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Professor Nandini Ananth

Professor Nandini Ananth
Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology
Cornell University
Host: Professor Aaron Massari

Professor Ananth's group seeks to understand the molecular origin of chemical selectivity in natural and synthetic systems using theoretical simulation techniques derived from the principles of quantum and classical mechanics. Research interests include:

  • Developing semiclassical and path-integral based model dynamics to simulate interesting chemistry in the condensed-phase.
  • Developing approximate methods for quantum dynamics that are able to incorporate quantum effects like zero-point energy, tunneling, and coherence and to describe electronically nonadiabatic processes, while retaining the favorable scaling in computational cost with system size exhibited by classical molecular dynamics simulations.
  • Understanding the molecular origin of chemical selectivity in natural and synthetic systems.
  • Investigating exciton chemistry in organic photovoltaics, multi-electron chemistry in tri-metal-center transition metal complexes, and vibrationally promoted hot-electron chemistry in reactions at metal surfaces.

Goals are to use a combination of theory, electronic structure, and quantum dynamics to 1) uncover the detailed mechanisms of novel charge and energy transfer phenomena, 2) identify productive reaction pathways/intermediates as well as competing loss mechanisms, 3) isolate significant factors, such as chemical environment, relative geometries, and temperature that determine dominant pathways, 4) construct experimentally verifiable hypotheses to enhance charge/energy transport properties of specific materials, and 5) build a database of transferable design principles that can be used predictively in the development of novel materials.

Professor Ananth

Nandini Ananth was born in Chennai, India. She attended Stella Maris College in Chennai, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in chemistry. She then joined the master's program in chemistry at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras. Here she developed a strong interest in quantum mechanics and carried out research on implementing logic gates for quantum computing using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance. During this time, she also received a Summer Research Fellowship from the Jawaharlal Nehru Center for Advanced Scientific Research and was introduced to semiclassical dynamics at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. This further solidified her interest in theoretical chemistry and chemical dynamics. Ananth moved to the United States to pursue doctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley, working on developing semiclassical methods to model quantum dynamical behavior in complex chemical reactions. Upon graduation, she accepted a position as post-doctoral scholar at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, where her research focused on developing path-integral methods for the simulation of electronically nonadiabatic processes in the condensed phase. She joined the faculty of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Cornell University in 2012.

Professor Omar Yaghi

Kolthoff Lecture #1
Professor Omar Yaghi
Department of Chemistry
University of California, Berkeley
Host: Professor Theresa Reineke

Research

Professor Omar Yaghi's work encompasses the synthesis, structure and properties of inorganic and organic compounds and the design and construction of new crystalline materials. He is widely known for pioneering several extensive classes of new materials termed metal-organic frameworks, covalent organic frameworks, and zeolitic imidazolate frameworks. These materials have the highest surface areas known to date, making them useful in clean energy storage and generation. Specifically, applications of his materials are found in the storage and separation of hydrogen, methane, and carbon dioxide, and in clean water production and delivery, supercapacitor devices, proton and electron conductive systems. The building block approach he developed has led to an exponential growth in the creation of new materials having a diversity and multiplicity previously unknown in chemistry. He termed this field 'Reticular Chemistry' and defines it as stitching molecular building blocks into extended structures by strong bonds.

Professor Yaghi

Professor Yaghi received his Bachelor of Science degree from State University of New York-Albany, and doctorate from the University of Illinois-Urbana. He was a National Science Foundation Post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University. He has been on the faculties of Arizona State University, University of Michigan, and UCLA. He is currently the James and Neeltje Tretter Chair Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, and a senior faculty scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He is the founding director of the Berkeley Global Science Institute. He is also co-director of the Kavli Energy NanoScience Institute, and the California Research Alliance by BASF.

