2015 School News continued from home page | School of Chemical Sciences

2015 School News

Steven Zimmerman photoSteven Zimmerman was recently honored with the 2015 Larine Y. Cowan Make a Difference Award for Leadership in Diversity. Chemistry News article.
Researchers varied the metal (teal sphere) and mutated five side chains (ball-and-stick figures) in native azurin (Cu-WTAz) to create several versions with a range of redox potentials (see scale). F114N changes phenylalanine (F) to asparagine (N) at sequence position 114, and so on. Red modifications increase redox potential, and blue changes lower it.Yi Lu and co-workers made mutations in amino acids in the protein azurin to widen its redox potential, making improved redox enzymes a possibility. Their research was published in the Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. C&EN article.
Pictured, from left: research scientist Lici A. Schurig-Briccio, graduate students Noman Baig and Boo Kyung Kim, professor Robert B. Gennis, postdoctoral researcher Xinxin Feng, professor Eric Oldfield and graduate student Tianhui Zhou.The Oldfield and Gennis research groups have found that some drugs already in use may have antibacterial properties that bacteria have difficulty developing resistance to. UIUC News Bureau article.
Yi Lu, Richard Masel, Catherine Murphy, John Rogers headshots

Yi Lu, Richard Masel, Catherine Murphy, and John Rogers are on the Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers list for 2015. UIUC News Bureau article.
model of proteins within bacteria Klaus Schulten and collaborators used computational modeling and experimental data to resolve how bacteria process receptor information and respond. UIUC News Bureau article.
Andrew Ferguson and colleagues computationally tested 16.8 million candidate vaccines to identify formulations making the hepatitis C virus susceptible to attack by host T-cells. Their paper was published in the journal Physical Biology. ChBE News article.
Ralph Nuzzo and Hong Yang thumbnail photosRalph Nuzzo and Hong Yang were chosen as Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. This year's fellows were honored for their "scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications". UIUC News Bureau article.
Kenneth Suslick photoKenneth Suslick is a 2015 Camille and Henry Dreyfus Senior Scientist Award Winner. This award provides support for undergraduate research under his mentorship.
Audrey and Ted Brown photoTheodore and Audrey Brown received the 2015 LAS Dean's Quadrangle Award for their lasting commitment to chemistry and LAS undergraduates through their funding of endowments providing scholarships. Chemistry News article.
Darsh Wasan photoDarsh Wasan (ChBE BS '60) was the recipient of a 2015 LAS Alumni Achievement Award. His research has led to diverse results including increased oil recovery from rock, methods for cleaning semiconductor surfaces and improved food safety. ChBE News article.
Long Luu, Lien Nguyen, Steven Zimmerman photoGraduate students Long Luu and Lien Nguyen with Prof. Steven Zimmerman have developed small-sized drug compounds that target multiple pathways to treat myotonic dystrophy type 1. UIUC News Bureau article.
Huimin Zhao photoHuimin Zhao is a member of a team of researchers awarded an $8 million grant over five years from the NIH Common Fund's 4D Nucleome Program to study DNA structure. LAS News article.
Thumbnail of the Christina White research group involved in producing an effective Mn-based catalystThe White group has developed an effective manganese-based catalyst, soon to be in commercial production, that is both highly reactive and highly selective. UIUC News Bureau article, C&EN article.
Brendan Harley photoBrendan Harley and Bruce Hannon are collaborating on a project to design a stem cell manufacturing platform to selectively expand donor hematopoietic stem cells. They were awarded a NSF grant to support their research. ChBE News article.
Joseph Courtney and Chad Rienstra photo - by L. Brian StaufferJoseph Courtney and Chad Rienstra have developed COMPASS, a process to quickly and reliably find a protein's structure using measurements, computer modeling and image recognition software. UIUC News Bureau article.
Alison Fout photoAlison Fout is one of four early-career female scientists to be a recipient of the first round of Marion Milligan Mason Awards for Women in the Sciences. The award will help fund her nitrite reduction research.
SACNAS iconThe University of Illinois chapter of SACNAS is being recognized with the 2015 Graduate Chapter of the Year award for their activities in introducing STEM to the community.
AIChE logoThe Illinois chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers is the recipient of the Outstanding Student Chapter Award for 2015. This is the 4th time they have received this award. ChBE News article.
Jonathan Sweedler photoJonathan Sweedler and colleagues have received more than $2 million over three years from the NIH to develop an analytical platform that can lead to new insights in neuroscience and create diagnostic and therapeutic opportunities in treating neurological diseases. Beckman Institute article.
