Professor Lee-Ping Wang has recently been awarded three awards. As the main PI, he has been awarded the ACS-PRF grant from the ACS Petroleum Research Fund in the amount of $110,000 to evaluate the potential of deep eutectic solvents in natural gas sweetening, a process that helps separate hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide from natural gas streams. Additionally, Professor Wang recently received a grant from the Army Research Office in which he is the PI of a multi-campus agreement (PI of primary award at UC Merced is Andy LiWang) in the amount of $279,666 to create computational predictions aimed at discovering a class of metamorphic proteins (proteins that are able to switch between multiple three-dimensional folds). Additionally, Professor Wang and Professor Xi Chen with collaborator Professor Ajit Varki at UCSD have been awarded a NIH - R01 grant by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases/National Institutes of Health. Professor Chen is the contact PI while Professor Wang is a co-investigator. The proposed study will synthesize and characterize N-acetylated sialosides as stable mimics to naturally occurring O-acetylated sialosides, in order to use them to study their biological functions. The structural comparison of O-acetylated sialosides and their N-acetylated counterparts will be explored by computational methods. The project has been awarded $2,113,890, of which $185,023 has been awarded to Professor Wang.
The Department will be hosting four high school students this summer as a part of ACS Project SEED, a research program that opens new doors for economically disadvantaged students to experience what it’s like to be a chemist.
The Educational Outreach Committee and Chemistry Club set up interactive exhibits about nanomaterials at the Powerhouse Science Center in Sacramento. The exhibit was featured in a live segment on Good Day Sacramento.
"Upgrades in the Works for Chem Complex" from University News and Information. Renovations to the Chemistry Building and Chemistry Annex will deliver additional new lab and office space to accommodate growth.
Postdoc Daniel Suess (Britt Lab) has accepted an Assistant Professor position in the Department of Chemistry at MIT. His research group will study redox reactions that underpin global biogeochemical cycles, metabolism and energy conversion.
Graduate student Hoby Wedler (Tantillo Lab) was the keynote speaker at the 2016 Graduate Studies Commencement Ceremony: "The mentoring I've received here at UC Davis focused my curiosity and has been indispensable to my success." His address is available here.
Faculty, staff and students on the Educational Outreach Committee and Chemistry Club performed four shows to "sold out" audiences in Rock Hall for Picnic Day. Under the leadership of Professor Kyle Crabtree, the EOC completely revamped the show this year to highlight how the chemistry demonstrations tied into the current research of faculty in our department.
A retirement symposium and reception in honor of Professor Marilyn Olmstead's over 46 years of service to the University was held on Friday, March 18th. In lieu of a gift, please consider making a contribution to the newly established Marilyn M. Olmstead Student Excellence Award.
"...Jackson Named 'Distinguished Emeriti'" from UC Davis News and Information, recognizing Dr. Bill Jackson's "long history in fostering diversity in science" and "his continued commitment to the department and the university."
Kristie Koski will be joining our faculty as an Assistant Professor starting July 2016. Her expertise will bridge boundaries between chemistry, physics and engineering and promote research on a promising class of materials with applications in batteries and electronic devices.
Claire Filloux will be joining our faculty as a Lecturer with Potential for Security of Employment starting July 2016. She has designed and executed research projects using both organo- and transition metal catalysis. She also has strong proficiency in analytical methods such as GC, HPLC, mass spectrometry and NMR.
Alexander Dudnik will be joining our faculty as an Assistant Professor starting July 2016. His research at UC Davis will focus on the development of bimetallic polymerization catalysts, sustainable synthesis of conjugated polymers and of covalent organic framework materials.
Jesús Velázquez will be joining our faculty as an Assistant Professor starting July 2016. He comes to the Department with a strong record in the synthesis and characterization of nanomaterials for renewable energy applications.
Professors Julia Chamberlain and Ozcan Gulacar have been selected for the inaugural Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Community at UC Davis. This group is designed to support Lecturers with Potential Security of Employment, individuals hired because of their expertise in pedagogy and commitment to undergraduate education. Participants will be provided with a space to share ideas and discuss how to best develop and conduct research projects that investigate student learning.
Graduate student Henry "Hoby" Wedler has been recognized by Forbes Magazine as one of their “30 under 30” in the area of Food and Drink for his activities as a wine educator, specifically leading blind wine tastings at the Francis Ford Coppola Winery.
Henry "Hoby" Wedler, the Department's trailblazer for the visually impaired, has been featured as the November cover story for Diversity in Action magazine, which focuses on diversity in the STEM fields.