Kolthoff Lectureship in Chemistry

Izaak Maurits Kolthoff was born on February 11, 1894, in Almelo, Holland. He died on March 4, 1993, in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1911, he entered the University of Utrecht, Holland. He published his first paper on acid titrations in 1915. On the basis of his world-renowned reputation, he was invited to join the faculty of the University of Minnesota’s Department of Chemistry in 1927. By the time of his retirement from the University in 1962, he had published approximately 800 papers. He continued to publish approximately 150 more papers until his health failed. His research, covering approximately a dozen areas of chemistry, was recognized by many medals and memberships in learned societies throughout the world, including the National Academy of Sciences and the Nichols Medal of the American Chemical Society. Best known to the general public is his work on synthetic rubber. During World War II, the government established a comprehensive research program at major industrial companies and several universities, including Minnesota. Kolthoff quickly assembled a large research group and made major contributions to the program. Many of Kolthoff’s graduate students went on to successful careers in industry and academic life and, in turn, trained many more. In 1982, it was estimated that approximately 1,100 Ph.D. holders could trace their scientific roots to Kolthoff. When the American Chemical Society inaugurated an award for excellence in 1983, he was the first recipient.

Professor Omar Yaghi

Kolthoff Lecture #2
Professor Omar Yaghi
Department of Chemistry
University of California, Berkeley
Host: Professor Theresa Reineke

Research

Professor Omar Yaghi's work encompasses the synthesis, structure and properties of inorganic and organic compounds and the design and construction of new crystalline materials. He is widely known for pioneering several extensive classes of new materials termed metal-organic frameworks, covalent organic frameworks, and zeolitic imidazolate frameworks. These materials have the highest surface areas known to date, making them useful in clean energy storage and generation. Specifically, applications of his materials are found in the storage and separation of hydrogen, methane, and carbon dioxide, and in clean water production and delivery, supercapacitor devices, proton and electron conductive systems. The building block approach he developed has led to an exponential growth in the creation of new materials having a diversity and multiplicity previously unknown in chemistry. He termed this field 'Reticular Chemistry' and defines it as stitching molecular building blocks into extended structures by strong bonds.

Professor Yaghi

Professor Yaghi received his Bachelor of Science degree from State University of New York-Albany, and doctorate from the University of Illinois-Urbana. He was a National Science Foundation Post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University. He has been on the faculties of Arizona State University, University of Michigan, and UCLA. He is currently the James and Neeltje Tretter Chair Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, and a senior faculty scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He is the founding director of the Berkeley Global Science Institute. He is also co-director of the Kavli Energy NanoScience Institute, and the California Research Alliance by BASF.

Kolthoff Lectureship in Chemistry

Izaak Maurits Kolthoff was born on February 11, 1894, in Almelo, Holland. He died on March 4, 1993, in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1911, he entered the University of Utrecht, Holland. He published his first paper on acid titrations in 1915. On the basis of his world-renowned reputation, he was invited to join the faculty of the University of Minnesota’s Department of Chemistry in 1927. By the time of his retirement from the University in 1962, he had published approximately 800 papers. He continued to publish approximately 150 more papers until his health failed. His research, covering approximately a dozen areas of chemistry, was recognized by many medals and memberships in learned societies throughout the world, including the National Academy of Sciences and the Nichols Medal of the American Chemical Society. Best known to the general public is his work on synthetic rubber. During World War II, the government established a comprehensive research program at major industrial companies and several universities, including Minnesota. Kolthoff quickly assembled a large research group and made major contributions to the program. Many of Kolthoff’s graduate students went on to successful careers in industry and academic life and, in turn, trained many more. In 1982, it was estimated that approximately 1,100 Ph.D. holders could trace their scientific roots to Kolthoff. When the American Chemical Society inaugurated an award for excellence in 1983, he was the first recipient.

Professor Omar Yaghi

Kolthoff Lecture #3
Professor Omar Yaghi
Department of Chemistry
University of California, Berkeley
Host: Professor Theresa Reineke

Research

Professor Omar Yaghi's work encompasses the synthesis, structure and properties of inorganic and organic compounds and the design and construction of new crystalline materials. He is widely known for pioneering several extensive classes of new materials termed metal-organic frameworks, covalent organic frameworks, and zeolitic imidazolate frameworks. These materials have the highest surface areas known to date, making them useful in clean energy storage and generation. Specifically, applications of his materials are found in the storage and separation of hydrogen, methane, and carbon dioxide, and in clean water production and delivery, supercapacitor devices, proton and electron conductive systems. The building block approach he developed has led to an exponential growth in the creation of new materials having a diversity and multiplicity previously unknown in chemistry. He termed this field 'Reticular Chemistry' and defines it as stitching molecular building blocks into extended structures by strong bonds.

