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Chemistry Guest Seminars

A&P Seminars 2018

Thursday, Nov. 8, 3:30pm - 5:00pm, NHB 1.720  baker

Visualizing Ultrafast Electron Dynamics at Catalytic Surfaces

L. Robert Baker

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Ohio State University

Research Web Page

Our research focuses on the critical role that surface electron dynamics and interfacial charge transfer have on the selectivity and efficiency of catalytic energy conversion processes. Toward this goal my group has developed femtosecond soft x-ray reflection-absorption spectroscopy as a surface sensitive probe of ultrafast electron dynamics. We also study the closely related chemical reaction kinetics on catalytic surfaces.


Publications (Group Page)


Author Metrics

h-index:  14  Total Articles:  25  Total Citations:  590   (Web of Science, Oct. 2018)

This a joint seminar with Inorganic - see the tab on the Inorganic page.

Friday, Nov. 2, 3:30pm - 5:00pm, WEL 2.122  aikens

Understanding Nanoparticle Properties using Theoretical Methods

Christine Aikens

Professor of Chemistry

Kansas State University

Research Web Page

Two of the major research aims in the Aikens group involve developing a theoretical understanding of the relationship between structure and properties of nanomaterials. These research areas include the structure and spectroscopic properties of gold and silver nanoparticles and nanoparticle arrays and the reactivity of nanostructured metal oxide particles.


Publications (Group Page)

Author Metrics

h-index:  29  Total Articles:  88  Total Citations:  4617   (Web of Science, Oct. 2018)

Thursday, Nov. 1, 3:30pm - 4:30pm, NHB 1.720  caprioli

Advances in MALDI Imaging Mass Spectrometry: Molecular Microscopy in the New Age of Biology and Medicine

Richard Caprioli

Professor of Biochemistry

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

Research Web Page

The research interests of this laboratory are aimed at the investigation of biological processes involving the synthesis, modification, storage and degradation of certain peptides and proteins using modern mass spectrometric methods of analysis to follow molecular events. In recent years there has been a great amount of interest in investigating the biochemical events involved in the metabolism of peptides, primarily in the brain and gut of mammals, encompassing the enzymatic breakdown of these peptides, their production from peptide and protein precursors, and the disruption of these processes by certain xenobiotics. Modern mass spectrometric techniques are used in these studies, including electrospray and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry.


Publications (Group Page)
Publications (VU Labnodes)

Author Metrics

h-index:  75  Total Publications:  310  Total Citations:  18,622 (Web of Science, Oct. 2018)

Thursday, Oct. 25, 3:30pm - 4:30pm, NHB 1.720  jiang

Understanding Nanocatalysis from Computation

De-en Jiang

Associate Professor of Chemistry

UC Riverside

Research Web Page

Our research focuses on computational materials chemistry and nanoscience, with a long-term goal to achieve knowledge-based design of functional materials for a sustainable society.  Current research topics:

  • Nanocatalysis: Nanoclusters, single atoms, oxides, perovskites, zeolites, 2D materials
  • Porous and liquid materials for gas separation: membranes, sorbents, and composite systems
  • Electrical energy storage and solid/liquid interfaces: Carbons, MXenes, and heterostructures
  • Nuclear energy: Uranium extraction and molten-salt chemistry

Publications (Group Page)

Google Scholar Citations


Author Metrics

h-index:  63  Total Citations:  11,963 (Google Scholar Citations, Sep 2018)

Thursday, Oct. 11, 3:30pm - 4:30pm, NHB 1.720  zwier

Single-Conformation Spectroscopy from the Microwave to the Ultraviolet

Timothy Zwier

M.G. Mellon Distinguished Professor of Chemistry

Purdue University

Research Web Page

The Zwier group focuses on problems at the interface between the traditional fields of molecular spectroscopy and dynamics. We develop and apply laser-based methods to study neutral molecules, ions, radicals, and molecular clusters of a size and complexity that test the large-molecule limits of current theories of chemical structure and dynamics.

Our current research interests have applications in the following three areas:

1. The investigation of conformational preferences, isomerization dynamics, and hydrogen bonding in biologically relevant neutral molecules, molecular ions, and molecular clusters. A particular current interest is synthetic foldamers, molecules designed to fold in well-defined ways that either mimic or complement the folding propensities of α-peptides found in nature.