The Department celebrated National Chemistry Week at Sacramento's Discovery Museum. This year's theme was "Chemistry Colors Our World!" A group of our faculty, staff and students led exciting activities and demonstrations exploring florescence, chemical indicators and color-changing chemistry with area families. Professor Kyle Crabtree shared some of their demonstrations on Good Day Sacramento.
A group of faculty led by Professor Kirill Kovnir have successfully secured NSF MRI funding for a modern single crystal X-ray diffractometer. A joint effort of Professors Alan Balch, Louise Berben, Susan Kauzlarich, Mark Mascal, Marilyn Olmstead, Phil Power and staff crystallographer Jim Fettinger resulted in acquiring a new instrument superior to the currently available diffractometers in the departmental X-ray facility.
Professor Annaliese Franz received a grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC) on "Improving microalgae feedstock for biofuel production using CO2 and waste nutrients from anaerobic digesters." This grant program funds projects that emphasize "transformative techology solutions to significant biofuels industry problems that increase yields, productivity or cost effectiveness of biofuel productions; and/or that target a specific unmet need in California's biofuels industry."
Professor Annaliese Franz was the featured attraction at "Science Night Live" in Lodi, discussing the question: Can sustainable fuels be created from algae? She was also a guest on Capital Public Radio's "Insight Program" discussing the same topic. Click here to listen to the interview.
"Colleges Reinvent Classes to Keep More Students in Science" from The New York Times. The General Chemistry "2" series at UC Davis is one of the highest-enrollment core courses on campus. The Department has been collaborating closely with iAMSTEM Hub to implement data-driven changes and new technology in the lecture classrooms in order to enhance learning to the benefit of thousands of undergraduate students.
The W.M. Keck Foundation's Medical Research Program presented Professor Angelique Louie a grant for $1 million. This grant will help fund her project "In Vivo 3D Imaging Using Bioluminescent Gene Reporters and MRI," which she is undertaking in collaboration with Professors Yohei Yokobayashi and Jared Shaw.
Professors Mike Toney, Shota Atsumi and Justin Siegel were awarded a DOE ARPA-E grant to convert ethylene to butanol. Currently, ethylene is readily available and used by the chemicals and plastics industries to produce a wide range of useful products, but it cannot be converted to fuels economically. If successful, the new biocatalyst would enable cost-effective conversion of ethylene into an existing infrastructure-compatible fuel.
Gabriela Borba Mondo was an undergraduate chemistry student visiting UC Davis as a part of "Science Without Borders" from the Federal University of Santa Catarina (Brazil). She spent her summer in the Kauzlarich Lab working with Alexandra Holmes on the synthesis of Germanium and silicon-germanium nanoparticles for energy conversation applications such as photovoltaics. Regarding her time at UC Davis, she says, "Being abroad is, by its own, an exciting experience. I am glad I came to UC Davis and was able to take classes and conduct research. The experience of working in a research is very rewarding. It is a moment where you can apply what you learned on classes in real science, and also to get a sense on how knowledge is constructed and how it is transmitted. To me, this experience was extremely enriching, both academically and personally."
Undergraduate student James Fulmer was named first author on two papers in JACS and Inorganic Chemistry. James has been working with Professor Kirill Kovnir and his research group for the past one-and-a-half years to earn this distinction.
Research conducted in Professor Ting Guo's group made the cover of J. Phys. Chem. C of the May 24, 2012 issue. It is the first case of using nanostructures under X-ray irradiation. Up to 250 times increase over the background water was predicted using a series of gold nanoshells.
Research conducted in Professor Alex Navrotsky's group was selected for the May 2012 cover of J. Am. Ceram. Soc. Their work provided the needed experimental high temperature thermodynaic data for several rare earth oxides at over 1500 degrees Celsius.
Dr. Justin Siegel has accepted the offer to join UC Davis. His appointment will be in both the School of Medicine and Department of Chemistry. His labs will be located in the Genome center, which brings wonderful opportunities for the chemistry department to formally interact with the Genome Center in addition to the School of Medicine.
Professor Alex Navrotsky and her colleagues Peter C. Burns at University of Notre Dame and Rodney C. Ewing at University of Michigan published a review article in Science in which they discuss the “current understanding of nuclear fuel interactions with the environment, including studies over the relatively narrow range of geochemical, hydrological, and radiation environments relevant to geological repository performance, and discuss priorities for research needed to develop future predictive models.”