Chemistry Events

Upcoming Events

Dr. Susan Reutzel-Edens

Margaret C. Etter Memorial Lecture in Materials Chemistry
Dr. Susan Reutzel-Edens
Department of Chemistry
University of Minnesota
Host: Professor Tom Hoye

Abstract

Inspiring Medicines Design through Solid State Chemistry

The first step in transforming a molecule to a medicine is invariably identifying a stable crystalline form with which to isolate and purify the drug. Among potentially many different solid form options (polymorphs, hydrates, solvates), the chosen crystalline form will ideally have favourable properties for downstream processing and meet the design requirements of the drug product to ensure consistency in its safety and efficacy profile throughout the shelf life. A molecule’s tendency to exhibit polymorphic behavior is one manifestation of the relative importance of two competing factors - thermodynamics and kinetics - as molecules (or ions) pack in different crystal structures at different rates to minimize their free energy. Experimental solid form screens aim to overcome the kinetic barriers to crystal nucleation and growth en route to producing as many polymorphs as possible, in particular the thermodynamically most stable form.

Crystal structure prediction (CSP) methods have also been developed to address “one of the continuing scandals in the physical sciences” to quote John Maddox in 1988, namely the ability to predict the crystal structure of a compound from its chemical composition. Thanks in part to the CCDC-sponsored blind tests of CSP, which have benchmarked the progress of the algorithms over more than two decades, and the emergence of commercial CSP providers, structure prediction is now widely applied across the pharmaceutical industry.[1] However, the application of ‘in silico’ polymorph screening to pharmaceutical molecules, which have usually undergone thorough experimental screening, has revealed two problems: computational over-prediction and experimental under-estimation.[2] In this presentation, the challenges posed by these problems and the opportunity for data-driven approaches to assess the risk of polymorphism are highlighted. Here we attempt to answer, “What can we learn about how molecules crystallize from the 1.1+ million structures in the Cambridge Structural Database that have crystallized?”

Research

Her research interests include crystal polymorphism, materials design and engineering, crystal nucleation and growth, structure-property relationships, crystal structure prediction and the digital design of drug products. 

Dr. Susan Reutzel-Edens

Susan earned her PhD at the University of Minnesota (1991) under the direction of the late Professor Margaret C. Etter, and thereafter joined Eli Lilly and Company. There, she founded the solid form design program and for two decades led a team of cross-functional scientists charged with finding commercially-viable crystalline forms for small-molecule drug products.

She has contributed to the development of more than 150 compounds, is a named inventor on 12 US patents, and has published over 50 papers and book chapters on key aspects of solid form development.   

She was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2018 and in 2019 joined the Scientific Advisory Board of the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre. She is also an adjunct professor at Purdue University and currently serves on the CrystEngComm Editorial Board, the Editorial Advisory Boards of the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmaceutical Research, and as a topic editor for Crystal Growth and Design. 

Professor Joseph Francisco

Izaak M. Kolthoff Lectureship in Chemistry
Professor Joseph Francisco
Department of  Chemistry and Department of Earth and Environmental Science
University of Pennsylvania
Host: Professor Don Truhlar

Abstract

A Fresh Look at the Chemistry Behind Acid Rain

The two major components of acid rain are sulfuric acid (H2SO4) and nitric acid (HNO3). Sulfur dioxide (SO2) is the main precursor of H2SO4.  Atmospheric sulfur dioxide is oxidized homogeneously by reaction of SO2 with OH and O2 leading to SO3, which then reacts with water to form sulfuric acid. This is the now accepted acid rain mechanism for generation of atmospheric sulfuric acid. In this talk we will review the traditional acid rain mechanism and we will introduce a new acid rain mechanism that relies on the photochemistry of SO2  and show how this new chemistry can be an important ingredient in the overall mechanism of acid rain formation not yet considered by current atmospheric models.