2. The study of the photo-induced and discharge-driven chemistry and spectroscopy of molecules of importance in planetary atmospheres, particularly on Titan, one of the moons of Saturn.

3. The study of the chemistry, spectroscopy, and isomerization of molecules and radicals of importance in combustion, seeking to understand reactions and energy flow in aromatic derivatives that are intermediates along the pathway towards soot formation.



Author Metrics

h-index: 47  Total Publications:  197  Total Citations:  8668  (Web of Science, Sep. 2018)

Thursday, Sept 27, 3:30pm - 4:30pm, NHB 1.720  raleigh

Dynamics of photosynthetic light harvesting:  from conformational changes to energy transfer

Gabriela Schlau-Cohen

Assistant Professor of Chemistry


Research Web Page

Research in our group is inherently multidisciplinary; we combine tools from chemistry, optics, biology, and microscopy to develop new approaches to probe dynamics. We study dynamics in two classes of systems:  biological and bio-inspired light-harvesting systems that are of interest to solar energy research and biomass production; and bacterial and mammalian receptor proteins that are targets for human therapeutics. To explore these systems, we use ultrafast transient absorption spectroscopy, single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy, and develop model membrane systems.


Author Metrics

h-index: 13  Total Publications:  20  Total Citations:  1025 (Web of Science, Aug. 2018)

Thursday, Sept. 20, 4:00-5:00pm, WEL 2.122 Elizabeth Pierson

Enabling Drug Product Development through Analytical Research and Innovation

Elizabeth Pierson


Elizabeth Pierson currently works at the Research Laboratories, Merck. Elizabeth does research in Analytical Chemistry, Virology and Molecular Biology. Their current project is 'Analytical Research and Development of Formulated Small Molecule and Biological Pharmaceuticals.

Publications (ResearchGate)

Friday, April 20, 1:30pm - 2:30pm, NHB 1.720 

Probing the Interactions of Ions and Small Molecules with Phospholipid Membranes

Paul Cremer

Professor of Chemistry

Penn State University

Research Web Page

The laboratory of Biointerfaces, led by Prof. Paul Cremer, is a multidisciplinary research team that works at the crossroads of biological interfaces, manomaterials, spectroscopy, and microfluidics. Biophysical and analytical studies are tied together through the employment of novel lab-on-a-chip platforms which enable high throughput/low sample volume analysis to be performed with unprecedented signal-to-noise. From neurodegenerative diseases to artificial hip implants, a huge variety of processes occur at biological interfaces. Our laboratory uses a wide variety of surface specific spectroscopies and microfluidic technologies to probe mechanisms of disease, build new biosensors against pathogens, and understand the molecular-level details of the water layer hugging a cell membrane.

Publications (Group Site)

Author Metrics

h-index: 59  Total Publications:  134  Total Citations:  12,064 (Web of Science, Mar. 2018)

Thursday, April 5, 3:30pm - 4:30pm, WEL 2.122  shane ardo

Protonic solar cells by sensitization of passive ion-selective polymers with photoacid dyes

Shane Ardo

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

UC Irvine

Research Web Page

The central theme of the Ardo Group's research program is to understand and control reaction mechanisms at interfaces, with the goal of optimizing energy conversion for practical applications, including solar seawater desalination, solar fuels devices, photovoltaics, redox flow batteries, and fuel cells.

Publications (Group Site)

Author Metrics

h-index: 20  Total Publications:  38  Total Citations:  2255 (Web of Science, Mar. 2018)

Thursday, March 29, 3:30pm - 5:00pm, WEL 2.122  abraham badu

Mass Spectrometry For Everyone: From On-Demand Disease Diagnosis To Real-Time Reaction Monitoring

Abraham Badu-Tawiah

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Ohio State University

Research Web Page

Recent innovation in mass spectrometry (MS) is the ability to generate intact molecular ions, focus and use them as ordinary reagents for organic reactions at ambient surface, outside the mass spectrometer. Most projects in the Badu lab build on this innovation, but instead of simple organic compounds, we focus on drugs and biomolecules of specific biological importance.

