Upcoming Seminars

All seminars are held at 3:30 PM in the Mechanical Engineering Building (MEC) Room 205 unless otherwise noted.

Fall 2019

Aug
30

Escaping Flatland: Synthetic Innovation for the Future of Drug Discovery

Escaping Flatland: Synthetic Innovation for the Future of Drug Discovery

Professor Mike Hilinski | Department of Chemistry Kickoff Seminar

ABSTRACT

The majority of FDA-approved drugs are small organic molecules, generally defined as having a molecular weight below 900 g/mol. The speed and reliability with which one can synthesize complex bioactive small molecules is a major limiting factor in the race to discover new drugs. As a consequence of this, a historical overreliance on a small number of highly robust synthetic methods has limited the diversity of chemical structures generally pursued as drug leads. A long-term goal of our research program is to develop new synthetic methods that fill significant current gaps in the organic chemist’s toolbox, in order to work towards eliminating synthetic considerations as a barrier to the discovery of new therapeutics. Two major areas of research will be presented: (1) The development of new strategies and new modes of catalysis for the direct, site-selective functionalization of C–H bonds, and (2) The development of new methods for the synthesis and selective modification of nitrogen-containing heterocycles, which are present in the majority of FDA-approved small molecule drugs.

Professor Mike Hilinski | Department of Chemistry Kickoff Seminar
Sep
06

Graphene-based Materials for Applications in Heterogeneous Catalysis, Water Treatment and Solar Water Desalination

Graphene-based Materials for Applications in Heterogeneous Catalysis, Water Treatment and Solar Water Desalination

Dr. Samy El Shall | Virginia Commonwealth University

Professor Eric Herbst

This talk will address the development of three classes of graphene-based materials as (1) support for metal nanoparticle catalysts in heterogeneous catalysis, (2) sorbent materials for the removal of heavy metal ions from polluted water, and (3) photothermal energy converter materials for efficient solar water desalination.

In heterogeneous catalysis, we will discuss the superior catalytic activity of Pd nanoparticles supported on reduced graphene oxide (RGO) nanosheets for carbon-carbon cross-coupling reactions. Second, the enhanced catalytic activity for the Fe-based nanoparticle catalysts supported on graphene in the Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis of liquid transportation fuels will be presented. Finally, the superior catalytic activity and selectivity of Pd nanoparticles supported on a sandwich-type nanocomposite consisting of Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) wrapped with thin RGO nanosheets for the biomass-refining of liquids derived from lignocelluloisc sources will be presented.

For the removal of heavy metals from water, we will discuss the development of chemically modified graphene-based adsorbents containing highly efficient chelating groups such as diamine, imino and thiourea for the effective extraction of the toxic metal ions mercury (II), lead (II) and arsenic (V) from wastewater.

For photothermal energy conversion, we will discuss the development of a new generation of highly efficient, flexible, low weight, highly porous and cost effective Plasmonic Graphene Polyurethane (PGPU) nanocomposite materials for solar steam generation through the efficient evaporation of water surface pools. The PGPU nanocomposites contain metallic nanoparticles that exhibit very strong solar absorption. The polyurethane (PU) foam provides a hydrophilic surface with abundant microporous structure, excellent thermal insulation properties, and facile and scalable synthesis. The high solar thermal evaporation efficiency, excellent stability and long-time durability make the PGPU nanocomposites excellent candidates for solar-steam-generation applications and seawater desalination.

Dr. Samy El Shall | Virginia Commonwealth University
Hosted by Professor Eric Herbst
Sep
13

TBD

TBD

Dr. Rachel Letteri | University of Virginia

Professor Rebecca Pompano

 

 

Dr. Rachel Letteri | University of Virginia
Hosted by Professor Rebecca Pompano
Sep
18

DATE IS AVAILABLE

DATE IS AVAILABLE

Sep
20

Ethylene Trimerization Using Chromium Pyridyl Amine Complexes: A Computational Study

Ethylene Trimerization Using Chromium Pyridyl Amine Complexes: A Computational Study

Professor Glen Alliger | ExxonMobil

Professor Charlie Machan

ABSTRACT

Selective trimerization of ethylene to produce 1-hexene is a commercially practiced process that yields valuable comonomer for linear low density polyethylene production. Several years ago, ExxonMobil chemists developed a family of chromium catalysts useful for ethylene trimerization, but a mechanistic understanding of the catalysis remained elusive. This talk presents a mechanistic proposal to explain the catalytic selectivity, supported by a computational exploration of proposed cycle. Results will be discussed in terms of geometric requirements for reaction and the fundamental steps involved in catalysis.