M. Christina WhiteM. Christina White is a recipient of the 2016 Mukaiyama Award presented by the Society of Synthetic Organic Chemistry of Japan. She is cited for cracking the code for selective C-H reactivity and other catalytic research.
Theodor Brown, Arnold and Mabel Beckman inspecting the Beckman Institute while it was under construction$5 Million Gift Honors Theodore Brown and Arnold Beckman. The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation gift establishes a postdoctoral fellowship and an annual lecture in their name. Nature article about interdisciplinary research, Prof. Brown and the Beckman Institute
phto of Wilfred van der Donk, William Metcalf, Kou-San JuWilfred van der Donk and colleagues are able to use genome mining to identify organisms of interest for in-depth analyses and natural product development. UIUC News Bureau article.
John Georges photoAlumnus, John Georges (ChemEng BS '51), was inducted into the College of Engineering Hall of Fame on Sept. 18. He was honored for his corporate leadership in guiding International Paper Company to become a world leader in forest and paper products. ChBE News article.
Catherine Murphy photoCatherine Murphy is the University of Illinois scientist associated with the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology. It will be receiving $20 million of renewable funding over the next 5 years. Chemistry News article.
John and Benita Katzenellobogen photo thumbnailJohn and Benita Katzenellenbogen to receive the 2016 Fred Conrad Koch Lifetime Achievement Award from the Endocrine Society.
Kenneth Schweizer photoKenneth Schweizer is the winner of the 2016 Hildebrand Award in the Theoretical and Experimental Chemistry of Liquids from the ACS. ChBE News article.
Sara Skrabalak thumbnailAlumna Sara Skrabalak (PhD 2007, Suslick) won the 2015 Baekeland Award for her outstanding accomplishments in pure or applied chemistry.
Prasant Jain photoPrashant Jain has been selected to receive a 2015 NSF CAREER award. The five-year award will fund Jain's mechanistic investigations into how light energy is converted into chemical energy within metallic nanostructures.
Jeffrey Moore photoJeffrey Moore has been named the Edward Leete awardee for 2015 by the Organic Division of the ACS. He will receive his award at the fall national meeting in August.
Kami Hull photoKami Hull is one of C&EN's Talented 12. She was chosen for devising more environmentally friendly synthesis routes for installing chemical groups in molecular scaffolds. Hull's C&EN profile.
Martin Gruebele and Marinda Wu photosMartin Gruebele and alumna Marinda Wu joined the select group of ACS Fellows based on their contributions to the ACS and the impact of their research.
Jennifer Heemstra and Aaron Esser-Kahn photosMoore alumni, Jennifer Heemstra (PhD Moore, 2005) and Aaron Esser-Kahn (Postdoc, Moore, 2009-2011) received prestigious Cottrell Scholar Awards.
Catherine Murphy photoCatherine Murphy is one of three recipients of the RCSA's new Cottrell TREE Award intended to recognize and advance truly outstanding research and education.
Jonathan Tietz photoJonathan Tietz (Mitchell group) is one of a handful of students chosen nationally as a 2015 Graduate Fellow by the ACS Division of Medicinal Chemistry. He will participate this this division's Gordon Conference.
Douglas Mitchell photoDouglas Mitchell has been named as one of this year's Dreyfus Teacher-Scholars in acknowledgment of his work in discovery and elucidation of pathogen-specific antibiotics.
Pictured, from left: Professor Huimin Zhao, professor Charles Schroeder, graduate students Luke Cuculis and Zhanar Abil.Charles Schroeder, Huimin Zhao, and colleagues used advanced imaging techniques to observe how one set of genome-editing proteins finds its specific targets. This could help to design better gene therapies to treat disease. UIUC News Bureau article.
Martin Burke photoMartin Burke and collaborators developed and tested targeted effective antifungal drug derivatives of amphotericin B that are less toxic yet evade resistance. UIUC News Bureau article.
Hyunjoon Kong photoHyunjoon Kong and colleagues applied principles of glacier moraine geology to their attempts to recreate a microvascular system for the possible treatment of vascular disease. Their work was published in the journal Advanced Healthcare Materials. ChBE News article.
Luis Real Hernandez photoLuis Real Hernandez, a junior chemistry major, has received a prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship for demonstrating leadership and academic promise in science or engineering.
Yi Lu photoYi Lu is the recipient of the 2015 RSC Applied Inorganic Chemistry Award for his original research on the catalytic activity of DNA in the presence of metal ions, and the development of a new class of sensors.
tine silicone microspheresThe Suslick and Murphy research groups used ultrasonic spray pyrolysis to make bio-inert silicone microspheres that potentially can be employed as extended-release drug vessels and also in imaging applications. UIUC News Bureau article.
Prashan Jain photoPrashant Jain to receive the 2015 Journal of Physical Chemistry C Lectureship Award in recognition for advancing the science of inorganic nanostructures by application of spectroscopy, microscopy, and theory.
photos of Catherine Murphy, Steve Granick, Taekjip Ha, John Rogers