Publications (Group Site)


Author Metrics

h-index: 14  Total Publications:  25  Total Citations:  482 (Web of Science, Mar. 2018)

h-index: 14  Total Publications:  26  Total Citations:  538 (Scopus, Mar. 2018)

George and Pauline Watt Centennial Lectureship  william gelbart

Monday, March 26, 2018, 03:30pm - 04:30pm, WEL 2.122 

Positive-sense RNA viruses: Search for the hydrogen atom of viruses

William M. Gelbart

Distinguished Professor, Chemistry


Virus Research Group

Physical/chemical: fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS); high resolution cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM); magnetic and optical tweezers (Professors James Bowie (UCLA) and Doug Smith (UCSD)) maleimide and “click” chemistries for conjugating ligands to capsid protein; electrophoretic, sedimentation, and chromatographic separations and analyses of fluorescently-labeled RNA, protein, and RNA-protein complexes; labeling of RNA ends, and of capsid proteins, by <2nm gold particles; statistical-mechanical modeling.

Biological: agrobacterial transformation of plants for high-level expression of wildtype and mutant CCMV capsid protein; genetic engineering of RNA-virus-derived replicons from mammalian, insect, and plant viruses; transfection and infection of cultured cells for assays of RNA replication and protein expression levels; in vitro transcription and genetic engineering of viral genes and their protein products; cell-free translation of RNA, of virus-like particles, and of viruses.


Festschrift - J. Phys. Chem. B. (2016)

Publications (Group Site)

Author Metrics

h-index: 69  Total Publications:  221  Total Citations:  20,814 (Web of Science, Mar. 2018)

h-index: 58  Total Publications:  178  Total Citations:  10,742 (Scopus, Mar. 2018)

Friday, March 23, 3:30pm - 5:00pm, WEL 2.122  guitar

What's in chemometrics for the (analytical) chemists?

Federico Marini

Faculty, Dept. of Chemistry

University of Rome La Sapienza

Rome Chemometrics Web Page

Publications (Group Site)
Publications (Google Scholar)


Author Metrics

h-index: 25  Total Publications:  107  Total Citations:  1790  (Web of Science, Feb. 2018)

h-index: 26  Total Publications:  112  Total Citations:  1785  (Scopus, Feb. 2018)

h-index: 28  Total Citations:  2083 (Google Scholar Citations, Feb. 2018)

W. Albert Noyes, Jr. Distinguished Visiting Lectureship  susan marqusee

Thursday, March 1, 3:30pm - 4:30pm, WEL 2.122 

Watching proteins fold - from milliseconds to millennia

Susan Marqusee

Professor of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology

UC Berkeley

Research Web Page

The long-term goal of our research is to understand the structural and dynamic information encoded in the linear sequence of amino acids. Proteins undergo an incredible transformation from one-dimensional sequence information into complex three-dimensional shapes that carry out intricate cellular functions. We still, however, don't have enough biophysical knowledge to translate this sequence information into functional insights. For instance, many proteins share the same native structure yet their cellular dynamics and function, in other words their energy landscapes, are different. Our laboratory uses a combination of biophysical, structural and computational techniques to understand these features.

Publications (Group Site)

Author Metrics

h-index: 42  Total Publications:  97  Total Citations:  7040 (Web of Science, Feb. 2018)

h-index: 42  Total Publications:  110  Total Citations:  7048 (Scopus, Feb. 2018)

Thursday, February 22, 3:30pm - 4:30pm, WEL 2.122  brian dyer

The Role of Protein Motions in Enzyme Catalysis

Brian Dyer


Emory University

Research Web Page

Research in the Dyer group spans a broad range of problems in biophysical and bioinorganic chemistry. Links to the three main focus areas are included below: mapping protein folding energy landscapes, exploring the role of protein dynamics in enzymatic catalysis, and developing photocatalysts for solar water splitting and hydrogen production. We have also undertaken a collaboration with the Salaita lab, funded by DARPA, to exploit coupled enzymatic reactions for induced mechanical work.

Two unifying themes of this work are exploring the role of dynamics in protein structure and function and the development and application of new laser and spectroscopic tools for the study of protein dynamics. Our work effectively cuts across traditional disciplines with an emphasis on using quantitative physical methods to address biological problems. For example, our study of fast events in protein folding integrates efforts in mechanical engineering (microfluidics for ultrafast mixing), physical chemistry (spectroscopy, fast kinetics, physical models), molecular biology (mutants, protein folding models) and theoretical chemistry (MD simulations of folding). We emphasize the use of spectroscopic techniques with high structural specificity and time resolution, such as isotope edited infrared spectroscopy to elucidate the functional dynamics of proteins on all relevant timescales.

Publications (Group Site)
Publications (Google Scholar Citations)

Author Metrics

h-index:  50   Total Citations:  6897 (Google Scholar, Feb. 2018)

h-index: 45  Total Publications:  131  Total Citations:  5637 (Web of Science, Feb. 2018)

Wednesday, February 21, 3:30pm - 4:30pm, WEL 2.122  peng chen

Single-molecule chemistry: from transcription regulation to living polymerization

Peng Chen


Cornell University

Research Web Page

Our research focuses on developing and applying state-of-the-art single-molecule methods to characterize and understand the properties of nanoscale materials and biological systems. Compared with traditional ensemble measurements, the single molecule approach removes ensemble averaging, so that distributions and fluctuations of molecular properties can be characterized and transient intermediates identified. The single-molecule techniques we employ include single-molecule fluorescence imaging, single-molecule FRET, single-molecule tracking, super-resolution localization microscopy, and magnetic tweezers. Our research program provides students with scientific training spanning from sophisticated microscopy/spectroscopy techniques, rigorous data analyses to protein and genetic engineering using modern molecular biology techniques, as well as nanotechnology and nanomaterials.

Publications (Group Site)
Publications (Google Scholar Citations)

Author Metrics

h-index:  31  Total Publications:  57  Total Citations:  4069  (Google Scholar, Feb. 2018)

Thursday, February 15, 3:30pm - 5:00pm, WEL 2.122 chad mirkin

Combinatorial Nanoscience: Expanding the Materials Genome

Chad Mirkin

Professor, Chemistry

Northwestern University

Research Web Page

The Mirkin Research Group focuses on developing methods for controlling the architecture of molecules and materials on the 1 – 100 nm length scale, understanding their fundamental properties, and utilizing such structures to develop novel tools that can be applied in the areas of chemical and biological sensing, gene regulation, immunomodulation, lithography, catalysis, optics, and energy generation, storage, and conversion.

The Mirkin Research Group has pioneered the use of nanoparticle-biomolecule conjugates as synthons in materials science and the development of many nanoparticle-based extra- and intracellular biodiagnostic and therapeutic tools.


Author Metrics

h-index:  132  Total Publications:  607  Total Citations:  87,238  (Web of Science, Jan. 2018)

highly citedHighly Cited:  46 Articles

h-index:  135  Total Publications:  705  Total Citations:  90,931  (Scopus, Feb. 2018)

Centennial Lecture  John Yates

Thursday, February 8, 3:30pm - 4:30pm, WEL 2.122

Using mass spectrometry to understand cystic fibrosis

John R. Yates

Professor, Chemical Physiology

Scripps Research Institute

Research Web Page

Research in the Yates lab is focused on the development and application of mass spectrometry-based proteomics techniques to a wide range of biological questions. Our lab has been instrumental in the evolution of the field to its current status, having pioneered many of the landmark advances that form the basis for prevailing proteomics practices, including shotgun proteomics (McCormack, A. L.; Schieltz, D. M.; Goode, B.; Yang, S.; Barnes, G.; Drubin, D.; Yates, J. R., III. Anal. Chem. 1997, 69, 767−776), database searching (SEQUEST, Eng, J. K.; McCormack, A. L.; Yates, J. R., III. J. Am. Soc. Mass Spectrom. 1994, 5, 976−989), and Multidimensional Protein Identification Technology (MudPIT, Washburn, M. P.; Wolters, D.; Yates, J. R., III. Nat. Biotechnol. 2001, 19, 242−247). We continue the drive to increase the scope, sensitivity and throughput of proteomics technologies and their application to biological questions.

Our research encompasses the areas of bioinformatics and software development, methods development and biological applications. The integration of all the elements in the proteomics pipeline within one lab facilitates advances in all of them.

The Yates lab has published more than 700 peer reviewed papers. Recent highlights include comprehensive proteomics studies revealing molecular mechanisms implicated in Cystic Fibrosis as well as identification of proteins capable of restoring function to mutated proteins in the disease, and investigations into affective disorders of the brain, including schizophrenia and depression.



