Category: Award

Professor Kamenetska Awarded Prestigious 3 Year Air Force Young Investigator Research Program Grant

December 13th, 2018 in Award, BUWIC, Faculty, Fundraising, Grants, Grants & Funding, Recognition, Research

We are excited to announce that the Boston University Chemistry Department’s newest faculty member, Professor Maria Kamenetska, was recently awarded an Air Force Young Investigator Research Program Grant (AFOSR-YIP) for her novel work on robust DNA conductance and force signatures for detecting protein binding to DNA with base-pair resolution.

With the creation of the BU HUB educational requirements, Boston University has committed to a fully integrated and interdisciplinary approach to higher education. Dr. Kamenetska, who goes by Masha, holds a joint appointment between the Chemistry and Physics departments and is also a member of our Materials Science & Engineering Department. Masha’s joint appointment and her truly interdisciplinary research are an excellent example of BU’s commitment to educational integration.

The AFOSR-YIP funded project, which will support her work and that of 2 graduate students, focuses on using DNA conductivity as a sensor for DNA-protein interactions. The innovative research will first investigate the degree of electron transfer as a function of binding conformation of DNA between metal electrodes to help address some of the debates in the literature regarding electron transport in DNA. She and her research group will use this information to correlate the specific ways that DNA constructs bind in the junction and conduct current, which will create a unique conductance signature of various conformations of the DNA molecule in the junction; this will allow her and her research group to probe protein binding to specific base-pairs of that molecule. The application of this technique will be used to investigate the basic unit of Chromatin—known as the nucleosome—which controls the access of DNA for transcription and thus plays a key role in gene regulation.

Dr. Kamenetska says this about the award and the project “I am grateful to the Air Force Office of Scientific Research for this opportunity. With their support, I look forward to developing a deeper understanding of electron transport properties of DNA and using this knowledge to establish novel single molecule techniques for probing structure-function relationships in biology and material science.”

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Department of Chemistry 2017-2018 AY Outstanding Student Awards

August 30th, 2018 in Award, Department, Elliott, Sean, Faculty, Front Page, Graduate, Keyes, Tom, Liu, Pinghua, Recognition, Students, Teaching, Whitty, Adrian

We were pleased to announce the Department of Chemistry student award winners for the 2017-2018 academic year at the Orientation BBQ. For those who may have missed it, here are the award winners.

 

Sugata Ray Memorial Award for International Students: Nathchar Naowarojna (Liu Lab)

This award was established by the Ray family in memory of their son, Sugata Ray, a former graduate student in the Chemistry Department, to recognize an international Ph.D. candidate each year who excels in his or her graduate studies. Research, academic performance, teaching, and service contributions to the Department are all considered in selection of the awardee.

Professor Liu writes, “Can has demonstrated her potential to thrive in the academic environment and greatly contribute to the field of natural product biosynthesis and enzymology. Her skills and knowledge in research, and dedication to mentorship make her an exceptionally qualified nominee.” She has authored or contributed to an impressive number of publications, and demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to undergraduate mentoring through her teaching assignments and undergraduate research supervising.

 

Lichtin Award for Research: David Stelter (Keyes)

This award was established in honor of Norman Lichtin, a distinguished research scientist and former Chair of the Chemistry Department. The award recognizes students that are distinguished by their exceptional contributions to chemical research in their doctoral studies. 

Professor Keyes writes, “David is a wonderful student, one of my best ever. Despite having to teach almost full time he has achieved significant research results, and never lost his enthusiasm, while also being a joy to have as a TF.” David is first author on two papers, contributed to two more, and has a large body of results to write up and exciting work in progress.

 

Feldman Award: Lindsey Walker (Elliott Lab)

The Feldman Fund was established by the Feldman family to memorialize Julius Feldman, who served for many years as Associate Chairman of the Chemistry Department and who took a special interest in the welfare of graduate students. The Feldman Award recognizes outstanding accomplishments in research, teaching or service.

Lindsey is a fifth year student in the Elliott Lab who has not only made significant and impressive research contributions but is a great communicator of science, and stands out as an excellent leader.

Professor Elliott writes, “Lindsey is a sharp, devoted, creative and highly driven student, who is well on her way to being a successful scientific leader. She is a talented researcher who is motivated by a concern for the environment, and a desire to use electrochemistry as a functional tool to improve society. She is a wonderful student, and I am very lucky to have her in my lab.”

 

Departmental Award for Outstanding Graduate Student Research: Lauren Viarengo (Whitty Lab)

Professor Whitty writes, “Lauren has a strong intellect and is exceptionally diligent and conscientious in everything she does. Lauren is also highly sought after as a Teaching Fellow, being very conscientious and having excellent interpersonal and communication skills. But what really sets her apart is her fearlessness in taking on new research challenges, and her exceptional drive. I believe she serves as an example of everything we look for in our very best graduate students, and is an ideal candidate for a graduate student award to recognize her extraordinary capabilities and efforts.”

 

 

 

 

Congratulations to all of our award winners!

 

 

2018 GROW (Greater Boston Research Opportunities for young Women) Poster Session

August 11th, 2018 in Award, Department, Faculty, Front Page, Grants, Grants & Funding, NSF, Outreach, Perlstein, Deborah, Recognition, Research, Teaching

As they finished out the sixth and final week of the 2018 GROW (Greater Boston Research Opportunities for Young Women) program, the 12 summer interns present their capstone to the six weeks of research conducted during a Poster Session held on Friday, August 10th in the Science Metcalf Building Lounge located on the first floor from 2:00 – 4:00 PM.

LERNet was created in 1998 to provide programming for K-12 students interested in pursuing the STEM fields and to encourage teacher development. In recent years, Brossman says, she has become more focused on young women, because they face a gender imbalance in STEM fields. The GROW program came into being this year after Deborah Perlstein, a CAS assistant professor of chemistry, came to Brossman looking for ways to broaden the impact of a research project so that it would satisfy a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant requirement. After her project was funded for one student, they decided to go further.

“For young women interested in careers in math and science, it’s really important for them to have an opportunity to get in lab and see what that’s like,” says Perlstein. “It’s also important for them to have the opportunity to see some (female) role models. That was important to me in choosing my career path.

”Brossman and Perlstein put together a program with funding from sources including Vertex, Pfizer, and other companies; LERNet; the chemistry and biology departments; CAS; BU’s ARROWS (Advance, Recruit, Retain & Organize Women in STEM);  and existing NSF grants, all adding up to about $30,000. Despite a late posting of the application, in April, some 60 rising juniors and seniors from Greater Boston high schools applied. A dozen students were placed in BU chemistry and biology labs and assigned research projects and graduate student or post-doc mentors.

“I wanted to create an accessible program for local students who may not be able to afford some of the existing programs or who needed to work during the summer,” Brossman says. “We wanted to give the students a stipend so we could eliminate any financial barriers to participation.”

Here are some photos from this years Poster Session:

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Dr. Malika Jeffries-EL named a 2018 American Chemical Society (ACS) Fellow

August 8th, 2018 in ACS, Award, BUWIC, Front Page, Jeffries-EL Malika, Recognition, Uncategorized

Dr. Malika Jeffries-EL, 2018 ACS Fellow

We are proud to announce that Professor Malika Jeffries-EL has been named one of the 2018 ACS Fellows. The purpose of the ACS Fellows Program is to recognize and honor members of the American Chemical Society for their outstanding achievements in and contributions to the science and the profession and for their equally exemplary service to the Society. The ACS Fellows Program uniquely recognizes a different standard of achievement and service.  Specifically, the Fellow of the American Chemical Society (ACSF) designation is awarded to a member who, in some capacity, has made exceptional contributions to the science or profession and has provided excellent volunteer service to the ACS community.

Dr. Malika Jeffries-EL and her research group focuses her research interests on the development of organic semiconductors–materials that combine the processing properties of polymers with the electronic properties of semiconductors. Prior to joining the Department of Chemistry in 2016 she was as Associate Professor at Iowa State University, most recently serving as a Martin Luther King Jr. Visiting Professor at MIT. She has been honored twice previously by the ACS with an ACS Women Chemist Committee Rising Star award in 2012 and a Stanley C. Israel Regional Award for Advancing Diversity in the Chemical Sciences in 2015.

 

Dr. Jeffries-EL has consistently been an active member of ACS having served on the editorial advisory boards for Macromolecules and Chemical and Engineering News. She has served in several activities within the American Chemical Society including the advisory board for the Women Chemist of Color Program, executive member of the Division of Organic Chemistry, Program co-chair for the Polymer division, member of the Society Committee on Education and councilor for the Ames local section. She is currently an Associate Editor for the Journal of Materials Chemistry C, a publication of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

 

Professor Malika Jeffries-EL will be celebrated as an ACS Fellow during the 256th National ACS Meeting and Exposition’s induction ceremony on Monday, August 20, 2018, at the Sheraton Boston Hotel, Grand Ballroom, from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

 

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Dr. Morton Z. Hoffman is the 2018 recipient of The Zaida C. Morales Martinez Prize for Outstanding Mentoring of ACS Scholars

August 8th, 2018 in ACS, Award, Emeriti, Faculty, Front Page, Hoffman, Morton, Recognition, Teaching

Professor Emeritus Dr. Morton Z. Hoffman

Dr. Morton Z. Hoffman, Professor Emeritus in the Chemistry Department of Boston University, is this years recipient of The Zaida C. Morales Martinez Prize for Outstanding Mentoring of ACS Scholars. This prize was initiated by Dr. Robert L. Lichter and his wife Diane Scott Lichter with a grant from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation. The annual $1,000 prize recognizes individuals who have done an exemplary job in mentoring students in the ACS Scholars Program. It is named in honor of Ms. Morales-Martinez, the mentoring consultant for the ACS Scholars Program, who was instrumental in the establishment of the Scholars Program and other initiatives to address the need to increase the presence and participation of underrepresented minorities in chemical science.

A native of New York City, Mort Hoffman attended Hunter College and received a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Michigan. He spent a year as a postdoctoral research associate at Sheffield University in England before joining the chemistry faculty of Boston University in 1961. His research focused on the photophysics and photochemistry of transition-metal coordination compounds, with an emphasis on the fast kinetics of excited-state electron-transfer and ligand-labilization processes. Supported over the years by NIH, NSF, DOE and DOD, his research expanded to the conversion and storage of solar energy and the use of nanosecond pulsed-laser techniques to probe excited-state behavior. He also collaborated with faculty, senior scholars, and scientists from Italy, France, Germany, Greece, England, Israel, and Japan. He has authored over 200 articles and book chapters, of which undergraduates serve as coauthors on 23 and graduate students on 37.

Over the course of Dr. Hoffman’s career, 40 students have worked with him as a mentor and coach, and 20 ACS Scholars developed mentoring relationships with him. Many of these students have transitioned into industry, health care, law, and education careers since then. Dr. Hoffman taught a number of undergraduate and graduate courses, including general, physical and analytical chemistry, chemical kinetics, photochemistry, and radiation chemistry. Remembered by tens of thousands of students for his theatrical lecturing style, dramatic chemical demonstrations, innovative pedagogies, and outrageous jokes and puns, he was honored in 1994 with the Metcalf Cup and Prize for Excellence in Teaching from Boston University, the Catalyst Award for Teaching Excellence from the American Chemistry Council in 2002, the John A. Timm Award for Encouraging Young People to Study Chemistry from the New England Association of Chemistry Teachers (NEACT) in 2003, and the James Flack Norris Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Teaching of Chemistry from the Northeastern Section of the ACS (NESACS) in 2005. He received the ACS Volunteer Service Award in 2007 and the Distinguished Contribution to Chemistry Education Award from IUPAC in 2014. He was named a Fellow of AAAS in 1992, a Fellow of ACS in 2009, and a Fellow of IUPAC in 2014.

Since his retirement in 2005, he has continued work with B.U. International Programs in the development and maintenance of science study-abroad programs in Dresden (Germany), Grenoble (France), and Madrid (Spain).

Dr. Hoffman has been very active at the local, regional, and national levels of ACS. He served as Chair of NESACS in 2002, Chair of CHED in 2005, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Northeast Region, Inc. He represents NESACS on ACS Council, was a member of SOCED and the Senior Chemists Committee, and is currently on the International Activities Committee. Internationally, he was appointed by the National Academy of Sciences to serve as the U.S. National Representative to the Committee on Chemistry Education of IUPAC. He has served as Treasurer of the Malta Conferences Foundation since its incorporation in 2011 as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

For information on contributing to this award or to become a mentor in the ACS Scholars Program, call 202-872-6250 or 1-800-227-5558, ext. 6250, or email scholars@acs.org.

BU Chemistry’s symposium at the 2018 Biennial Conference on Chemical Education

August 6th, 2018 in Abrams, Binyomin, Conference, Front Page, PFF, Recognition, Teaching

Professor Rosina Georgiadis and Master Lecturer Binyomin Abrams co-chaired a full day symposium entitled “Teaching Transferable Skills in the Chemistry Laboratory Curriculum: Real Research, Real Training” on August 1, 2018 at the 25th Biennial Conference on Chemical Education (BCCE2018), hosted by the University of Notre Dame.

The morning session showcased the work of two former BU Chemistry Postdoctoral Faculty Fellows (PFFs) now known as Postdoctoral Associates/Lecturers (PAL’s) John Miecznikowski (Fairfield University) and Matthew Worden (UT Austin). Also speaking in the morning was our Biochemistry Lecturer Dr. Didem Vardar-Ulu, who was recently awarded a Blended Learning Challenge Fellowship. Dr. Vardar-Ulu spoke on ”Ensuring a successful transition from being a chemistry student to a professional chemist: Redesigning an introductory biochemistry laboratory curriculum for chemistry majors with a guided focus on transferable skills.”  Professor Rosina Georgiadis, who was most recently awarded a BU Faculty Fellowship in 2016, and current PFF Kristina Streu ended the morning session with back-to-back talks on new cloud-enabled training for teaching analytical instrumental laboratory skills. Their talks were entitled: “Virtual machines: A new way to teach transferable skills in the advanced undergraduate laboratory” and “Teaching instrumentation with virtual machines: Case study and demonstration.”

The afternoon session showcased the Chemistry department’s CH111/CH112 writing program in a talk by Dr. Abrams entitled “Stop writing/teaching lab reports: integrating authentic research-based writing into quantitative analysis courses”.  Dr. Abrams also presented a paper in the symposium titled “How Do We Know That?” and Dr. Vardar-Ulu gave a talk “Can blended instruction provide a customized biochemistry teaching laboratory experience?” in a symposium focused on biochemistry laboratory instruction.

 

 

 

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Boston University’s 2018 Undergraduate Research Symposium

May 23rd, 2018 in Award, Department, Faculty, Recognition, Research, Students, Undergraduate

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Class of 2018 students who presented at this year’s symposium

On Friday, May 4th, 2018 the work of 22 students was spotlighted in this year’s Undergraduate Research Symposium (URS).  The high-caliber projects presented underscored the importance of the hands-on, challenging research that is the hallmark of Boston University’s Chemistry major. The even was organized by the Undergraduate Programs Committee, Professor John Snyder and coordinated by our Undergraduate Program Coordinator, Julia Jesielowski.

URS was first instituted in 1987 by then Director of Undergraduate Studies, and now Emeritus, Prof. Mort Hoffman, and has been a much anticipated, spring’s-end annual event ever since.  The Symposium is modeled along the lines of talks at an American Chemical Society (ACS) meeting:  12 minutes of presentation followed by 3 minutes of questions and discussion.  Capping the day was the announcement of the Departmental Awards, followed by a celebratory pizza party for the students, their faculty advisers, graduate mentors, and their guests.

Professor Bjoern Reinhard awarded an NSF-CHE 3 Year grant to Study Plasmon Coupling Correlation Spectroscopy

May 17th, 2018 in Grants, Grants & Funding, NSF, Recognition, Reinhard, Björn, Research

