Seminar Archive

Seminar Archives

Fall 2001

October 5, 2001
"Sequential Injection Analysis: Development of Microfluidic Gradient Systems."
Armando Herbelin, Department of Chemistry, University of Washington

October 12, 2001
"The What, When, Where, Why, and How of Graduate School."
Dr. Jim Vyvyan, Department of Chemistry, Western Washington University

October 15, 2001
"Paper: Production and Properties"
Dr. Tom McDonough, Professor of Engineering Institute of Paper Science and Technology, Atlanta, GA

October 18, 2001
"Worlds Within the World: An Introduction to the Chemistry, Geology, and Ecology of Caves."
Dr. John Marquart, Department of Chemistry, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, Illinois

October 19, 2001
"The Biogeochemical Controls of Nitrous Oxide in Soils and its Influence on Global Climate Change."
Dr. Kevin Mandernack, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO

October 26, 2001
"Violating the Octet Rule? Concepts and Examples from DFT Studies of Trifluoronitrosyl and Related Molecules."
Professor Daisy Zhang, Seattle Pacific University

October 30, 2001
"Topological Mutants of Glycera Hemoglobin"
Mitsuhiro Tsuchiya, Graduate Student, Chemistry Department, Western Washington University Thesis Defense

November 6, 2001
"Photophysical Investigations of Transition Metal Chromophores."
Dr. Keith A. Walters, Northwestern University

November 9, 2001
"Computational Studies of Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Catalysts by Late Transition Metals."
Dr. Jeremy Kua, University of California, San Diego

November 13, 2001
"A New Paradigm in the General Chemistry Laboratory."
Dr. Susan Mason, University of Kansas

November 16, 2001
"Mechanistic Aspects of Transition Metal Mediated Oxidation Reactions."
Dr. LeGrande Slaughter, Department of Chemistry, Stanford University

November 19, 2001
"Developing and Using Online Homework and Online Pre and Post Labs to Teach Chemistry."
Dr. Steven D. Gammon, Department of Chemistry, University of Idaho

November 26, 2001
"Using Visualization Strategies to Improve Students' Conceptual Understanding of Chemistry."
Dr. Michael J. Sanger, Departments of Chemistry and Science Education, University of Northern Iowa

November 30, 2001
"Pathway to the Nobel Prize: Ruthenium-Bis(phosphine) Catalyzed Hydrogenations."
Dr. Christopher Daley, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University

December 5, 2001
"Summer Experiences in Chemistry: Western Student Perspectives"
Scott Dunlap - Chip Camp University of Oregon
Celeste Loitz - National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (NSF-REU)
Kathleen Holt - Nuclear Summer School at San Jose State University & National Laboratory Summer Internships
Amber Hamilton & Trisha Duffey - Summer Research at Western Washington University

December 7, 2001
"Preliminary Studies of Amorphous Metal Boride Hydrodesulfurization Catalysts."
Mr. Gregory Parks, Graduate Student, Chemistry Department, Western Washington University


Winter 2002

January 11, 2002
"Radical Chemistry Without 'Dots': Hydrocarbon Oxidation by Transition Metal Compounds."
Professor James Mayer, Department of Chemistry, University of Washington

January 18, 2002
"The Future of Microelectronics: Toward Environmentally-Benign Methods for Assembling Nano-electronic Devices and Circuits."
Professor James E. Hutchison, Department of Chemistry, University of Oregon

January 25, 2002
"The Single Cell Proteome Project."
Professor Norman J. Dovichi, Department of Chemistry, University of Washington

February 1, 2002
"Materials Science Puzzles in Display and Lighting Technologies."
Professor Anthony Diaz, Department of Chemistry, Central Washington University

February 8, 2002
"New Reagents and Methods for Organic Synthesis. Applications to Terpenoid Syntheses."
Professor Edward Piers, Department of Chemistry, University of British Columbia

February 15, 2002
Professor Daniel T. Chiu, Department of Chemistry, University of Washington

February 22, 2002
"Where's the Proton: Dissecting the pH-Dependent Mechanism of a Model Glycosidase."
Professor Lawrence P. McIntosh, Department of Chemistry, University of British Columbia

March 1, 2002
"Molecular Recognition of Watson-Crick and T/G Mismatched Base Pairs of DNA by Stacked Polyamides."
Professor Moses N. F. Lee, Department of Chemistry, Furman University

March 8, 2002
"Rational Drug Design for Parasitic and Autoimmune Diseases."
Dr. Darrick Carter, Corixa Corporation, Seattle, WA


Spring 2002 

April 5, 2002
"Bridging the Gap Between Proteins and Nucleic Acids-Discovery and Development of a Novel RNaseA Mimic."
Dr. David Perrin, Department of Chemistry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver

April 12, 2002
"Mapping the early steps in the conformational conversion of the prion protein."
Dr. Valerie Daggett, Departments of Medicinal Chemistry and Biochemistry and Biomolecular Structure and Desing Program, University of Washington, Seattle

April 19, 2002
"Low coordinate p-block chemistry: new opportunities for material synthesis."
Dr. Derek Gates, Department of Chemistry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver

April 26, 2002
"Some Experimental Studies of Metal/Polymer Interfaces."
Dr. Todd Stuckless, Chemistry Department, University of British Columbia, Vancouver

May 3, 2002
"Peptide Mimetic Inhibitors of Thrombin."
Dr. Doug Boatman, Molecumetics, Bellevue, WA

May 10, 2002
"The Application of Sciences in the Pharmaceutical Industry."
Dr. Tom Harvey, Chemistry Department, Western Washington University

May 17, 2002
Scholars Week

May 24, 2002
"Understanding and Exploiting Glycosidases."
Dr. Steve Withers, Department of Chemistry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver

May 28, 2002
"Mesostructured Materials Using Liquid Crystals."
Michael Lynch, Graduate Student, Chemistry Department, Western Washington University

May 29, 2002
"Studies of Thin Films of Tetracene and Pentacene Deposited from Liquid."
Joe McLellan, Graduate Student, Chemistry Department, Western Washington University

May 31, 2002
"Structural Insights into the Function of the Breast Cancer Susceptibility Protein, BRCA1."
Dr. Rachel Klevit, Department of Biochemistry, University of Washington, Seattle


Summer 2002 

July 19, 2002
"Electron Field Emission and Light Emission of Carbon Nanotubes."
Professor Jun Kiao, Physics Department, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon

July 22, 2002
"Amorphous Metal Borides: Hydrodesulfurization Catalysts."
Thesis Defense - Greg Parks, Graduate Student, Western Washington University


Fall 2002 

October 3, 2002
"The Structure of Hexokinase BAn Old Story with Some New Twists."
Professor Oren Anderson, Department of Chemistry, Colorado State University

October 4, 2002
"The What, When, Where, Why, and How of Graduate School in the Sciences."
Professor James Vyvyan, Department of Chemistry, Western Washington University

October 11, 2002
"Synthesis, Characterization and Evaluation of Transition Metal Phosphide Hydrodesulfurization Catalysts."
Stephanie Sawhill, Graduate Student, Chemistry Department, Western Washington University

October 16, 2002
"Total Synthesis of Natural Products of Biological Intrigue."
Professor Robert Williams, Department of Chemistry, Colorado State University

October 18, 2002
"Antibacterial Drug Discovery: Historical Perspective and New Developments."
Dr. Steve Alley, Chiron Corporation, Seattle, Washington

October 25, 2002
"The Mechanism of Copper Phenanthroline Induced DNA Strand Scission."
Dr. Brian Bales, Department of Chemistry, University of Washington

November 1, 2002
"How Moths Smell Enantiomers: Molecular Recognition in Gypsy Moth Pheromone Olfaction."
Professor Erika Plettner, Department of Chemistry, Simon Fraser University, BC

November 8, 2002
"Mechanistic Studies of Nucleoside Modification in tRNA: A Unique Role for S-Adenosylmethionine."
Professor Dirk Iwata-Reuyl, Department of Chemistry, Portland State University

November 11, 2002
"Self-Assembly of Mesoscopic Building Blocks Using Liquid Crystals."
Michael Lynch, Graduate Student, Chemistry Department, Western Washington University

November 15, 2002
"Controlling Properties of Materials at the Nanoscale."
Professor Geoff Strouse, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Santa Barbara

November 22, 2002
"Solid State NMR Investigation of Molecular Recognition at Interfaces Using Antimicrobial and Biomineralization Peptides."
Professor Myriam Cotten, Department of Chemistry, Pacific Lutheran University

December 5, 2002
"Towards Single-Molecule Enzymology Using Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering."
Teresa Wenda, Graduate Student, Chemistry Department, Western Washington University

December 6, 2002
"Studies with Circular Permuteins of Myoglobin."
Professor Spencer Anthony-Cahill, Chemistry Department, Western Washington University


Winter 2003 

January 10, 2003
"Insulin-enhancing Vanadium Compounds."
Professor Chris Orvig, Department of Chemistry, University of British Columbia

January 17, 2003
"Proteins of Iron: Aspects of Biological Rust Control."
Professor Grant Mauk, Department of Biochemistry, University of British Columbia

January 31, 2003
"Phosphodiesterases: From Bench to Bedside."
Dr. Peter Snyder, ICOS Corporation, (Biotech Industry)

February 7, 2003
"From Molecular Recognition to Crystal Engineering and Back Again."
Professor Kenneth Doxsee, Department of Chemistry, University of Oregon

February 14, 2003
"Tunable Diode Laser Gain Measurements of the HF (2-0) Overtone Transitions in a Small Scale HF Laser."
Dr. Gordon D. Hager, Kirtland Air Force Base

February 21, 2003
"From Molecular Recognition to Crystal Engineering and Back Again."
Professor H. Jane Dyson, Department of Molecular Biology, The Scripps Research Institute

February 28, 2003
"NMR Chemical Shifts, the Ultimate Measure of Polypeptide Folding."
Professor Niels H. Andersen, Department of Chemistry, University of Washington

March 7, 2003
"Synthetic, Structural and Reactivity Studies of Transition Metal Hydride and Dihydrogen Complexes."
Professor D. Michael Heinekey, Department of Chemistry, University of Washington


Spring 2003

April 4, 2003
"Covalent Heme Binding to P450 "
Professor Allan Rettie, University of Washington (Medicinal Chemistry)

April 11, 2003
"Recent Work in Natural Products Synthesis "
Professor Greg Dake, University of British Columbia (Chemistry)

April 18, 2003
"Folding of intertwined helical dimers"
Professor Lisa Gloss, Washington State University (School of Molecular Biosciences)

April 25, 2003
"Forensic applications of DNA analysis"
Brian Smelser, Forensic Scientist, Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory in Marysville

May 2, 2003
"Structural Studies and Photophysical Investigations of Layered Zirconium Phosphonates "
Professor Willem Leenstra, University of Vermont (Chemistry)

May 9, 2003
"Circular Dichroism Imaging Microscopy"
Professor Bart Kahr, University of Washington (Chemistry)

May 12, 2003
"Studies of thin films tetracene and pentacene from liquid crystal solvents"
Joseph McLellan, Western Washington University (Thesis Defense)

May 15-16, 2003
"Sugar Molecules in Biology and Medicine" (May 15, 11-12noon, SL 110)
"Chemical Approaches to Glycomics Research" (May 16, 10-11am, PH 146)
"Sulfation Pathways in Inflammation and in Mycobacterial Infection" (May 16, 5-6pm, SL 150)
Scholar's Week Speaker: Professor Carolyn Bertozzi, University of California, Berkeley

May 23, 2003
"HREELS Investigation of Probe Molecule Adsorption on Ultra-thin Films of gamma-Al2O3 Grown on NiAl(100): Determination of Surface OH Acidity"
Dr. Katy Layman, Western Washington University (Chemistry)

May 30, 2003
"Synthesis of benzoxocane containing natural products: Heliannuol A, K, and Heliannane."
Celeste Loitz, Western Washington University (Chemistry: Vyvyan Group)


Fall 2003

October 3, 2003
""What, When, Where, Why, and How of Graduate School in the Sciences."
Dr. James Vyvyan, Western Washington University

October 17, 2003
"The Chemical Biology of Nitrogen Oxides"
Dr. Katrina Miranda, University of Arizona (Chemistry)

October 24, 2003
"Biochemical and Biomedical Applications of Lab-on-a-Chip Technology"
Dr. Charles Henry, Colorado State University (Chemistry)

October 31, 2003
"Active Site Analogues of Nitrile Hydratase"
Briea Lewis, Western Washington University (Chemistry: Daley Group)

November 7, 2003
"Silica Polyamine Composites: Advanced Materials for Metal Recovery and Environmental Remediation"
Dr. E. Rosenberg, University of Montana (Chemistry)

November 14, 2003
"Investigating the Origin of the Tobacco Ringspot Virus Satellite"
Monique Brewer, Western Washington University (Chemistry: Prody Group)

November 21, 2003
"Support Effects for Metal Phosphide Hydrodesulfurization Catalysts"
Daniel Van Wyk, Western Washington University (Chemistry: Bussell Group)


Winter 2004 

Jan 16
Dr. Snorri Th. Sigurdsson, University of Washington (Chemistry)
"Application of EPR Spectroscopy for the Study of RNA-Ligand Interactions"

Jan 23
Prof. Peter Griffiths, University of Idaho 
"Design and applications of an ultra-rapid-scanning FT-IR spectrometer "
Peter Griffiths' webpage

Jan 30
Prof. Geri Richmond, University of Oregon (Chemistry)
"Going Nonlinear to Study Water Surfaces" 
Geri Richmond's webpage

Feb 6
Prof. David Patrick, Western Washington University (Chemistry)
"Synthesizing Nanomaterials Using Liquid Crystals"
David Patrick's webpage

Feb 13
Prof. Kevin Gable, Oregon State University (Chemistry)
"Rhenium-mediated O-atom transfer: Unexpected mechanistic complexity and the design of “Green” catalysis."
Kevin Gable's webpage

Feb 20
Prof. Art Ellis, University of Wisconsin-Madison (Chemistry)
"The ABCs of Nanotechnology: Atom, Bits, and Civilization" 

Feb 27
Tom Rauchfuss, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (Chemistry)
"Small Molecules and Big Energy: an Organometallic Perspective"

Mar 1
Professor Mary Hatcher-Skeers, The Claremont Colleges-McKenna
"Structure and Dynamics in DNA Binding Sites" 

Mar 12
Prof. A. Patricia Campbell, University of Washington (Medicinal Chemistry)
"NMR Guided Design of a Breast Cancer Vaccine"
Patricia Campbell's webpage


Spring 2004 

April 2
Dr. Harry B. Davis, Gonzaga University (Chemistry)
"Molecules that Move"

April 9
Dr. George O'Doherty, West Virginia University (Chemistry) 
"De Novo Synthesis in Carbohydrate Chemistry"

April 16
Dr. Lisa Rosenberg, University of Victoria (Chemistry)
"Exploiting catalytic Si-H activation in the synthesis and modification of oligosilanes" 
University of Victoria's chemistry webpage

April 23
Dr. Ted Molinski University of California, Davis (Chemistry)
"Marine Natural Products Chemistry"
Ted Molinski's webpage

May 7
Celeste Loitz, Western Washington University (M.S. Defense)
"Synthesis of Benzoxocane-Containing Natural Products: Heliannuol A, K, and Helianane" 

May 14
Dr. Daniel Jones, PENN State (Chemistry)
"Protein Modifications, Mass Spectrometry, and the Era of the Proteome"

May 21
Dr. John Bercaw, CalTech (Chemistry): Scholar's Week Speaker
"Organometallic Catalysts for Making Polypropylenes: Controlling Stereochemistry and Polymer Microstructure" 

May 28
Dr. Margaret Daley, University of Washington (Postdoctoral Researcher: Biochemistry)
"How do Antifreeze Proteins Work? NMR Investigations of Tenebrio molitor Antifreeze Protein"


Winter 2005

Jan 14

Scott Wilkinson, Western Washington University (MS Chemistry: Patrick)
"Using Thermotropic Liquid Crystal Solvents to Grow Oriented Thin Films of Organic Semiconductor Molecules"

Jan 21
Dr. John Gerdes, University of Montana-Missoula (Chemistry) 
"Attribute Correlated 3D Mapping: Measures of Protein and Ligand Computational Models"

Jan 28
Dr. Goran Krilov, Columbia University
"Modelling Protein Solvation" 

Feb 2
Dr. Aric Opdahl, National Institute of Standards and Technology
"Characterization of single stranded DNA immobilized on gold surfaces: film structure and stability"

Feb 4
Autumn Burns Western Washington University (MS Chemistry: Bussell)
"Bimetallic Phosphide Hydrotreating Catalysts."

Feb 8
Dr. Mac Brown, University of Oregon
"Spectroscopy, Structure and Dynamics at Los Alamos"

Feb 9
Amanda Henry, Western Washington University (MS Chemistry: Vyvyan)
"Small Molecule Models of Tri-Block Polymer Coupling Sites."
Vyvyan's webpage

Feb 11
Dr. Frank Osterloh, University of California, Davis (Chemistry)
"How to use chemistry to make the world’s smallest flashlights and compasses"
Frank Osterloh's webpage

Feb 18
Dr. Peter Legzdins, University of British Columbia (Chemistry)
"The Chemistry of C-H Activating Complexes of the Group 6 Metals" 

Mar 7
Dr. John Gelder, Oklahoma State University
"Molecular Level Laboratory Experiments in Chemistry"

Mar 9

Professor Ned D. Heindel, Lehigh University (Chemistry) and Past President of the American Chemical Society
"Folk Medicine in the 19th Century"


Fall Quarter 2005

Sep 30
Dr.'s Steven Emory and Christopher Daley, Western Washington University (Chemistry) 
"What, When, Where, and How of Graduate School in the Sciences"

Oct 7
Dr. Mark Bussell, Western Washington University (Physical/Material Chemistry)
"The End of Oil (and Some Chemistry Related to Hydrogen Fuel Cells)"
Mark Bussell's webpage

Oct 14
Bevin Parks, University of Oregon (Chemistry)
"Bicyclic Malonamides for Binding f-Block Ions: Preorganized Ligands for Materials Applications" 

Oct 21

Dr. George Kriz (Chemistry Department) and Kate Popejoy (Woodring College of Education), Western Washington University
"Chemistry in a Social and Historical Context: A Project for Liberal Arts Chemistry"

Oct 26
Sian Thornton, Graduate Student, Western Washington University (Chemistry)
"Integrating Green Chemistry into the Organic Lab Curriculum"

Oct 28
Melinda Kangala, Graduate Student, Western Washington University (Biochemistry)
"Structural Studies of the Binding of Sulfated Neurosteroids to the NMDA Receptor Subunits NR2B and D"

Nov 4
Amanda Henry Graduate Student, Western Washington University (Chemistry), Thesis Defense
"Synthesis and Evaluation of Small-Molecule Models of Tri-Block Polymer Coupling Sites"

Nov 10
Dr. Benjamin Gherman, Department of Chemistry, University of Minnesota
"Computational Modeling of Catalysis in Monocopper Enzymes: Dopamine-Monooxygenase and Peptidylglycine-Hydroxlyating Monooxygenase"

Nov 14
Dr. Thorstein Adalsteinsson, Department of Chemistry, Mount Holyoke College
"Understanding dispersions of hollow polymer capsules"

Nov 15
Dr. Rico Del Sesto, Chemistry Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory
"Design and Synthesis of Ionic Liquid Materials"

Nov 17
Dr. Carolyn Anderson, Department of Chemistry, Pomona College
"Teaching Old Methods New Tricks: Stories of Asymmetric Catalysis and the Assignment of Relative Configuration"

Nov 21
Dr. Andrew Duncan, Department of Chemistry, Pomona College
"Chiral Organometallic Complexes of Zirconium and Copper: Synthetic, Structural, and Mechanistic Studies and Applications in Organic Methodology"

Nov 22 Dr. Stephen Testa, Department of Chemistry, University of Kentucky
"Nucleic Acids, Disease, and You"

Nov 28
Dr. Anna Wenzel, California Institute of Technology
"Stereocontrol in Small Molecule Synthesis"

Nov 29
Dr. Jessica Hollenbeck, Department of Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison
"New Tools to Study B Cell Signaling"

Nov 30
Monique Brewer, Graduate Student, Western Washington University (Biochemistry) Thesis Defense
"Investigating the Origin of the Tobacco Ringspot Virus Satellite"

Dec 1
Dr. Casey Londergan, Department of Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania
"The onset of peptide aggregation monitored by one- and two-dimensional infrared spectroscopy"

Dec 2
Dr. Loren Williams, School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Georgia Institute of Technology
" The Origins of DNA Bending and Deformation"


Winter Quarter 2006

Jan 6
Rachel Saunders  Graduate Student, Western Washington University (Chemistry) 
"Nickel Molybdenum Phosphide Catalysts for Environmentally-Important Processes"

Jan 20
Dr. Shaoyi Jiang University of Washington, (Department of Chemical Engineering)
"Molecular Engineering of Surfaces for Biomaterials and Biosensors"

Jan 23
Dr. Istavan Kiss, University of Virginia
"Dynamical Order and Complexity in Rhythmic Chemical Systems"

Jan 25
Dr. David Szpunar University of California, Berkeley
"Photodissociation of Small I-(H2O)n Clusters Excited to the Charge-Transfer-to-Solvent State"

Jan 27
Laura Stoll Graduate Student, Western Washington University (Chemistry) 
"Probing the structure-function relationship between the GluR2 subunit of the AMPA receptor and its allosteric modulators."

Feb 3
F. Scott Wilkinson Graduate Student, Western Washington University (Chemistry)
"Engineered growth of organic molecular crystals in thin films using liquid solvents." Thesis Defense

Feb 10
Jennifer Meyer Graduate Student, Western Washington University (Chemistry)
"Studies toward the enantioselective total synthesis of cananodine." Thesis Defense

Feb 22
James Coats Graduate Student, Western Washington University (Chemistry)
"Synthesis and Evaluation of Heliannuol C Analogues"  4:00 p.m. SL 150

Feb 24
Dr. Larry Wienkers, Amgen
"Cytochrome P450 Metabolic Inactivation: Understanding The Mechanism Behind Mechanism Based Inhibitors"

Mar 3
Dr. Dean Waldow  Pacific Lutheran University (Chemistry)
"Tailoring Polymer Blend Compatibilization with Copolymer Additives"

Mar 10
Dr. Wes Quigley, Boeing
"Analytical Chemistry at Boeing"


Spring Quarter 2006

Mar 31
Dr. Eric Bullock, Central Washington University (Chemistry)
"The Self-Assembly of Two-Component Mixtures on Surfaces".

Apr 07
Dr. Carrie Stoffel, Western Washington University (Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education).
"An NSF Discovery Corps Fellowship: an After School Science Club Initiative".

Apr 14
Dr. Brian R. James, University of British Columbia (Chemistry).
"Modification of Lignin Structure: or an Inorganic Chemist's Stroll Through the Woods".