Author Metrics

h-index:  132  Total Publications:  708  Total Citations:  69,178  (Web of Science, Jan. 2018)

Thursday, February 1, 3:30pm - 5:00pm, WEL 2.122 Adam Willard

The nonequilibrium dynamics of electrons and holes in disordered molecular semiconductors

Adam Willard

Assistant Professor, Chemistry


Research Web Page

  • Exciton Dynamics in Disordered Molecular Semiconductors
  • Structure and Dynamics of Self-Assembled Polymer Gels
  • Molecular Structure of Disordered Hydrophilic Water Interfaces
  • Chemical Dynamics at the Aqueous Electrode Interface


Author Metrics

h-index:  12  Total Publications:  27  Total Citations:  975  (Web of Science, Jan. 2018)

Thursday, January 25, 3:30pm - 4:30pm, WEL 2.122 frank zamborini

Monitoring the Synthesis, Assembly, Deposition, and Chemical Transformations of Single Metal and Bimetalic Nanoparticles by Stripping Voltammetry

Frank Zamborini

Associate Professor, Chemistry

University of Louisville

Research Web Page

  • Catalytic Activity of Pd and PdAg MPCs
  • Electrochemical Deposition of Ag NRs/NWs
  • Negative Shift in Potential for Oxidation of Au and Ag Nanoparticles vs Bulk Material
  • Optical Properties of Coupled Nanostructures


Author Metrics

h-index:  35  Total Publications:  81  Total Citations:  3313  (Web of Science, Dec. 2017)

highly cited paperHighly Cited Paper:  Mieszawska, AJ et al.  The synthesis and fabrication of one-dimensional nanoscale heterojunctions.  Small, 3(5), 2007, 722-756.  DOI:  10.1002/smll.200600727

Faculty Recruiting Seminar  chong liu

Thursday, January 18, 3:30pm - 5:00pm, WEL 2.122

Materials Design and Electrochemical Methods for Water-Energy Nexus: From Water Purification to Resource Mining

Chong Liu

Postdoctoral Fellow, Materials Science and Engineering

Stanford University

Y. Cui Lab Research Web Page

PhD, Stanford, 2015

Cui Lab:  When the size of materials is reduced to the nanoscale dimension, physical and chemical properties can change dramatically. In addition, nanostructures also afford new exciting opportunities of low-cost processing. We are interested in a broad range of nanoscale properties including electronic, photonic, electrochemical, mechanical, catalytic and interfacial properties. Understanding these properties has important technological implications in energy conversion and storage, electronics, biotechnology and environmental technology. We study fundamentals of nanomaterials including nanowires, colloidal nanocrystals and patterned nanostructures, develop low-cost processings and address critical issues in real-world applications.

News Release 8/15/16:  SLAC, Stanford Gadget Grabs More Solar Energy to Disinfect Water Faster

Publications (Google Scholar)

Author Metrics

h-index:  20  Total Citations:  1252  (Google Scholar Citations, Dec. 2017)

Faculty Recruiting Seminar  ofer kedem

Wednesday, January 10, 3:30pm - 4:30pm, WEL 2.122

Electron ratchets: generating currents without a bias

Ofer Kedem

Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Bio-Inspired Energy Research

Northwestern University

Research Web Page

Weiss Group Page



PhD, Weizmann Institute, Israel, 2013

My current work focuses on ratchets – far-from-equilibrium devices that transport particles using local asymmetries, rather than overall biases. Ratchets are rectifiers – they extract directional motion from non-directed sources of energy, like chemical energy and Brownian motion. Biological motors in the body use ratchet mechanisms, and produce motion very efficiently, even in the highly-damped biological conditions, where the noise is actually orders of magnitude stronger than the chemical energy available. We want to understand how the ratcheting applies to electrons, especially under highly-damped conditions, like in low-mobility organic semiconductors. Very little experimental work has been done on electron ratchets, and so we mainly seek to improve our understanding of the mechanism, with an eye toward possible future applications in solar cells or other electronic devices.


Publications (Google Scholar)

Author Metrics

h-index:  5  Total Publications:  14  Total Citations:  165  (ResearcherID, Nov. 2017)

h-index:  5  Total Citations:  212  (Google Scholar Citations, Nov. 2017)

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