Newsletter – February 2011 – Header 2

BU Chemistry

Recent BU Chemistry Highlights

BU Chemistry Alumnus Elected ACS President

Bassam Z. Shakhashiri, Professor of Chemistry and the William T. Evjue Distinguished Chair for the Wisconsin Idea at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was elected 2011 ACS President-Elect. He will serve as ACS President in 2012 and Immediate Past President in 2013. The ACS currently has more than 161,000 members. It is the world’s largest scientific society and one of the leading sources of authoritative scientific information. Dr. Shakhashiri received his B.A. degree in chemistry from Boston University in 1960 (followed by an M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Maryland), and is a recipient of a Boston University Alumni Award.

Stephenson Group Receives NIH Funding for Alkaloid Synthesis

Professor Corey Stephenson and his group have received a 5-year, $1.7 million research award from the National Institutes of Health (NIGMS) to develop novel catalytic approaches to the synthesis of alkaloid natural products. These visible light-mediated methods provide innovative avenues toward challenging molecular architectures with broad biological activity.

BU Postdoctoral Researcher Receives Humboldt Fellowship

Dr. Philip Moquist has received a postdoctoral research fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to study in Germany with Professor Gerhard Erker at the Westfaelische Wilhelms-Universitaet Muenster Organisch-Chemisches Institut in Muenster.

Research Provides Insights into Protein-Misfolding Diseases

The work of Professor John Straub and his collaborators at the University of Maryland, Dr. Govardhan Reddy and Professor Dave Thirumalai demonstrates that when aggregation occurs in aqueous solution between amyloid or prion peptides — which are associated with protein-misfolding diseases — a dry interface between the biomolecules forms in two different ways, suggesting how aggregation rates might differ substantially between proteins (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1008616107).

Upcoming Events of Note

Please join us for the Novartis Lecture (March 21) and the Lambert Lecture (March 28). The Novartis Lecture is sponsored by the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR) to feature innovative young scientists working in synthetic organic chemistry. This year’s speaker will be Prof. Regan Thomson from Northwestern University. The Lambert Lecture is supported by an endowment established by alumnus Benjamin Lambert (CAS ’55) and is given by distinguished organic chemists. This year’s speaker will be Prof. Yoshito Kishi from Harvard University. The BU Chemistry community and alumni are invited to these seminars, as well as to the receptions that follow where they can meet the speakers.

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