Professor Glen Alliger | ExxonMobil
Hosted by Professor Charlie Machan
Sep
27

TBD

TBD

Professor Suzanne Walker | Harvard University

Professor Ken Hsu
Professor Suzanne Walker | Harvard University
Hosted by Professor Ken Hsu
Oct
04

TBA

TBA

Professor Lucy Ziurys | University of Arizona

Professor Robin Garrod
Professor Lucy Ziurys | University of Arizona
Hosted by Professor Robin Garrod
Oct
10

Graham Lecture: Increasing Access to Global Healthcare: The Medicines for All Institute

Graham Lecture: Increasing Access to Global Healthcare: The Medicines for All Institute

Dr. Frank Gupton | Virginia Commonwealth University

Professor Brooks Pate

Abstract: Access to global public healthcare is impacted by many technical, economic, and social factors. It is widely recognized that the resources required to deliver and improve global public health are currently constrained.  A powerful way to increase access is to lower the cost of products and services that have already proven to be effective.  Currently, the cost of producing a wide range of pharmaceutical products is higher than it needs to be. The mission of Medicines for All (M4All) is to transform the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) processes in order to reduce medication cost and improve patient access.  To fulfill this objective, M4ALL has developed a set of core principles for API process development, which is derived from fundamental elements of process intensification that are commonly known but often neglected. These principles have been applied to several global health drugs yielding dramatic improvements in chemical efficiency. The development of novel heterogeneous cross-coupling that support this effort will also be presented.

Dr. Frank Gupton | Virginia Commonwealth University
Hosted by Professor Brooks Pate
Oct
16

DATE IS AVAILABLE *NOTE: this is the Wednesday additional seminar

DATE IS AVAILABLE *NOTE: this is the Wednesday additional seminar

Oct
18

Annual Burger Lecture (title TBA)

Annual Burger Lecture (title TBA)

Dr. William Dichtel | Northwestern University

Professor Cassandra Fraser
Dr. William Dichtel | Northwestern University
Hosted by Professor Cassandra Fraser
Oct
23

The Synthetic Chemistry Colloquium (title TBA)

The Synthetic Chemistry Colloquium (title TBA)

Professor Cameron Jones | Monash University: Director, Monash Centre for Catalysis

Professor Robert Gilliard
Professor Cameron Jones | Monash University: Director, Monash Centre for Catalysis
Hosted by Professor Robert Gilliard
Oct
25

Professor Ken Hsu

Professor Ken Hsu

Oct
30

DATE IS AVAILABLE

DATE IS AVAILABLE

Nov
01

Proton-Coupled Electron Transfer by Copper-Oxygen Species Relevant to Enzyme Intermediates

Proton-Coupled Electron Transfer by Copper-Oxygen Species Relevant to Enzyme Intermediates

Professor William Tolman | Washington University in St. Louis

Professor Charlie Machan

Characterization of copper intermediates in enzymes and other catalysts that attack strong C-H bonds is important for unraveling oxidation catalysis mechanisms and, ultimately, designing new, more efficient catalytic systems. New insights into the nature of such intermediates may be obtained through the design, synthesis, and characterization of copper-oxygen complexes. Two key proposed examples contain [CuO2]+ and [CuOH]2+ cores, which have been suggested as possible reactive intermediates in monocopper enzymes such as lytic polysaccharide monooxygenase. Recent progress toward the characterization of the structures and properties of complexes with these cores that feature the same supporting ligand will be described, and detailed comparisons of their kinetics in reactions with C-H and O-H bonds will be discussed. Notable differences in their PCET reaction pathways with para-substituted phenols has been discovered that shed new light on the fundamental chemistry of these important core structures.