Professor Yaghi

Professor Yaghi received his Bachelor of Science degree from State University of New York-Albany, and doctorate from the University of Illinois-Urbana. He was a National Science Foundation Post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University. He has been on the faculties of Arizona State University, University of Michigan, and UCLA. He is currently the James and Neeltje Tretter Chair Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, and a senior faculty scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He is the founding director of the Berkeley Global Science Institute. He is also co-director of the Kavli Energy NanoScience Institute, and the California Research Alliance by BASF.

Kolthoff Lectureship in Chemistry

Izaak Maurits Kolthoff was born on February 11, 1894, in Almelo, Holland. He died on March 4, 1993, in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1911, he entered the University of Utrecht, Holland. He published his first paper on acid titrations in 1915. On the basis of his world-renowned reputation, he was invited to join the faculty of the University of Minnesota’s Department of Chemistry in 1927. By the time of his retirement from the University in 1962, he had published approximately 800 papers. He continued to publish approximately 150 more papers until his health failed. His research, covering approximately a dozen areas of chemistry, was recognized by many medals and memberships in learned societies throughout the world, including the National Academy of Sciences and the Nichols Medal of the American Chemical Society. Best known to the general public is his work on synthetic rubber. During World War II, the government established a comprehensive research program at major industrial companies and several universities, including Minnesota. Kolthoff quickly assembled a large research group and made major contributions to the program. Many of Kolthoff’s graduate students went on to successful careers in industry and academic life and, in turn, trained many more. In 1982, it was estimated that approximately 1,100 Ph.D. holders could trace their scientific roots to Kolthoff. When the American Chemical Society inaugurated an award for excellence in 1983, he was the first recipient.

Professor Michael Fayer

Professor Michael Fayer
Department of Chemistry 
Stanford University
Host: Professor Aaron Massari

Researchers in Professor Fayer's lab are using ultrafast 2D IR vibrational echo spectroscopy and other multi-dimensional IR methods, which they have pioneered, to study dynamics of molecular complexes, water confined on nm lengths scales with a variety of topographies, molecules bound to surfaces, ionic liquids, and materials such as metal organic frameworks and porous silica. They are also studying dynamics in complex liquids, in particular room temperature ionic liquids, liquid crystals, supercooled liquids as well as in influence of small quantities of water on liquid dynamics. In addition, Professor Fayer is studying photo-induced proton transfer in nanoscopic water environments such as polyelectrolyte fuel cell membranes, using ultrafast UV/Vis fluorescence and multidimensional IR measurements to understand the proton transfer and other processes and how they are influenced by nanoscopic confinement. 

Professor Fayer

Professor Fayer earned his bachelor and master's degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. He was a professor of physics at the University of Grenoble, before joining the faculty at Stanford University. He is the David Mulvane Ehrsam and Edward Curtis Franklin professor of chemistry at Stanford University.

Bryce L. Crawford Jr.

Bryce L. Crawford Jr. was a renowned Department of Chemistry professor and scientist. He died in September 2011, at the age of 96. He joined the department in 1940, and became a full professor of physical chemistry in 1946. He was chair of the department from 1955 to 1960, and was dean of the graduate school from 1960 to 1972. He retired in 1985. He loved studying molecular vibrations and force constants, and the experimental side of molecular spectroscopy and molecular structure. During World War II, Crawford worked in research on rocket propellants, making significant contributions to rocketry, and the development of solid propellants for the much larger rockets that evolved after the war. Crawford received many honors during his career, including the prestigious American Chemical Society Priestley Medal; and being named a Fellow of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy, a Guggenheim Fellow at the California Institute of Technology, and a Fulbright Fellow at Oxford University. He held the distinction of membership in three honorary science academies, and was actively involved in many professional associations. 
 

