Upcoming Events

Monday, October 02, 2017

06:00 PM to 07:00 PM Special Seminar - Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons, Room 152 - Prof. James Kakalios
The Physics and Materials Science of Superheroes
In 2001 James Kakalios created a Freshman Seminar class at the University of Minnesota entitled: "Everything I Know About Science I Learned from Reading Comic Books." This is a real physics class, that covers topics from Isaac Newton to the transistor, but there's not an inclined plane or pulley in sight. Rather, ALL the examples come from superhero comic books, and as much as possible, those cases where the superheroes get their physics right! While physicists, engineers and materials scientists don't typically consult comic books when selecting research topics; innovations first introduced in superhero adventures as fiction can sometimes find their way off the comic book page and into reality. As amazing as the Fantastic Four's powers is the fact that their costumes are undamaged when the Human Torch flames on or Mr. Fantastic stretches his elastic body. In shape memory materials, an external force or torque induces a structural change that is reversed upon warming, a feature appreciated by Mr. Fantastic. Spider-Man's wall crawling ability has been ascribed to the same van der Waals attractive force that gecko lizards employ through the millions of microscopic hairs on their toes. Scientists have developed "gecko tape," consisting of arrays of fibers that provide a strong enough attraction to support a modest weight. All this, and important topics such as: was it "the fall" or "the webbing" that killed Gwen Stacy, Spider-Man's girlfriend in the classic Amazing Spider-Man # 121, how graphene saved Iron Man's life and the chemical composition of Captain America's shield, will be discussed. Superhero comic books often get their science right more often than one would expect! Biography: James Kakalios is the Taylor Distinguished Professor in the University of Minnesota's School of Physics and Astronomy. He received his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Chicago in 1985; he worked as a post-doctoral research associate at the Xerox - Palo Alto Research Center; and then in 1988, having had enough of those California winters, joined the faculty of the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Minnesota. His research interests include nanocrystalline and amorphous semiconductors, pattern formation in sandpiles and fluctuation phenomena in neurological systems. His popular science book THE PHYSICS OF SUPERHEROES was published in 2005 in the U.S. and the U.K., and has been translated into six languages. The SPECTACULAR SECOND EDITION was published in November 2009, followed by THE AMAZING STORY OF QUANTUM MECHANICS in 2010. His new book THE PHYSICS OF EVERYDAY THINGS: The Extraordinary Science Behind an Ordinary Day was published by Crown Books in May 2017.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

04:00 PM to 05:00 PM Biochemistry Division Seminar - MoSE 3201A - Prof. Abhishek Chatterjee
Genetically encoding new chemistry to probe and manipulate eukaryotic biology
Over the last decade, site-specific incorporation of non-canonical amino acids (ncAAs) into proteins in living cells has emerged as an enabling technology for biological research. Our group focuses on further development and application of this technology to probe and engineer biological processes associated with mammalian cells. Two particularly exciting problems that we are currently applying this technology to are: 1) to probe and engineer the molecular processes associated with the entry of adeno-associated virus into human cells, and 2) to elucidate the roles of various post-translational modification of mammalian proteins. To facilitate these applications, we have: 1) developed unique platforms that enable site-specific incorporation of previously inaccessible ncAAs into proteins expressed in both eukaryotes and E. coli, 2) generated a baculovirus-based vector to efficiently deliver the associated genetic machinery into a wide variety of cells and tissues, 3) performed systematic analysis to identify what limits the overall efficiency of ncAA incorporation in mammalian cells, and 4) created a unique mammalian cell based directed evolution platform to improve the performance of these limiting components.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