Professor William Tolman | Washington University in St. Louis
Hosted by Professor Charlie Machan
Nov
08

Main Group Lewis Acids for Applications in Catalysis and Anion Transport

Main Group Lewis Acids for Applications in Catalysis and Anion Transport

Professor François Gabbaï | Texas A & M University

Professor Robert Gilliard

ABSTRACT

Main group Lewis acids for applications in catalysis and anion transport

Research in the Gabbaï group has been dedicated to the synthesis and study of Lewis acidic main group compounds with the development of applications in molecular recognition and catalysis as the ultimate goals.  This seminar will highlight a series of recent results obtained in pursuit of these goals.  The first part of the presentation will focus on the chemistry of antimony- and carbon-based Z-type ligands and their demonstrated ability to modulate the catalytic reactivity of adjacent metal centers.  The second part of the presentation will show how boron and antimony-based Lewis acids can be deployed in aqueous media to effectively transport a range of anions across phospholipid bilayers in artificial vesicles as well as in live cells.

Professor François Gabbaï | Texas A & M University
Hosted by Professor Robert Gilliard
Nov
15

TBA

TBA

Professor Richard Olson | Bristol-Myers Squibb

Professor Ken Hsu
Professor Richard Olson | Bristol-Myers Squibb
Hosted by Professor Ken Hsu
Nov
22

TBA

TBA

Professor Piotr Zelenay | Los Alamos National Laboratory

Professor Sen Zhang
Professor Piotr Zelenay | Los Alamos National Laboratory
Hosted by Professor Sen Zhang

Spring 2020

Jan
17

DATE IS AVAILABLE

DATE IS AVAILABLE

Jan
22

DATE IS AVAILABLE

DATE IS AVAILABLE

Jan
24

Annual Jefferson Lecture: TBA

Annual Jefferson Lecture: TBA

Dr. Paul Chirik | Princeton University

Graduate Student Council
Dr. Paul Chirik | Princeton University
Hosted by Graduate Student Council
Jan
31

TBD

TBD

Dr. Mike Roper | Florida State University

Professor James Landers
Dr. Mike Roper | Florida State University
Hosted by Professor James Landers
Feb
14

TBD

TBD

Dr. Hien Nguyen | Wayne State University

Professor Clifford Stains
Dr. Hien Nguyen | Wayne State University
Hosted by Professor Clifford Stains
Feb
19

TBA

TBA

Dr. Eric Rivard | University of Alberta

Professor Robert Gilliard
Dr. Eric Rivard | University of Alberta
Hosted by Professor Robert Gilliard
Feb
21

TBA

TBA

Dr. Aaron Dinner | University of Chicago

Professor Kateri DuBay
Dr. Aaron Dinner | University of Chicago
Hosted by Professor Kateri DuBay
Feb
28

TBA

TBA

Dr. Mitch Antsey | Davidson College

Professor Charlie Machan
Dr. Mitch Antsey | Davidson College
Hosted by Professor Charlie Machan
Mar
06

TBA

TBA

Dr. Ray Schaak | Penn State University

Professor Sen Zhang
Dr. Ray Schaak | Penn State University
Hosted by Professor Sen Zhang
Mar
18

DATE IS AVAILABLE

DATE IS AVAILABLE

Mar
20

TBD

TBD

Dr. Jin Zhang | University of California, San Diego

Professor Andreas Gahlmann
Dr. Jin Zhang | University of California, San Diego
Hosted by Professor Andreas Gahlmann
Mar
25

DATE IS AVAILABLE

DATE IS AVAILABLE

Mar
27

Taming Protein Condensation

Taming Protein Condensation

Dr. Ying Wang | University of North Carolina-Wilmington

Professor Huiwang Ai
Dr. Ying Wang | University of North Carolina-Wilmington
Hosted by Professor Huiwang Ai

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