Four scientists (Catherine Murphy, Steve Granick, Taekjip Ha, and John Rogers) associated with the School of Chemical Sciences have been honored by their election to the National Academy of Sciences. UIUC News Bureau article.
Thomas Allen photoThomas Allen (Makri group) has been awarded a 2015-16 Blue Waters Graduate Fellowship. As well as financial support he will have access to the powerful Blue Waters petascale computing system. He will do research in the simulation and analysis of proton transfer reactions in the condensed phase.
Jerrod HendersonJerrod Henderson was honored with a 2014-2015 Campus Award for Excellence in Public Engagement. He was recognized for his efforts to increase the number of students from underrepresented groups who pursue STEM careers. ChBE News article.
Kenneth Suslick and Dana Dlott photoKenneth Suslick, Dana Dlott and colleagues used an "ultrasonic hammer" to provide insight into how explosives work and how to control them. UIUC News Bureau article.
A machine in University of Illinois chemistry professor Martin Burke's lab assembles complex small molecules out of simple chemical building blocks, like a 3-D printer on the molecular level.The Burke group has developed a molecule-making machine having the potential to speed up new drug development. Their work is featured on the cover of the March 13 issue of Science. UIUC News Bureau article.
Douglas Mitchell photoDouglas Mitchell is the recipient of the 2015 Pfizer Award in Enzyme Chemistry. He is cited for his outstanding work in enzyme chemistry where the presence of enzyme action is unequivocally demonstrated.
Hong WangHong Yang and colleagues recently published a paper in Nano Letters on their development of new techniques using in situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to quantitatively study nucleation and growth kinetics of heterogeneous nanostructures. ChBE News article.
Kenneth Suslick photoKenneth Suslick received the 2015 Innovation Transfer Award. The award recognizes local innovation and entrepreneurial excellence.
Students at AIChE student regional conferenceUniversity of Illinois hosted more than 200 students February 28 and March 1 for an American Institute of Chemical Engineers' regional student conference. ChBE News article.
umbrella formBBC News highlighted the building of minuscule 3D scaffolds that are being made using ingenious methods by the Rogers group. The scaffolds could be used as a "functional interface" with a growing tissue of cells. BBC Science & Environment article.
Paul Hergenrother and Timothy Fan photoThe PAC-1 drug discovered by Paul Hergenrother is now in human clinical trials. The drug selectively destroys cancer cells, while sparing healthy cells. If trials go well it may become a treatment for brain cancer as it passes the blood-brain barrier. UIUC News Bureau article.
Alison Fout photoAlison Fout was one of 23 selected as a 2015 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in Chemistry. She focuses on addressing environmental, biological and energy problems by designing transition metal complexes and catalysts to understand the activation and transformation of greenhouse gases into novel compounds.UIUC News Bureau article.
Prashant Jain photoPrashant K. Jain was awarded a 2015 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award in recognition of his work on atomic scale understanding of solid-state catalysts and reactive adsorbents.
Ryan Bailey photoRyan Bailey is the recipient of the 2015 Pittcon Achievement Award. He is being recognized for his outstanding achievements in the fields of analytical chemistry and/or applied spectroscopy.
Fluorescence images of cells transfected that contain the alpha catenin sensorDeborah Leckband and collaborators have designed a new fluorescent protein that allows them to observe the dynamics of protein interactions in living cells. SCS article.
The team includes, clockwise, from back left: molecular and integrative physiology professor Milan Bagchi, chemistry professor John Katzenellenbogen, visiting research scientist Ping Gong, molecular and integrative physiology professor Benita Katzenellenbogen, postdoctoral fellow Yiru Chen, research scientist Yuechao Zhao, and comparative biosciences professor CheMyong Ko.A multi-disciplinary group with John Katzenellebogen as a lead investigator has developed compounds that show potential in treating a variety of disorders linked to estrogen signaling. UIUC News Bureau article.
Charles Sing photoNew faculty member, Charles Sing, was named to the 2015 Forbes 30 under 30 Science List.
ChBE News article
.
Miriam Ross photoMiriam Ross, sophomore at University Laboratory High School, Urbana, has been recognized with a Celebrating High School Innovators Award for her research on DNA catalysts with Prof. Silverman.
SCS News — 2014

School of Chemical Sciences
106 Noyes Lab
505 S. Mathews
Urbana, IL  61801
Professor Jonathan Sweedler
Director

(217) 333-5070
(217) 333-3120 fax
jsweedle [at] illinois [dot] edu
Please send comments and suggestions to:
scs-webmaster [at] illinois [dot] edu