11:00 AM to 12:00 PM Analytical Division Seminar - MoSE 3201A - Prof. Abraham Badu-Tawiah
"Picomole-Scale Online Mass Spectrometry Reaction Screening: Photochemistry versus Electrochemistry"
Abstract We recently showed that the coupling of portable laser source with nano-electrospray ionization mass spectrometry enables a real-time photoreaction screening by which visible light-mediated dehydrogenation of N-heterocycles can be achieved in an accelerated manner using only pico-moles of photo-catalysts. For tetrahydroisoquinoline (THiQ), however, DFT calculations revealed a high-speed electronic interconversion bottleneck and predicted the use of N-substitution to alleviate this electronic effect. Detailed experiments have confirmed that the atmospheric pressure droplet-based reaction platform can reproduce theoretical calculations, results of which are easily transferred into bulk-phase synthesis using sun energy. Similar experiments will be presented that involve facile electroorganic reactions Research Overview The Badu Research Group currently has three main research foci: (i) diagnostic mass spectrometry (MS) - in this project we focus on the development of new MS tools for non-experts (e.g., surgeon, immunologist, neuroscientist, etc.), and to make MS data acquisition and interpretation easier for them. We are developing new chemical probes that enable mass spectrometric analysis of proteins, antibodies, DNA, and other disease biomarkers under ambient conditions. (ii) Accelerated droplet reactions - here, we focus on the development of new tools to study organic/bio-molecular reactions using droplets as reaction vessels. We are interested in green catalysis, new reaction pathways, and the mechanism governing reactions in the micro-droplet environment. (iii) Aerosol therapy - in which we use MS as a tool to characterize drug aerosols, and to improve on their efficacy. All students that study in the Badu research group become exposed to the fundamentals of ambient ion chemistry (in a droplet or at an interface), modern MS instrumentation, bio-molecule handling, and bio-assay/immunoassay development. Biography Abraham Badu-Tawiah obtained his B.Sc. (2002) and M.Sc. (2005) degrees from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi - Ghana, and M.S. (2007) degree in Chemistry from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana PA. He received Ph.D. (2012) in Chemistry from Purdue University (under the supervision of R. Graham Cooks), where he was awarded Andrews (2007 - 2009), Bisland Dissertation (2011), and Lilly Innovative (2012) Fellowships. From 2012 to 2014, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University under the direction of George M. Whitesides. He joined The Ohio State University, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in July 2014.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

04:00 PM to 05:00 PM Inorganic Division Seminar - MoSE 3201A - Prof. Peter Comba
"Bispidine coordination chemistry - ligands for medicinal chemistry, bioinorganic modeling and oxidation catalysis"
No information available.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

11:00 AM to 12:00 PM Meeting - MoSE 3201A - Faculty Meeting
No information available.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

07:30 PM to 08:30 PM Special Seminar - Clary Theater, Bill Moore Student Success Center - Prof. Young-Hui Chang
How Flamingos Stand on One Leg and Other Reasons to Study Comparative Neuromechanics
Visit a flamingo exhibit at any zoo and you are likely to hear a child ask, "Why do flamingos stand one one leg?" This basic, child-like drive to understand the curiosities of the world is part of human nature, and it is fundamental to science. But asking "why" a flamingo stands on one leg is a difficult and esoteric pursuit. In contrast, trying to understand "how" a flamingo can stand on one leg is directly addressable through physiology, the study of life's processes. Moreover, gaining knowledge about how a behavior works often leads to important insights on why it persists in nature. Young-Hui Chang will discuss how neuromechanics is used to distinguish biomechanical and neural mechanisms to inform our understanding of limb control. For example, the recent discovery of a passive biomechanical mechanism in flamingo legs explains how standing on one leg may actually require less neuromuscular effort than standing on two legs. Chang will also discuss how a comparative approach helped identify a common limb compensation strategy many animals use to control and stabilize locomotion. The basic knowledge gained from comparative neuromechanics research can ultimately be used to better the human condition through development of improved training practices to enhance performance of limb prosthesis users, railroad workers, and even athletes. ABOUT THE SPEAKER Young-Hui Chang is a professor in the School Biological Sciences at Georgia Tech. His research interests lie broadly in studying how humans and other animals use their limbs to control movement. In addition to flamingos, he has had the fortune to work with a variety of animals, including gibbons, vampire bats, elephants, penguins, and horses. Chang also strives to answer societal problems associated with movement control in people with debilitating conditions. In 2009, he received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award for his research related to locomotor compensation in persons with lower-limb amputation. ABOUT FRONTIERS IN SCIENCE LECTURES Lectures in this series are intended to inform, engage, and inspire students, faculty, staff, and the public on developments, breakthroughs, and topics of general interest in the sciences and mathematics. Lecturers tailor their talks for nonexpert audiences. Parking is available in the Visitors Lot on the south side of North Avenue, across Tech Tower. Light refreshments will be served after the lecture.

Saturday, October 21, 2017 to Sunday, October 22, 2017

08:00 AM to 05:00 PM Conference/Symposium - Historic Banning Mills - Departmental Graduate Research Fall Retreat
Please mark your calendar for our annual graduate research fall retreat, which is scheduled for the weekend of October 21-22, 2017 at Historic Banning Mills. The retreat site is located about 50 miles south of Atlanta and is home to the world's largest zipline canopy. For more information, please visit the following url http://www.historicbanningmills.com As in previous years, the retreat will entirely focus on presentations by graduate students as a celebration of their research accomplishments in a relaxed and fun atmosphere. Don't miss out on this great weekend and stay tuned for more information.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

04:00 PM to 05:00 PM Special Seminar - MoSE 3201A - Prof. Fernando Uribe-Romo
"Framework materials for efficient harvest, conversion, and transport of solar and electrochemical energy"
The ability to design and impose specific molecular traits for targeted properties in inorganic solid-state materials is one of the many challenges in materials science. In our research, we focus our efforts in the design of organic and inorganic molecular building blocks with well-defined properties to be incorporated in solid-state materials in the form of metal-organic and covalent-organic frameworks (MOFs and COFs, respectively). These molecular components provide the frameworks the ability to perform complex processes relevant to efficient use of energy, such as visible light photoredox catalysis, and ionic charge transport. This seminar will describe the approaches followed in our research group to design and prepare advanced titanium-based MOF photoredox catalysts for the synthesis of complex organic compounds and reduction of carbon dioxide as well as crystallographically aligned COFs for electrochemical applications, specifically as solid-state lithium battery electrolytes.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

04:00 PM to 05:00 PM Vasser Woolley Distinguished Lecture - MoSE G011 - Prof Johathan Sweedler
The chemical characterization of the brain: From new measurement tools to new neurochemical insights
In the postgenomic era, one expects the suite of chemical players in a brain region to be known and their functions uncovered. However, many cell-to-cell signaling molecules remain poorly characterized and for those that are known, their localization and dynamics are oftentimes unknown. A suite of small-scale measurement approaches are described that allow the investigation of individual neurons and small brain regions; these approaches include capillary scale separations, direct mass spectrometric-based profiling and mass spectrometry imaging. Several applications of single cell microanalysis are highlighted including the discovery of unusual metabolites to characterizing the neuropeptides in single cells. Single cell assays allow differences in the metabolome and peptidome from supposedly homogeneous populations of cells to be explored. As a further example, a unique matrix assisted laser desorption / ionization time of flight mass spectrometry approach is described that probes thousands of endocrine cells for their peptide content. Current technology efforts involve extending the depth of metabolome coverage and adapting our approaches to high throughput single cell assays. By obtaining information from thousands of individual cells, rare cells are found and subtle differences in cell populations are measured. Imaging mass spectrometry and dynamic sampling of the extracellular environment also provide a functional context for the discovery of novel cell to cell signaling molecules. Our overarching goal is to uncover the complex chemical mosaic of the brain and pinpoint key cellular players in a range of physiological and pathological processes. Biography Jonathan Sweedler received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Arizona in 1988, spent several years at Stanford before moving to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1991 where he has been ever since. At Illinois, he is currently the James R. Eiszner Family Endowed Chair in Chemistry.. His research interests focus on developing new approaches for assaying small volume samples, and in applying these methods to study novel interactions between cells. These analytical approaches include capillary separations, micro and nanofluidics, miniaturized separations, mass spectrometry and NMR. He has used these tools to characterize small molecules and peptides in a range of animal models across the metazoan and in samples as small as individual cells and cellular domains. Sweedler has published more than 400 manuscripts and presented 480 invited lectures. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief for Analytical Chemistry.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

11:00 AM to 12:00 PM Analytical Division Seminar - MoSE 3201A - Prof Carlos Garcia
No information available.

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