Upcoming Seminars & Events

Professor Guowei Wei

Guowei Wei, Ph.D.

Foundation Professor

Department of Mathematics; Biochemistry & Molecular Biology; Electrical & Computer Engineering

Michigan State University

Abstract

“Mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 Evolution and Transmission”

Discovering the mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 evolution and transmission is one of the greatest challenges of our time. By integrating artificial intelligence (AI), viral genomes isolated from patients, tens of thousands of mutational data, biophysics, bioinformatics, and algebraic topology, the SARS-CoV-2 evolution was revealed to be governed by infectivity-based natural selection in early 2020 (J. of Mole. Biol. 2020, 432, 5212-5226). Two key mutation sites, L452 and N501 on the viral spike protein receptor-binding domain (RBD), were predicted in summer 2020, long before they occur in prevailing variants Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Kappa, Theta, Lambda, Mu, and Omicron. Our recent studies identified a new mechanism of natural selection: antibody resistance (J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2021, 12, 49, 11850–11857). AI-based forecasting of Omicron’s infectivity, vaccine breakthrough, and antibody resistance was later nearly perfectly confirmed by experiments (J. Chem. Inf. Model. 2022, 62, 2, 412–422). The replacement of dominant BA.1 by BA.2 in later March was foretold in early February (J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2022, 13, 17, 3840–3849). On May 1, 2022, we projected Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 to become the new dominating COVID-19 variants (arXiv:2205.00532). This prediction became reality in late June. Our models accurately forecast mutational impacts on the efficacy of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs).

Guowei Wei, Ph.D.

Guowei Wei earned his Ph.D. degree from the University of British Columbia in 1996. He was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship from the NSERC of Canada to pursue his postdoctoral work at the University of Houston. In 1998, he joined the faculty of the National University of Singapore and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2001. In 2002, he relocated to Michigan State University, where he is an MSU Foundation Professor of Mathematics, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. His current research interests include mathematical foundations of data science and biosciences, deep learning, drug discovery, and computational geometry, topology, and graph. Dr. Wei has served extensively in a wide variety of national and international panels, committees, and journal editorships. His work was reported in numerous news and media articles.

Professor Brent Sumerlin

Professor Brent Sumerlin

Department of Chemistry

George & Josephine Butler Polymer Research Laboratory

University of Florida

Abstract

“Photocatalysis to synthesize, derivatize, depolymerize, and degrade polymers”

Relying solely on mild ultraviolet or visible light irradiation of thiocarbonylthio compounds, we have developed a new avenue to polymer-protein conjugates, semi-telechelic polymers, and well-defined ultrahigh molecular weight (UHMW) block polymers. Using either a photocatalyst or relying on the direct activation of photoactive functional groups, we are able to (i) synthesize polymers by photoiniferter polymerization and (ii) install new functionality to these polymers to prepare copolymers of (meth)acrylates and olefins that are inaccessible by direct copolymerization. Extending these approaches to the rapidly growing field of photocatalytic decarboxylation, we were also able to prepare
photodegradable polymers that have all-carbon backbones. Most recently, we have demonstrated that by employing the traditional conditions of photopolymerization at elevated temperatures, we are able to achieve dramatically accelerated depolymerization to regenerate monomer, suggesting low-energy photochemistry can be leveraged to approach life-cycle circularity.

Brent Sumerlin

Brent Sumerlin is the George Bergen Butler Chair in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Florida. He received his undergraduate degree from North Carolina State University in 1998 and later earned his PhD in Polymer Science & Engineering at the University of Southern Mississippi under the guidance of Charles McCormick. After completing his PhD, Sumerlin worked as a Visiting Assistant Professor/Postdoctoral Research Associate at Carnegie Mellon University under Krzysztof Matyjaszewski. In 2005, he took a faculty position at Southern Methodist University before moving to the University of Florida in 2012. Sumerlin is an associate editor for ACS Macro Letters and a
Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. He has received numerous awards, including the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, NSF CAREER Award, ACS Leadership Development Award, Journal of Polymer Science Innovation Award, Biomacromolecules/Macromolecules Young Investigator Award, the Hanwha-Total IUPAC Award, and the UF Doctoral Dissertation Mentoring/Advising Award.

Professor Lisa A. Fredin

Lisa A. Fredin

Assistant Professor

Chemistry Department

Lehigh University

Abstract

“Modeling Photoactive Organic Materials”

Chemical intuition is well developed for single molecules but the extent to which disorder in solid state molecular materials contributes to their properties is poorly understood. In particular, molecular materials move charges in some directions much more efficiently than others due to the packing of the molecules. Noncovalent interactions between the molecular components mean that dynamic disorder in these materials can have a large impact on the electronic properties of these materials at room temperature. This work explores how packing and vibrations in organic crystals affect charge transport in light driven devices. In particular, the size of dynamic disorder due to phonons or electronic excitation of molecules in the crystal is predicted for well-ordered high-mobility single crystals.

Lisa A. Fredin

Lisa A. Fredin is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Lehigh University. Her research draws on her background combining experiment and theory to develop computational and theoretical models of fundamental electronic properties to design materials with targeted properties. The Fredin group develops models of the chemistry and physics of a broad range of disordered materials, bridging physical chemistry, material science, nanoscience, and computation; as well as, probing the boundaries of the particle and wave approximations of electrons in materials.

Professor Fredin earned a doctorate in chemistry at Northwestern University, and a bachelor’s in chemistry, biochemistry and applied mathematics (minor in computer science) at the University of Texas
at Austin. Before coming to Lehigh, Fredin served as a research chemist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Dr. Kimberly Schultz

Dr. Kimberly Schultz

Senior Product Development Specialist, 3M Company

Printable Flyer

Celebrating Women Chemists Lunch Seminar Series

The Celebrating Women Chemists lunch seminar series, hosted by the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Chemistry Chapter, provides a forum for networking across the various subdivisions of chemistry and fosters a sense of community among participants. These presentations are an opportunity for women chemists to share information about their unique career paths in a way to help inform students and postdocs in our department on the variety of opportunities they can pursue. These seminars are open to all, but we especially encourage women, including graduate students, postdocs, faculty and staff, to attend. This month’s speaker is Dr. Kimberly Schultz, Senior Product Development Specialist at 3M.

Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Chemistry Chapter

The Chemistry WISE team provides a networking resource for women graduate students and post-docs in the department, with the goal of increasing the recruitment and retention of women, and improving the climate for all chemists.

Contact: Polly Lynch, CWC Luncheon Coordinator lynch764@umn.edu

Professor Yiming Wang

Yiming Wang

Assistant Professor

Chemistry Department

University of Pittsburgh

Abstract

“Cationic Late Transition Metal Complexes for Selective α-C–H Functionalization”

We describe the discovery and development of catalytic α-C–H functionalization reactions of simple unsaturated hydrocarbons, including alkynes, alkenes, and allenes, using cationic cyclopentadienyliron (II) dicarbonyl complexes. These complexes enable the development of a new mode of catalytic C–H functionalization in which metal coordination to a π-bond facilitates the deprotonation of a neighboring C–H bond. The implementation of this strategy resulted in mild, functional group tolerant, and regioselective transformations for the coupling of unsaturated hydrocarbons with aldehydes, iminiums, and other readily available or easily accessed carbon electrophiles. Investigations into the reaction mechanism and the discovery and optimization of new ligand systems are discussed. Extensions of this approach to other transition metal catalysts for stereoselective transformations are also described.

Yiming Wang

Yiming Wang was born in Shanghai, China and grew up in Colorado, USA. He graduated with an A.B./A.M. degree in chemistry & physics and mathematics from Harvard University in 2008 after conducting research in the group of Professor Andrew Myers. After obtaining his Ph.D. under the supervision of Professor Dean Toste at the University of California, Berkeley in 2013, he conducted postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Professor Stephen Buchwald at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellow. He joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh in Fall 2017.

Professor Luis A. Colón

Izaak M. Kolthoff Lectureship

Luis A. Colón, Ph.D.

SUNY Distinguished Professor

A. Conger Goodyear Professor of Chemistry Associate Dean for Inclusive Excellence, College of Arts and Sciences

University at Buffalo

Abstract

“A few words on mentoring and diversifying the workforce in the chemical sciences”

Advances in the chemical sciences have been possible because of the research contributions of many individuals, each one providing a unique perspective to solve a research problem, which in turn allows progress. Diverse viewpoints and backgrounds enhance the collaborative efforts necessary to achieve superior outcomes that ultimately benefit society. Progress, therefore, requires diversity in all its forms and at all levels. As academics, educating the next generation of scientists, we confront the reality that the students in the classrooms and trainees in the research laboratories do not represent the national demographics. In the view of many, this continues to create a demand for a diverse workforce that can allow a comprehensive and diverse approach to solve world challenges and advance chemistry for the benefit of everyone. Many aspects contribute to the poor mirror image of national demographics and graduate outcomes in our profession, and these can be complex in nature. Despite some progress, we must maintain a bold determination to advancing diversity in the chemical profession. I make the argument that relationship building, and mentoring are key factors to close the gap between national demographics and representation in our laboratories, and eventually in the workforce. Interventions that serve individuals, enhancement of support, and institutional changes are all contributors to provide better outcomes. The mentoring and support of graduate students and new faculty becomes essential in this endeavor. One can draw a parallel between our own research work and the efforts toward advancing diversity and increasing participation in our field. As new approaches are investigated to produce improved material characteristics in my own research, there are many “diamonds in the rough” waiting for an opportunity and a little “push” to bring new perspectives that will advance scientific research. This presentation will reflect on experiences and efforts undertaken to increase participation of underrepresented students in the chemical sciences. It is also a tribute to the number of researchers from different backgrounds who have created an enriched environment in our laboratories to advance research in the chemical sciences.

Luis A. Colón

Luis A. Colón received the B.Sc. degree in chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico at Cayey, the Ph.D. degree in chemistry from UMASS-Lowell, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University before joining
the Department of Chemistry at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo. He is currently a SUNY Distinguished Professor and the A. Conger Goodyear Chair Professor of Chemistry. He also serves as Associate Dean for Inclusive Excellence in the College of Arts and Sciences. His current research focuses on the study and characterization of materials for use in separation science and chemical measurements. Of particular interest are the development of chromatographic media for liquid phase separations and the development of new strategies to separate and analyze complex chemical or biochemical sample mixtures (e.g., biofluids, intracellular components, protein digests, and pharmaceutical drugs). He also works on issues that advance diversity in graduate education. His has mentored over 50 graduate students.

Luis Colón is Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS), the American Chemical Society (ACS), and the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). He has been awarded the NSF Special Creativity Award, the Benedetti-Pichler Award from the Microchemical Society, the Jacob F. Schoellkopf Medal (ACS- WNY), the EAS Outstanding Achievements in Separation Science Award, and the Dal Nogare Award in Chromatography. Other distinctions include the AAAS Mentor Award, ACS Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into Careers in the Chemical Sciences, the ACS Stanley C. Israel Award, and the USA Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring.

Host: Professor Edgar Arriaga

Professor Luis A. Colón

Izaak M. Kolthoff Lectureship

Luis A. Colón, Ph.D.

SUNY Distinguished Professor

A. Conger Goodyear Professor of Chemistry Associate Dean for Inclusive Excellence, College of Arts and Sciences

University at Buffalo

Abstract

“Tinkering with silica: new approaches to modified silica materials”

Silica can be considered a ubiquitous material with a widespread of applications in chemical and biomedical research, let alone its multiple industrial applications. My research group investigates new approaches to synthesize silica materials and their chemical functionalization for several applications. This has led to the synthesis of stable hybrid silicas in the monolithic and particulate formats, studies of submicron hybrid particles for separations under ultrahigh pressure liquid chromatographic and capillary elelctrochromatographic modes, as well as exploring non-conventional methods to silica modification. One of our major research efforts is the production of silica particulates that can be utilized in chemical separations. In this lecture, I will present our recent work on two fronts: 1) the use of diazotization reactions to synthesize a thin polyphenylene-like layer on the silica particle surface, and 2) the synthesis of radially oriented nanostructures of organo-silica hybrid layers in a core-shell format. In both cases, the particulate’s surface contains a reactive pendant that allows for further surface functionalization, while preserving desired particle properties. I will discuss the synthetic approach used and the physicochemical characteristics of the synthesized silica material, as well as their potential use in chemical separations.

Luis A. Colón Graphic 2

 

Luis A. Colón

Luis A. Colón received the B.Sc. degree in chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico at Cayey, the Ph.D. degree in chemistry from UMASS-Lowell, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University before joining
the Department of Chemistry at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo. He is currently a SUNY Distinguished Professor and the A. Conger Goodyear Chair Professor of Chemistry. He also serves as Associate Dean for Inclusive Excellence in the College of Arts and Sciences. His current research focuses on the study and characterization of materials for use in separation science and chemical measurements. Of particular interest are the development of chromatographic media for liquid phase separations and the development of new strategies to separate and analyze complex chemical or biochemical sample mixtures (e.g., biofluids, intracellular components, protein digests, and pharmaceutical drugs). He also works on issues that advance diversity in graduate education. His has mentored over 50 graduate students.

Luis Colón is Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS), the American Chemical Society (ACS), and the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). He has been awarded the NSF Special Creativity Award, the Benedetti-Pichler Award from the Microchemical Society, the Jacob F. Schoellkopf Medal (ACS- WNY), the EAS Outstanding Achievements in Separation Science Award, and the Dal Nogare Award in Chromatography. Other distinctions include the AAAS Mentor Award, ACS Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into Careers in the Chemical Sciences, the ACS Stanley C. Israel Award, and the USA Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring.

Host: Professor Edgar Arriaga

 

Professor Luis A. Colón

Izaak M. Kolthoff Lectureship

Luis A. Colón, Ph.D.

SUNY Distinguished Professor

A. Conger Goodyear Professor of Chemistry Associate Dean for Inclusive Excellence, College of Arts and Sciences

University at Buffalo

Abstract

“Study of diarylethene photochromic compounds”

Diarylethene (DAE)-based compounds have emerged as promising molecules with photo-switchable properties for applications in chemistry, materials science, and biotechnology. These photochromic compounds can undergo photo-reversible transformations between two chemical species, typically between ring-open and ring-closed isomeric structures, by means of light absorption (i.e., photoisomerization); the photo-switching renders isomers with distinct physical and chemical properties. To increase the likelihood of producing a solid-state photoactive material for an application, it may be useful to start with the compound in a specific isomeric configuration (e.g., ring-closed of DAE). This can be accomplished by locking a particular conformation in the liquid phase. The synthetic approach to lock such a conformation involves the irradiation of the molecule with UV light, which results in the production of both isomeric species in solution (i.e., ring-open and-closed) as well as other by products. It is important, therefore, to isolate the coexisting isomeric molecules of these compounds to study their individual characteristics. However, it has been difficult to separate and purify these isomers in yields that allow further studies of these compounds. We have studied the formation of a DAE ring-closed isomer as a function of light irradiation time. This allowed us to establish conditions to maximize the formation of a desired product resulting from the photochemical reaction. An upscaled separation method allowed for the isolation/purification of the individual compounds for further studies. The separated isomers were characterized to confirm the isomeric nature of the compounds. In this presentation, the experimental conditions that allowed isolation of DAE isomers will be discussed as well as the findings related to the formation of the different DAE isomeric species.

Luis A. Colón Graphic 3

Luis A. Colón

Luis A. Colón received the B.Sc. degree in chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico at Cayey, the Ph.D. degree in chemistry from UMASS-Lowell, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University before joining
the Department of Chemistry at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo. He is currently a SUNY Distinguished Professor and the A. Conger Goodyear Chair Professor of Chemistry. He also serves as Associate Dean for Inclusive Excellence in the College of Arts and Sciences. His current research focuses on the study and characterization of materials for use in separation science and chemical measurements. Of particular interest are the development of chromatographic media for liquid phase separations and the development of new strategies to separate and analyze complex chemical or biochemical sample mixtures (e.g., biofluids, intracellular components, protein digests, and pharmaceutical drugs). He also works on issues that advance diversity in graduate education. His has mentored over 50 graduate students.

Luis Colón is Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS), the American Chemical Society (ACS), and the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). He has been awarded the NSF Special Creativity Award, the Benedetti-Pichler Award from the Microchemical Society, the Jacob F. Schoellkopf Medal (ACS- WNY), the EAS Outstanding Achievements in Separation Science Award, and the Dal Nogare Award in Chromatography. Other distinctions include the AAAS Mentor Award, ACS Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into Careers in the Chemical Sciences, the ACS Stanley C. Israel Award, and the USA Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring.

Host: Professor Edgar Arriaga

Professor Randall Goldsmith

Professor Randall Goldsmith

Department of Chemistry

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Abstract

“Deploying photonics technologies for chemical and biophysical measurements”

I will discuss how my group uses whispering gallery mode microresonators, microFabry-Perot cavities, plasmonic nanostructures, and topological photonic structures to develop new instrumentation for making measurements on single molecules and biomolecules.

Randall Goldsmith

Randall Goldsmith is the Helfaer Professor of Chemistry and an affiliate of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He completed undergraduate degrees in chemistry and biology (2002) at Cornell University. He received his Ph.D at Northwestern University (2008) studying photoinduced electron transfer under the direction of Professors Michael Wasielewski and Mark Ratner, and performed post-doctoral work at Stanford University with Professor W.E. Moerner, where he became profoundly convinced that molecules deserve to be looked at one at a time. He has been a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin Madison since 2011 where his research interests span single-molecule spectroscopy, micro and nanophotonics, chemical catalysis, photochemistry, and biophysics. His work has been recognized with a DARPA young faculty award, NSF CAREER award, Alzheimer’s Association Young Faculty Award, Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, and Journal of Physical Chemistry Lectureship Award. He was recently designated a Schmidt Futures Polymath.

Past Seminars & Events

Link to Chemistry seminar recordings