spring Quarter 2015.
The PNNL Graduate Fellowship Program provides recipients with valuable research experiences complementary to their graduate education at the University of Washington. This program was recently established by the Department of Chemistry and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory with the goal of generating new opportunities for collaboration, accelerating progress in research areas of mutual interest, and strengthening existing ties between the Department and PNNL. Our institutional ties were also recently expanded through the addition of PNNL scientists Dr. Thom Dunning and Dr. James De Yoreo to the Chemistry faculty; each holds an appointment as Affiliate Professor of Chemistry with graduate faculty status, which allows them to supervise graduate students at the University of Washington.
Assistant Professor Stefan Stoll has received a 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.”
Stoll uses an experimental biophysical approach to pursue a deeper understanding of the molecular structure and dynamics of protein-protein and protein-ligand interactions that underlie the mechanisms of all chemical processes in life. His NSF CAREER Award research proposal, “CAREER: Elucidating conformational landscapes in proteins using high-sensitivity pulse EPR spectroscopy,” will use high-sensitivity 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—to quantitatively elucidate the conformational distributions in a model protein and in an ion channel.
Stoll’s project will advance understanding of the dynamics of protein host and ligand interactions and the regulation thereof on a molecular level. The foundational knowledge gained through this work is a key prerequisite to the rational design of new drugs and therapies, and the experimental insights will inform ongoing efforts to develop models of protein-protein interactions. The innovative EPR spectroscopic techniques being developed by Stoll are transformational, and will open up a broad range of new possibilities for probing molecular structure and dynamics.
For more information about the NSF CAREER Award program, please visit the program website.
Assistant Professor Brandi Cossairt has been awarded the 2015 Award for Early Career Achievement from the Seattle chapter of the Association for Women in Science. The award, which recognizes a woman who has led her own research lab or program for less than six years in an academic, non-profit or industry setting who shows exceptional potential for leadership and innovation in her field, will be presented at the AWIS Seattle Awards Dinner in June 2015.
Research by Assistant Professor AJ Boydston and his group has been featured in two recent articles in the American Chemical Society’s Chemical & Engineering News. An article in the December 18, 2014 issue highlights his research on polymers that change color when stretched (http://cen.acs.org/articles/92/web/2014/12/3-D-Printed-Polymer-Devices.html). Just one month later, an article in the January 19, 2015 issue summarized the Boydston group’s research on a metal-free route to prepare polymers (http://cen.acs.org/articles/93/i3/Radical-Polymer-Approach.html).
Assistant Professor Matthew F. Bush has been selected to receive the 2014 Eli Lilly and Company Young Investigator Award in Analytical Chemistry. The award is given by the Analytical Chemistry Academic Contacts Committee at Eli Lilly and Company based upon Dr. Bush’s outstanding research, publication record, and the impact they feel he is making in the field of analytical chemistry.
Eli Lilly awards these grants in many fields of chemistry and the life sciences to new, outstanding faculty members at universities throughout the country with the aim to strengthen ties with the academic community and, at the same time, provide support for leading scientists in analytical chemistry.
Assistant Professor AJ Boydston has received a 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.” Professor Boydston received the award for his research proposal, “CAREER: Development of Force-Activated Materials for the Release of Small Organic Molecules”. This award funds research to develop materials capable of releasing small organic molecules via mechanochemical transduction. In this way, macroscopic forces will be translated into molecular-level chemical reactions. In particular, Professor Boydston will be:
- Investigating how mechanical force can be used to guide chemical reactivities. This will include comparisons between mechanophores that operate by complementary bond bending and stretching mechanisms.
- Developing mechanochemical triggers for initiating head-to-tail depolymerization of self-immolative polymers.
- Establishing design principles for materials that most efficiently convert mechanical input into chemical output.
In addition to providing new insights and capabilities for functional materials, Professor Boydston maintains an active commitment to STEM education through interactions with various on-campus organizations and curriculum development with Sammamish High School.
For more information about this NSF CAREER Award, please visit the award website.
For more information about AJ Boydston and his research program, please visit his faculty page.