Professor Ekaterina Pletneva

Professor Ekaterina Pletneva
Department of Chemistry
Dartmouth
Host: Professor Ambika Bhagi-Damodoran

Heme proteins are the main subjects of Professor Pletneva's research. In particular, researchers in her group have been focusing on ligand substitution reactions at the heme as a common platform for switching the protein structure and redox reactivity in signaling processes. They are investigating conformational properties of cytochrome c in apoptosis and correlate them to the protein peroxidase activity, which is critical for execution of this cellular pathway. We are also studying redox reactivity and folding of native sensors and engineered "switchable" proteins, in which changes in the oxidation state of the heme are linked to heme ligand substitution resulting in protein conformational rearrangements. 

Professor Justin Du Bois

Gassman Lecture #1
Professor Justin Du Bois
Department of Chemistry
Stanford University
Host: Professor Nicholas Race

Professor Du Bois' laboratory seeks to leverage the power of molecular design and chemical synthesis to address problems in catalysis, natural product assembly, chemical biology, and pharmacology. A goal is to develop C–H bond oxidative processes as general methods for organic synthesis and to demonstrate the utility of such tools in synthetic planning. These methods continue to be exploited for the purpose of preparing polyfunctionalized carbo- and heterocyclic structures in the total synthesis of complex natural products. Synthetic efforts focus on the role of ion channels in electrical conduction and the specific involvement of such proteins in the sensation of pain. De novo chemical synthesis of naturally occurring small molecule toxins in combination with the tools of molecular biology, electrophysiology, and cellular imaging enable the interrogation of mechanisms associated with ion channel expression, membrane translocation, turnover, and conduction.

Professor Du Bois

Professor Du Bois received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and his doctorate from the California Institute of Technology. Following a two-year National Institutes of Health post-doctoral position at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he joined the faculty at Stanford University. He is also on the faculty of the Department of Chemical and Systems Biology, a founding member of the NSF Center for Selective C-H Functionalization, an executive committee member of the Stanford Institute for Chemical Biology, and the founder of the Center for Molecular Analysis and Design.

In honor of Regents Professor Paul G. Gassman

Regents Professor Paul G. Gassman died in April 1993, at the age of 57. He was internationally known in the chemical community, and left behind a legacy of achievement. During his career, he served as mentor and adviser to 85 doctoral and master’s candidates as well as dozens of postdoctoral associates and undergraduate students. Numerous awards, honors, and honorary degrees were bestowed in recognition of his contributions to research and his service to the scientific, professional, and university communities. Some of these awards include election to the National Academy of Sciences (1989) and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1992); the James Flack Norris Award in Physical Organic Chemistry (1985); Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award (1986); and the National Catalyst Award of the Chemical Manufacturers Association (1990). He served as president of the American Chemical Society in 1990. He was co-chair of the organizing committees of the National Organic Symposium (1991) and the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research meeting (1992), on the University of Minnesota campus. It was his wish that a lectureship be established to bring distinguished organic chemists to the Department of Chemistry.

Professor Justin Du Bois

Gassman Lecture #2
Professor Justin Du Bois
Department of Chemistry
Stanford University
Host: Professor Nicholas Race

Professor Du Bois' laboratory seeks to leverage the power of molecular design and chemical synthesis to address problems in catalysis, natural product assembly, chemical biology, and pharmacology. A goal is to develop C–H bond oxidative processes as general methods for organic synthesis and to demonstrate the utility of such tools in synthetic planning. These methods continue to be exploited for the purpose of preparing polyfunctionalized carbo- and heterocyclic structures in the total synthesis of complex natural products. Synthetic efforts focus on the role of ion channels in electrical conduction and the specific involvement of such proteins in the sensation of pain. De novo chemical synthesis of naturally occurring small molecule toxins in combination with the tools of molecular biology, electrophysiology, and cellular imaging enable the interrogation of mechanisms associated with ion channel expression, membrane translocation, turnover, and conduction.

Professor Du Bois

Professor Du Bois received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and his doctorate from the California Institute of Technology. Following a two-year National Institutes of Health post-doctoral position at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he joined the faculty at Stanford University. He is also on the faculty of the Department of Chemical and Systems Biology, a founding member of the NSF Center for Selective C-H Functionalization, an executive committee member of the Stanford Institute for Chemical Biology, and the founder of the Center for Molecular Analysis and Design.