Apr 24
Dr. Ariel Fenster, McGill University, Office for Science & Society.
"Food of the Gods:  The Science and Lore of Chocolate"
McGill University webpage

Apr 28
Candace Thompson, Graduate Student, Western Washington University (Chemistry).
"Surface-Enhanced Raman Based Optical Probes"

Apr 28
Dr. Jon Nelson, Ritsumeikan University, Japan (Science & Engineering). Graduate Student Invited Seminar.
"Surface Macrostep Model for Sidebranching in Snow Crystals"

May 11
Dr. Garth Simpson (WWU Alumnus), Purdue University (Chemistry)
"“Novel Approaches for Investigating Biological Interfaces"

May 12

Jennifer Johnson, Graduate Student, Western Washington University (Chemistry)
"Development of an Enantioselective Claisen Rearrangement in the Synthesis of Heliannuols C and E "

May 19
Dr. Harry B. Gray, California Institute of Technology (Chemistry).  Scholar's Week Keynote Speaker.
"The Currents of Life:  Electron Flow through Iron and Copper Proteins".

May 26
Seminar is Cancelled.
Dr. David E. Clemmer, Indiana University (Chemistry)
"Understanding the Structures and Dynamics of Gas-Phase Protein Ions and Applications for Whole Proteome Analysis:  The Aging of Drosophila and Mapping Human Plasma".

May 31
Erik Werner, Graduate Student, Western Washington University (Chemistry)
"Progress toward the synthesis of Heliannuol A using conformational constraint".  3:15 pm SL 140

Jun 02
Graduation Celebration & Awards/Scholarship Presentation


Summer Quarter 2006

June 21
Laura Stoll, Graduate Student, Western Washington University (Biochemistry).  Thesis Defense
"Unraveling the interactions of endogenous neurosteroids and antidepressants with ionotropic glutamate receptions".  3:00 p.m. SL 110

June 23
Professor Stephanie Brock, Wayne State University (Chemistry)
"When Size Really Matters: Synthesis & Properties of Transition Metal Phosphide Nanoparticles & Metal Chalcogenide Nanonetworks" 1:00 p.m. CB 285

July 21
Sian Thornton, Graduate Student, Western Washington University (Chemistry). Thesis Defense
"Integrating green chemistry into the organic laboratory curriculum". 

Sep 15
Ned H. Martin, University of North Carolina, Wilmington (Chemistry). 
"Revisiting through-space NMR shielding effects; it's not just shielding cones anymore: 11:00 a.m. CB 285

Fall Quarter 2006

Sep 29
Professor Steven Emory, Western Washington University (Analytical Chemistry). 
"Nanoparticle-Based Optical Probes for Bioimaging". 

Oct 06
Faculty Panel, Chemistry Department, Western Washington University
"Panel discussion for students about applying for graduate school"

Oct 13
Professor Daniel Gamelin, Chemistry Department, University of Washington
"Diluted Magnetic Semiconductor Nanocrystals Related to Spintronics"

Oct 16
Professor David Tierney, University of New Mexico (Chemistry). 
"Cobalt as Spectroscopic Probe of Zinc Biochemistry: Models to Maquettes to Metalloproteins." 4:15 p.m. CB 285

Oct 27
Craig Campbell, Graduate Student, Western Washington University (Chemistry). 
"Transition Metal Complexes of Isoindoline Pincer Ligands"

Nov 06
Professor James McGarrah, Barnard College
"Luminescent Platinum Coordination Compounds for Photovoltaics, Photosynthetic Mimicry, and Electroluminescent Devices"   4:00 p.m. SL 110

Nov 08
Dr. Devon Rosenfeld, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,
"Progress toward regiospecific hydroamination: Formation of C(sp3)-N bonds via reductive elimination and triflic acid catalyzed additions of N-H bonds to olefins" 4:00 p.m. SL 130

Nov 14
Jeffrey Johnson,  Ph.D. Colorado State University,
"Mechanistic Elucidation and its Role in the Development of Organic Methodology"

Nov 16
Professor Myriam Cotten,  Pacific Lutheran University,
" A Solid-State NMR Study of Lipid-Bound Piscidin: Implications of Peptide Secondary Structure, Topology, and Fast Dynamics for Antimicrobial Function."  4:00 p.m. SL 130

Nov 20
Liliya A. Yatsunyk,  Ph.D. Northwestern University,
"Synthesis, Structure, and Magnetic Spectroscopies of Non-Planar Hemes as Models of the Cytochromes b Heme Centers" 4:00 SL 130

Nov 21
Melinda Kangala, Graduate Student, Western Washington University (Chemistry).  Thesis Defense. 

Nov 28
Danielle Dube, Ph.D. Stanford University
"Chemical Tools to Target and Understand Glycosylation" 4:00 p.m. SL 130

Nov 30
Annaliese Franz, Ph.D. Harvard University,
"Investigating the Unique Reactivity of Organosilanes: From Synthetic Methodology to Cellular Profiling."  4:00 p.m. SL 130

Dec 04
Clint Spiegel, Ph.D. University of California, Santa Cruz
"Ribosome Function in an RNA World" 4:00 p.m. SL 110

Dec 06
Margaret Daley, Ph.D. University of Washington,
"Structural insight into environmental signal sensing by Salmonella PhoQ" 4:00 p.m. SL 130


Winter Quarter 2007

Jan 16
Professor Christopher Daley, Western Washington University (Bioinorganic Chemistry).
"Amino acid bonding to metals: from nature to the lab."  4:00 p.m. CB 285

Jan 25
Dr. Timothy Clark, University of Wisconsin, Madison (Organic Chemistry). 
"Main-Group Organometallic Chemistry in Organic Synthesis" 4:00 p.m. CB 285

Jan 26
Rachel Saunders, Graduate Student, Western Washington University (Chemistry). 
"Metal phosphide catalysts for hydrotreating and water-gas shift processes."  Thesis Defense

Jan 30
Dr. Andrew Bolig, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (Organic Chemistry). 
"Transition Metals in Organic Synthesis: From Stereoregular Polymers to Substituted Pyrrolidines" 4:00 p.m. CB 285

Feb 02
Dr. Henry White, University of Utah. 
"Single Ion Channel Sensors Using Glass Nanopore Membranes." 2:00 p.m. CF 105

Feb 09
Professor Rose Theisen, Western Washington University (Chemistry).
"Synthetic Model Complexes for Cysteinate-ligated Metalloenzymes"

Feb 16
Dr. Keith McCrea, Polymer Technology Group, Berkeley, California.
"Surface Chemical Control and Analysis of Biomedical Materials: A Sum Frequency Generation Spectroscopy Study." 3:15 p.m. CF 105

Feb 23
Autumn Burns, Graduate Student, Western Washington University (Chemistry). 
"Nickel-rich Bimetallic Phosphide Hydrotreating Catalysts."  Thesis Defense

Mar 02
Dr. Byron Gates, Simon Fraser University. 
"The Role of Surface Chemistry in Nanostructure Synthesis."

Mar 09
Professor Spencer Anthony-Cahill, Western Washington University (Biochemistry). 
"Can protein misfolding be exploited to make nanowires?"

Mar 16
Dr. Richard Glass, University of Arizona. 
"Bio-inspired Catalysts to Empower the New Green Energy Source H2."

Spring Quarter 2007

Apr 06
Prof. Xiaohu Gao, University of Washington (Bioengineering). 
"Nanotechnology for Cancer Research"

Apr 11
Prof. Tom Pratum, Western Washington University (Chemistry). 
Materials After Dark (MAD):  "Materials Applications of Solid-State NMR."  CB270  5:30 pm

Apr 16
Tim Storr, Stanford University (Chemistry). 
"Investigating the Spectroscopic Features and Reactivity of Oxidized Metal Salen Complexes."  SL 110 4:00 p.m.

Apr 20
Prof. Matthew P. Augustine, University of California at Davis (Chemistry). 
"Fruit of the Vine or Pickle Juice?  Applications of Modern Physical Methods."

Apr 26
AMSEC Invited Lecture:  Dr. Larry Kazmerski, Director of National Center for Photovoltaics, National Renewable Energy Laboratory. 
"Solar Photovoltaics Technology:  At the Tipping Point"  CF 115  7:00 pm 

May 4
Dr. Alan Fritzberg,
"99mTc-MAG3: Development from Clinical Need to Routine Use and Application as Bifunctional Chelating Agent" 

May 11
Prof. Vincent T. Remcho, Oregon State University (Chemistry). 
"Microscale Foundries for Nanoscale Synthesis and Analysis."

May 14
Craig Campbell, Graduate Student, Western Washington University (Chemistry).  Thesis Defense
"Transition Metal Complexes of Isoindoline Pincer Ligands." CB 285 4:00 p.m.

May 15
James Coats, Graduate Student, Western Washington University (Chemistry). Thesis Defense
"Synthesis and Evaluation of Heliannuol C Analogues."  HH 153   3:15 p.m.

May 18
Scholars Week Keynote Speaker:  Dr. Elsa Reichmanis, Director of Polymer and Organic Materials Research, Lucent Technologies. 

Jun 01
Dr. Allison Campbell, Director of the William R. Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. 
"Biomineralization to Biomaterials:  A Science to Solutions Example."


Summer Quarter 2007

Jul 18
Erik Werner, Graduate Student, Western Washington University (Chemistry).  Thesis Defense
"Progress Toward the Synthesis of Heliannuol A using Conformational Constraint"  CB 285 3:15 p.m.

Jul 19
Candace Thompson, Graduate Student, Western Washington University (Chemistry).  Thesis Defense
"Nanoparticle-based Optical Probes for Chemical Imaging"  CB 285 3:15 p.m.

Jul 20
Jennifer Johnson, Graduate Student, Western Washington University (Chemistry).  Thesis Defense
"Development of an Enantioselective Claisen Rearrangement"  CB 285 3:15 p.m.


Fall Quarter 2007

Sep 28
Professor James Vyvyan, Western Washington University (Chemistry).
" What, When, Where, and How Graduate School in the Sciences."  BI 234.

Oct 5
Rebecca Swanson, Graduate Student, Western Washington University (Chemistry). 
"Applications of Noble Metal Complexes in Catalysis" 

Oct 12
Professor Kenneth Doxsee, University of Oregon (Organic Chemistry). 
"Kinetic Control in the Phase- and Shape-Selective Synthesis and Crystallization of Solid-State Materials"

Oct 19
Daniel Finley, Graduate Student, Western Washington University (Chemistry). 
"Development of magnetic core-shell nanostructures for surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) applications." 

Oct 26
Laura Dettinger, Graduate Student, Western Washington University (Chemistry). 
"Backbone dynamic and stability study of Myoglobin and its Circular Permuteins." 

Nov 16
John Gilbertson Ph.D., Augustana College (Inorganic Chemistry).
"Activation Reactions, Enzyme Mimics, and Dendrimer Encapsulated Nanoparticles; An Inorganic Potpourri."

Nov 20
Andrea Goforth Ph.D., University of California, Davis (Inorganic Chemistry).
"Structural diversity in non-magnetic and magnetic Zintl phases having two-dimensional [M2X2]2- Layers: Comparison of magnetoresistant properties in EuM2Pn2 congeners (M=Ga, In; Pn = P, As) having different [M2Pn2]2- networks."  3:15 p.m. CB 285

Nov 26
Hasan Palandoken Ph.D., Western Kentucky University (Organic Chemistry).
"I. Targeting Cell Surface Ion Exchangers To Treat Brain Cancer  II. Alkoxyamines: Versatile Ligating Agents" 3:15 p.m. SL 130

Nov 30
Gil Belofsky Ph.D. Director, Natural Products Research, Efficas Inc., Boulder, Colorado (Organic Chemistry). 
"Answers and Questions that Reveal the Scope and Potential of Natural Products Research"

Dec 3
Rongson Pongdee Ph.D. The Colorado College (Organic Chemistry). 
"Artificial Sweetening of Natural Products: Beginning the Journey Towards More Potent Antibiotics"

Dec 5
Erin Whitney Ph.D. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado (Inorganic Chemistry). 
"Challenges of a Hydrogen Economy: A Novel Organometallic Fe-C60 Complex for Vehicular Hydrogen Storage"

Dec 7
Laura Anderson Ph.D. University of California, Irvine (Organic Chemistry)
"Amination Reactions: Tantalum, Silicon, and Brønsted Acid Based Methods"

Dec 10
Greg Hanson Ph.D. University of Minnesota (Organic Chemistry).
"Natural Product Synthesis via Target-Oriented and Biomimetic Approaches"

Dec 12
Nicola Edwards Ph.D. University of Texas, Austin (Organic Chemistry).  "Studies of High Valent Metal Imido Complexes as Nitrogen Atom Transfer Agents and Pattern-Based Saccharide Sensing in Peppermint Tea"  3:15 p.m. CF 120


Winter Quarter 2008

Jan 11
Professors Steven Emory and Betsy Raymond, Western Washington University (Chemistry). 
" Exploring Undergraduate Research Opportunities"

Jan 18
Professor Brian Frost, University of Nevada, Reno.
" A new twist on an old ligand: Recent developments in the coordination chemistry and reactivity of PTA."

Feb 01
Gregory O'Neil Ph.D. Max-Planck Institute, Mülheim Ruhr, Germany (Chemistry)
"Studies in Complex Polyketide Natural Product Synthesis"

Feb 04
Jean-Paul Desaulniers Ph.D. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Chemistry)
"Chemical Approaches to Control Gene Expression"

Feb 12
T. Joseph Kappock Ph.D. Washington University, St. Louis (Biochemistry)
" Life on Acid"

Feb 22
Monika Ivancic Ph.D. University of Wisconsin, Madison (Biochemistry)
"Insights into the binding and function of cell signaling protein as seen by its NMR structure and dynamics" SL 110 3:15 p.m.

Mar 07
Natalia DeKalb, Western Washington University (Chemistry) Graduate Student
"Enhancing Student's Understanding of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Analysis Using the ILN"

Mar 14
Halena VanDeusen, Western Washington University (Biochemistry) Graduate Student
"Detection of 5-methyl-deoxycytidine monophosphate in Nasonia vitripennis DNA"


Spring Quarter 2008

Apr 04
Amy Gaudette, Western Washington University (Chemistry), Graduate Student
"Synthesis, characterization and hydrodesulfurization properties of metal phosphide catalysts: From base metals to noble metals"

Apr 11
Professor Pierre Kennepohl, University of British Columbia (Chemistry)
"Biological Redox Processes at Sulfur: the good, the bad, and the ugly"

Apr 15
Serge Smirnov Ph.D. Boston University, School of Medicine (Biochemistry)
"Villin: Probing the Structure, Dynamics and Function of Modular Proteins by NMR"

Apr 17
Amy Springer Ph.D. Mount Holyoke College (Biochemistry)
"Host-parasite molecular interactions in African sleeping sickness and malaria parasites"

Apr 25
Barry Stoddard Ph.D. Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Division of Basic Sciences
"Homing endonucleases: reagents for gene targeting"

May 08
Kevin Bufkin, Western Washington University (Chemistry), Graduate Student
"Studies of Growth Kinetics in Organic Vapor-Liquid-Solid Deposition"

May 09
Joseph Mougous Ph.D.  University of Washington (Microbiology)
"Type VI Protein Secretion in Pseudomonas aeruginosa" 3:15 p.m. SL 120

May 16
David Peyton Ph.D. Portland State University (Chemistry)
"Transforming Chloroquine to Combat Multidrug-Resistant Malaria" 3:15 p.m. CB 285

May 23
Charles P. Casey Homer B. Adkins Emeritus Professor of Chemistry University of Wisconsin-Madison (Chemistry) Chemistry Scholars Day Keynote Speaker
"New Hydrogenation Catalysts and New Mechanisms for Hydrogenation"

May 27
Rebecca Swanson Western Washington University (Chemistry), Graduate Student, Thesis Defense
"Applications of Noble Metal Complexes in Catalysis"

May 30
Juliette LeComte Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University (Biophysics)
"Novel Chemistry in an Ancient Hemoglobin"


Summer 2008

Jul 03
Dan Finley, Western Washington University (Chemistry), Graduate Student
"Development and Synthesis of Magneto-Optical Nanoparticle Substrates for Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) Applications", Thesis Defense

Jul 15
Natalia DeKalb, Western Washington University (Chemistry), Graduate Student
"Enhancing Student's Understanding of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Analysis Using the ILN", Thesis Defense

Jul 16
Laura Dettinger, Western Washington University (Chemistry), Graduate Student
"Characterization and Stability Studies of Sperm Whale Myoglobin and its Circular Permuteins", Thesis Defense

Fall 2008

October 3
WWU Chemistry Faculty
What, When, Where, Why, and How of Graduate School in the Sciences

October 10
Toby Ligon, WWU (Vyvyan Group)
Title: Progress Toward the Enantioselective Total Synthesis of Cananodine

October 17
Roland Strong, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
What Makes Things Red: Sidercoalin, Siderophores and Bacterial Virulence
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center webpage

October 24
Dipankar Sen, Simon Fraser University
Title: Light as substrate and effector in the chemistry and biology of DNA and RNA.

Winter Quarter 2009

January 15
Yanjie Zhang, Texas A&M University
Title: On-Chip Investigations of Specific Anion Effects on Polymer and Peptide

January 16
Tom G. Driver, University of Illinois at Chicago
Title: Transition Metal-Catalyzed Reactions of Azides

January 20
Don Warner, Boise State University
Title:DNA Binding Properties of Synthetic Aziridinomitosenes

January 23
Melissa McIntosh, WWU
Title: Copper-Catalyzed Diboration of Ketones: Facile Synthesis of Tertiary Alpha-Hydroxy Boronate Esters

January 30
Jennifer Love, University of British Columbia
Title: Developing Catalytic Reactions One Step at a Time

February 6
Forrest Michael, University of Washington
Title: How to Make C-N Bonds from C=C Bonds Using Metal Catalysts

February 13
Rich Carter, Oregon State University
Title: Natural Product Synthesis: The World’s Greatest Jigsaw Puzzle

February 20
Donald Blake, University of California, Irvine
Title: Gaseous Emissions from California Dairies: A Dairytale

March 6
Joseph Templeton, University of North Carolina
Title: Hydrocarbon C-H Activation Reactions with Platinum Complexes


Spring 2009

April 3
Robert Paine, University of New Mexico
Title: Design of Molecular Fish Hooks

Robert Paine's webpage

April 10
Chris Mathews, Oregon State University
Title: DNA Precursor Metabolism and Benomic Stability

April 17
Nancy Mills, Trinity University
Title:Understanding Aromaticity Through Antiaromaticity: The Fole of Serendipity in Chemical Research

Trinity University's webpage

April 24
David Tyler, University of Oregon
Title:Coordination Chemistry of H2 and N2 in aqueous Solution: Environmentally Benign Production of Ammonia

May 8
Joe Barendt, Chrial Technologies, Inc.
Title: Rocks, wine and thalidomide: The quest for single enantiomer pharmaceuticals

May 15
Doug Ford, Optimize Technologies
Title: The viability of small entrepreneurial and socially responsible scientific companies in the current economic climate

Optimize Technologies' webpage


May 22
Rachel Klevit, University of Washington
Title: What Biochemistry and Structural Biology Reveal about the Breast Cancer Susceptibility Protein, BRCA1

June 3
Jake Soper, Georgia Institute of Technology
Title: Redox-Active Ligand-Mediated Organometallic Catalysis at Manganese and Cobalt: New Routes to Formation of sp3-Hybridized C–C Bonds


Fall Quarter 2009

Sept. 25
WWU Faculty, WWU
Title: Who, What, When, Where, & How of Graduate Schoool

Oct. 9
Professor Jörg Gsponer, University of British Colombia

Title: Functionality and Regulation of Intrinsically Unstructured Proteins

Jörg Gsponer's webpage

Oct. 23
Dr. Trisha Duffey, University of Washington (WWU Alumna 2002)
Title: Newborn Screening for Lysosomal Storage Disorders:  Tandem Mass Spectrometry to Quantitate Enzymatic Activity

Nov. 6
Mr. Justin Walter, WWU Chemistry (MS Candidate)
Title: Biochemical characterization of LepA, the ribosomal back-translocase

Nov. 13
Professor Dirk Iwata-Reuyl, Portland State University
Title: From cyclohydrolase to oxidoreductase: discovery and investigation of a novel enzyme in the modification of RNA

Dirk Iwata-Reuyl's webpage

Nov. 20
Professor Thomas Scanlan, Oregon Health and Science University
Title: The Chemistry & Biology of Selective Thyroid Hormone Receptor Modulators (STRMs)

Nov. 23
Ms. Danielle Pfaff, WWU Chemistry (MS Candidate)
Title:Structural and Functional Characterization of Modular Proteins Involved in the Regulation of the Cytoskeleton


Winter Quarter 2010

January 8
Steven Emory and Betsy Raymond, WWU
Title: Exploring Undergraduate Research Opportunities"

January 15
Professor Ryan Looper, University of Utah
Title: TBA

January 22
Ms. Melissa McIntosh, WWU Chemistry (MS Candidate)
Title:Copper-Catalyzed Diboration of Ketones: Facile Synthesis of Tertiary
α-Hydroxy Boronate Esters

January 29
Mr. Daniel Shaw, WWU Chemistry (MS Candidate)
Title:Growth of Organic Semiconductor Thin Films

February 12
Mr. Kevin Bufkin, WWU Chemistry (MS Candidate)
Title: Organic Semiconductor Thin Film Deposition

February 19
Professor Mike Heinekey, University of Washington
Title: Coordination, Activation and Storage of Hydrogen

Mike Heinekey's webpage

March 5
Ms. Courtney Engles, WWU Chemistry (MS Student)
Title: Progress Toward the Synthesis of 1-Benzofused Cyclic Ethers: Transition Metal and Organocatalyst Approaches

March 12
Professor Andrew Boudreaux, WWU Physics
Title: Discipline-Based Research on Student Learning in the Chemistry-Physics Overlap

Spring 2010

April 16

Dr. Christine Luscombe, Materials Science and Engineering Department, University of Washington

Title: "Controlled polymerizations for semiconducting polymers and their use in organic photovoltaic devices"


April 23

Chris Westcott, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Oriented Fluorophore Luminescent Solar Concentrators”


April 30

Dr. Elliott Burnell, Department of Chemistry, University of British Columbia

Title “NMR of Ordered Liquids – there’s more to NMR than Chemical Shifts and Spin-spin Couplings"


May 7

Dr. L Rhys Lawson, WWU Chem Alumnus 2001, Associate, COJK (Christensen, O’Connor, Johnson, Kindness, PLLC)

Title: “An Introduction to Patent Law for University Research Scientists"”


May 12

Dr. Teri Odom, Department of Chemistry and Material Science and Engineering, Northwestern University

Title: “Concentrating Light using Anisotropic Nanopyramidal Shells”


May 21

Dr. Joseph Lackowicz, University of Maryland

Title: TBA


May 28

Dr. Joseph Gardella, Jr.,

Title: “Mass spectrometry and electron spectroscopy for the study of surface structure and reactivity of materials for tissue engineering, drug delivery and spintronics applications”


Fall Quarter 2010

Oct 8
Mary Rakowski-Dubois and Dan Dubois, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Title: The Development of Molecular Electrocatalysts Containing Proton Relays

Oct 15
Emily Borda, WWU Chemistry
Title: Toward scientific literacy:  Constructivism in chemical education

Oct 22
Richard Bowker, WWU Chemistry Graduate Student
Title: TBA

Oct 29
Peter Unrau, Simon Fraser University
Title: Studying the 6S transcriptional control RNA using in vitro selection

Nov 5
Justin Walter, WWU Chemistry
M.S. Thesis Defense

Nov 12
Kelly Lee, University of Washington
Title: Architecture of a Nascent Viral Fusion Pore

Nov 19
Heidi Dimmitt, WWU Chemistry
Graduate Student
Title: TBA

Nov 30
Alicia Michael, WWU Chemistry
Graduate Student
Title: The Facile Synthesis of Di- and Tri-Substituted Vinyl Boronate Esters

Dec 3
Gregory Dake, University of British Columbia
Title: Catalysis Studies: Ligand Development and Annulation


Winter Quarter 2011

January 7
Prof. David Johnson, Center for Green Materials Chemistry & Department of Chemistry, University of Oregon.
Title: "Chemistry in the Solid State: A Rediscovered Chemical Frontier"

January 13
Prof. Steven R. Emory & Prof. Elizabeth Raymond, Department of Chemistry, Western Washington University.
Title: "Undergraduate Research Opportunities"

January 14
Prof. Gregory Weiss, Department of Chemistry, University of California, Irvine.
Title: TBA

January 21
Prof. Michael H. Gelb, Department of Chemistry, University of Washington.
Title: "Newborn Screening for Enzyme Deficiency Diseases: From Bench to Practice"
Michael H. Gelb's webpage

January 28
Dr. Christopher M. Reddy, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Postponed!
Jean Dreyfus Boissevain Lectureship
Title: "Hunting for Subsurface Oil Plumes in the Gulf of Mexico Following the Deepwater Horizon Disaster"
Location: SL150
Reception: 3:15 pm; Lecture: 4:00 pm
Christopher M. Reddy's webpage

February 11
Prof. Chris Beaudry, Department of Chemistry, Oregon State University.
Title: "Synthesis & Investigation of Medium Ring Heterocyclic Natural Products"
Chris Beaudry's webpage

February 18
Prof. Gojko Lalic, Department of Chemistry, University of Washington.
Title: TBA
Gojko Lalic's webpage

February 25
Kevin T. Dooms, M.D., Bellingham Asthma, Allergy, & Immunology Clinic.
Title: TBA

March 4
Prof. Kevin J. Smith, Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering, University of British Columbia.
Title: TBA

Spring Quarter 2011

April 1
Prof. Mu-Hyun (Mookie) Baik, Department of Chemistry, Indiana University.
Title: "Understanding Water Oxidation Catalysis: Insights from Computer Simulations"

April 15
Prof. Gojko Lalic, Department of Chemistry, University of Washington.
Title: TBA
Gojko Laloc's webpage

April 20
Prof. Edmond Fischer, Nobel Laureate, Department of Biochemistry, University of Washington.
Special Guest Lecture
Title: "Why I Became a Biochemist"
Edmonds Fischer's webpage

April 29
Prof. Lisa Berreau, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Utah State University.
Title: TBA
Lisa Berreau's webpage

May 4
Daniel Shaw, Department of Chemistry, Western Washington University.
Graduate Student Thesis Defense
Title: TBA

May 6
Dr. Alex Burgin, Emerald Biostructures, Bainbridge Island, WA.
Title: TBA

May 20
Prof. Gerard Parkin, Department of Chemistry, Columbia University.
Scholars Day Distinguished Keynote Speaker
Title: TBA
Gerard Parkin's webpage

May 27
Rachel Werther, Department of Chemistry, Western Washington University.
Graduate Student
Title: TBA


Fall Quarter 2011

Sep 23
Chem Club Kick-Off Celebration
Come join students, staff, and faculty celebrate the Chem Club's "Outstanding Chapter Award" from the ACS. There will be short informational meeting to highlight upcoming Chem Club activities and explain how to get involved with the club. All are welcome!

Sep 29
The Who, What, When, Where, & How of Graduate School
Presented by Prof. Elizabeth Raymond
Students at all levels are strongly encouraged to attend this informational panel discussion about the prospects of graduate study.

Sep 30
Prof. Spencer Anthony-Cahill, Department of Chemistry, Western Washington University.
Title: "Progress Toward Developing a Single-Chain Human Hemoglobin as a Potential Blood Substitute"
Spencer Anthony-Cahill's webpage

Oct 7
Prof. P. Clint Spiegel, Department of Chemistry, Western Washington University.
Title: "Better Living Through Biochemistry: Structural and Mechanistic Studies of Hemophilia Treatment, Antibiotic Function, and Protein Design"
Clint Spiegel's webpage

Oct 14
Prof. Gregory W. O'Neil, Department of Chemistry, Western Washington University.
Title: "An Interplay of Targets & Methods in Complex Natural Product Synthesis"
Gregory O'Neil's webpage

Oct 21
Rick Bowker, Department of Chemistry, Western Washington University.
Graduate Student Thesis Defense
Title: "hydrodesulfurization and hydrodeoxygenation over noble metal phosphides"

Oct 26
Dr. Bruce Cook, Technology Development Manager, Refining and Logistics Technology
BP Products North America
Title: "Energy Outlook to 2030: Challenges for Sustainability"

Oct 28
Michael Murphy, Department of Chemistry, Western Washington University.
Graduate Student Seminar
Title: "Structure Determination of a Circularly Permuted ß-globin Hemoglobin via X-ray Crystallography"

Nov 4
Dr. Julian A. Simon, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA.
Title: "Fishing for drugs to prevent hearing loss"
Julian Simon's webpage

Nov 10
Jacob Brockerman, Department of Chemistry, Western Washington University
Graduate Student Seminar
Title: "Structure /Function Investigation of the Sixth Gelsolin-like Domain of Villin"
Thursday, 3:00 pm, Room SL140

Nov 18
Prof. Victoria J. DeRose, Department of Chemistry & Institute of Molecular Biology, University of Oregon.
Title: "Ribozymes: RNA Molecules That Do Chemical Reactions"
Victoria DeRose's webpage

Nov 30
William Benjamin, Department of Chemistry, Western Washington University
Graduate Student Seminar
Title: “Synthesis of alignable fluorophores for use in Luminescent Solar Concentrators”
Wednesday, 3:15 pm, Room SL140

Dec 2
Lily Hale, Department of Chemistry, Western Washington University
Undergraduate Honors Presentation
Title: "Substrate-Directed ortho-C-H Borylation of Benzylamines"

Dec 2
Tristan Butler, Department of Chemistry, Western Washington University.
Graduate Student Seminar
Title: "Methods for orienting fluorophores and their applications in Luminescent Solar Concentrators"


Winter Quarter 2012

Jan 6
Prof. Erin Pelkey, Department of Chemistry, Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Jan 12
Undergraduate Research Opportunities
Presented by Prof. Elizabeth Raymond & Prof. Steven Emory
Students at all levels are strongly encouraged to attend this informational panel discussion about the prospects of graduate study.

Jan 13
Dr. John Antos, PhaseRx, Seattle, WA.
Title: "TBA"

Jan 20
Dr. Jessica Hoover, Department of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin.
Title: "TBA"

Jan 27
Dr. Andy Baldwin, Department of Biochemistry, University of Toronto.
Title: "The structure and dynamics of AlphaB-crystallin oligomers, determined using solution-state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, ion-mobility mass spectrometry and electron microscopy"
Andy Baldwin's webpage

Feb 3
Dr. Orion Berryman, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA.
Title: "TBA"
Scripps Research's webpage

Feb 9
William Benjamin, Department of Chemistry, Western Washington University
Graduate Student Seminar
Title: “Synthesis of alignable fluorophores for use in luminescent solar concentrators”

Feb 10
Rachel Werther, Department of Chemistry, Western Washington University.
Graduate Student Thesis Defense
Title: "TBA"

Feb 17

No seminar scheduled.

Feb 24
Prof. Matthew Sigman, Department of Chemistry, University of Utah.
Title: "TBA"

Mar 2
Prof. Charity Lovitt, Department of Chemistry, Seattle University.
Title: "Computers to the Rescue: Using computer models to interpret perplexing experimental data and predict reaction outcomes"

Mar 9
Dr. Gregory Werner, Boeing, Everette, WA
Title: “TBA”

Spring Quarter 2012

April 6

Dr. William J. Evans, Department of Chemistry, University of California, Irvine

Title: “The Important of Questioning Scientific Assumptions: Lessons from Rare Earth Metal and Uranium Chemistry”


April 20

Dr. James M. Mayer, Department of Chemistry, University of Washington

Title: “Approaching Energy Challenges by Moving Electrons and Protons”


April 27

Zach Thammavongsy, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Metalloenzyme Mimics with H-bond Directors Located in the Secondary Coordination Sphere”


May 4

Jacob Brockerman, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “The Isolated Sixth Gelsolin Repeat of Villin has a Calcium-regulated Structure and Lacks Capacity to Bind F-actin”


May 11

Greg Werner, Boeing, Seattle, Wa

Title: “Portable Chemical Analyzer in Aerospace”


May 18

Dr. Harry F. Noeller, Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, University of Washington

Title: “How the Ribosome Moves and Why: Investigations of Nature’s Soft Machine”


May 22

Elizabeth Wellner, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Surface Enhanced Raman Based Sensors”


May 25

Dr. Abigail Lambert, Seattle Children’s Research Institute

Title: “Design and Characterization of Homing Endonucleases as Tools for Genome Engineering” 


May 31

Stanislav Fedechkine, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Synergy of DNA Damage and Epigenetics: Structure and Dynamics of Duplex DNA with Oxidative Damage and Regulatory Methylation”

Summer Quarter 2012

July 27

Tristan Butler, WWU Graduate Student

Title: "Efficiencies of Oriented Fluorophore LCS’s”

Fall Quarter 2012

October 12

Prof. Frieder Jaekle, Department of Chemistry, Rutgers University

Title: “Organoborane Polymers: From Luminescent Materials to Self-Assembled Nanostructures”


October 19

Jamie Apperson, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Globin Engineering Studies: Optimizing the design of permuted myoglobin and single-chain hemoglobin”


November 2

Kevin Cavicchi, Department of Polymer Engineering, The University of Akron

Title: “Synthesis and Characterization of Ion-Containing Block Copolymers”


November 9

Dr. Denise Bale, Department of Chemistry, University of Washington

Title: “Engineering of Soft Matter Materials for Hybrid Electro-optics” 


November 16

Casey Medina, WWU Graduate Student

“Lewis Based-Mediated Intramolecular Carbonyl Hydrosilation”


November 30

Prof. Tim Machonkin, Department of Chemistry, Whitman College

“Pesticide-Eating Bacteria and an Enzyme that is Specific for Halogenated Aromatic Molecules”


December 7

Prof. Dwight Seferos, Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto

“Selenophene and Tellurophene Pi-Conjugated Materials”


December 12

Dr. Jenny Dauer, Chemistry/SMATE Candidate

Title: “Sense of Necessity for Conservation of Matter and Energy: A Student Practice for Environmental Literacy”

Winter Quarter 2013

January 10

Prof. Kelly Neiles, Chemistry/SMATE Candidate

Title: “How do Undergraduate Students Read General Chemistry Texts?  An Investigation of the Effect of Reader Characteristics on Scientific Literacy in Chemistry:


January 11

Dr. Robert Berger, Computational Chemist Candidate

Title: “Tuning the Electronic Structure of Strontium Titanate for Solar Water Splitting” 


January 15

Dr. Michael Dianovsky, Chemistry/SMATE Candidate

Title: “Reflection in Learning and Teaching of Chemistry”


January 16

Dr. Patric Schyman, Computational Chemist Candidate

Title: “Compute Aided Chemistry with Applications from Biological to Materials Chemistry”


January 18

Prof. Mark Peyron, Chemistry/SMATE Candidate

Title: “Applications of NMR Microscopy – Diffusion & Relaxation in Stubborn Samples with Restricted Pore Geometries”


January 23

Dr. Giannis Mpourmpakis, Senior Researcher, Energy Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, University of Delaware

Title: “First- Principles Based Catalyst Design for Energy and Environmental Applications”


January 25

Dr. Andrey Rogachev, Postdoctoral at Cornell University

Title: “What Good Calculations Can Bring to Chemistry”


February 1

Prof.  Shih Yuan Liu, Department of Chemistry, University of Oregon

Title: “The Fifth Element in Disguise”


February 8

Willie Benjamin, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Synthesis of Alignable Fluorophores for use in Luminescent Solar Concentrators”


February 12

 Dr. Jeffery Raker, Chemistry/SMATE Candidate

Title: “‘Professor, how hard is this test going to be?’: The adaptation of a rubric for measuring the complexity of organic chemistry examination items”


February 15

Dr. Andrew S. Borovik, University of California, Irvine

Title: “Lessons from Nature: Utilizing Non-Covalent Interactions to Control Metal-Mediated Processes”


February 21

Dr. Trisha Vickery, Chemistry/ SMATE Candidate Teaching Fellow, Cellular Metabolism & Human Disease, Harvard University

Title: “Measuring Dopaminergic Signaling in the Drosophila CNS using Fast Scan Cyclic Voltammetry” 


February 22

Prof. Caroline Saouma, Department of Chemistry, University of Washington

Title: “Iron Mediated Redox Reactions: From Small Molecule Activation to Biomimetic Proton-Coupled Electron Transfer Studies”


March 8

Patrick Shelton, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Synthesis of Guaipyridine Alkaloids”


March 15

Dr. Mike Reynolds, Senior Research Production Chemist, International Exploration and Production

Title: “Shell Innovation and Technology: Future Energy Challenges”

Spring Quarter 2013

April 12

Justin Walter, Research Associate, WWU Chemistry

Title: “Deciphering the Hemophilic Immune Response to Blood Coagulation Factor VII”


April 19

Casey Medina, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Intramolecular Carbonyl Hydrosilation for Complex Polyketide Synthesis”


April 26

Dr. Stefan Stoll, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Washington

Title: “The World Seen Through Electron Eyes”


May 3

Isabella Romero, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Silk Based Conducting Polymer Composite Electrodes and Actuators”


May 10

Zach Thammavongsy, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Synthesis and Activity of Pyridine Diimine Iron Complexes”


May 17

Dr. Joseph S. Francisco, William E. Moore Distinguished Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and Chemistry, Purdue University

Title: “Challenging What We Think We Know: The Influence of Hydrogen Bonding Interactions on Atmospheric Chemical Processes”


May 24

Brianne King, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Synthetic Studies on the Archazolid Natural Products:


May 31

Bo Carrillo, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Hydrodeoxygenation Properties of Ru-based Phosphide Catalysts”


June 4

Kyle Mikkelsen, WWU Graduate Student

“Block Copolymer Templated Bimetallic Nanoparticles for Catalysis in Fuel Cells”

Summer Quarter 2013

July 1

Stas Fedetchkine, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Structural and Functional Characterization of Villin Domain 6 and Supervillin N-terminal Fragments”


July 25

Jim Hall, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Progress towards Understanding Dynamics and Stability in Permuted Protein: Backbone Assignment of Circularly Permuted Myoglobin”

Fall Quarter 2013

October 4

Dr. Serge Smirnov, Assistant Professor, Biochemistry, Chemistry Department, Western Washington, University

Title: “Cytoskeleton Regulations, Epigenetics and DNA Repairs: Small, Pieces of Big Puzzles”


October 11

Dr. John Gilbertson, Assistant Professor, Inorganic Chemistry, Chemistry Department, Western Washington University

Title: “What to do with C02 ? Investigations into the Production of CO2-Derives Syngas”


October 25

Christian S. Erickson, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Mn2+ Doped ZnSe/ZnS Quantum Dot Luminescent Solar Concentrators”


October 28

Michael Murphy, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Structural and Functional Characterization of a Permuted Hemoglobin”


November 1

Jamie Apperson, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Globin Engineering Studies: Optimizing the designs of Circularly Permuted Myoglobin and Single-chain Hemoglobin”


November 7

Elizabeth Cecilia Wellner, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Surface-Enhanced Ramen Based Sensors”


November 15

Dr. Frank Osterloh, Department of Chemistry, University of California Davis

Title: “Making Fuel from Sunshine with Inorganic Nanoparticles: Solar Energy Research at UC Davis”

Winter Quarter 2014

February 14

Patrick Shelton, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Synthetic Studies on Guaipyridine Alkaloids”


February 21

Dr. Paul Yager, Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington

Title: “Sophisticated Point-of-Care Diagnostic Devices Based on 2D Paper Networks”


February 28

Dr. Bill Lubell, Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Montreal

Title: “Peptide Mimic Approach to Modulators of the Prostaglandin-F2alpha Receptor for Delaying Preterm Birth”


March 7

Dr. Gabriele Varani, Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Washington

Title: “Inhibiting RNA in Chronic and Infectious Disease”


March 14

Dr. Spencer Anthony-Cahill, Professor of Biochemistry, Department of Chemistry, Western Washington University

Title: “Applications of Protein NMR to Study Backbone Dynamics and Ligand Binding by the Bacterial Type VI Secretion System Toxin Tae1 and Tae4”


Spring Quarter 2014

April 4

Brianna King, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Exploring a Ring-Closing Metathesis Approach to Archazolids”


April 11

Dr. Grant E. Johnson, Staff Scientist, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Title: “Preparation of Well-defined Catalytic Interfaces Using Soft Landing of Mass-Selected Ions”


April 18

Dr. John Perona, Department of Chemistry, Portland State University

Title: “Fidelity Mechanisms in the Expression of the Genetic Code”


April 25

Dr. Reginald Penner, Chancellor’s Professor, University of California Irvine

Title: “Chemical Sensing with Metal Nanowires”


April 29

Dr. Jamie McKnight, Associate Professor of Physiology and Biophysics, Department of Physiology & Biophysics, Boston University School of Medicine

Title: “How the ‘bad cholesterol’ is good for you: Moving hydrophobic molecules through the plasma with apolipoprotein B”


May 7

Samuel Danforth, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Probing the Hydrodesulfurization Properties of Cobalt-Nickel Phosphides: Supported Catalysts and Encapsulated Nanoparticles”


May 9

Dr. Peter Brzovic, Research Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry, University of Washington

Title: “How RING E3 Ubiquitin Ligases Work”


Kyle Mikkelsen, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Block Copolymer Templated Bimetallic Nanoparticles for Fuel Cell Catalysis”


May 16

Dr. Timothy M. Swager, Professor, Department of Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Title: “Molecular Electronics for Chemical Sensors” 


May 23

Dr. Les Burtnick, Department of Chemistry, University of British Columbia

Title: “Activated State(s) of Gelsolin”


May 30

Dr. Nathaniel Szymczak, Department of Chemistry, University of Michigan

Title: “Multifunctional Metal-Ligand Ensembles for Cooperative and Switchable Substrate Activation”

Summer Quarter 2014

July 25

Bo Carrillo, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Deoxygenation Properties of Ru-based Phosphide Catalysts”


July 30

Christian Erickson, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Quantum Dot Luminescent Solar Concentrators”


August 8

Dr. David Rider, Assistant Professor, Materials Science, Chemistry Department, Western Washington University


August 15

Iris Phan. WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Investigating an Unexpected Synthesis of Gamma-Alkylidene Butenolides”

Fall Quarter 2014

September 26

Prof. Joshua Goldberger, Ohio State University

Title: “Solid-State Materials at the Atomic Scale”


October 1

Keyvan Nikghald, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Profiling Sortase Substrate Specificity using Peptide Libraries”


October 3

Prof. Kim Woodrow, University of Washington

Title: “Nanomaterial applications to deliver ARV drug combinations against HIV”


October 8

Markus Carlson, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Structural Requirements for Ribosome-Dependent GTPase Activations”


October 29

Michelle Wuerth, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Structural Studies of Blood Coagulation Factor VII in Protein Complexes”


October 22

Audrey Taylor, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Polymer Templated Synthesis of Bimetallica Nanoparticles for Energy Related Catalysis”


October 23

Dr. James Blakemore, California Institute of Technology

Title: “Molecular Catalysis for Generation of Solar Fiels”


October 28

Dr. Allyson Fry, The John Hopkins University

Title: “Exploring Structural Complexity, both Long Range and Energy Resolved Local Structure, of Several Solid State System”


October 31

Dr. Margaret Scheuermann, Princeton University

“Cobalt-Catalyzed Alkene Hydroboration”


November 4

Dr. Marc Muniz, University of Iowa

Title: “Connecting Core Physical and Chemical Concepts to the Nanoscale via Analogy”


November 7

Dr. Liam Jacobson, University of Utah

Title: “Using Order Parameters to Quantify Phase Transitions and Student Learning”


November 14

Dr. Marco Rolandi, Assistant Professor, Department of Material Science and Engineering, University of Washington

Title: “Taking electrons out of bioelectronics: bioprotonic diodes, transistors, and resistive memories”


November 20

Prof.  Doek-Ho Kim, Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington

Title: “Multi-Scale Biofabrication Strategies for Cancer Biology, Stem Cell and Tissue Engineering”


December 3

Rachel Hubbard, WWU Graduate Student

“Stabilizing the Low O2-Affinity Conformation of a Circularly Permuted Human Hemoglobin”


December 4

Dr. Thomas Lyons, University of North Carolina

Title: “The Synthesis of Para-Xylene from Ethylene and New Applications for Alkane Dehydrogenation”


December 5

Kimberly Beatty, Department of Physiology & Pharmacology, Oregon Health Science University

Title: “Fluorogenic Probes for Examining Mycobacterial Pathogens” 

Winter Quarter 2015

January 16

Dr. Steven Emory & Dr. Elizabeth Raymond, WWU Chemistry Department

Title: “Undergraduate Research Opportunities”

January 23

Dr. Peter Senter, Seattle Genetics

Title: “Potent Antibody-Based Conjugates for Cancer Therapy: From Early Stage Research to a Clinically Approved Drug”


January 30

Prof. Curtis Berlinguette, University of British Columbia

Title: “Cycloruthenated Chromophores for Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells”


February 6

Jennifer Novotney, Cornell University, WWU alumni ‘10

Title: “Lithium Interactions with two-dimensional Hydrazone linked Covalent Organic Framework”


February 13

Scott Delbecq, University of Washington, WWU alumni ‘09

Title: “Characterizing Interactions Driving Small Heat Shock Protein Oligomerization and Chaperone Activity”


February 27

Prof. Andrea Tao, University of California San Diego

Title: “Colloidal Nanocrystals, Building Blocks for New Materials”


March 6

Assistant Prof. AJ Boydston, Department of Chemistry, University of Washington

Title: “New Strategies for Making and Breaking Polymers”


March 13

Johann Sigurjonsson, WWU Undergraduate Honors Student

Title: “Structural and Functional Characterization of Circularly Permuted Hemoglobins”


Spring Quarter 2015

April 3

Dr. Wendy Shaw, Pacific Northwest Laboratory

Title: “Using an Outer Coordination Sphere on Molecular Catalysts to Mimic Enzymatic Function”


April 10

Dr. Gregory O’Neil, Associate Professor, Western Washington University

Title: “Sabbatical Research Report: Algae, Oil…and Snow”


April 17

Michael D. Fayer, Department of Chemistry, Standford University

Title: “Water Dynamics in Nanoconfined Systems”


April 22

Alicia Wright, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Selectivity Studies on Samarium-Mediated Reductions”


April 24

Prof. Daniel Leznoff, Simon Fraser University

Title: “Ancient Metals in Advanced Materials: Cyanide-based Coordination Polymers”


May 1

Yubin Kwon, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Metalloenzyme Mimics: Investigation of Pendant Bases in the Secondary Coordination Sphere”


May 8

Markus Carlson, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Structural Requirements for Ribosome – Dependent GTPase Activity and Hybrid State Formation”


May 15

Dr. Kevan Shokat, Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, University of California

Title: “Non-traditional Strategies for Drugging Traditional Targets: Kinases and GTPases”


May 20

Corey Henderson, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Mapping Interactions between the type-VI secretion system effector Tae1 and its putative substrates using MNR spectroscopy”


May 22

Ryan Lyski, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Gold-Catalyzed Cyclization to Form Saturated Oxygen Heterocycles”


May 27

John Williams, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Exploring the Biofuel Potential of Isochrysis sp.”


May 29

Sean Severt, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Optimization of Silk/Conducting Polymer Composites”


June 3

Paul Cochran, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “TBD”

Summer Quarter 2015

July 1

Mark Bussell, Professor, Department of Chemistry Chair, Department of AMSEC, Western Washington University

Title: “Nanoscale Metal Phosphides -  Catalysts for Conventional and Renewable Energy Applications”


July 2

Audrey Taylor, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Poly(vinylpyridine) Nanostructures for Nanoparticles Synthesis and Energy-related Catalysis”


July 15

Keyvan Nikghalb, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Profiling Sortase Substrate Specificity using Peptide Libraries” 


July 22

Michelle Wuerth, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Structural Studies of Blood Coagulation Factor VIII in Protein Complexes”


July 24

Sam Danforth, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Probing the Hydrodesulfurization Properties of Nickel-Cobalt Phosphides: Supported Catalysts and Encapsulated Nanoparticles”


August 4

Dr. Amanda Murphy, Professor, Department of Chemistry, Western Washington University

Title: “Silk-Based Hybrid Materials for Bioelectronics Applications”

Fall Quarter 2015

October 2

Dr. Clint Spiegel, Professor, Department of Chemistry, Western Washington University

Title: “Structurally Deciphering the Immune Response to Blood Coagulation Factor VII: Hemophilia A and Antibody Inhibitors”


October 5

Linda Grabill, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Toward Accurate and Efficient Band Structure Calculations of Solar Energy Conversion Materials”


October 9

Dr. David Rider, Professor, Department of Chemistry, Western Washington University

Title: “Engineering Polymers in Order to Solve Problems in Catalysis and Aerospace”


October 16

Paul Cochran, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Proving the deoxygenation properties of Ruthenium-based bimetallic phosphide catalysts”


October 23

Professor Steve Reichow, Department of Chemistry, Portland State University

Title: “Seeing Clearly – Mechanisms of Water Channel Gating in the Eye Lens”


October 30

Professor Shannon Boettcher, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Oregon

Title: “Fuels from Sunlight”


November 4

Joanna Hoppins, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Comprehensive solution structure analysis of DNA duplexes containing chemical base alterations”


November 6

Professor Loren Kaake, Department of Chemistry, Simon Fraser University

Title: “Operating Principles and New Direction in Organic Photovoltaics”


November 12

Dr. Alex Aksenov, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California, Davis

Title: “What a smell can tell us: analysis of volatile biomarkers”


November 13

Professor Brandi Cossairt, Department of Chemistry, University of Washington

Title: “Understanding Nucleation, Growth and Energy Transduction in Colloidal Nanoscale Systems: Inorganic Synthesis for a Sustainable Energy Future”


November 17

Dr. Jonathon Duay, Department of Chemistry, University of Texas at Austin

Title: “Ultramicroelectrode Arrays:  High-Throughput Fabrication, Characterization, and Customization for Ultrasensitive Electroanalytical Applications”


November 20

Dr. Krista Vikse, Laboratorium für Organische Chemie Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich

Title: “New Directions in Mass Spectrometry”


December 2

Ryan Sumner, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “High Efficiency CulnS2/CdS Nanocrystal Luminescent Solar Concentrators”


December 3

David Gruber, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Molecular Dynamics Simulation of 8-oxoguanine at the EcoR1 Recognition Site”

Winter Quarter 2016

January 15

Janai Symons, Research Compliance Officer, Research and Sponsored Programs, Western Washington University

Title: “Seminar on Research Ethics”


February 5

Professor Beth Buck-Koehntop, Department of Chemistry, University of Utah

Title: “Investigating Zinc Finger Protein Recognition of Epigenetically Modified DNA”


February 17

Rachel Hubbard, WWU Graduate Student

Title: “Progress Toward Structural Studies of Circularly Permuted Human Hemoglobins Containing Low O2 – Affinity Mutations”

Spring Quarter 2016

April 7th

Q&A Session with Dr. Craig Hawker about chemistry careers in industry, and graduate school at University of California, Santa Barbara 1:00pm CB275  


April 8th

Prof. Craig Hawker, University of California, Santa Barbara Guest Lecture in Honors General Chemistry: “The Power of Organic Chemistry in Polymer Synthesis and Commercial Materials” 9:00am SL150 

Chemistry and Engineering student poster session with refreshments 2:30pm AIW 4th floor Skybridge

 Prof. Craig Hawker, University of California, Santa Barbara  Jean Dreyfus Boissevain Lectureship “New Approaches to Molecular Building Blocks and Macromolecular Architectures” 4:00pm AIW210


April 14th 

 Yubin Kwon, Graduate Student Seminar Series 

“Synthesis & Reactivity of Iron (II) Pyridinediimine Complexes for the Reduction of Nitrite” 3:15pm SL110  


April 15th

Dr. Alshakim Nelson, Department of Chemistry, University of Washington 

"Patterning Surfaces for the Bio-Interface" 3:15pm SL110  


April 22nd

Jennifer Prescher, Department of Chemistry, Univeristy of California, Irvine 

“Expanding the Imaging Toolbox” 3:15pm SL110  


April 27th

 Alicia Wright, Graduate Student Seminar Series 

“Development of a Samarium Based Allylic Benzoate Elimination/Isomerization: Application to a Total Synthesis of Honokiol” 4:00pm SL140


April 29th

Sean Severt, Graduate Student Seminar Series 

“Electrospun Silk / Conducting Polymer Composites for Use as Actuators” 3:15pm SL110  


May 6th

Orion Banks, Graduate Student Seminar Series 

"Determining the Substrate-bound Structure of Streptococcus pneumoniae Sortase A” 3:15pm SL110  

Peter Topalian, Graduate Student Seminar Series 

"Probing the Catalytic Properties of Bimetallic Phosphides for the Deep Hydrodesulfurization Reaction" 3:15pm SL110  


May 9th

John Williams, Graduate Student Seminar Series 

“Exploring the Biofuel Potential of Isochrysis sp.” 4:00pm SL140  


May 13th 

Mayra Delgado, Graduate Student Seminar Series 

"Study of the Secondary Coordination Sphere in Metalloenzyme Mimics" 3:15pm, SL110  

Nick Ostrovsky-Snider, Graduate Student Seminar Series 

“Lasers, electrodes, cells and silk: designing soft biocompatible electronics and actuators” 3:15pm, SL110


May 27th

Keenan Komoto, Graduate Student Seminar Series 

"Computing the photophysics and 1O2 sensitization characteristics of BODIPY dyes" 3:15pm, SL110  

Amanda Weis, Graduate Student Seminar Series 

“Ribosomal Protein L12 and GTPase Interactions During Translation” 3:15pm, SL110  


June 1st

Cyrus Schaaf, Graduate Student Seminar Series

“Nucleation and Growth Kinetics in Submonolayer Tetracene Films Prepared by Vapor-Liquid-Solid Deposition” 4pm, SL140  

Serena Wo, Graduate Student Seminar Series 

"X-ray Crystallographic Studies of Factor VIII Functional Complexes” 4pm, SL140  


June 3rd

Kyle Burns, Graduate Student Seminar Series 

"Investigations Into Fisher-Tropsch Chemistry Utilizing Iron(II) Pyridinediimine Complexes" 3pm, SL110  

Ryan Nelson, Graduate Student Seminar Series 

“Characterizing Conserved Viral Translation Proteins" 3pm, SL110 

2015/16 Scholarships and Awards Presentation Ceremony Cake and Photo opportunities immediately following in CB 275. 4pm, SL 150 


Summer Quarter 2016

June 29 @ 3pm SL 110

Corey Henderson 

"Mapping the interactions between the type-VI secretion system effector Tae1 and its putative substrates using NMR spectroscopy"


July 11 @ 2pm SL 110

Joanna Hoppins

"Comprehensive Solution Structure Analysis of DNA Duplexes Containing Chemical Base Alterations:
5-metylcytosine and 8-oxoGuanine"


August 3 @ Noon SL 140

Tyler Curtis 

“Copolymer Nanostructures as Templates for Nanoparticle Catalysts”


August 10 @ Noon SL 140

Dr. Tim Kowalczyk

"How to Make an Effective Poster"


Fall Quarter 2016


September 23 @ 3:30pm



September 26 @4:30pm in CF 386

SACNAS (Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science)


September 30 @ 3:15pm in SL110

"The Who, What, When, Where, Why, & How of Graduate School" 

Prof. Steven R. Emory and Prof.  Elizabeth Raymond 


October 7 @ 3:15 SL 110

"Making Connections:  How Students Organize Chemistry Knowledge"

Prof. Emily Borda


October 11 @ 4:00pm SL 140

"The Chemists' Code for Success: 3 Essential Skill Sets for Your Career"

October 14 @ 3:15 SL 110

“Merging Secondary Coordination Influence with Redox-Activity in Coordination Compounds”

John Gilbertson, Associate Professor, WWU


October  21 @ 3:15 SL 110

"Transition Metal Oxos as the Lewis Base Component of Frustrated Lewis Pairs"

Elon Ison, NC State

Winter Quarter 2017

January 6th @ 3:15 in SL 110

"Undergraduate Research Opportunities"

Prof. Steven Emory and Prof. Besty Raymond 

WWU Chem Club Faculty Advisors 


January 13th @ 3:15 in SL 130

“Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering:  Current and Historical Perspectives”

Prof. Steven Emory

Western Washington University, Department of Chemistry


January 20th @ 3:15 in SL 130

"Design Principles for Noisy Yet Efficient Biomolecular Machines"

Prof. David Sivak 

Simon Fraser University, Department of Physics 


February 3rd @ @ 3:15 in SL 130

"CO2 Activation at Metal Sites"

Prof. Caroline Saouma

The University of Utah, Department of Chemistry


February 10th @ 3:15 in SL 130

"Using Municipal Wastewater to Determine the Effects of Legalized Recreational Cannabis on its Use"

Prof. Daniel Burgard 

University of Puget Sound, Department of Chemistry


February 17th @ 3:15 in SL 130

"Self-assembly, adsorption energetics and chemistry of metal-organic species at the solution-solid interface: An experimental and theoretical perspective"

Dr. Bhaskar Chilukuri

Washington State University, Department of Chemistry


February 24th @ 3:15 in SL 130

“Charting the Chemical Reactivity Space of Vicinally Functionalized Allylic Lactamoyl Esters”

Prof. Timothy Beng

Central Washington University, Department of Chemistry


March 3rd @ 3:15 in SL 130

“When the going gets unconventional, the unconventional get interfacial”

Dr. David Germack

CESI Chemical, Floteck Chemistry 

Spring Quarter 2017


March 31st  @ 3:15 in SL 130

"Transition Metal Complexes for N2 Reduction and NH3 Oxidation: Strategies for Making and Breaking N≡N and N-H Bonds"

Dr. Michael Mock

Pacific Northwest National Lab


April 7th @ 3:15 in SL 130

"Catalytic Hydroacylation and Carboacylation of Olefins: A Platform for Synthesis of Heterocyclic and Carbocyclic Ketones "

Prof. Levi Stanley

Iowa State University


April 14th @ 3:15 in SL 130

“College to Career:  A Panel Discussion with Recent WWU Chemistry and Biochemistry Alumni”

Chem Club WWU


April 21st @ 3:15 in SL 130

“Lasers, Electrodes and Silk: Methods for Designing and Fabricating Silk-Based Electronics and Actuators”

Nicholas Ostrovsky-Snider

WWU Thesis Defense


April 28th @ 3:15 in SL 130

"Understanding cooperativity through the activation of strong bonds by multimetallic compounds"

Prof. Leslie Murray

University of Florida


May 2nd @ 3:00 in CF 110

"A Theoretical and Experimental Study into the Kinetics of Solution Phase Thin Film Deposition"

Cyrus Schaaf

WWU Thesis Defense


May 5th @ 3:15 in SL 130

"Identifying and Addressing Barriers to Dissemination of Writing-to-Learn in STEM"

Prof. Ginger Schultz

University of Michigan


May 11th @ 5:00 in CF 023

"Probing the catalytic properties of Ni-based bimetallic phosphides for deep hydrodesulfurization"

Peter Topalian 

WWU Thesis Defense


May 12th @ 3:15 in SL 130

"Catalysis, Mechanistic Understanding and Collaboration as Tools to Sustainable Production of Chemicals and Fuels"

Prof. Karen Goldberg

University of Washington


May 19th @ 4:00 in SL 150

Scholars Week

Richmond Sarpong

UC Berkeley


May 26th @ 3:15 in SL 130

Keenan Komoto

WWU Thesis Defense


Fall Quarter 2017

September 29th  @ 3:15 in SL 130

"Who, What, When of Graduate School"

Panel Discussion


October 6th @ 3:15 in SL 130

"Light, Electrons, and Protons: Lessons from Model Systems and Potentials for Photocatalysis"

Professor Jahan Dawlaty

Chemistry Dept.

University of Southern California


The inspiration for this talk comes from the photoelectrochemical interface, which is a place rich with unknowns and unrealized potential. Electrons are excited by light either in the electrode or in the adsorbed molecules, charges traverse the electrode-electrolyte interface, protons flow from the bulk to complete redox reactions, and interfacial electric fields develop to balance chemical potential differences between the opposing phases. In this talk, the complex chemistry at the interface will be used as a point of reference to motivate several chemical dynamics studies in small molecules, solids, and interfaces with the goal of generating new directions and ideas for understanding and driving reactions. New concepts that will be discussed are basicity in the excited state, solvation near an interface, electronic-vibrational dynamics in a solid made of a redox couple, and influencing proton conductivity with light. Several avenues on how to use this knowledge will be proposed.


October 13th @ 3:15 in SL 130

"Design and Synthesis of Natural Product Inspired Enzyme Inhibitors"

Professor Gregory O'Neil

Chemistry Dept.

Western Washington University


October 20th @ 3:15 in SL 130

"Sortase-Mediated Ligations for Building Modified Proteins"

Professor John Antos

Chemistry Dept.

Western Washington University


October 27th @ 3:15 in SL 130



November 3rd @ 3:15 in SL 130



November 17th @ 3:15 in SL 130



December 1st @ 3:15 in SL 130



December 8th @ 3:15 in SL 130



Winter Quarter 2018

January 12th  @ 3:15 in SL 110

Prof. Steven Emory and Prof. Elizabeth Raymond

Chemistry Dept.

Western Washington University



January 23rd @ 3:15 in SL 140



January 25th @ 4:00 in SL 110

"Looking at Chemistry in Hard to See Places - Spectroscopic Studies of Interfacial Chemistry"

Prof. Rob Walker

Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Montana State University


January 26th @ 3:15 in SL 110

"Engineered protein switches for controlling dynamic cellular processes"

Prof. Dustin James Maly

Chemistry Dept.

University of Washington


Synthetic protein switches controlled with user-defined inputs are powerful tools for studying and controlling dynamic cellular processes. This talk will describe the development and use of small molecule-regulated protein switches that rely on intramolecular autoinhibition. Efforts to engineer protein small molecule-regulated protein switches that can be used to control the activity of the GTPase RAS and the endonuclease Cas9 will be described. Application of these chemical genetic systems to understanding fundamental mechanisms of receptor tyrosine kinase signaling and DNA repair will be discussed. 


February 2nd @ 3:15 in SL 110

"Enzymatic Bioelectrocatalysis: From Metabolic Pathways to Metabolons"

Prof. Shelley Minteer

Chemistry Dept.

University of Utah

​ Abstract:

Oxidoreductase enzymes have been employed for almost 5 decades in biosensors and for energy conversion in the form of biofuel cells. However, most enzymatic bioelectrodes in the literature utilize complex biofuels (e.g. glucose), but only partially oxidize the complex biofuel via the use of a single enzyme (i.e. glucose oxidase or glucose dehydrogenase). This presentation will detail the use of enzyme cascades at bioanodes for deep to complete oxidation of substrates to improve performance (current density and power density), but will focus on the importance of forming metabolons for substrate channeling in multi-enzyme cascades. These enzyme cascade will include natural metabolons (i.e. the Kreb's cycle) and artificial metabolons utilizing DNA as a scaffold. It will  discuss the importance of structural orientation of enzymes and enzyme complexation in enzymatic cascades for efficient bioelectrocatalysis.


February 9th @ 3:15 in SL 110

"Computational design of protein-based nanomaterials for medical applications"

Prof. Neil King

Institute for Protein Design

University of Washington


Proteins are Nature’s building block of choice for the construction of ‘molecular machines’: stable yet dynamic assemblies with unparalleled abilities in molecular recognition and logic.  The sophisticated functions of these molecular machines suggests that the ability to design novel self-assembling protein nanomaterials with customized structures and functions would have immense practical value. The King Lab develops general computational methods for designing new protein nanomaterials with atomic-level accuracy, with a focus on structures suited for applications in medicine, particularly structure-based vaccine design and targeted delivery of biologics. Current projects in each of these applications will be discussed.



February 16th @ 3:15 in SL 110

"Elucidating the Chemical Nature of Single-Site Catalysts from First Principles"

Prof. Jean-Sabin McEwen 

Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering

Washington State University


Automotive catalysis is more complicated than most applications of catalysts, because of the complex and dynamic changes in the exhaust gas environment. The ability to create highly dispersed, single-site catalysts, which are highly efficient and have low cost, is very much desirable [1]. While single atom sites can be created, there is still disagreement over whether the single atom sites are indeed catalytically active or if the observed catalytic activity of single-site catalysts is due to metal nanoparticles either unobserved during initial microscopy studies or formed upon exposure to catalytic conditions [2]. Such disagreements create a crucial need for the development of well-defined single-site catalysts with an accurate theoretical model in order to correctly determine the chemical nature of the catalytically active sites. To this end, we have studied low-temperature CO oxidation on Pt single-site catalysts supported on the “29” Cu surface oxide. The “29” Cu surface oxide is a high coverage chiral structure. Through the use of scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), CO temperature programmed desorption (TPD), and density functional theory (DFT) techniques, we determined that an accurate model for the “29” Cu oxide surface is formed from the growth of a CuxO layer formed from 6 fused hexagonal rings above the Cu (111) surface where 5 oxygen adatoms are added at the center of the CuxO rings [3, 4]. Furthermore, the state of the Pt single atoms before, during, and after reaction is determined through a combination of theoretical and experimental techniques. It is found that the Pt dosed to the “29” Cu oxide surface forms well dispersed single atom sites which are metallic in nature. During catalysis, CO2 forms from the combination of an oxygen from the “29” Cu oxide surface with the CO adsorbed on the Pt single atoms.


February 23rd @ 3:15 in SL 110

"Basic Research & Commercial Pharmaceutical Products: A Symbiotic Necessity (or what I did with a chemistry degree from Western Washington University)"

Dr. David Lyon

Senior Vice President

Lonza Company

Research at Bend Research, Inc.


A significant fraction of compounds under development in the pharmaceutical industry suffer from poor physical‐chemical properties that can lead to poor pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) behavior. These properties include rapid gut and liver metabolism, can lead to adverse events during exposure to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and low bioavailability due to poor aqueous solubility. This seminar will focus on case studies that demonstrate the necessity of basic research to bring compounds with poor physical properties to the market. Processes and formulations that mitigate the physical properties’ impact on bio‐performance to enable commercial products will be presented. During the presentation a view to what a career in the pharmaceutical industry can entail will intersperse the basic science.


March 2nd @ 3:15 in SL 110

"Single Molecules Come Into Focus: Understanding RNA-Driven Regulation From First Principles"

Prof. Nils Walter

Chemistry Dept.

University of Michigan


Nature and Nanotechnology likewise employ nanoscale machines that self-assemble into structures of complex architecture and functionality.  Fluorescence microscopy offers a non-invasive tool to probe and ultimately dissect and control these nanoassemblies in real-time.  In particular, single molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (smFRET) allows us to measure distances at the 2-8 nm scale, whereas complementary super-resolution localization techniques based on Gaussian fitting of imaged point spread functions (PSFs) measure distances in the 10 nm and longer range.  First, I will describe a tool we developed termed Single Molecule Kinetic Analysis of RNA Transient Structure (SiM-KARTS) that detects the conformational changes of single riboswitch containing bacterial mRNAs upon sensing the metabolite preQ1.  Second, I will illustrate how we demonstrated that ligand binding modulates cross-coupling between riboswitch folding and transcriptional pausing by the bacterial RNA polymerase.  Third, I will describe a method for the intracellular single molecule, high-resolution localization and counting (iSHiRLoC) of microRNAs (miRNAs), a large group of gene silencers with profound roles in our body, from stem cell development to cancer 2-6. Single microinjected, singly-fluorophore labeled, functional miRNAs were tracked at super-resolution within individual diffusing particles, revealing their sub-cellular trafficking.  Finally, I will show how Single-Molecule Recognition through Equilibrium Poisson Sampling (SiMREPS) can precisely count single microRNA molecules in human blood serum as a new detection paradigm of clinical relevance.


March 9th @ 3:15 in SL 110

"Insight into functional features of biomolecules via NMR spectroscopy and complementary methods".

Prof. Serge Smirnov

Chemistry Dept.

Western Washington University


Plants utilize multiple isoforms of villin, an F-actin regulating protein with an N-terminal gelsolin-like core and a distinct C-terminal headpiece domain. Unlike their vertebrate homologues, plant villins have a much longer linker polypeptide connecting the core and headpiece. Moreover, the core-linker and linker−headpiece connection regions in plant villins lacks sequence homology to the vertebrate villin sequences. It is unknown to what extent the plant villin headpiece structure and function resemble those of the well-studied vertebrate counterparts. We present the first investigation of the F-actin binding properties of the headpiece from a plant villin and utilize novel solution NMR structure and dynamics data to obtain mechanistic insight into the headpiece-actin interaction. 


March 16th @ 3:15 in SL 110

"Phage panning, peptides and polymers: Targeted drug delivery using peptide ligands identified by phage display"

Prof. Suzie H. Pun

Dept. of Bioengineering

University of Washington


Phage display is a powerful tool for identifying novel peptide-based targeting ligands for targeted delivery. In a first example, multivalent polymer displaying a fibrin-binding peptide was synthesized by by controlled radical polymerization. The resulting polymer incorporates into forming clots and increases clot strength while improving resistance to clot lysis.  Delivery of this polymer to a rat model of trauma significantly improved survival compared to controls. In a second example, cell-based phage display was used to identify a new peptide that targets anti-inflammatory macrophage. This peptide was used to reduce populations of tumor-associated macrophage in vivo, resulting in improved survival. Finally, a peptide that traffics to the central nervous system via retrograde transport was identified by in vivo phage display and used to deliver active enzymes to motor neurons in the spinal cord.

Spring Quarter 2018

April 3rd  @ 4:00 in SL 130

"Toward Pervasive Nonlinear Optics"

Prof. Garth Simpson

Dept. of Chemistry

Purdue University


The increasing availability of ultrafast laser sources provides ever broadening access to nontraditional light/matter interactions scaling nonlinearly with incident intensity, applications of which are described for addressing crystal analyses in structural biology and pharmaceutical sciences. In structural biology, determination of high-resolution structures of proteins serve as the foundation upon which rational drug design is built. Following discovery of new drug candidates, controlling or preventing crystallization is an essential step to ensure bioavailability and efficacy. In both applications, the unique symmetry relationships arising in nonlinear optical interactions provide exquisite selectivity for detection and quantification of chiral crystals. Topics to be covered in the presentation will include opportunities and challenges in designing nonlinear optical instrumentation capable of supporting routine, benchtop measurements in applications spanning structural biology, pharmaceutical sciences, and in vivo analyses. 


April 6th @ 3:15 in SL 130

“The Influence of Thiolate Ligands on Iron Dioxygen Chemistry”

Prof. Julie Kovacs

Dept. of Chemistry

University of Washington


Dioxygen activation by non-heme Fe-enzymes, such as cysteine dioxygenase (CDO),1-2 isopenicillin N-Synthase (IPNS),3 and ergothioneine (EgtB), 4 has been proposed to proceed through several intermediates, including Fe-superoxo(O2 – ), -hydroperoxo( - OOH), and/or high-valent oxo species. Thiolate (RS– ) ligands have been shown to lower the activation barrier to O2 binding, and facilitate peroxo OO bond cleavage, and HAT reactions. Although they proceed via similar intermediates, CDO catalyzes S-O bond formation, whereas IPNS and EgtB catalyze C-S bond formation. There are few reported examples of well-characterized RS-Fe-(O2, OOH) intermediates. This talk will show that reduced bis-thiolate ligated [FeII(S2 Me2N3(Pr,Pr)] reacts with O2 at low temperatures (≤ –70 ˚C) to afford two metastable intermediates, en route to a singly oxygenated sulfenate (RSO– ) complex. The first of these intermediates is also obtained when KO2 is added to the oxidized derivative, [FeIII(S2 Me2N3(Pr,Pr)]+ . Oxo atom donors, ArIO, react with the latter to afford a metastable intermediate with properties dependent on the ArIO, which convert to an identical FeIII-S(R)O– product. 5 The crystal structure of an oxo atom donor adduct, PyN-O-FeIII (Figure 1), containing stronger X-O bonds will also be described. Aryl iodides (ArI) inhibit this reaction providing kinetic evidence for the involvement of an Fe(V)-oxo. HAT reactivity, TD-DFT calculations, and spectroscopic characterization of the intermediates formed in the O2 and KO2 reactions support the formation of a reactive Fe-O2 – . Thiolates are shown to facilitate the activation of strong (92 kcal/mol) C-H bonds.

1. D. Kumar, W. Thiel, S. P. de Visser, J Am Chem Soc., 2011,133,3869.

2. E. J Blaesi, B. G. Fox, T. C. Brunold, Biochemistry 2014, 53, 5759.

3. E. Y. Tamanaha, B. Zhang, Y. Guo, W.-C. Chang, J. M. Bollinger, C. Krebs, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016,138, 8862.

4. Wei W.-J., Siegbahn P. E. M., Liao R.-Z. "Theoretical Study of the Mechanism of the Nonheme Iron Enzyme EgtB". Inorg. Chem. 2017, 56, 3589.

5. Villar-Acevedo, G.; Lugo-Mas, P.; Blakely, M. N.; Rees, J. A.; Ganas, A. S.; Hanada, E. M.; Kaminsky, W.; Kovacs, J. A., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017,139,119.


April 13th @ 3:15 in SL 130

College to Career Discussion Panel

Chemistry Dept.

Western Washington University


April 20th @ 3:15 in SL 130

"Electronic Structure and Reactivity of Oxidized Metal Phenoxides"

Prof. Tim Storr

Dept. of Chemistry

Simon Fraser University


The interplay of redox-active transition metal ions and pro-radical ligands in metalloenzyme sites has generated considerable interest. The Cu(II)-phenoxyl radical form of galactose oxidase, as well as the Fe(IV)=O porphyrin radical intermediate of P450 enzymes are principal examples. Both of these enzymatic systems have inspired efforts to develop small molecule mimics capable of mild and selective oxidation chemistry. Recent developments show that ligands serving as electron reservoirs offer opportunities to expand catalysis, especially by conferring to first-row transition metals a “noble metal-like” reactivity.[1] We have extensively investigated the chemistry of a series of oxidized mono- and bis-phenoxide metal complexes, which demonstrate that small variations of the ligand structure affect the oxidation locus. Characterization of oxidized species by both experimental and theoretical methods has afforded significant information about the electronic structure of these ligand radical systems. Building on this work, recent studies with a series of oxidized nitridomanganese(V) salen complexes demonstrate that nitride activation is dictated by remote ligand electronics.[2] We are currently investigating the reaction mechanism and further applications of this chemistry.
1. P. J. Chirik and K. Wieghardt, Science, 2010, 327, 794.
2. R. M. Clarke and T. Storr, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 15299


April 27th @ 3:15 in SL 130

"Using Free Energies for H+ and H– Transfers to Design Catalysts for the Reduction of CO2"

Dr. Aaron Appel

Scientist and Associate Division Director

Catalysis Science Group

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory


The wide spread and efficient use of carbon-neutral energy will require the storage of electrical energy in the form of high energy density fuels. The utilization of inexpensive substrates such as CO2 provides an opportunity for large-scale energy storage, and in particular, CO2 can potentially be converted to liquid fuels for use in transportation. To efficiently interconvert energy and fuels, catalysts are required for these multistep transformations. In enzymes, catalytic intermediates are closely matched in energy, which provides inspiration for the design of catalysts that can avoid large mismatches in energy throughout the catalytic cycle. While this general approach has been extensively used for designing catalysts for hydrogen production and oxidation, it is equally valuable for the production and utilization of fuels based on carbon. By applying these principles, we have designed molecular catalysts based on first-row transition metal complexes for the hydrogenation of CO2 to formate.


May 4th @ 3:15 in SL 130

"Incorporation of Fluorescent Dye Molecules into Molecular Scaffolds: From Molecular Sensors to Switchable Catalysts”

Prof. Zach Heiden

Dept. of Chemistry

Washington State University


Increased environmental and impurity restrictions on consumer products, also the desire to reduce the cost and energy requirements of chemical transformations, have established a critical need for the development of more selective and efficient catalysts. An attractive approach to addressing this need is the use of catalysts that can be altered through post-synthetic modifications. Several commonly employed methods to change catalyst reactivity post-synthesis include the manipulation of pH, photoactivation, or even changes in solvent. This talk will discuss the synthesis, characterization, and reactivity of fluorescent dye-containing main group compounds that are capable of exhibiting a colorimetric response upon binding substrate molecules. This talk will also describe the incorporation of fluorescent dye-containing ligands into metal and main group complexes for switchable reactivity.  A brief discussion of the graduate program in chemistry at Washington State University will also be provided.


May 11th @ 3:15 in SL 130

"Theory-Guided Road Map for Electro-Optics and the Information Technology" 

Prof. Larry Dalton

Dept. of Chemistry & Chemical Engineering

University of Washington


Chip-scale integration of electronics and photonics is well recognized as a critical next step in the evolution of information technology (telecommunications, computing, sensing, metrology, imagining, and robotics).  Electro-optics is central to such integration.  We use multi-scale theoretical methods (quantum & statistical mechanics and beyond) to develop a road map for development of organic electro-optic materials and their integration into silicon photonic, plasmonic, photonic crystal, and metamaterial devices.  This paradigm has already produced a factor of nearly 1000 improvement in electro-optic device performance yielding devices with drive voltage-length performance of 40 V-micrometers, single channel bandwidths of greater than 1 THz, energy efficiency for digital information processing of 1 femtojoule/bit, device footprints of 1 micrometer squared, and insertion loss of less than 2 dB.  Such devices now permit gain to be realized in telecommunication systems and wireless signals to be converted directly to fiber optic transmission without the use of electronics.  Extraordinary signal linearity has also been achieved.  Theory has not only permitted the design of dramatically improved organic electro-optic materials but has also permitted simulation of the performance of materials in devices, elucidating the importance of interfacial interactions.  Multi-scale theoretical simulations suggest that another factor of 500 improvement may be possible, permitting not only a revolution in electro-optic technology but also in photodetector technology through exploitation of optical rectification.


May 17th @ 3:15 in SL 130

"Secondary Sphere Influences on Kinetic Enhancement of Nitrite Reduction"

Thesis Defense

Kyle Burns

Graduate Student

Dept. of Chemistry

Western Washington University


May 18th @ 4:00 in AW 204

"Discovering genes essential for immune function"

Bruce Beutler, M.D.

Regental Professor and Director of the Center for Genetics of Host Defense

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas

2011 Nobel Prize winner in Physiology or Medicine


As chemists may screen to find drugs that alter biological activities, geneticists may screen for mutations that alter biological activities.  By damaging genes at random with a chemical mutagen and then tracking down the mutations that cause phenotype, it is possible to find every essential part of a biological “machine.”  Random germline mutagenesis in mammals has produced impressive discoveries but historically was a slow process.  Often years were required to find the mutational causes of interesting phenotypes.  Recently we have developed a means of finding causative mutations instantaneously.  When a phenotype is detected, its cause is known.  Over the last four years we have severely damaged or destroyed approximately 36% of all protein-encoding genes in the mouse.  About 600 genes have been ascribed function in either innate or adaptive immunity.  Approximately half of these genes were not previously known to be important in immunity.  Some of the new genes, and their importance in immunity, will be discussed.


May 23rd @ 3:15 in SL 140

"Driving Sortase-Mediated Ligations Using Metal-Coordinating Peptides"

Thesis Defense

Sierra Reed

Graduate Student

Dept. of Chemistry

Western Washington University


May 24th @ 3:15 in SL 130

"Structure Determination of a Bioengineered Human/Porcine Factor VIII for Hemophilia A Treatment, and Improvements to the Human Factor VIII Model"

Thesis Defense

Ian Smith

Graduate Student

Dept. of Chemistry

Western Washington University


Blood coagulation factor VIII (FVIII) is a non-enzymatic protein cofactor which plays a crucial role in the formation of a stable blood clot. Absence or deficiency of FVIII results in the blood disorder hemophilia A; with symptoms including internal hemorrhaging and the inability to stop bleeding from open wounds. Treatment of hemophilia A relies on replacement of FVIII with blood, plasma, or protein concentrate infusions. Unfortunately, approximately 30% of patients receiving replacement FVIII generate pathologic anti-FVIII inhibitory antibodies, which both reduce the effectiveness of the FVIII therapeutic and increase the severity of hemophilia A symptoms. We report the determination of the molecular structure for “Et3i”, a next-generation human/porcine chimeric FVIII protein for hemophilia A therapy. At 3.2 Å resolution with a Rwork of 0.2146 and Rfree of 0.2879, this will be the highest resolution structure of FVIII to date and will be of substantial interest to the hematological community. Furthermore, an improved model of human FVIII with more robust geometry and amino acid register assignment, and a Rwork of 0.2655, and Rfree of 0.2895 based on previous 3.7 Å data has been constructed. Lastly, progress has been made towards the structural determination of the inhibitory antibodies M6143, 2A9, and B136 in complex with the C1 domain of human FVIII. Details of these interactions could inform the development of future hemophilia A protein therapeutics with reduced immunogenicity.


May 25th @ 3:15 in SL 130

"Tools for Studying the Biochemical and Biophysical Consequences of Histone PTMs"

Patrick Shelton

UW Travel Award Recipient

PhD Graduate Student

Chatterjee Research Lab

University of Washington


"Histone post-translational modifications (PTMs) are important epigenetic markers that regulate diverse cellular processes. The enzymes that place and remove PTMs on histone N-terminal tails (‘writers’ and ‘erasers’) are essential to homeostasis and consequentially their dysregulation can lead to various disease states, including cancer. Chemical biology is aptly suited to study the interplay between histone PTMs and writers or erasers. Our lab employs chemical tools to study simple biological systems in order to assess how PTMs such as methylation, acetylation and modification by the small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) protein interact with important chromatin modifying enzymes individually, and as parts of larger transcription repressing complexes. My research in the Chatterjee lab has focused on development of a novel C-terminal peptide thioesterification methodology for synthesizing full-length proteins, as well as assessing the effect of additional proteins and histone PTMs on the activity of eraser proteins lysine specific demethylase 1 (LSD1) and histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1)."


May 30th @ 3:15 in SL 140

"Development of Regio- and Diastereoselective Samarium (II) Iodide Mediated Allylic Benzoate Reductions"

Thesis Defense

Trevor Stockdale

Graduate Student

Dept. of Chemistry

Western Washington University


June 1st @ 3:15 in SL 130

"Homing Pigeons, Degradable Plastics, and Solvent Effects; How Caged Radical Pairs Impact Everyday Chemistry"

Prof. David Tyler

Department Head

Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry

University of Oregon


How do homing pigeons navigate?  How do we design plastics so they degrade after they are used?  Why are solar energy conversion systems with donor and acceptor complexes so inefficient?  Why do bonds break more readily if they are under mechanical stress?  It turns out that radical cage effects are important in understanding the answers to these and numerous other practical questions involving chemical reactivity.  In this seminar, I will introduce the concept of caged radical pairs, and then I will show why caged radical pairs are key intermediates in the systems mentioned above and in radical reactions, in general. 

Summer Quarter 2018

July 20th  @ 3:00 in SL 130

"New Reactions of Ring Strained Allyl Silanes"

Thesis Defense

Elizabeth Cummins

Graduate Student

Dept. of Chemistry

Western Washington University


July 25th  @ 12:00 in SL 130

"Cancer Immunotherapy: The Science and the Cost of Modern Treatment"

Prof. Spencer Anthony Cahill

Dept. of Chemistry

Western Washington University


August 1st  @ 12:00 in SL 130

"PDZ: All Residues Considered"

Prof. Jeanine Amacher

Dept. of Chemistry

Western Washington University


August 3rd  @ 3:00 in SL 130

"Pyridinediimine Complexes with Coordination Sphere Interactions Relevant to Copper and Non-Heme Iron Enzymes"

Thesis Defense

Audrey Cheung

Graduate Student

Dept. of Chemistry

Western Washington University


August 8th  @ 12:00 in SL 130

"Poster Presentation Workshop"

Prof. Tim Kowalczyk

Dept. of Chemistry

Western Washington University


August 10th  @ 3:30 in SL 110

"A Chemoenzymatic Approach for the Synthesis of Hemoglobin Oligomers"

Thesis Defense

Johann Sigurjonsson

Graduate Student

Dept. of Chemistry

Western Washington University


August 15th  @ 12:00 in SL 130

"Amine- and Phosphine-Directed C–H Borylation: From Catalyst Development to Synthetic Utility"

Prof. Tim Clark

Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry

University of San Diego


August 27th  @ 1:00 in SL 130

Thesis Defense

Emily Brown

Graduate Student

Dept. of Chemistry

Western Washington University


Fall Quarter 2018

September 28th  @ 3:15 in SL 130

"The Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How of Graduate School"

WWU Chemistry Faculty Panel


October 5th  @ 4:00 in SL 150

"Almost Alchemy: Radical Ligands for Precious Metal-Like C–C Coupling Catalysis at Cobalt"

Prof. Jake Soper

Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Georgia Institute of Technology 


October 12th  @ 3:15 in SL 130

"Chemical bonding in transition metal free radicals: Tantalizing and golden results from high resolution electronic spectroscopy"

Prof. Tom Varberg

Dept. of Chemistry 

Macalester College


Transition metals play important roles in areas as diverse as chemical catalysis, metallurgy, stained glass, nanoelectronics, and recent efforts to determine the electric dipole moment of the electron. My interest in transition metals and the spectroscopy of their compounds springs from the presence of unpaired electrons, which produce not only the distinctive chemistry of the transition metals but also give rise to interesting and challenging spectra to be unraveled and deciphered. I will describe our group’s recent work involving the metals tantalum and gold. With visible and near-infrared lasers, we have recorded spectra of several different diatomic fluorides, oxides, sulfides and hydrides containing one of these two metals. Our analyses of their complex spectra have revealed interesting insights into the chemical bonding of these molecules.


October 17th  @ 3:15 in SL 130

"Linking excited-state electronic structure to photoactivity in organic materials"

Prof. Tim Kowalczyk

Dept. of Chemistry

Western Washington University


October 19th  @ 3:15 in SL 130

"Proton and Electron Flux Management for the Removal of Pervasive  Environmental Pollutants"

Prof. John Gilbertson

Dept. of Chemistry 

Western Washington University


October 26th  @ 3:15 in SL 130

"Computational Design of Perovskite Solar Cell Materials"

Prof. Rob Berger

Dept. of Chemistry

Western Washington University


October 29th  @ 3:15 in SL 130

"Surface Plasmon Resonance Biosensors Based on High-Index Dielectric MIM Structures"

Thesis Defense

Sarah Clark

Graduate Student

Dept. of Chemistry

Western Washington University


Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) is the phenomenon in which an incident electromagnetic wave couples to charge density oscillations on a metal surface. The resulting excitation, known as a surface plasmon polariton (SPP), will propagate along the metal-dielectric interface. SPR biosensors monitor protein binding interactions in real time, which lead to changes in the refractive index, thereby altering the SPP excitation conditions. Recently, we have designed a structure that supports guided-wave plasmon polariton modes (GW-PPMs), a novel type of plasmonic excitation that demonstrates increased propagation lengths compared to those of traditional SPPs in certain regions of phase space. Because it has been shown that higher propagation lengths lead to increased sensitivity for SPR biosensors, employing GW-PPM-supporting structures could potentially lead to improved performance. Plasmonic modes are excited and detected using attenuated total reflectance (ATR), in which a prism is used to couple light into the waveguide structure. Biosensing applications require the use of the Kretschmann ATR configuration, in which the waveguide and prism are in direct contact, allowing for protein binding interactions to be monitored at the exposed surface of the waveguide. While the Kretschmann configuration is frequently employed experimentally, comprehensive theoretical models for leaky modes have yet to be realized. As we specifically address the complications associated with modeling the plasmonic excitations within the region of phase space accessible by Kretschmann ATR, we hope to better understand the nature of these modes and how they differ fundamentally from traditional SPPs. In addition, we hope to characterize the relationship of both propagation lengths and biosensor sensitivity with kx values. Further, we discuss the relationship between biosensor sensitivity and propagation length. The work presented in this thesis sets the stage for better understanding the nature of plasmonic modes excited using the Kretschmann configuration and for developing SPR waveguides with tunable propagation lengths as a way to increase biosensor sensitivity.


November 2nd  @ 3:15 in SL 130

"Development and applications of photoreversible backbone caging of natural peptides and proteins"

Alicia E. Mangubat-Medina

Graduate Research Assistant and Ph.D. Candidate

Dept. of Chemistry

Rice University


November 9th  @ 3:15 in SL 130



November 14th  @ 3:15 in SL 130



November 28th  @ 3:15 in SL 130



November 30th  @ 3:15 in SL 130



December 4th @ 3:15 in SL 110



December 5th @ 3:15 in SL 130



December 7th @ 3:15 in SL 130



December 11th @ 3:45 in SL 120



Winter Quarter 2019

January 11th @ 3:15 in SL 130

"Undergraduate research opportunities in WWU Chemistry"

Prof. Elizabeth Raymond

Chemistry Dept.

Western Washington University


January 18th @ 3:15 in SL 130

"On the Dark Side: Forbidden transitions in light-harvesting materials"

Prof. Cody Schlenker

Dept. of Chemistry

University of Washington


From charge trapping in semiconductors to exciton fission/annihilation to photocatalytic water splitting, optically dark states and non-covalent interactions can dramatically influence the behavior of light-harvesting materials. One specific example that I will discuss from our laboratory involves photon-initiated homolytic cleavage of hydrogen/oxygen bonds of water in an inter-molecular heptazine:H2O complex.
Heptazine-based materials, including graphitic carbon nitride and poly(heptazine imides), are garnering increasing attention due, in part, to their improving photocatalytic hydrogen evolution activities (approaching 0.04 mol h-1 g-1, with apparent quantum yields of 60%). As such, there has been a recent focus on understanding the photochemistry of these materials. One major roadblock that has impeded those mechanistic studies is the chemically-ambiguous nature of the bulk carbon nitride active material. We have combined time-resolved photoluminescence (TR-PL) spectroscopy and computational chemistry to reveal upper excited-state dynamics that engender inter-molecular proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET) from water to a structurally-distinct small-molecule heptazine photocatalyst. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first direct spectroscopic evidence that the heptazine unit drives H-atom abstraction from water by PCET. This result yields rare spectroscopic evidence of an upper-excited state reaction pathway in a heptazine:H2O complex. This photoreaction exhibits a significant kinetic isotope effect (KIE) of 2.9, indicating homolytic O-H bond scission of water, and it liberates detectable hydroxyl radicals. Our results lay the groundwork for molecular design rules aimed at controlling organic photochemical reactivity by manipulating early-time photophysical dynamics. Photophysical and photochemical insight from our results can be leveraged in solar fuels research, photovoltaics, and LEDs.


January 25th @ 3:15 in SL 130

"DNA Circuits for Diagnostics: Evolved and Designed DNA"

Prof. Peter Allen

Dept. of Chemistry

University of Idaho


Designed DNA, DNA aptamers and DNA for diagnostics. DNA circuits are designed DNA-DNA reactions that can perform computations and amplify signals. Aptamers are single-stranded DNA oligonucleotides that are evolved to bind to specific molecules including protein biomarkers. We show progress to the integration of evolved and designed DNA for diagnostics. Microparticle substrates for DNA-DNA reactions have allowed for easy read-out of the fluorescent output of these reactions. This talk will introduce DNA circuits, non-enzymatic amplification, and the use of colloidal particles as a platform for biochemical assays.


February 1st @ 3:15 in SL 130

"Quantum Chemistry Beyond Quantum Chemical Calculations"

Prof. Cristopher Camacho

Dept. of Chemistry

University of Costa Rica


When chemists think of the term "quantum chemistry", we usually think of electronic structure calculations, especially DFT calculations in a program package like Gaussian. This talk will explore some aspects of quantum chemistry beyond electronic structure theory, relying on group theory and graph theory to develop a deeper understanding of chemical space. I will spend the first half of this talk on a graph theory approach to enumerate molecules. In the second half of the talk I will discuss our recent implementation of the DFTB+ electronic structure package on graphical processing units (GPU).


February 8th @ 3:15 in SL 130

"Immobilized enzyme microreactor development and optimization"

Prof. Golfam Ghafourifar​

Dept. of Chemistry

University of the Fraser Valley


The human body is made of billions of living cells, each containing a vast number of biomolecules. Biochemical studies, including protein studies, have provided much information about diseases and biochemical markers like proteins are used as indicators for diagnosis. To study proteins’ functions, it is important to understand their structure, composition and interactions. The field called proteomic includes studies of protein separation, identification, quantification and sequence analysis, and provides a means for understanding and mapping protein function in cells.


Enzymatic digestion of proteins, a common technique used in bottom-up proteomics, can be achieved with immobilized or insoluble enzymes. Advantages of using immobilized versus soluble enzymes include: reusability, integration with fluidic systems, and use of high enzyme-to-substrate ratios to accelerate protein digestion while simultaneously suppressing autolysis peaks that interfere with chromatographic and MS-based analyses. A simple procedure is insolubilization by cross-linking agent, which is a method we have been investigating for making immobilized enzyme particles. The reaction takes place at room temperature under mild conditions to produce particles that are soft and irregularly shaped agglomerates. We have been studying immobilized enzymes such as chymotrypsin as well as Lys-c formed by direct crosslinking. The efficiency of immobilization can be followed by UV-Vis spectrophotometry, HPLC, and capillary electrophoresis (CE). We have shown that when using GA-CT, the immobilization efficiency was found to be 96% of the total amount of chymotrypsin added. In addition, we attached chymotrypsin to internal wall of the capillary. Digestion was achieved by passing the protein through the immobilized enzyme reactor (IMER) and the digests were studied by capillary electrophoresis. CE-MS was used in order to separate and identify the peptides. The efficiency of protein digestion can be followed by CE, and HPLC. There are differences in digestion efficiency for different protein substrates, as expected, so we have undertaken a study to see how the substrate denaturation conditions affects the peptide maps for large proteins like bovine serum albumin (66 kDa) compared to smaller proteins like casein (23 kDa). The long term goal is to develop simple enzyme immobilization strategies that can be incorporated into various proteomics platforms.


February 15th @ 3:15 in SL 130

"Synthesis and Biological Activity of Furanosesquiterpenoids Related to Wortmannin"

Prof. Brian Goess

Chemistry Department

Furman University


The phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) pathway regulates cellular metabolism and is upregulated in many cancers, making it an attractive chemotherapeutic target. Wortmannin is a well-known and potent inhibitor of PI3K; however, its potential as a chemotherapeutic is limited due to its instability, lack of selectivity, and lengthy chemical synthesis. In contrast, hibiscone C is a structurally simpler and less studied member of the furanosteroid family. We completed a total synthesis of hibiscone C and demonstrated that it competitively inhibits PI3K activity in intact cells, slows proliferation, and induces cell death.  Hibiscone C and other members of the furanosteroid family may therefore serve as a productive scaffold for the development of therapeutically relevant PI3K inhibitors. 

In pursuit of an even more biologically active furanosteroid, we have also synthesized hibiscone B and its acetylated analog.  Our syntheses, the first reported for both natural products, solve an important challenge to the synthesis of related members of the furanosesquiterpenoid family, namely the regio-, chemo-, and stereoselective reduction of one of two carbonyls in the diacylfuran subunit.  These findings will be presented and their value discussed, particularly as it related to ongoing chemical biology efforts in our lab.

February 22nd @ 3:15 in SL 130

"Soft and Hard Materials: Exciting Science or just a Fashion Statement?"

Prof. Robert Szilagyi

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Montana State University


The presentation will explore the boundaries, or the lack thereof, between the biological, site differentiated [4Fe-4S] cluster chemistry and naturally doped Fe-containing phylloaluminosilicates. In biology, the Fe-S clusters take the role of electron conduits, redox centers for activation of stoichiometrically simple, but energetically challenging transformations, such as hydrogen update and evolution reaction, nitrogen fixation, CO/CO2 reversible conversion. These processes are at the heart of biological metabolism. A leading idea among many Origins-of-Life theories is that the Fe-S clusters are reminiscent of pre-biotic catalytic centers from the Hadean Era at the dawn of the emergence of the simplest organisms. A contemporary geochemical system to the Hadean that has already garnered attention in Origins-of-Life theory is the family of layered aluminosilicates or clays. Transition-metal doped clays provide a remarkable synthetic platform for housing [4Fe-4S] clusters with potentially becoming biomimetic hard material synthons of soft material, i.e. protein environment encapsulated biological counterparts. A combined experimental and computational work will be presented for linking the two worlds of soft and hard materials, or bioinorganic chemistry and materials science.


February 26th @ 3:30 in SL 110

"The Evolving Periodic Table and its Incredible Elements!"

ACS Webinar

Sponsored by the Western Chemistry Club


March 1st @ 3:15 in SL 130

“Cultivating an Inclusive Research Environment”

A guided discussion co-facilitated by Prof. Tim Kowalczyk and Natasha Hessami

Join with current and prospective research students and chemistry faculty for a guided discussion about our roles, as STEM professionals and trainees, in fostering a research culture that respects, values, and affirms what each of us can contribute to the collective advancement of science.


March 8th @ 3:15 in SL 130

Seminar Cancelled


March 15th @ 3:15 in SL130​

"Regulation of cell behaviors by pH: The pluses and minuses of protein electrostatics"

Prof. Katharine White

Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry

University of Notre Dame


Transient increases in intracellular pH (pHi) are necessary for normal cell processes of cell-cycle progression, migration, and differentiation while dysregulated pHi dynamics are linked to diseases such as neurodegeneration and cancer. While effects of pHi on global cell behaviors is well established, the proteins and molecular mechanisms that drive these pH-sensitive responses are largely unknown. Furthermore, a lack of tools to directly, specifically, and spatiotemporally manipulate pHi has restricted experiments probing how pH dynamics alter individual cell behaviors. A primary topic of the seminar will be work identifying the molecular mechanisms driving dynamic pH-sensitive functions of both wild-type and mutant proteins. Of import is the surprising finding that adaptive, dynamic pH-sensitive functions conferred by somatic cancer mutations can enhance tumorigenic effects of mutant proteins specifically at the increased pHi of cancer. These results inform our recent work using optogenetic tools to manipulate pHi in living cells, enabling the investigation of how spatiotemporal pHi dynamics regulate proteins, pathways and cell behaviors. 

Spring Quarter 2019

April 5th @ 3:15 in SL 130

"College-toCareer Discussion Panel"


April 12th @ 3:15 in SL 130

"Chemical biology tools to perceive and perturb carbohydrates in living systems."

Dr. David Vocadlo​


Department of Chemistry

Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

Co-Director of the Centre for High Throughput Chemical Biology (HTCB)

Canada Research Chair in Chemical Biology

Simon Fraser University


April 19th @ 3:15 in SL 130

“Synthetic Studies on Guaipyridine Alkaloids”

Dr. James Vyvyan


Department of Chemistry

Western Washington University


Guaipyridines are a small family of natural products with a seven-membered carbocycle fused to a 6-methylpyridine core.  One member of the family, cananodine, is reported to have activity against liver cancer.  Our group has developed two synthetic approaches to the guaipyridine skeleton. The first strategy used an epoxide opening reaction to form the seven membered ring. The current approach uses an intramolecular Heck reaction to form the ring.  Syntheses of cananodine, rupestine G and rupestine D will be presented.


April 26th @ 3:15 in SL 130

“Natural and engineered tandem repeat proteins: structure, mechanism and applications”

Dr. Barry Stoddard

Structural Biologist

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center


May 3rd @ 3:15 in SL 130

"Complex order in self-assembled nanocrystal superlattices"

Dr. Michael Grünwald

Assistant Professor

Department of Chemistry

University of Utah


Self-assembly of nanocrystals into functional materials requires precise control over nanoparticle interactions in solution, which are dominated by organic ligands that densely cover the surface of nanocrystals. Recent experiments have demonstrated that small nanocrystals can self-assemble into a range of superstructures with different translational and orientational order of nanocrystals. The origin of this structural diversity remains unclear. In this seminar, I will discuss our recent efforts to understand the self-assembly of these nanocrystals over a broad range of ligand lengths and solvent conditions using molecular dynamics computer simulations. Our model, which is based on a coarse-grained description of ligands and solvent effects, reproduces the experimentally observed superstructures, including recently observed superlattices with partial and short-ranged orientational alignment of nanocrystals. We show that small differences in nanoparticle shape, ligand length and coverage, and solvent conditions can lead to markedly different self-assembled superstructures due to subtle changes in the free energetics of ligand interactions. Our results rationalize the large variety of different reported superlattices self-assembled from seemingly similar particles and can serve as a guide for the targeted self-assembly of nanocrystal superstructures.


May 10th @ 3:15 in SL 130

"Surface-functionalized inorganic clusters as redox-noninnocent ligands for transition metals: Synthesis, characterization and reactivity studies"

Dr. Alexandra Velian

Assistant Professor

Department of Chemistry

University of Washington


May 13th @ 3:00 in SL 110

"Synthesis of stimulus response phosphine ligand and metal binding studies"

Gabriel Bourne

Master's Thesis Defense

Chemistry Department

Western Washington University


May 17th @ 2:00 in BI 234

Scholar's Week Chemistry Honors Oral Presentations


May 17th @ 3:45 in BI 234

“Single-Atom Alloy Catalysts: Born in a Vacuum, Tested in Reactors, and Understood in Silico”​

Scholar's Week Chemistry Keynote Speaker

Dr. Charles Sykes


Department of Chemistry

Tufts University


In this talk I will discuss a new class of metallic alloy catalysts called Single Atom Alloys in which precious, reactive metals are utilized at the ultimate limit of efficiency.1-5 These catalysts were discovered by combining atomic-scale scanning probes with more traditional approaches to study surface-catalyzed chemical reactions. This research provided links between the atomic scale surface structure and reactivity which are key to understanding and ultimately controlling important catalytic processes. Over the last five years the concepts derived from our surface science and theoretical calculations have been used to design Single Atom Alloy nanoparticle catalysts that can perform industrially relevant reactions at realistic reaction conditions. For example, alloying elements like platinum and palladium with cheaper, less reactive host metals like copper enables 1) dramatic cost savings in catalyst manufacture, 2) more selective chemical reactions, 3) reduced susceptibility to CO poisoning, and 4) higher resistance to deactivation by coking. I go on to describe very recent theory work by collaborators Stamatakis and Michaelides at UCL that predicts reactivity trends of 16 different Single Atom Alloy combinations for important reaction steps like activation of H-H, C-H, N-H, O-H and C=O bonds. This project illustrates that the field of surface science is now at the point where it plays a critical role in the design of new heterogeneous catalysts.  


[1] Kyriakou et al. Science 335, 1209 (2012).

[2] Marcinkowski et al. Nature Materials 12, 523 (2013).

[3] Lucci et al. Nature Communications 6, 8550 (2015).

[4] Liu et al.  JACS 138, 6396 (2016).

[5] Marcinkowski et al. Nature Chemistry 10, 325 (2018).


May 20th @ 3:00 in SL 110

“Synthesis of Archazolid-Based Enzyme Inhibitors”

Cooper Vincent

Master's Thesis Defense

Chemistry Department

Western Washington University


May 23rd @ 3:30 in SL 130

"Multifunctional Microgels for Nanoparticle-Based Detection Methodologies"

Alyson Silva

Master's Thesis Defense

Chemistry Department

Western Washington University


May 24th @ 3:15 in SL 130

"Reevaluating the functional role of Axin as a scaffold for kinase signaling in the Wnt pathway"

Dr. Jesse Zalatan

Assistant Professor

Department of Chemistry

University of Washington


May 31st @ 3:15 in SL 130

"Cepheid: Molecular Diagnostics and the Chemistry That Drives It"

Christian L. Holst

Manufacturing Chemist



Cepheid is a leading North American molecular diagnostics company that develops, manufactures and markets integrated systems for testing in clinical markets.  The GeneXpert system is a platform used by doctors and clinicians worldwide for the rapid, accurate detection of a variety human illnesses. GeneXpert systems can accurately and quickly detect many known and emerging human illnesses.  This is largely possible due to the chemistry tools invented, developed and manufactured by  our chemistry team.  At our Bothell, WA location we focus on the research, development and manufacturing of novel, non-naturally occurring modified bases and dyes.  These bases and dyes are the building blocks that continue to drive the high performance of our diagnostics and gives us our competitive edge.  Some examples of these modified bases and dyes and the methods used for their synthesis will be demonstrated.


June 7th @ 3:00 in SL 150

Chemistry Department Scholarship and Awards Ceremony

Summer Quarter 2019

June 26th 2019 @ 12:00 PM in SL 110.
"Lab Notebooks and Data Organization"
Dr. Amanda Murphy
Associate Professor
Chemistry Department
Western Washington University

July 3rd 2019 @ 12:00 PM in SL 110.
"Searching the Scientific Literature"
Dr. Mike Larsen
Assistant Professor
Chemistry Department
Western Washington University

July 8th 2019 @ 3:00 PM in SL 120.
"The detection of mercury ion using surface modified gold nanorocks"
Tianqi Luan
Master's Thesis Defense
Chemistry Department
Western Washington University

July 10th 2019 @ 12:00 PM in SL 110.
"Ethics Training"
Janai Symons
Research Compliance Officer
Western Washington University

July 17th 2019 @ 12:00 PM in TBD.
"Mini-workshop on computational modeling in chemistry"
Dr. Tim Kowalczyk 
Associate Professor
Chemistry Department
Western Washington University

July 24th 2019 @ 12:00 PM in SL 110.
"Chemical Safety"
Dr. Margaret Scheuermann
Assistant Professor
Chemistry Department
Western Washington University

July 26th 2019 @ 10:00 AM in SL 110.
Britt Tyler
Master's Thesis Defense
Chemistry Department
Western Washington University

July 29th 2019 @ 2:00 PM in SL 110.
Nick Horvath
Master's Thesis Defense
Chemistry Department
Western Washington University

July 31st 2019 @ 12:00 PM in SL 110.
"Preparing for the GRE"
Dr. Rob Berger
Associate Professor
Chemistry Department
Western Washington University

August 6th 2019 @ 3:00 PM in SL 130.
"Structural Studies of Complexes of Blood Coagulation Factor VIII"
Joseph Gish
Master's Thesis Defense
Chemistry Department
Western Washington University

August 7th 2019 @ 12:00 PM in SL 110.
"How to prepare a research poster presentation"
Dr. Serge Smirnov
Associate Professor
Chemistry Department
Western Washington University

August 14th 2019 @ 12:00 PM in SL 110.
"Writing effective resumes and personal statements"
Dr. Steven Emory
Associate Professor
Chemistry Department
Western Washington University

August 21st 2019 @ 12:00 PM in SL 110.
"Chemistry Careers and Job Hunting"
Dr. David Patrick
Professor and Director of Scientific Technical Services
Chemistry Department
Western Washington University

Fall Quarter 2019

September 27th @ 3:15 in SL 130                                                                                                                                                    

"The Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How of Graduate School"                                                                                               

WWU Chemistry Faculty Panel

October 4th                                                                                                                                                                                             

No Seminar on account of Chempalooza

October 11th  @ 3:15 in SL 120                                                                                                                                                         

"Fifty years of Silicon Chemistry"
Dr. Jerry Larson                                                                                                                                                                                 

Former Vice President of Research and Development
Gelest, Inc. 

October 18th                                                                                                                                                                                       

Life Sciences Symposium                                                                                                                                                                   

Talks: 10am-4:30pm (CF 115, SL 140)                                                                                                                                                   

Poster Session: 4:45pm-6pm (SL Lobby)                                                                                                                                                   

October 25th @ 3:15 in SL 120                                                                                                                                                                 

“Mechanistic studies on CO2 reduction over oxide supported metal catalysts: The critical role of in situ-formed active sites at the metal/oxide interface”

Dr. Janos Szanyi                                                                                                                                                                                     

Staff Scientist and Team Lead (Catalysis Science)                                                                                                                                   

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory                                                                                                                                                 


The conversion of CO2 to energy carriers and/or value-added chemicals is one of the most extensively studied catalytic processes today. Under atmospheric pressure CO2 reduction with H2 yields CO and CH4 via the reverse water gas shift (RWGS) and methanation reactions, respectively. However, at elevated pressures CO2 can be hydrogenated to alcohols and/or higher hydrocarbons. In the past several years we have been focusing on understanding the reaction mechanisms of CO2 reduction at atmospheric pressure and the processes that guide selectivity to either CO or CH4 on oxide-supported metal catalysts. In these studies we apply traditional kinetic measurements as well as operando infrared spectroscopy combined with transient isotope labeling. We use steady state isotope transient kinetic analysis (SSITKA) to obtain kinetic data as well as information about the nature of adsorbed surface species in the same experiment. Non-steady state measurements clearly identify a carboxyl species as key intermediate in the RWGS reaction and confirm the minority role of formates in the overall reaction mechanism. Combining the experimental studies with high level DFT calculations we were able to identify the formation of transient active sites that are only form under reaction conditions at the metal/oxide interface. As H2 heterolytically dissociates at the interface it produces a partially negatively charged metal atom and a non-native hydroxyl. The activation of CO2 at this site is facile, and the reaction to produce CO proceeds through the carboxyl intermediate. We also determined the generality of the heterolytic H2 dissociation as a key step in the overall CO2 reduction process for a series of oxide-supported Pd catalysts. A linear correlation between the reactivity (expressed in turn-over frequency) and the equilibrium constant of OH formation (KOH) was generalized for oxide-supported Pd catalysts.

Winter Quarter 2020

January 10th @ 3:15 in SL 130

Summer Research
Chemistry Club

January 17th @ 3:15 in SL 130

Dr. Grace Stokes
Assistant Professor

Santa Clara University

January 24th @ 3:15 in SL 130

"Polymerization as allosteric regulator: cryo-EM studies of enzyme filaments"

Dr. Justin Kollman
Associate Professor of Biochemistry

University of Washington

January 30th @ 3:15 in SL 120

Analytical Faculty Candidate - "Analytical and Modeling Approaches to Understanding Petroleum Weathering in the Environment"

January 31st @ 3:15 in SL 130

"RNA-mediated mechanisms of gene regulation"

Dr. Sarah Keane
Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biophysics

University of Michigan

Student Q&A Session in CB 275 2-3:00PM

February 4th @ 3:15 in CF 120

Analytical Faculty Candidate - “Chemical Insight to Materials Synthesis From Quantum Dots to Covalent Adaptable Networks”

February 7th @ 3:15 in SL 130

"What can ultrafast laser spectoscopy tell us about the functional state of an RNA cutting enzyme?"

Dr. Rodrigo Noriega
Assistant Professor

University of Utah

Student Q&A Session in CB 275 2-3:00PM 

February 14th @ 3:15 in SL 130

"Targeting Ubiquitin Ligases: Hormones, Metabolites, and Therapeutic Drugs"

Dr. Ning Zheng

University of Washington

February 21st @ 3:15 in SL 130

"Glycan Tailoring Enhances Immune Recognition of the HIV-1 CD4-Binding Site."

Andrew Borst, PhD

February 25th @ 4:00 in SL 110

"The Future of Food: How will chemists change the way we eat?"

ACS Webinar

Hosted by WEsTeRn CHeM CLuB

February 28th @ 3:15 in SL 130

"Adventures in sequence-function space."

Dr. Janine Copp

Research Associate
Michael Smith Laboratories and the University of British Columbia

March 6th @ 3:15 in SMATE Library (SL 220)

Building Equity and Community in Chemistry Workshop

March 11th @ 2:00 in SL 130 - Cancelled

“Organic Molecular Crystal Engineering via Organic-Vapor-Liquid-Solid Deposition”

Griffin Reed

Masters of Science Candidate

Thesis Defense

March 13th Cancelled

Winter 2021

Winter quarter may have seminars outside of the usually scheduled seminar time to host faculty candidates.


Seminar topics and titles will be posted as we receive additional information from speakers.

Recordings of select seminars will be available on the Chemistry Department Canvas page. If you wish to watch a past, recorded seminar please reach out to


Friday, Jan 15 - Kevin Cavicchi | University of Akron

4D Printing of Shape Memory Polymers

The ability to program a stimuli-responsive shape-change into a material is of significant interest for remotely deployable devices and sensors across a range of industries, such as aerospace, packaging, and medicine. One class of materials useful for shape morphing are shape memory polymers. The shape change is programmed by deforming an article into a temporary shape and then returned to their initial shape upon that application of an appropriate stimulus. The key to designing shape memory polymers is the presence of two networks, an elastic network, which drives the shape recovery, and a reversible network, that counterbalances the elastic restoring force to hold a temporary shape. While shape memory polymer articles have typically been fabricated using conventional polymer processing techniques, such as casting, molding and extrusion, the advent of 3D printing has provided a route to generate articles complex 3D features in the initial shape. The 3D printing of shape memory polymers is one type of 4D printing.

This talk will present general material design rules for preparing shape memory polymers illustrated by mixing a commodity elastomer and fatty acid. Second, the use of different 3D printing techniques, namely digital light processing (DLP) to print an SMP through free radical polymerization, and fused filament fabrication (FFF) to print a thermoplastic shape memory polymer blend. The influence of the processing on material structure and properties will be highlighted, especially where the printing enhances the shape memory properties compared to a conventionally cured or molded sheet of material. More broadly, this talk will demonstrate how shape memory is inherently tied to the fundamental viscoelasticity and anisotropy of polymeric materials, where simple design rules lead to numerous avenues for imparting shape memory into virtually any polymeric material.


