Upcoming Seminars

All seminars for the 2020-2021 Academic Year will be held virtually and not on grounds. Friday seminars will be at 3:30pm. 

Spring 2021

Jan
22

Studying Cell Signaling in Complex Environments Using Open Microfluidics

Studying Cell Signaling in Complex Environments Using Open Microfluidics

Dr. Ashleigh Theberge | University of Washington

Professor Rebecca Pompano

Studying Cell Signaling in Complex Environments Using Open Microfluidics

Small molecule and protein signals provide a rich vocabulary for cellular communication. To better understand signaling processes in both normal and disease states, we have developed new open microfluidic platforms that accommodate the culture of multiple cell types in microfabricated compartments while allowing soluble factor signaling between cell types. Our microscale culture systems allow a 10- to 500-fold reduction in volume compared to conventional assays, enabling experiments with limited cells from patient samples. Furthermore, our devices are open, pipette accessible, interface with high resolution microscopy, and can be manufactured at scale by injection molding, increasing translation to collaborators in biological and clinical labs without chemistry and engineering expertise. Finally, this talk will highlight recent results using open microfluidic principles to develop novel strategies to 3D print hydrogels for biological and materials science applications.

Dr. Ashleigh Theberge | University of Washington
Hosted by Professor Rebecca Pompano
Feb
05

No Seminar: Candidacy Exams

No Seminar: Candidacy Exams

Feb
12

Prebiotic Astrochemistry in the "THz-Gap"

Prebiotic Astrochemistry in the "THz-Gap"

Dr. Susanna L. Widicus Weaver | University of Wisconsin-Madison

Professor Eric Herbst

Prebiotic Astrochemistry in the "THz-Gap"

Small reactive organic molecules are key intermediates in interstellar chemistry, leading to the formation of biologically-relevant species as stars and planets form.   These molecules are identified in space via their pure rotational spectral fingerprints in the far-IR or terahertz (THz) regime.  Despite their fundamental roles in the formation of life, many of these molecules have not been spectroscopically characterized in the laboratory, and therefore cannot be studied via observational astronomy.  The reason for this lack of fundamental laboratory information is the challenge of spectroscopy in the THz regime combined with the challenge of studying unstable molecules.  Our laboratory research involves characterization of astrophysically-relevant unstable species, including small radicals that are the products of photolysis reactions, organic ions formed via plasma discharges, and small reactive organics that form via O(1D) insertion reactions.  Our observational astronomy research seeks to examine the chemical mechanisms at play in a range of interstellar environments and to identify chemical tracers that can be used as clocks for the star-formation process.  In this seminar, I will present recent results from our laboratory and observational studies that examine prebiotic chemistry in the interstellar medium.  I will discuss these results in the broader context of my integrative research program that encompasses laboratory spectroscopy, observational astronomy, and astrochemical modeling.

Dr. Susanna L. Widicus Weaver | University of Wisconsin-Madison
Hosted by Professor Eric Herbst
Feb
19

Elucidating Proton-Coupled Electron Transfer Mechanisms Underpinning the Catalytic Generation of Renewable Fuels

Elucidating Proton-Coupled Electron Transfer Mechanisms Underpinning the Catalytic Generation of Renewable Fuels

Dr. Jillian Dempsey | University of North Carolina

Professor Brent Gunnoe

Elucidating Proton-Coupled Electron Transfer Mechanisms Underpinning the Catalytic Generation of Renewable Fuels

The conversion of energy-poor feedstocks like water and carbon dioxide into energy-rich fuels involves multi-electron, multi-proton transformations. In order to develop catalysts that can mediate fuel production with optimum energy efficiency, this complex proton-electron reactivity must be carefully considered. Using a combination of electrochemical methods and time-resolved spectroscopy, we have revealed new details of how molecular catalysts mediate the reduction of protons to dihydrogen and the experimental parameters that dictate catalyst kinetics and mechanism. Through these studies, we are revealing opportunities to promote, control and modulate the proton-coupled electron transfer reaction pathways of catalysts.

Dr. Jillian Dempsey | University of North Carolina
Hosted by Professor Brent Gunnoe
Feb
24

Chemical Engineering Approaches for Catalytic Reduction of CO2

Chemical Engineering Approaches for Catalytic Reduction of CO2

Dr. Jingguang Chen | Columbia University

Professor Sen Zhang

Rising atmospheric concentration of CO2 is forecasted to have potentially disastrous effects on the environment from its role in global warming and ocean acidification.  Converting CO2 into valuable chemicals and fuels is one of the most practical routes for reducing CO2 emissions while fossil fuels continue to dominate the energy sector.  In the past few years our group has investigated the catalytic reduction of CO2 using a combination of kinetic studies, in situ characterization and density functional theory calculations.  In this talk we will present several examples on (1) CO2 conversion by thermocatalysis, (2) CO2 reduction by electrocatalysis, and (3) simultaneous upgrading of CO2 and shale gas. We will use these examples to highlight the importance of using fundamental chemical engineering principles to guide the selection of reaction conditions and catalyst compositions.

Dr. Jingguang Chen | Columbia University
Hosted by Professor Sen Zhang
Feb
26

Dr. Joshua Figueroa | University of California, San Diego

Dr. Joshua Figueroa | University of California, San Diego

Professor Robert Gilliard
Hosted by Professor Robert Gilliard
Mar
05

Dr. Dan Mindiola | University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Dan Mindiola | University of Pennsylvania

Professor Robert Gilliard
Hosted by Professor Robert Gilliard
Mar
12

Dr. Sloan Siegrist | University of Massachusetts

Dr. Sloan Siegrist | University of Massachusetts

Professor Marcos Pires
Hosted by Professor Marcos Pires
Mar
19

Graduate Visitation Weekend 3/18 - 3/19

Graduate Visitation Weekend 3/18 - 3/19

Mar
24

2021 Hecht Lecture

2021 Hecht Lecture

Dr. Frank Bennett | Ionis Pharmaceuticals

Dr. Sidney Hecht
Dr. Frank Bennett | Ionis Pharmaceuticals
Hosted by Dr. Sidney Hecht
Mar
26

Dr. Robert Kennedy | University of Michigan

Dr. Robert Kennedy | University of Michigan

Professors Rebecca Pompano and Jill Venton
Hosted by Professors Rebecca Pompano and Jill Venton
Apr
02

Dr. Ying Wang | University of North Carolina - Wilmington

Dr. Ying Wang | University of North Carolina - Wilmington

Professor Huiwang Ai
Hosted by Professor Huiwang Ai
Apr
16

ACS Poster Session

ACS Poster Session

Apr
23

Dr. Linda Hsieh-Wilson, CalTech | Burger Lecture

Dr. Linda Hsieh-Wilson, CalTech | Burger Lecture

Professor Ken Hsu
Hosted by Professor Ken Hsu