Sulfur dioxide has been proposed in solar geoengineering as a precursor of H2SO4 aerosol, a cooling agent active in the stratosphere to contrast climate change due to the anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse carbon dioxide. Considering the introduction of SO2 in the stratosphere, the photochemistry of HOSO is critical to understanding the role of SO2 mitigating climate change. The spectroscopy and photochemistry this new species provide important insights that help to better understand SO2 chemistry in earth's upper atmosphere.

Research

Professor Joseph S. Francisco’s laboratory focuses on basic studies in spectroscopy, kinetics, and photochemistry of novel transient species in the gas phase. He has made significant contributions in many areas of atmospheric chemistry by applying new tools from experimental physical and theoretical chemistry to atmospheric chemical problems. His research has transformed our understanding of chemical processes in the atmosphere at the molecular level. Francisco’s work has led to important discoveries of new chemistries occurring on the interfaces of cloud surfaces as well as fundamental new types of chemical bonding that control these processes.

Professor Joseph S. Francisco

Francisco received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1977 and his doctorate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1983. From 1983-85, Francisco trained as a Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge in England, and then returned to MIT as a Provost Postdoctoral Fellow. He was also a Visiting Associate in Planetary Science at the California Institute of Technology.

Over his career to date, Francisco has published more than 700 journal articles, written several book chapters, and he is the co-author of the fundamental textbook in chemical kinetics and dynamics, Chemical Kinetics and Dynamics. He is a recipient of the Alexander von Humboldt U.S. Senior Scientist Award, the EdwardW. Morley Medal from the Cleveland Section of the American Chemical Society, and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. Francisco is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society, the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is also a Member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.

Francisco is currently the Executive Editor of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, and he has recently been appointed as a member of the Editorial Board for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. From 2005-07 he served as President of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers and was President of the American Chemical Society in 2010. Also in 2010, Francisco was appointed to the President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science by President Barack Obama.

Professor Joseph Francisco

Izaak M. Kolthoff Lectureship in Chemistry
Professor Joseph Francisco
Department of  Chemistry and Department of Earth and Environmental Science
University of Pennsylvania
Host: Professor Don Truhlar

Abstract

Water Effects on Atmospheric Reactions

Water has a significant impact on many processes that occur in the Earth's atmosphere. It is one the most abundant resources in our atmosphere and, because of its ability to be both a hydrogen bond donor and acceptor, water can form very stable complexes. The formation of these complexes can dramatically affect the chemistry in the atmosphere, including heterogeneous removal and alteration of the photochemical properties of the atmospheric species, the formation of water droplets and aerosol particles, as well as the participation of complexes in chemical reactions. This talk will review both experimental and theoretical investigations of water vapor effects on gas phase reactions, with an emphasis on those pertinent to the atmosphere. A goal of the talk is to provide an understanding of the fundamental concepts underlying potential water effects, imparting a framework to better understand global effects of water chemistry in our atmosphere.

Research

Professor Joseph S. Francisco’s laboratory focuses on basic studies in spectroscopy, kinetics, and photochemistry of novel transient species in the gas phase. He has made significant contributions in many areas of atmospheric chemistry by applying new tools from experimental physical and theoretical chemistry to atmospheric chemical problems. His research has transformed our understanding of chemical processes in the atmosphere at the molecular level. Francisco’s work has led to important discoveries of new chemistries occurring on the interfaces of cloud surfaces as well as fundamental new types of chemical bonding that control these processes.

Professor Joseph S. Francisco

Francisco received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1977 and his doctorate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1983. From 1983-85, Francisco trained as a Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge in England, and then returned to MIT as a Provost Postdoctoral Fellow. He was also a Visiting Associate in Planetary Science at the California Institute of Technology.

Over his career to date, Francisco has published more than 700 journal articles, written several book chapters, and he is the co-author of the fundamental textbook in chemical kinetics and dynamics, Chemical Kinetics and Dynamics. He is a recipient of the Alexander von Humboldt U.S. Senior Scientist Award, the EdwardW. Morley Medal from the Cleveland Section of the American Chemical Society, and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. Francisco is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society, the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is also a Member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.