In honor of Regents Professor Paul G. Gassman

Regents Professor Paul G. Gassman died in April 1993, at the age of 57. He was internationally known in the chemical community, and left behind a legacy of achievement. During his career, he served as mentor and adviser to 85 doctoral and master’s candidates as well as dozens of postdoctoral associates and undergraduate students. Numerous awards, honors, and honorary degrees were bestowed in recognition of his contributions to research and his service to the scientific, professional, and university communities. Some of these awards include election to the National Academy of Sciences (1989) and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1992); the James Flack Norris Award in Physical Organic Chemistry (1985); Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award (1986); and the National Catalyst Award of the Chemical Manufacturers Association (1990). He served as president of the American Chemical Society in 1990. He was co-chair of the organizing committees of the National Organic Symposium (1991) and the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research meeting (1992), on the University of Minnesota campus. It was his wish that a lectureship be established to bring distinguished organic chemists to the Department of Chemistry.

Professor Justin Du Bois

Gassman Lecture #3
Professor Justin Du Bois
Department of Chemistry
Stanford University
Host: Professor Nicholas Race

Professor Du Bois' laboratory seeks to leverage the power of molecular design and chemical synthesis to address problems in catalysis, natural product assembly, chemical biology, and pharmacology. A goal is to develop C–H bond oxidative processes as general methods for organic synthesis and to demonstrate the utility of such tools in synthetic planning. These methods continue to be exploited for the purpose of preparing polyfunctionalized carbo- and heterocyclic structures in the total synthesis of complex natural products. Synthetic efforts focus on the role of ion channels in electrical conduction and the specific involvement of such proteins in the sensation of pain. De novo chemical synthesis of naturally occurring small molecule toxins in combination with the tools of molecular biology, electrophysiology, and cellular imaging enable the interrogation of mechanisms associated with ion channel expression, membrane translocation, turnover, and conduction.

Professor Du Bois

Professor Du Bois received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and his doctorate from the California Institute of Technology. Following a two-year National Institutes of Health post-doctoral position at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he joined the faculty at Stanford University. He is also on the faculty of the Department of Chemical and Systems Biology, a founding member of the NSF Center for Selective C-H Functionalization, an executive committee member of the Stanford Institute for Chemical Biology, and the founder of the Center for Molecular Analysis and Design.

In honor of Regents Professor Paul G. Gassman

Regents Professor Paul G. Gassman died in April 1993, at the age of 57. He was internationally known in the chemical community, and left behind a legacy of achievement. During his career, he served as mentor and adviser to 85 doctoral and master’s candidates as well as dozens of postdoctoral associates and undergraduate students. Numerous awards, honors, and honorary degrees were bestowed in recognition of his contributions to research and his service to the scientific, professional, and university communities. Some of these awards include election to the National Academy of Sciences (1989) and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1992); the James Flack Norris Award in Physical Organic Chemistry (1985); Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award (1986); and the National Catalyst Award of the Chemical Manufacturers Association (1990). He served as president of the American Chemical Society in 1990. He was co-chair of the organizing committees of the National Organic Symposium (1991) and the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research meeting (1992), on the University of Minnesota campus. It was his wish that a lectureship be established to bring distinguished organic chemists to the Department of Chemistry.

Professor Paul Anastas

Professor Paul Anastas
School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
Yale University

Paul T. Anastas is the Teresa and H. John Heinz III Professor in the Practice of Chemistry for the Environment and the director of the Center for Green Chemistry & Green Engineering at Yale University. He has appointments in the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Department of Chemistry, and Department of Chemical Engineering. 

Anastas took public service leave from Yale to serve as the assistant administrator for the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Agency Science Advisor from 2009-2012. From 2004 -2006, he served as director of the ACS Green Chemistry Institute in Washington, D.C. He was previously the assistant director for the Environment in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy where he worked from 1999-2004. Trained as a synthetic organic chemist, Anastas received his doctorate from Brandeis University and worked as an industrial consultant.

He is credited with establishing the field of green chemistry during his time working for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the chief of the Industrial Chemistry Branch and as the director of the U.S. Green Chemistry Program. Anastas has published widely on topics of science through sustainability including eleven books, such as Benign by Design, Designing Safer Polymers, Green Engineering, and his seminal work with co-author John Warner, Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice.