Category: Front Page

Weber receives Inaugural Laursen Scholarship

June 23rd, 2014 in Front Page

LSRS Recipient, Jeremy Weber  (photo courtesy of Steven Hannigan)

LSRS Recipient, Jeremy Weber
(photo courtesy of Steven Hannigan)

Undergraduate student Jeremy Weber, a rising Junior doing research in Prof. Linda Doerrer’s laboratory, is the inaugural 2014 recipient of the Laursen Summer Research Scholarship (LSRS).  Jeremy’s summer research continues his investigations in the Doerrer group into a synthesis of nanoscale, zero-valent iron particles.  His work focuses on hydrothermal and inert atmosphere syntheses to make these reactions easily scalable.  The goal of this project is to take advantage of iron’s high magnetic susceptibility and use these particles as a contrast agent for magnetic imaging.

The scholarship is funded by the Laursen Endowment, which was created to honor Prof. Emeritus Richard Laursen by his former students. The goal of the Laursen Endowment is to advance the training of highly qualified BU chemistry students interested in pursuing scientific careers by providing salary support pursue research during the summer term.

Doerrer Student Receives 2014 NSF Fellowship

April 11th, 2014 in Front Page, Graduate

Ariel Hyre (GRS 2013)

Ariel Hyre (GRS 2013)

Ariel Hyre, a first-year graduate student in Professor Linda Doerrer‘s laboratory, has received a 2014 NSF Graduate Research Program Fellowship on her initial attempt.   NSF stated that she was awarded the 3-year fellowship based on her “outstanding abilities and accomplishments, as well as [her] potential to contribute to strengthening the vitality of the US science and engineering enterprise.”  Ariel, who came to BU after receiving her BS from Brandeis University in 2013 (Cum Laude, High Honors in Chemistry), is deeply committed to materials research that will contribute to environmentally sustainable energy.

As an undergraduate, Ariel explored many aspects of chemistry, working in three different laboratories at Brandeis to learn organometallic techniques and instrumentation (with Professor Christine Thomas);  engineering-based materials research (with Professor Seth Fraden); and oscillatory chemical reactions  (with Professor Irving Epstein).   Coming to BU, she decided to join the Doerrer Group and work on a project that focuses on synthesizing one-dimensional, heterobimetallic nanowires supported and bridged by carboxylate ligands. The infinite chains found in the crystals of these complexes will be tested for electronic conductivity to understand the fundamental design principles needed to produce highly efficient nanoscale wires for electronic devices. Other research directions within the Doerrer lab include C-H and O-H bond oxidation and facile synthesis of zero-valent iron nanoparticles.

Ariel, who minored in political science as an undergraduate, is also committed to scientific outreach, believing that a vibrant scientific community is vital to the health and development of society, at the both local and national levels.  She and Professor Doerrer have exciting plans to develop a bilingual English/Spanish outreach program for the elementary school students.  Their aim is to engage students from one of the most underrepresented groups in the sciences in the excitement of chemistry.

 

 

Chemistry Senior Receives 2014 NSF Fellowship

April 11th, 2014 in Front Page

Dharati Joshi (Chemistry, Class of 2014)

Dharati Joshi (Chemistry, Class of 2014)

Chemistry major, Dharati Joshi, who is doing honors research with Prof. Ramesh Jasti, has received a coveted NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.   Dharati has decided to pursue her graduate studies at UC Berkeley.  (She had also received offers from Harvard, MIT, and Stanford among others.) Wherever she goes to continue her studies, Dharati knows here career plans. Simply put, she wants to advance and teach chemistry.  Her research goal is to create useful compounds and materials that have applications in medicine, materials, and environmental research problems.

Since coming to BU in 2010, Dharati has managed to balance her studies (Dean’s List each semester) with her science outreach (to elementary students) with her passion for research.  She has conducted research in three laboratories (the Nakanishi Group at Columbia University – where she was first author on a publication in the J. Nat. Prod; the Stephenson Group at BU; and, since 2013, in the Jasti Group).  This experience has given her truly interdisciplinary training in natural products, medicinal chemistry, methodology development, organic synthesis, and materials science.  It was her experience in the three labs that has fueled her interest in the innovative synthesis of useful products.  For her application, her research essay was on “Carbon Dioxide Sequestration into Useful Polymers using Flow Chemistry.”  What project she will actually focus on in graduate school is still unknown.  What is a sure bet is that Dharati will make significant contributions to whatever area of chemistry she chooses to pursue.

Commemorating Prof. Emeritus Hartman (1931-2014)

March 27th, 2014 in Alumni, Faculty, Front Page

When Prof. Standish C. Hartman (‘Stan’) retired in 2005, the Department of Chemistry held a grand celebration honoring his promotion to Professor Emeritus.  A man of quiet dignity, with a dry sense of humor, Stan seemed taken aback by the turnout and tributes.  Stan’s modesty prevented him from seeing what everyone else knew:  that during his 37-years at BU as an educator, scientist, and Chair, he was instrumental in the impressive development of the Department of Chemistry, enabling many of the programmatic structures currently in place at the interface of chemistry and biology.  It is with great sadness that we note Stan Hartman’s passing on March 24, 2014.

Stan Hartman joined the BU faculty in 1968 as an Associate Professor of Chemistry.   He had received his PhD in Biochemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1957. His academic career started as an instructor of Biological Chemistry (1957-1959) at MIT.  From 1959 to 1963 he was an Associate in Biological Chemistry at the Harvard Medical School (HMS).  He became an Assistant Professor in Biological Chemistry at HMS in 1964 until he came to BU in 1968.  Prof. Hartman’s research interests were in enzymology (mechanisms of enzyme action) and recombinant DNA (retroviral vectors, gene isolation and characterization, mechanisms of mutagenesis, and methods for identifying kin relationships).  As an educator he taught general biochemistry, enzymology (graduate level), physical chemistry of biomolecules (graduate level), and recombinant DNA (senior-graduate level).  He was Chair of the Department of Chemistry from 1993 to 1997, then served as Associate Chair from 1997 until his retirement in 2005.

The brief bio above itemizes the facts of Stan’s academic career.  We are fortunate in having a record of his “voice.”  Upon his retirement, we published a “special issue” of a Chemistry newsletter dedicated to his career and contributions.  The issue is primarily an interview with Prof. Hartman in which he shared insights from his nearly five decades of experience.  His long career had given him a perspective that few can match. In the interview, Stan generously shared his candid views and insights on academic life in a department that has grown and evolved in response to the students and science it serves.  Please take a moment to read the interview and appreciate what a wonderful member of the BU community we have lost.  To access the newsletter, click here.

Donations  Stan Hartman’s family have asked that any contributions in his honor respect his wishes to benefit the Department of Chemistry.   Donations commemorating Prof. Hartman can be made as follows:

By check Make out to: Trustees of Boston University
Memo line: “Department of Chemistry in Honor of Stan Hartman”
Mail to: Boston University
Department of Chemistry
c/o of Prof. Lawrence Ziegler, Chair
590 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA 02215
To give on-line Go to: https://www.bu.edu/alumni-forms/forms/giving/online/index/
In gift designation box: “Department of Chemistry in Honor of Stan Hartman”

Many Designs: One Winner

March 21st, 2014 in Front Page

In the summer of 2013, the Chemistry Department held a competition for its members (graduate students, chemistry majors, postdocs, and staff) to submit graphic designs for a Departmental logo.  The winner would receive an iPad and have the satisfaction of knowing that his/her design would by a symbol used by the Department for many purposes, including the “welcome-to-the-department” T-shirts we give to all incoming graduate students and department visitors.   The challenging task of the “Logo Committee” was to choose among 25 great entries.  In the words of the committee chair, “who knew there was so much graphic design talent in the Department?”

In the end, the winning design was the one submitted by Gregory Ng Pack.  Greg, who is now a third-year graduate student, did his undergraduate work at the University of Chicago and came to BU to work with Professor Larry Ziegler.  For his project, he is using ultrafast two-dimensional infrared spectroscopy to study solvation dynamics in supercritical solutions.  Greg, shown in the picture below, is particularly interested in studying the molecular motions that occur near the critical point in solvents such as carbon dioxide and water.  The chemistry logo was actually Greg’s first experience with graphic design.  He said, “as I was reading the email for the logo contest, the idea immediately came to me:  I downloaded the trial version of Adobe Illustrator and just starting drawing it.” Great first try!

031914greg1

 

 

Grinstaff Group is Featured in BUToday Special Report

March 11th, 2014 in Front Page

The interdisciplinary research of Prof. Mark Grinstaff and his group is featured in a BU Today, Special Report.  Prof. Grinstaff, who holds a joint appointment in the Departments of Chemistry (College of Arts and Sciences) and Biomedical Engineering (School of Engineering), leads a lab whose current students come from graduate programs in Chemistry, Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Pharmacology.

The article chapter titles capture its interdisciplinary theme:

  • Part 1:  From Grad Students to Groundbreakers, The Grinstaff Group Taps Several Disciplines to SOLVE MEDICAL PROBLEMS
  • Part 2:  Drug-Packed Nanoparticles KO MESOTHELIOMA, Targeted Method Beats Traditional Chemo
  • Part 3:  Hi Tech Mesh Delivers Chemo to Patients with Early-Stage LUNG CANCER, Slow Release of Drugs Along Incision Targets Remaining Tumor Cells
  • Part 4:  A Better Way to Find and Treat OSTEOARTHRITIS, Imaging Technology and Better Lubricants Could Slow the Rush to Joint Replacement

The Special Report was written by BU Today journalist, Leslie Friday, and first appeared on 02/03/2014.  To send Ms. Friday a message, please click here.

 

BU Research and Education Benefit from New CIC Instruments

March 5th, 2014 in Front Page, Uncategorized

BU CIC Sign

In response to BU’s continued success in recruiting faculty who are addressing today’s most challenging research problems, the Chemical Instrumentation Center (CIC) on the Charles River Campus is successfully growing its infrastructure with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the University, and industry.

National Science Foundation

National Science Foundation

In September 2013, the Chemistry Department and the CIC received support from the NSF, with cost-sharing by BU, to purchase a MALDI-TOF Mass Spectrometer.  This instrument will enable the work of faculty, postdoctoral researchers, graduate students, and undergraduates in Chemistry, Biology, Biomedical Engineering and other departments of the Charles River Campus.  It will help advance chemical research in the life processes, including such areas as dendritic and linear polymers, proteins and peptides, and novel synthetic organic materials.  It addition, the MALDI-TOF will enable truly interdisciplinary training at the interface of Chemistry-Biology, Polymers, and Organic Materials.

With support from the University,  Chemistry has also recently (January 2014) purchased a 300 MHz Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectrometer to replace an obsolete system.  The new high resolution FT NMR will facilitate the access and development of more sophisticated experiments in undergraduate courses.  The Chemistry Department provides hands-on training to more than 1,500 undergraduate students on NMR, LC/MS and other advanced analytical characterization techniques on a yearly basis.  In conjunction with the LC/MS, supported by the University in 2011, the new 300 MHz NMR will continue BU’s efforts to prepare its undergraduates with the modern instrumentation skills necessary for their graduate and/or industry careers.

Director, Dr. Norman Lee, has led the growth of the CIC since 2008

Director, Dr. Norman Lee, has led the growth of the CIC since 2008

Most recently, in February 2014, the CIC was the recipient of a major instrument donation (mass spectrometer) from the biotechnology community.  The instrument, a Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance (LTQ-FT-ICR) MassSpectrometer will advance studies on advanced proteomics and metabolomics.  It will immediately impact the research programs of faculty across several departments of CAS and ENG, as well as at the BU Medical School and cognate colleges (Wellesley and Simmons).   This donated instrument is only the most recent from private industry.  Past donations have included other mass spectrometers and liquid chromatography instrumentation.

The CIC, which was redesigned in 2005, is located in the lower level of the Metcalf Science Complex (SCI) with satellite space in the Life Sciences & Engineering Building (LSE).  Under the leadership of its Director, Dr. Norman Lee, the Center has grown to become a core resource supporting research and teaching activities on the CRC and the BU Medical Campus.  It houses four major areas of analytical and optical instrumentation, including chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC-MS, HPLC, LC/MS), magnetic resonance spectroscopy (EPR, NMR), optical & analytical spectroscopy (FT-IR, Fluorescence, UV-Vis, etc) and x-ray crystallography.  For further information about the Center, please visit the Center’s website.

Reinhard Research Rates Two Journal Covers

March 3rd, 2014 in Faculty, Front Page, Research

This February, the Reinhard Laboratory‘s research made the cover of two peer-reviewed journals:  Biomaterials Science and Advanced Functional Materials.