Prof. Bjoern Reinhard, BU Department of Chemistry

Prof. Bjoern Reinhard, BU Department of Chemistry

Prof. Reinhard was recently awarded a 3 Year renewal of her National Science Foundation Division of Chemistry (NSF-CHE) Grant titled: Plasmon Coupling Correlation Spectroscopy. This will help Prof. Reinhard and his research group investigate the unique optical properties and strong field localization properties of plasmonic nanoparticles as they are important components of many chemical sensing technologies and Efield enhanced spectroscopies. The research will advance the field of chemical imaging and sensing by introducing the concept of correlation spectroscopy to localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) spectroscopy. The ambitious research plan will utilize distance-dependent near-field coupling between plasmonic nanoparticles that cause spectral fluctuations in the far-field to monitor interparticle separations at signal intensities that are manifold higher than that of conventional dyes. Importantly, due to their superb photophysical stability plasmonic nanoparticles overcome existing limitations of fluorescence based correlation approaches in terms of maximum observation time and will facilitate a continuous signal correlation over a much longer time than is currently possible with fluorescence based approaches entirely without blinking. The research funded by this grant is transformative as it will facilitate the application of optical signal correlation techniques to systems that have, so far, not been accessible with conventional fluorescence-based correlation methods.

 

Besides the scientific impact, the research project has a series of educational and outreach components as well as detailed plans to encourage the participation of underrepresented groups in science and engineering. The grant will allow for the development of new course work and training opportunities for students from the high-school to graduate school level. Furthermore, Dr. Reinhard will organize annual workshops for students from inner city high schools, which typically have high representations from groups underrepresented in science and engineering. His main goal is to enthuse these students about the research of the proposal and to attract them to a career in STEM fields. The course material developed during the lifetime of the project will be disseminated via the PI’s homepage to further enhance the broader impact of this proposal.

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Professor Linda Doerrer awarded a 3-Year NSF-CHE 3 Renewal

May 2nd, 2018 in Award, Doerrer, Linda, Grants, Grants & Funding, NSF, Recognition, Research

Associate Professor Linda Doerrer

Associate Professor Linda Doerrer

Prof. Doerrer was recently awarded a 3 Year renewal of her National Science Foundation Division of Chemistry (NSF-CHE) Grant titled: Oxidation Catalysis with 3d Complexes Bearing Fluorinated Alkoxide Ligands. This will help Prof. Doerrer and her research group continue their investigation into oxidation catalysis. The project will focus on developing more effective and sustainable catalytic reactions for chemical synthesis, which is critical for the 21st century. Oxidation of C-H bonds remains a central component of chemical transformations with many remaining challenges. This work builds on her recent success with Cu/O2 chemistry that has demonstrated the effectiveness of fluorinated alkoxide ligands to make highly reactive species for oxidizing C-H bonds. Recently her group has demonstrated catalysis with two different systems, and one reaction that differentiates the two systems. Understanding this difference, extending this success to other earth-abundant metals and potentially to water as a reaction medium are the targets of this award. Proven synthetic and characterization methods will be used, augmented by new ideas and some recent discoveries that hint at new and improved conditions for these needed chemical reactions.

Stephanie Beach, of the Doerrer Group, wins prestigious Chateaubriand Fellowship

March 28th, 2018 in Award, Doerrer, Linda, Front Page, Graduate, Recognition, Research

Stephanie Beach, in a bell tower overlooking a small medieval town to the west of Bordeaux called Saint Emilion

Stephanie Beach, in a bell tower overlooking a small medieval town to the west of Bordeaux called Saint Emilion

Stephanie Beach, of the Doerrer Group, recently won a prestigious Chateaubriand Fellowship! The Chateaubriand Fellowship is a grant offered by the Embassy of France in the United States. It supports outstanding Ph.D. students from American universities who wish to conduct research in France for a period ranging from 4 to 9 months. Chateaubriand fellows are selected through a merit-based competition, through a collaborative process involving expert evaluators in both countries.

The program is divided into two subprograms: Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) which supports those who seek to study Humanities and Social Sciences. Stephanie was awarded the Chateaubriand Fellowship in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics & Biology-Health (STEM), which is for doctoral students who aim to initiate or reinforce collaborations, partnerships or joint projects between French and American research teams. This fellowship is offered by the Office for Science & Technology (OST) of the Embassy of France in partnership with American universities and French research organizations such as Inserm and Inria. It is a partner of the National Science Foundation’s GROW program.

Stephanie is currently working at the Centre de Recherche Paul Pascal, a CNRS lab, in Bordeaux, France from February through May of 2018 to partner with the group of Prof. Rodolphe Clérac. She is developing new variations of the Doerrer group thiocarboxylate lantern complexes for development as single molecule magnets.

Congratulations Stephanie!

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