Kevin Cavicchi is a Professor in the School of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering at the University of Akron. His research group is interested in the structure-property-processing relationships of nanostructured soft-matter including small molecule organogels, ionomers, block copolymers, and their blends using commercial polymers and in-house synthesized polymers prepared by reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) and anionic polymerization. A central interest is in the fabrication of shape memory and reversibly actuating materials through in-situ polymerization, casting, molding, and additive manufacturing.

Born and raised in Reading, MA, Kevin attended Cornell University where he received a BS in Materials Science and Engineering. He completed his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota and was a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Polymer Science and Engineering at UMASS-Amherst before joining the Department of Polymer Engineering at the University of Akron in January 2006.

Kevin received the Polymer Networks Group Young Investigator Award in 2014, the William C. Zekan Memorial Award from the Akron Section of the Society of Plastics Engineers in 2017, a Distinguished Service Award from the Division of Polymer Chemistry of the American Chemical Society in 2019, and the Sparks-Thomas Young Investigator Award from the Rubber Division of the American Chemical Society in 2021. He was named a Fellow of the American Chemical Society in 2019 and a Fellow of the Division of Polymer Chemistry of the American Chemical Society in 2020.

Friday, February 5  Prof. Karin Öberg - Department of Astronomy | Harvard University

Seminar Title: The Chemistry of Planet Formation

(student-invited seminar speaker!)

Friday, February 12th Prof. Stefanie Sydlik | Carnegie Mellon University 

Polymers and functional graphenic materials as stem cell instructive scaffolds for bone regeneration

Abstract: The Sydlik group at Carnegie Mellon uses chemical signals and intelligently designed materials to instruct bone regeneration. To do this, we use polymers and functional graphenic materials (FGMs) to create new biomaterials that offer tunable mechanical properties, degradability, and surface chemistry, which together can be used to control bioactivity.  FGMs, are degradable in in vivo, but the application of FGMs as biomaterials have been limited due to insufficient control of the chemical interface and limited processing methods. To address this, the Sydlik group has developed new methods to covalently bind polymers and other biomimetic moieties to the surface of FGMs using classic organic reactions. Using these novel organic transformations, we can impart surface functionalization. This produces FGMs with tunable surface chemistry, allowing installation of cell instructive moieties, and improved mechanical properties arising from graphene reduction. We have developed FGMs that inherently induce osteogenesis in vitro and in vivo. Specifically, our modified Arbuzov reaction couples polyphosphate on the GO backbone with control over a variety of bioinstructive counter ions (Ca2+, K+, Li+, Mg2+, or Na+). Ca2+, Li+, Mg2+, and PO4-. These ions are known to be inducerons, or small ions that encourage the osteogeneic differentiation of stem cells. Further, we have shown that calcium phosphate graphene (CaPG) induces osteogenesis in vivo in a mouse model. These materials are designed to degrade in water, and to release signals known to drive regenerative healing in their process of degradation. We have also developed a new class of peptide-graphene covalent conjugate and are working to show that FGMs can serve as intrinsically inductive, autodegradable scaffolds for bone regeneration in vivo.


Bio: Prof. Sydlik received her Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under the direction of Professor Timothy Swager studying novel nanocarbon and polymeric materials. She continued her training at MIT as a postdoctoral fellow with Professor Robert Langer, developing a novel biomimetic block copolymer for cartilage repair and establishing the biocompatibility of graphene oxide. Through her training, she received fellowships from the Beckman Foundation, NSF, and NIH. She joined the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University in August of 2015 and has since won the PMSE Young Investigator Award and is a World Economic Forum Young Scientist.

Thursday, Feb 18 starting at 10:00 am

MS Thesis Defense - Reuben Szabo (Kowalczyk group) 

Friday, Feb 19 at 3:00 pm

MS Thesis Defense - Haley Doran (Patrick group), 

Friday, March 5 Prof. Sharon Neufeldt - Department of Chemistry | Montana State University

Controlling Site Selectivity in Cross Coupling Reactions


Catalytic cross coupling reactions are among the most widely used strategies for C—C and C—N bond formation in organic synthesis. However, when two or more electrophiles (usually aryl halides) are present in the reactants, controlling site selectivity becomes critical. The most common approach to controlling selectivity involves using different substrates to access different products (substrate control). A potentially more efficient approach is to manipulate selectivity through choice of catalyst or reaction conditions. Here, we describe our efforts toward achieving and understanding ligand- and solvent-control over selectivity in Pd- and Ni-catalyzed cross coupling reactions. In addition to streamlining synthetic methods, this work provides insight into mechanistic details that could facilitate future catalyst design.

Friday, Mar 12 - Daniel Korus  | UbiQD and WWU MS Candidate


With the rise of emissions-related climate change, novel renewable energy sources must be realized. At the same time, evolution of the electric distribution grid away from traditionally large, centralized producers toward smaller, decentralized sources drives the need for next generation technologies that can be more readily integrated into the built environment. Nanocrystal (NC)-doped luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs) are waveguides that absorb diffuse and broadband sunlight across their surface and direct narrow-bandwidth, high-brightness light to their edges, for conversion into electricity by coupled, bandgap-matched, photovoltaic (PV) cells. LSCs are insensitive to incident light orientation, partial shading, and can be integrated into the built environment as windows, facades and other structural elements; thus LSCs overcome major barriers of employing traditional PVs in city environments.

Recent advances in colloidal semiconductor luminophores have brought LSC technology closer to commercialization. This talk will discuss several academic narratives of the development of LSCs at Western Washington University. The Industrial Internship Master of Science graduation pathway will be introduced along with UbiQD, a nanomaterials start up company based in Los Alamos New Mexico.

Daniel Korus studied Quantum Dot based LSCs under Dr. David Patrick for several years at WWU and has began the Industrial Internship track at WWU to prospectively graduate with his master’s degree in 2021 while simultaneously working at UbiQD, a quantum dot-based company in Los Alamos New Mexico.

Friday, September 30

Prof. Mike Larsen, Western Washington University

Title:  "The Who, What, When, Where, How, & Why of Graduate School"

Friday, October 7

Prof. Steven R. Emory, Western Washington University

Title:  "Nanomaterials for Analytical Detection & Imaging"

Friday October 14

Prof. Joan Hevel, Utah State University

Title:  "How do Human Cells Regulate Protein Arginine Methyltransferase (PRMT) Activity?"

Friday, October 21

Prof. Janet Iwasa, University of Utah

Title:  "Animating Molecular Machines"

Friday, October 28

Prof. James R. Vyvyan, Western Washington University

Title:  "Preparing Killer Resumes, CVs, & Cover Letters"

Spring Quarter 2021

April 2, 2021 - Julia Zhao

Professor, University of North Dakota

Nanoparticles for Bioanalytical and Energy-related Applications

Abstract: Luminescent nanomaterials have demonstrated great promise as optical probes in bioanalysis due to their unique optical properties and high surface-to-volume ratio. In comparison with traditional fluorescence labeling techniques that usually use fluorescent dye molecules to signal target bioconjugation and other biological interactions, the luminescent nanoparticle labeling method provides enhanced detectable signal and reproducibility. This advancement in luminescent techniques makes direct and rapid detection of trace amounts of biomolecules possible. In addition, nanoparticles have shown a great potential in energy-related applications. In this presentation, the synthesis, characterization, and applications of several nanomaterials will be reported, including graphene-based nanomaterials, quantum dots, and nanocatalysts.


April 9, 2021 - College to Career

WWU Chem Club


April 16, 2021 - Bozhi Tian 

Associate Professor, University of Chicago

Physical Biology at the Semiconductor-enabled Subcellular Interfaces

Abstract: Biointerface devices can probe fundamental biological dynamics and improve the lives of human beings. However, the direct application of traditional rigid electronics onto soft tissues or cells can cause signal transduction and biocompatibility issues, due to mechanical mismatch at the biointerfaces. One common mitigation strategy is the use of nanostructures or soft-hard composites to form more biocompatible interfaces with target cells or tissues. My group integrates nanoscience and soft matter physics with biophysics to study several semiconductor-based biointerfaces. In this talk, I will first pinpoint domains where semiconductor properties can be leveraged for biointerface studies, providing a sample of numbers in semiconductor-based biointerfaces. Next, I will present a few recent studies from our lab and highlight key bioelectrical mechanisms underlying the non-genetic optical modulation interfaces. In particular, I will present a biology-guided two-step design principle for establishing tight intra-, inter-, and extracellular silicon-based bioelectrical interfaces in which semiconductors and the biological targets have matched mechanical properties and efficient signal transduction. Research in my lab has revealed how the physicochemical outputs from the photothermal, photofaradic, and photocapacitive effects of nanostructured semiconductors can be identified, quantified, and utilized at semiconductor-based biointerfaces to modulate electrical activities in neurons, cardiomyocytes and bacterial cells. The non-genetic and free-standing materials-based methods have the potential to overcome the limitations of current metal electrode-based devices such as bulk and cell membrane disruption, and are not dependent on genetic modifications. Finally, I will discuss new tissue-like materials and other biological targets that could catalyze future advances.


April 23, 2021 - Leilei Tian

Associate Professor, Southern University of Science and Technology 

Hydrophobic Interaction: A Promising Driving Force for the Biomedical Applications of Nucleic Acids

Malignant tumors pose a major threat to human life and health. Achieving early diagnosis and treatment of tumors has always been an important topic of concern for the scientific community. The development of biocompatible nano-medicines that can sensitively respond to changes in the delivery environment has become a promising way to solve the problem. Thus, the tumor microenvironment and biomarkers, such as the reactive oxygen species (ROS), hypoxia, the acidity, the abnormally expressed proteins, the non-coding small RNAs, and some metabolites, have been selected as the essential targets. Compared with synthetic polymers, DNA is more biocompatible and shows good recognition and responsive capabilities to tumor microenvironments and biomarkers. Thus, functional nucleic acid has been widely used in biological analysis and cell sensing. However, the disadvantages of DNA, such as poor biological stability and low cell membrane permeability, have limited its further applications in cancer diagnosis and treatment.

The comprehensive understanding and proper use of supramolecular interactions have become critical for the development of functional materials, and so does the biomedical application of functional DNA. Hydrophobic interaction shows some unique properties, such as flexibility in application interest, minimal effect to DNA functionality, and the sensitivity to external stimuli. Accordingly, our group mainly exploits hydrophobic interaction to improve the biological availability of DNA and subsequently develop the DNA-based biomaterials in higher-order self-assembly, drug/gene-delivery system, and stimuli-responsive system. Herein, I will introduce our recent progress, mainly in (1) Utilizing the hydrophobic interaction of DNA itself, which comes from the accumulation of base-stacking forces, to develop novel drug delivery systems. (2) DNA is conjugated with hydrophobic dyes showing aggregation-sensitive optical properties, to develop stimuli-responsive materials for bio-sensing and therapeutics. (3) Novel biomedical materials are developed based on the self-assembly of DNA amphiphiles.

April 28, 2021 @ 2:00PM

Thesis Defense - Walker Marks


"Demystifying Denitrification: Coordination Complexes Give Valuable Insight into the Reduction of Nitrogen Oxides"


Increasing human population is driving the need to produce increasing amounts of food without the ability to dramatically increase farmland area. This is accomplished by the application of increasing amounts of nitrogen containing fertilizers. The nitrogen fertilizer use is causing imbalance in the natural nitrogen cycle via excessive amounts of oxidized nitrogen entering both the atmosphere and aquatic ecosystems, which are major contributors to global warming and environmental damage. This thesis will explore the functionalization of a dinuclear dinitrosyl iron complex which is capable of coupling nitrosyl to release nitric oxide. The activity of this system is explored through examination of mono-nuclear dinitrosyl complexes as well as modification of the secondary-sphere ligand interactions which allow control of nitrous oxide evolution from a dinuclear dinitrosyl complex. The complete denitrification of nitrate by divalent samarium in a “single pot” is presented, which represents one of few synthetic systems that are capable of such reactivity.

April 30, 2021 - Srikanth Singamaneni 

Professor, Washington University St. Louis

Abstract: Detection, imaging, and quantification of low abundant biomolecules within biological fluids, cells, and tissues is of fundamental importance but remains extremely challenging in biomedical research as well as clinical diagnostics. We have designed and synthesized an ultrabright fluorescent nanoconstruct, termed “plasmonic-fluor”, as an “add-on” bio-label to dramatically improve the signal-to-noise ratio of a wide variety of existing fluorescence bioassays without altering or complicating the conventional assay workflow or read-out devices. We demonstrate that these novel nanoconstructs can be readily utilized in a broad range of bioanalytical methods, including fluorophore-linked immunosorbent assays, multiplexed bead-based immunoassays, immuno-microarrays, flow cytometry, and immunocytochemistry, to attain more than 1000-fold improvement in the limit-of-detection and dynamic range. Building on this work, we demonstrate minimally-invasive and ultrasensitive quantification of target protein biomarkers in interstitial fluid through microneedle-assisted in vivo sampling and subsequent on-needle analysis. With the microneedle patch, we demonstrate minimally-invasive evaluation of cocaine vaccine efficiency and longitudinal monitoring of inflammatory biomarker levels in mice. In the second part of the talk, we describe the use of silk fibroin and metal-organic frameworks as protective coatings to stabilize antibodies bound to nanotransducers against thermal denaturation and loss of biorecognition. This biopreservation approach overcomes the poor stability of existing biosensors and takes them closer to real-world applications in resource-limited settings.


Bio: Dr. Singamaneni is the Lilyan & E. Lisle Hughes Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Washington University in St. Louis. He obtained his PhD in Polymer Materials Science and Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology in 2009. His research group is involved in the design, synthesis and self-assembly of plasmonic nanostructures for various biomedical applications. He has co-authored more than 150 refereed articles (including 11 invited reviews) in archival journals, 9 book chapters, and a book (Scanning Probe Microscopy of Soft Matter: Fundamentals and Practices). He is a recipient of the NSF CAREER award, Dean’s Faculty Award for Innovation in Research, Translational New Investigator Award, DOD-Army and Materials Research Society Graduate Student GOLD Award.


May 7, 2021 - Shirin Faraji

Associate Professor, University of Groningen 

Title: Excited-state processes and quantum effects in complex environment 


Light-triggered processes, which are ubiquitous in nature and technology, are inherently quantum.  Phenomena such as photovoltaic effect, charge migration, and proton-coupled electron transfer require quantum mechanical description. Understanding and optimizing these processes is the key to novel technologies: molecular electronics, optogenetics, and clean energy devices. By simulating excited-state dynamics and modeling relevant spectra, computer simulations can help to translate experimental observations into molecular-level, to provide detailed insight into the primary photochemical reactions, and finally to facilitate the computer-aided design of new molecules and materials with customized properties matching specific applications. I will present examples of light-induced processes relevant for optogenetics,  molecular electronics, and solar cells. I will highlight the role of theory in developing mechanistic understanding of these important systems and outline the theoretical approaches used for this task with a particular emphasis on fundamental challenges in the field. Last but not least, PySurf will be introduced as an innovative Python based code framework. It is specifically designed for rapid prototyping and development tasks for data science applications in computational chemistry.


May 14, 2021 - Gang Chen

Assistant Professor, University of Central Florida 


Title: Towards Precise Control of Plasmonic Nanomaterials: From Synthetic Chemistry to Self-assembly

Abstract: The diversity of materials in structure and properties originates from the 3D arrangement of atoms through chemical bonds which allows atoms to form either large-scale crystals or small molecules. At the nanoscale, next to the molecular scale, aggregates of nanoparticles (NPs) are expected to have unique properties and applications if they can self-assemble like atoms. So far, many literatures have reported the self-assembly of NPs into periodic structures, called superlattices. However, molecular-like NP assemblies are rarely seen due to the absence of valence on their surfaces. In this talk, I will present our recent work on how to create colloidal analogues of atoms at nanoscale with valence, namely “artificial atoms”, so as to achieve “molecular-type” self-assemblies at nanoscale through the “direct bonding” between “artificial atoms”. More specifically, my talk will show our recent effort on: (1) synthesize NPs with homogeneity in both size and shape like atoms; (2) convert NPs into “artificial atoms” with chemically distinct surface areas that mimic hybridized atomic orbitals, such as spsp2, sp3, sp3d, and sp3d2; and (3) realize the molecularization of NPs and their “chemical reactions” to achieve diverse and complex nanostructures. The completion of this work results in: (1) new synthetic approaches and a better understanding of growth mechanism, beneficial to the future customized synthesis of NPs; (2) a better understanding of surface chemistry at nanoscale and developing new surface engineering techniques; (3) enrich the colloidal assembly technique and improve the complexity of colloidal metamaterials. It also provides many exciting opportunities for discovering new applications of nanomaterials in many interdisciplinary research fields.

Biography: Dr. Gang Chen is an Assistant Professor in Department of Chemistry at the University of Central Florida (UCF). Dr. Chen received his PhD in Physical Chemistry from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2008. He did his postdoc training at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and the University of Chicago, focusing on the self-assembly of nanomaterials. He started his independent career at UCF since 2016. His long-term goal is to establish a highly active research program that designs unique, robust and widely applicable synthetic strategies across the molecular and nano scale, and that enable effective manufacturing and incorporation of nanomaterials into innovative diagnostics, therapeutic, catalytic, and energy conversion technologies.

May 18, 2021 @ 3:00PM

Thesis Defense - Briana Mulligan


Synthesis of rupestines C, D and K with studies toward rupestines B, J, L and M.


Rupestines B-D and J-K belong to the family of naturally occurring guaipyridine alkaloids that can be isolated from the plant Artemisia rupestris. Inspiration for their synthesis stems from the previously synthesized guaipyridine alkaloid, cananodine, which has displayed potent in vitro cytotoxic effects against two types of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC, liver cancer) cell lines. The unique structural moiety of these alkaloids is a fused pyridine ring and seven-membered carbocycle. The key step in the reported synthesis is an intramolecular Mizoroki-Heck cyclization for the assembly of the bicyclic system. Rupestines C, D and K have been synthesized and isolated as single diastereomers. The synthesis and isolation of rupestines B, J, L and M is currently in progress. 

May 21, 2021 - Catherine Murphy

Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 

Bonus! Dr. Murphy will have a Q&A with students and faculty before their talk.

May 28, 2021 - Chaoyang Yiang

Professor, University of South Dakota

June 4, 2021 - Scholarship and Awards Ceremony

Chemistry department scholarship & award ceremony.

Fall Quarter 2021

Fall Quarter 2021

September 24, 2021 – The Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How of Graduate School 

WWU Chemistry faculty panel discussion

October 1, 2021 – Dr. Jeanine Amacher

Assistant Professor, WWU

Title: Structure, Selectivity, & Sortases: Investigating Protein-Peptide Interactions on the Molecular Level

Abstract: The Amacher lab is broadly interested in protein-peptide interactions, or those that involve recognition of a small number of amino acids by a protein module. These interactions are often transient and regulatory in nature, and members from the same family of peptide-binding domains may have overlapping specificities. We use protein biochemistry and structural biology to investigate the position-specific selectivity determinants of these important interactions. In this seminar, Dr. Amacher will briefly discuss the evolution of specificity in the PDZ domain, using choanoflagellates as a model system. This work is a collaboration with Dr. Filip Jagodzinski's lab in Computer Science. She will then present peptide-bound structures and biochemical data using loop-swapped chimeras that provide exciting new insights into target recognition by bacterial sortases. This work is a collaboration with Dr. John Antos’ lab in Chemistry.

October 8, 2021 – Dr. Ying Bao

Assistant Professor, WWU

Title: Morphology and Surface Design of Plasmonic Nanomaterial for Improved Plasmonic Functions

Abstract: Metal nanocrystals have attracted intense interest owing to their astonishing localized surface plasmon resonance properties and potential applications such as sensing, catalysis, and biomedicines. These properties are highly dependent on the nanocrystals' physical parameters including morphology and surface ligands. The Bao Group has worked to improve plasmonic sensing performance of metal nanoparticles via both nanocrystal synthesis and surface modification. In this talk, Dr. Bao will first present her work on developing a rapid and effective synthesis method for preparing 2D gold nanosnowflakes (AuNSFs). By adjusting the synthesis conditions, the morphology and size of the 2D AuNSFs can be fine-tuned and  demonstrations of the 2D AuNSFs' function as signal amplifiers to enhance Raman scattering from small molecules will be discussed. Second, Dr. Bao will briefly discuss her group's work performing surface modification on gold nanorods to obtain an  enhanced sensing ability serving as a signal transducer in the detection of mercury ions, along with a significant enhancement of the nanoparticle stability.

October 15, 2021 – Dr. David Rider

Associate Professor, WWU

Title: Making the Most of Grafting Reactions at Polymer Networks and Nanomaterials to Improve Solar Energy Devices and Aerospace Materials

Abstract: The Rider lab conducts research at the intersection of polymer science, surface chemistry and nanomaterials. Independently or often through collaboration, our group addresses limitations in energy devices and applied materials by designing alternative components and functionalizing interfaces for compatibilization and/or for tailoring the properties of the materials for advances in those fields. This seminar will focus on recent developments in our labs for tailoring polymer networks and nanomaterials with other polymers via grafting reactions. In particular, two projects will be covered: (i) where we establish a new grafting thermal ring-opening polymerization reaction for benzoxazine monomers in the presence of sulfonyl-ester functionalized polymers and structures and (ii) where we and collaborators adapt the surface of quantum dot fluorophores for integration into plexiglas-type matrices to fabricate low-optical loss luminescent solar concentrators.

October 22, 2021 – Elizabeth Landau

Journalist and Science Communicator

Title: Sharing Science with the World

Bio: Elizabeth Landau is an award-winning journalist and science communicator. Currently, she lives in Washington, D.C. She is a contributor to the New York Times, Washington Post, WIRED, Smithsonian, Scientific American, Quanta, and other publications. As a contractor, she serves as a Senior Communications Specialist at NASA Headquarters, where she produces and edits podcasts, videos, and website articles.