Francisco is currently the Executive Editor of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, and he has recently been appointed as a member of the Editorial Board for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. From 2005-07 he served as President of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers and was President of the American Chemical Society in 2010. Also in 2010, Francisco was appointed to the President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science by President Barack Obama.

Professor Cathy Wong

Departmental Seminar
Professor Cathy Wong
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
University of Oregon
Host: Professor David Blank

Abstract

In situ transient absorption spectroscopy during materials formation

Molecules, polymers, and nanocrystals can form the active layer in electronic devices such as photovoltaics and light-emitting diodes. Their electronic structure and excited state dynamics dictate their function and suitability for these applications. Transient absorption (TA) spectroscopy is used to measure these properties, and has provided remarkable insights into the behavior and function of electronic materials. However, multiple minutes-to-hours are typically required to perform these measurements, making it difficult to accurately measure the excited state dynamics of unstable and evolving materials systems such as electronic materials during their synthesis or deposition into a thin film. In this seminar, I will introduce a novel implementation of TA spectroscopy that can measure transient spectra in 8 ms, with good signal-to-noise achieved in ~30 s. This new technique is applied to the study of organic molecules during their aggregation into a thin film, as well as lead-halide perovskite nanocrystals during their synthesis. These examples demonstrate that in addition to providing an understanding of how excited state dynamics change during materials formation, TA signals measured in situ can reveal new insights into the mechanisms of complex materials formation processes.

Research

Research in our lab seeks to adapt time-resolved spectroscopies that report on excited state dynamics to the measurement of materials during their formation and degradation. We measure electronic structure and exciton dynamics in situ and in real-time as irreversible processes occur, such as molecular aggregation, polymer annealing, and nanocrystal synthesis. We develop strategies to control these processes to create materials with designer excitonic properties.

Professor Cathy Wong

I grew up in Brampton, Ontario, Canada, and enjoy camping, sports, cooking, and data.

Professor William DeGrado

Paul G. Gassman Lectureship in Chemistry
Professor  William DeGrado
Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry
University of California San Francisco
Host: Professor Mark Distefano

Abstract

Research

In the UC San Francisco lab of William DeGrado, PhD, we study the structural characterization of membrane proteins and de novo protein design in order to understand biological processes relevant to human disease and to develop novel therapeutics.

One primary research interest is de novo design, in which one designs proteins beginning from first principles. This approach critically tests our understanding of protein folding and function, while also laying the groundwork for the design of proteins and biomimetic polymers with properties not seen in nature.

De novo design of proteins has proven to be a useful approach for understanding the features in a protein sequence that cause it to fold into its unique three-dimensional structure. It has been possible to design functionally interesting proteins that bind redox-active cofactors, DNA, and transition metals. This approach has been extended to the design of membrane-active proteins, including ion channels, antibiotics, and fusogenic agents.

Professor William DeGrado

De novo protein design; membrane proteins; small molecule drug discovery for antimicrobials, influenza A virus, antifibrotics, and neurodegeneration; chemical biology; peptide design

Professor William DeGrado

Paul G. Gassman Lectureship in Chemistry
Professor  William DeGrado
Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry
University of California San Francisco
Host: Professor Mark Distefano

Abstract

Research

In the UC San Francisco lab of William DeGrado, PhD, we study the structural characterization of membrane proteins and de novo protein design in order to understand biological processes relevant to human disease and to develop novel therapeutics.

One primary research interest is de novo design, in which one designs proteins beginning from first principles. This approach critically tests our understanding of protein folding and function, while also laying the groundwork for the design of proteins and biomimetic polymers with properties not seen in nature.

De novo design of proteins has proven to be a useful approach for understanding the features in a protein sequence that cause it to fold into its unique three-dimensional structure. It has been possible to design functionally interesting proteins that bind redox-active cofactors, DNA, and transition metals. This approach has been extended to the design of membrane-active proteins, including ion channels, antibiotics, and fusogenic agents.

Professor William DeGrado

De novo protein design; membrane proteins; small molecule drug discovery for antimicrobials, influenza A virus, antifibrotics, and neurodegeneration; chemical biology; peptide design

Professor William DeGrado

Paul G. Gassman Lectureship in Chemistry
Professor  William DeGrado
Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry
University of California San Francisco
Host: Professor Mark Distefano

Abstract

Research

In the UC San Francisco lab of William DeGrado, PhD, we study the structural characterization of membrane proteins and de novo protein design in order to understand biological processes relevant to human disease and to develop novel therapeutics.

One primary research interest is de novo design, in which one designs proteins beginning from first principles. This approach critically tests our understanding of protein folding and function, while also laying the groundwork for the design of proteins and biomimetic polymers with properties not seen in nature.

De novo design of proteins has proven to be a useful approach for understanding the features in a protein sequence that cause it to fold into its unique three-dimensional structure. It has been possible to design functionally interesting proteins that bind redox-active cofactors, DNA, and transition metals. This approach has been extended to the design of membrane-active proteins, including ion channels, antibiotics, and fusogenic agents.

Professor William DeGrado

De novo protein design; membrane proteins; small molecule drug discovery for antimicrobials, influenza A virus, antifibrotics, and neurodegeneration; chemical biology; peptide design

chemMNext

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

These events will be conducted with COVID safety in mind 100% of the time.

Friday, October 15th, 2021:

  • 5:30 pm: Dinner and Outdoor Lawn Games with Faculty and Current Students

Saturday, October 16th, 2021:

  • 9:00-9:30 am - Breakfast with Student Groups
  • 9:30-10:00 am - Welcome to the Department
  • 10:00-11:00 am - Workshop: Applying to Graduate School and Your First Year of Graduate School
  • 11:00-12:00 pm - Ask Me Anything Panel with Students
  • 12:00-1:30 pm Poster Session and Lunch with Students and Faculty
  • 1:30-3:00 pm Meetings with Faculty (3 x 30 min slots)
  • 3:00-4:00 pm Break at the Hotel
  • 4:00-5:00 pm Facility and Lab Tours
  • 5:00 pm Dinner with Faculty and Current Students

Sunday, October 17th, 2021:

  • Explore the Twin Cities on your own and fly out

Questions? Please contact Stephanie Stathopoulos at:  chmapply@umn.edu

Professor Aaron Rury

Special Seminar
Professor Aaron Rury
Department of Chemistry
Wayne State University
Host: Professor Renee Frontiera

Abstract

Research

Research in the Materials Structural Dynamics Laboratory (MSDL) strives to uncover the fundamental physical processes that lead to useful properties in emerging materials. New materials with useful and exotic properties remain necessary for the development of next generation technologies in electronics, photonics, and information science. The discovery of new materials also means the development and use of tools to explore the physical mechanisms from which their properties derive. Student and postdoctoral researchers in the MSDL will use experimental, theoretical, and computational methods to tackle problems that span the fields of chemistry, physics, materials science, and optics to connect physical mechanisms to material properties. 

Professor Aaron Rury

B.S. Physics (minor in Chemistry) University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2004; Ph.D. Applied Physics (Ultrafast and Molecular Spectroscopy), University of Michigan, 2012; Caltech Postdoc at JPL, California Institute of Technology, 2012-2014; Postdoctoral Associate, University of Southern California, 2014-2017.

Research Interests: using vibrations to interrogate electronic processes in emerging materials, drivers of light-matter interactions under different physical conditions, and materials design and function. 

Favorite Scientist: James Clerk Maxwell

Professor Dominika Zgid

Departmental Seminar
Professor Dominika Zgid 
UT Austin
Host: Professor Jason Goodpaster

Abstract