October 29, 2021 – Careers at SeaGen and in Biotechnology

WWU Chemistry alumni panel discussion

November 5, 2021 – Dr. Bozhi Tian

Professor, University of Chicago

Title: Physical Biology at the Semiconductor-enabled Subcellular Interfaces

Abstract: Biointerface devices can probe fundamental biological dynamics and improve the lives of human beings. However, the direct application of traditional rigid electronics onto soft tissues or cells can cause signal transduction and biocompatibility issues, due to mechanical mismatch at the biointerfaces. One common mitigation strategy is the use of nanostructures or soft-hard composites to form more biocompatible interfaces with target cells or tissues. My group integrates nanoscience and soft matter physics with biophysics to study several semiconductor-based biointerfaces. In this talk, I will first pinpoint domains where semiconductor properties can be leveraged for biointerface studies, providing a sample of numbers in semiconductor-based biointerfaces. Next, I will present a few recent studies from our lab and highlight key bioelectrical mechanisms underlying the non-genetic optical modulation interfaces. In particular, I will present a biology-guided two-step design principle for establishing tight intra-, inter-, and extracellular silicon-based bioelectrical interfaces in which semiconductors and the biological targets have matched mechanical properties and efficient signal transduction. Research in my lab has revealed how the physicochemical outputs from the photothermal, photofaradic, and photocapacitive effects of nanostructured semiconductors can be identified, quantified, and utilized at semiconductor-based biointerfaces to modulate electrical activities in neurons, cardiomyocytes and bacterial cells. The non-genetic and free-standing materials-based methods have the potential to overcome the limitations of current metal electrode-based devices such as bulk and cell membrane disruption, and are not dependent on genetic modifications. Finally, I will discuss new tissue-like materials and other biological targets that could catalyze future advances.

November 12, 2021 – Dr. Daniel Fredrickson

Professor, University of Wisconsin

Title: Frustrated and Allowed Structural Transitions: Lessons in Materials Design from Complex Intermetallic Phases

Abstract: Intermetallic phases—solid state compounds that form upon alloying metallic elements together—comprise a realm of immense structural diversity: their structures range from simple variants of the familiar fcc, bcc and hcp lattices, to the giant cubic unit cells of NaCd2 (>1,000 atoms/cell) and Al55.4Cu5.4Ta3.9 (23,134 atoms/cell), to quasicrystals such as YbCd5.7 whose geometries defy description with 3-dimensional unit cells. A limiting factor in realizing the broad technological applications promised by this diversity of atomic arrangements is our inability to understand, let alone control, the crystal structures of these compounds. An emerging theme in the study of these phases is a link between structural complexity and driving forces that are familiar from molecular chemistry. One focus of our group’s research has been pursuing this theme using an interaction of theory and experiment. In this seminar, we will discuss some of our recent advances in this pursuit, including (1) the development of the theoretical tools for creating graphical and intuitive representations the electronic and atomic size requirements of crystal structures, and (2) the Frustrated and Allowed Structural Transitions principle for understanding and predicting how structural phenomena arise from the coordination or competition between the electronic and atomic size factors.

November 16, 2021 – Shaun Peters MS Thesis Defense

In-person! SL 150 @ 2:00PM

(Live-Streamed via Zoom)


Structural and Mutational Characterization of the Blood Coagulation Factor VIII C Domain Lipid Binding Interface


Blood coagulation factor VIII (fVIII) functions as a cofactor in the blood coagulation cascade for proteolytic activation of factor X by factor IXa. During coagulation, fVIII is activated and subsequently binds to activated platelet surfaces by coordination of the fVIII C1 and C2 domains to the exposed phosphatidylserine of activated platelet membranes. Structural and mutational studies have suggested that both hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions occur between the two tandem C domains and activated lipid surfaces, but models of C domain phospholipid binding propose conflicting regions that directly interact with the membrane surface.

This thesis reports the determination of the molecular structure of an isolated fVIII porcine C2 domain in the presence of the phosphatidylserine headgroup (OPLS) at 1.3 Å. The OPLS molecule makes direct contact with Q2213, N2217, S2289, and R2320. This structure represents the first deposited structure of fVIII C domains in the presence of a lipid headgroup moiety. Furthermore, phospholipid binding characteristics of basic residues within the proposed phospholipid binding regions were investigated by mutagenesis. Specifically, mutations at R2163, R2320, and a double mutant of R2163/R2320 caused almost complete abrogation of lipid binding to soluble lipid nanodiscs. Using these findings, an updated model of fVIII lipid binding is proposed using structural information from C2 domain inhibitors, previous literature, and newly defined interactions between C2 and OPLS. Together, this study proposes that R2163 and R2320 are the center of a conserved phospholipid binding motif that extends across homologous blood clotting proteins.

November 19, 2021 – Dr. Sharon Neufeldt

Assistant Professor, Montana State University

Title: Ligand and Solvent-Controlled Site Selective Pd-Catalyzed Cross Coupling Reactions

Abstract: Catalytic cross coupling reactions are among the most widely used strategies for C—C and C—N bond formation in organic synthesis. However, when two or more electrophiles (usually aryl (pseudo)halides) are present in the reactants, controlling site selectivity becomes critical. The most common approach to controlling selectivity involves using different substrates to access different products (substrate control). A potentially more general approach is to manipulate selectivity through choice of catalyst/ligand or reaction conditions. This presentation will describe our recent work on ligand-controlled C4-selective cross-coupling of 2,4-dichloropyridine derivatives.  The mechanistic origin of solvent-controlled selectivity in cross-couplings of chloroaryl triflates will also be discussed. In addition to streamlining synthetic methods, this work provides insight into mechanistic details that could facilitate future catalyst design.

December 3, 2021 – Dr. Bassam Haddad

Postdoctoral researcher, Forschungszentrum Jülich (and WWU alum)

Title: Looking through the Computational Microscope: Investigation of the Mechanisms of Connexin-46 & -50 Gap Junctions

Abstract: The Reichow Lab’s focus is on the structure and dynamics underlying gap junction physiology using Cryo-Electron Microscopy (CryoEM) and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Connexin gap junctions form large channels directly coupling the cytoplasms of adjacent cells. There are 21 isoforms of gap junctions in humans, which are ubiquitously expressed throughout the body in a tissue-specific manner. The Reichow Lab recently solved the structures of the gap junctions expressed in the eye-lens, connexin-46 and connexin-50, using single-particle CryoEM. The 3D structural models alone provide limited information as to the functional differences between the two highly homologous structures. MD simulations, a.k.a. the computational microscope, utilize Newtonian mechanics to investigate conformational dynamics of biomolecules with atomic resolution – otherwise inaccessible through experimental approaches. These simulations extend the functional insights of gap junctions gained from CryoEM by elucidating the conformational dynamics underlying conductance, lipid-protein interactions, and the effects of disease-causing mutants in connexin-46 and connexin-50. Due to recent and rapid advancements in computational hardware, from commercial graphics cards to highly specialized supercomputers (e.g., Anton2), MD simulations have begun to revolutionize the field of structural biology, modifying the adage “Structure is Function” to “Structural-dynamics is Function”.

Winter Quarter 2022 Seminars

January 14, 2022  Dr. Steven Emory and WWU Chem Club

“Exploring Undergraduate Research Opportunities:  How to Find Them and Apply”

January 21, 2022 Dr. Leila Deravi, Northeastern University (virtual)

Protein-integrated Electronics: From Molecules to Machines

Abstract: We are developing chemo-mechatronic systems, structures, and machines that can transduce signals between the chemical, mechanical, and electrical domains in natural systems to produce intelligent behaviors in response to external stimuli. Inspired by systems spanning from how tissues build themselves to how animals camouflage, I will discuss our molecular-level approach to building new materials that can produce controllable transformations in response to specific chemical inputs for applications ranging from colorimetric sensors to implantable electronics.

Bio: Leila Deravi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Northeastern University where she leads the Biomaterials Design Group- an interdisciplinary research team composed of chemists, engineers, and materials scientists. Their work focuses on understanding fundamental mechanisms behind systems in biology that can be used to inform the design of new classes of biomaterials that interface with or enhance the performance of humans and the environment. Their research has broad appeal across academia and industry with support from NSF (CAREER and DMR) and the DOD (ONR, ARO, AERTA, and ARL), contributing to 18 publications, 4 patent applications (1 licensed to industry), and technology transferred to a startup. Their contributions to science have also received coverage by ca. 60 new outlets including The New York Times, National Geographic, and C&EN News.

Leila is an Alabama native. Before she started her independent faculty career, Leila received her BS in Chemistry at the University of Alabama, and her Ph.D. in Chemistry at Vanderbilt University. She subsequently completed her postdoc in Bioengineering at Harvard University.

January 28, 2022 - Dr. James Vyvyan, WWU 

Preparing Killer Resumes, CVs and Cover Letters  

February 4, 2022 - Dr. Malika Jeffries-EL, Boston University

Design and Synthesis of Organic Electronic Materials

Abstract: The past two decades has seen a dramatic increase in the number of consumer electronics in use. Previously, most households had a landline phone, one or two televisions and the occasional desktop computer. These days most people own numerous electronic devices, resulting in an increased demand on the semiconducting materials that drive this technology, in addition to the energy needed to power them. Accordingly, there has been a large amount of interest in the development of organic semiconductors, as many of the inorganic materials used in these devices are in limited supply.  Organic semiconductors are either polymers or small molecules that feature and extended pi-conjugation. These materials possess many exceptional electronic, optical, and thermal properties and thus are well suited for applications, such as transistors, solar cells, and light emitting diodes. Unfortunately, there are several issues that must be addressed before real-life products can be developed. Our group focuses on the design and synthesis of new organic semiconductors based on low cost and/or easily prepared starting materials. Since the properties of organic semiconductors can be readily modified through chemical synthesis, we have turned our attention towards the design and synthesis of novel aromatic building blocks. Our system of choice, benzobisazoles has many exceptional electronic, optical, and thermal properties making them suitable for diverse range of organic semiconducting applications. Our group developed several new materials based on benzobisoxazoles including wide band gap materials for use in organic light-emitting diodes and narrow band gap materials for use in photovoltaic cells. Similarly, we have also developed a versatile synthesis of benzodifuran, the oxygen analog of the popular electron rich building block benzodithiophene and have developing narrow band gap conjugated polymers based on it. Concurrently, we are also making molecular species based on this building block. Our work on the synthesis and properties and utility of these materials will be presented.  

Bio: Malika Jeffries-EL received BA degrees in Chemistry and Africana Studies at Wellesley College and M. Phil and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry from The George Washington University. After spending one year at Smith College as a Mendenhall Fellow she worked as a post-doctoral researcher under the direction of Professor Richard D. McCullough at Carnegie Mellon University. Then, she joined the faculty in the Chemistry Department at Iowa State University and was promoted to associate professor with tenure. In 2015 she was a Martin Luther King Jr. Visiting Professor in the chemistry department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She joined the Department of Chemistry and Division of Materials Science at Boston University in 2016. Since July 2020 she has served as the Associate Dean of the Graduate School in Arts and Sciences. 

Dr. Jeffries-EL's research focuses on the development of organic semiconductors–materials that combine the processing properties of polymers with the electronic properties of semiconductors. She has authored over 40 publications, received over 4000 citations, and given over 160 lectures domestically and abroad. She is an ACS Fellow (2018), fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (2021), and has won numerous awards including the Percy Juliana Award from the National Organization of Black Chemist and Chemical Engineers (2021), ACS Stanley C. Israel Regional Award for Advancing Diversity in the Chemical Sciences (2015), the Iota Sigma Pi Agnes Fay Morgan Award (2013), the ACS-Women Chemist Committee Rising Star award (2012), the Lloyd Ferguson Award from the National Organization of Black Chemist and Chemical Engineers (2009) and 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award (2008). She is currently an Associate Editor for the Journal of Materials Chemistry C and Materials Advances. She has also served on the editorial advisory boards for Macromolecules and Chemical and Engineering News. Professor EL, is also a staunch advocate for diversity and dedicated volunteer that has served in several activities within the American Chemical Society including the advisory board for the Women Chemist of Color Initiative and the Women Chemist Committee. She also serves the community through her work with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (AKA). Dr. Jeffries-EL is a native of Brooklyn, New York.  

February 18, 2022 - Dr. Ryan Looper, University of Utah

Dissecting the Nucleoside Antibiotics as Universal Translation Inhibitor

Abstract: Without question, natural products have provided the lion share of leads, if not drugs themselves for the treatment of bacterial infections. The bacterial arms race, fueled by selection and survival pressures has delivered a natural arsenal of small molecules targeting the most essential of life processes.

A class of natural products known as the “nucleoside antibiotics” have historically been recognized as universal inhibitors of the ribosome and can inhibit translation in prokaryotes, eukaryotes and archaea. While they have served an essential role in dissecting the biochemical underpinnings of the enzymatic functions of the ribosome, they have not proven therapeutically useful as they target the highly conserved ribosomal RNA in the P-site and are toxic to mammalian cells. We will describe our studies on the natural product amicetin, a nucleoside antibiotic that we have demonstrated “breaks the rule” and is not a universal translation inhibitor. Our initial attempts to stabilize and simplify this scaffold are presented with the ultimate goal of rebuilding the compound with improved penetrance to bacterial cells. If successful, this scaffold would demonstrate a path forward for a new class of antibiotics capable of selectively targeting the ribosomal P-site.

February 25, 2022 - Dr. Christy Haynes, University of Minnesota - HOSTED IN PERSON - SL 110

Polymer-enabled Plasmonic Sensing

Abstract: There are a variety of small molecule toxins found in crops that present hazards in food production and consumption. This work exploits polymers as capture agents for various toxin targets such as mycotoxins. By attaching short, anchored polymer chains complexed with the target of interest to plasmonic substrates, surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) can be employed to detect the mycotoxins. SERS is an attractive analytical signal transduction mechanism due to its high enhancement factors and the ability to assign specific vibrational modes to certain molecules, even at very low concentrations. By providing fingerprint spectra for various targets, one can easily detect more than one target mycotoxin in relevant complex matrices. Pairing experimental SERS with computational modeling helps confirm hypotheses about binding and target/polymer interaction. Overall, this talk will demonstrate optimization of SERS sensing to achieve limits of detection comparable to current detection methods with a simpler and more flexible signal transduction mechanism, providing an opportunity for future applications in complex matrices where these toxins are traditionally found.

Bio: Christy Haynes is the Distinguished McKnight University Professor at the University of Minnesota where she leads the Haynes Research Group, a lab dedicated to applying analytical and nanomaterials chemistry in the context of biomedicine, ecology, and toxicology. Professor Haynes completed her undergraduate work at Macalester College in 1998 and earned a Ph.D. in chemistry at Northwestern University in 2003 under the direction of Richard P. Van Duyne. Her thesis work focused on plasmonic nanomaterials and applications of surface-enhanced Raman scattering, and that work continues in her independent laboratory that was launched at the University of Minnesota in 2005. Among many honors, she has been recognized as an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, a Searle Scholar, a Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar, and a National Institutes of Health "New Innovator." Professor Haynes is currently the Associate Head of the University of Minnesota Department of Chemistry, the Associate Director of the National Science Foundation-funded Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology, and an Associate Editor for the journal Analytical Chemistry.

March 4, 2022 - Dr. Jeff Cernohous, CEO and Founder Infinite Materials Solutions, a Nagase Company

Customized Material Solutions for the 3D Printing Market

Abstract: 3D printing has become mainstream technology over the past decade and has exploded to nearly a >$20B industry and garnered hundreds of billions of dollars of investment capital.  One of the key promises of 3D Printing is that it will level the playing field and allow anyone to produce functional components from an electronic file, cost effectively.  This concept of transfer of technological power from large corporations, academia and governments to individual inventors has the potential revolutionize and drive the future GIG economy.  This change also opens up incredible opportunities for customized materials for individual applications in 3DP.  This talk will outline the opportunities and practical challenges with this vision and provide some specific case studies where our company has created customized materials for specific 3DP applications.

March 11, 2022 - Dr. Brian Michel, University of Denver

Development of Fluorescent Probes for the Detection of Ethylene

Abstract: Ethylene is an important plant hormone that is involved in a variety of developmental processes including agriculturally important ripening of certain fruits. Owing to its significant roles, a number of approaches have previously been developed to detect ethylene via molecular interactions. However, previous strategies have not used a discrete molecular interaction for homogenous detection. Our group has developed profluorescent chemodosimeters for the selective detection of ethylene. The approach consists of a BODIPY fluorophore with a pendant ruthenium recognition element based on a Hoveyda-Grubbs 2nd generation catalysts. A marked increase in fluorescence is observed upon exposure to ethylene and selectivity is observed for ethylene over other alkenes, providing a unique approach towards ethylene detection. We can image ethylene in live cells from multiple relevant sources.

Bio: Brian Michel received his B.S. in Chemistry from Western Washington University in 2006 where he did research in the Kriz and Vyvyan Labs. Brian was then drawn to the snow and research at the University of Utah, where he completed his Ph.D. with Prof. Matthew Sigman. In the Sigman Lab, Brian developed a highly selective variant of the Wacker oxidation. During this time he gained an appreciation for using mechanistic insight to develop and optimize reactions. In 2011, Brian moved west to work with Prof. Chris Chang at the University of California, Berkeley, where he designed small molecule fluorescent probes for the detection of carbon monoxide in live cells and developed a passion for detecting biologically relevant analytes based on biocompatible reactivity. Brian joined the faculty at the University of Denver Fall 2014. His group is interested in using the reactivity of transition metals to develop new synthetic methods and design probes for the detection of biologically relevant small molecules.

Spring 2022

April 8, 2022 - Dr. Steven Emory 

College to Career Panel


April 15, 2022 - David Vacadlo, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Chemical biology tools for probing and perturbing carbohydrate processing enzymes in mammalian systems

Abstract:  In this presentation I will discuss work focused on the major research theme of the Laboratory of Chemical Biology, which is centered on the design and use of chemical biology tools to probe and perturb glycans and carbohydrate processing enzymes in cells and in vivo. Topics to be discussed will include our studies on the function of the enzymes that regulate levels of the intracellular O-GlcNAc modification, the creation and characterization of inhibitors of these enzymes, and how these have led to industrial efforts that have advanced such compounds into human clinical trials. I will also describe recent work on the creation and optimization of live cell fluorescence imaging agents that allow quantitative measurement of the activity of glycosidases in live mammalian cells by microscopy or flow cytometry. Examples on the use of these discovery-focused chemical probes to advance fundamental research will be presented. These examples will include studies on examining the roles of O-GlcNAc in nutrient sensing and cellular proteostasis, as well as developing high throughput screening methods to identify modulators of carbohydrate processing enzymes implicated in various diseases ranging from cancer to neurodegeneration.

April 22, 2022 - Mike Harms, Associate Professor, Institute of Molecular Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Oregon

Ensembles, epistasis, and evolution: how biophysics shapes evolutionary outcomes

Abstract: Macromolecules exist as ensembles of interchanging conformations. Such dynamics are important for molecular function and regulation. I hope to convince you these ensembles also shape evolution. I will discuss several lines of ongoing work. 1) Using theoretical and computational approaches, we found that changes in ensemble composition can profoundly alter the effects of mutations. 2) Using experiments on the lac repressor and an RNA riboswitch, we revealed that these predicted effects are detectable both in vitro and in vivo. 3) Using phylogenetic reconstructions and experimental studies of the innate immune protein S100A9, we revealed that molecular ensembles have indeed shaped the historical evolution of natural proteins. Together, this work is revealing an intimate connection between molecular ensembles—an inescapable biophysical feature of macromolecules — and how these molecules evolve

April 29, 2022 - Jacob Brockerman, Associate Scientist, AGC Biologics

Characterizing Protein Electrostatics by NMR Spectroscopy

Abstract: Charged and polar amino acids serve key functions in proteins. They act as catalytic residues in enzymes and provide contributions to protein stability. The labile hydrogens on these amino acids undergo exchange with water and thus are typically difficult to characterize by current techniques in structural biology. Their properties are often inferred from biophysical arguments rather than direct experimental determination. In this talk, I will discuss tools used to probe protein electrostatics. I will show their implementation on model systems and discuss what was learned about protein structure & enzymatic catalysis of these model systems.  


May 6, 2022 - Slesnik Symposium

Annual Slesnik Symposium 

May 13, 2022 - Steve Reichow Associate Professor  of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Department of Chemistry Portland State University

Mechanistic Insights into Gap Junction Communication Pathways Visualized by Cryo-EM

Abstract: A major aim in the Reichow Lab is to understand how the cells in our body organize complex mechanisms of cell-to-cell communication, through the use of specialized proteins called gap junctions. These large pore-forming membrane channels directly couple neighboring cells, enabling direct passage to an array of electrical and chemical information. In this way, gap junctions dynamically coordinate the synchronous contraction of our heart, facilitate the instantaneous response of electrical synapses in our brain, and regulate long-range signaling and metabolic coupling in nearly every tissue in our bodies. Due to these diverse physiological roles, aberrant function of the gap junctions is associated with a variety of human disease, such as blindness, deafness, heart attack, stroke and cancers. Yet, the field still lacks a fundamental understanding for how these channels work at the molecular level. Our lab is harnessing emerging technologies of Cryo-EM, coupled with molecular dynamics simulations, biophysical analyses, and functional studies to elucidate the complex properties of gap junction channels involved in human health and disease.

May 20, 2022 - Scholars Week

2022 Scholars Week

May 27, 2022 - Parisa Hosseinzadeh, Assistant Professor, Knight Campus University of Oregon

**Starting at 3:00 not 3:15

Designer proteins for biomedical applications

Abstract: The recent advances in protein structure prediction and design has opened the door to many exciting new opportunities in generating designer proteins for a number of biomedical applications. In this talk I will talk about how my lab uses these methods to generate proteins and peptides that bind to other proteins selectively as biosensors, drug delivery vehicles, or pharmaceutics.

Winter Quarter 2023 Seminars

Friday, January 13th

Prof. Leah Witus, Macalester College

Title: "Exploration of the role of turn position residues in beta-hairpin peptide catalysts and a detour into science communication"

Seminar via Zoom.

Friday, January 20th

Prof. Amanda Patrick, Mississippi State University

Title: "Measuring more than mass with mass spectrometry: Biomolecule isobar differentiation and the fate of ionic liquids as examples"

Seminar via Zoom. 

Friday, January 27th

No Seminar

Friday, February 3rd

Prof. Amanda Hummon, The Ohio State University

Title: "Spatial SILAC — Exploring spatially-defined changes to the proteome"

Friday, February 10th

No Seminar

Friday, February 17th

Prof. Bethany Buck Koehntop, University of Utah

Title: "Investigating the methyl-CpG binding protein ZBTB4 in mediating epigenetic-based transcriptional processes"

SL 130 

Friday, February 24th

Prof. Kamil Godula, University of California, San Diego

Title: "Hidden in plain slime - chemical tools to study how pathogens use sugars to subvert the protective mucosal barrier"

Seminar via Zoom.

Friday, March 3rd

Prof. Kevin Kou, University of California, Riverside

Title: "Innovating Transformations of Electron-Rich Molecules: Synthesis of Terpene and Alkaloid Natural Products"

Seminar via Zoom.

Friday, March 10th

Prof. Russ Algar, University of British Columbia

Title: “Designer Materials and Smartphone Devices for Bioanalysis”

SL 130

Winter Quarter 2024 Seminars

Friday, January 12th

No Seminar

Friday, January 19th

WWU Chemistry Club, Exploring Undergraduate Research Experiences

Friday, January 26th

Dr. Clint Spiegel, WWU 

Title: Structural Biology of Blood Coagulation Factor VIII and the Immune Response to Hemophilia A Treatment (plus five learned lessons during a career in science)