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Development of Bio-inspired Catalysts for Efficient Peptide Hydrolysis

Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Rajeev Prabhakar, Associate Professor of Chemistry, University of Miami

The selective hydrolysis of the extremely stable peptide or amide bond of peptides and proteins is required in a wide range of biological, biotechnological and industrial applications such as control of the cell cycle, cell death, proteomics, protein more  »


A Tug-of-War Between Driver and Passenger Mutations in Cancer

Tuesday, October 21, 2014, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Leonid A. Mirny, Associate Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cancer progression is driven by a few mutation and chromosomal alterations that affect oncogenes and tumor suppressors. Cancer genomics, however, shows that these ‘driver’ mutations occur alongside thousands of random ‘passenger’ mutations -- a natur more  »


Synthetic Biology: From Parts to Modules to Therapeutic Systems

Thursday, October 16, 2014, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Ron Weiss, Professor, Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Synthetic biology is revolutionizing how we conceptualize and approach the engineering of biological systems. Recent advances in the field are allowing us to expand beyond the construction and analysis of small gene networks towards the implementatio more  »


Photochemical Upconversion

Wednesday, October 15, 2014, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Felix Castellano, a, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry

One focus of our research program involves the study of sensitized triplet-triplet annihilation (TTA) or triplet fusion (TF) in solution using highly photostable metal-organic chromophores in conjunction with energetically appropriate organic molecul more  »


Shifting the Paradigm for the Detection of Biomolecules: A Story of Metals, Light and Time

Wednesday, October 8, 2014, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Angel Marti, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Bioengineering, and Materials Science and NanoEngineering, Rice University

Metal complexes present unusual properties such as red emission, large Stokes shifts, and long lifetimes. These properties are highly desired in the design and synthesis of probes for different applications. Our group uses time-resolved techniques in more  »


Stem Cell Systems for Studying Self-organized Developmental Patterning

Tuesday, October 7, 2014, 12:15 PM - 1:30 PM
Aryeh Warmflash, Assistant Professor, Rice University - Department of BioSciences

During embryonic development, an entire organism is generated from a single cell. Genetics and biochemistry have identified developmental signaling pathways, however, how embryonic patterns emerge in space and time remains more obscure. I will discus more  »


Molecular Vibrations: A Structural Tool

Tuesday, October 7, 2014, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Junrong Zheng, Rice University

Methodology of ultrafast nonlinear vibrational spectroscopy in determining three dimensional molecular conformations in liquids, solids and on nanomaterials surfaces and transient (<1ns) short-range (<1nm) molecular interactions in liquids is introdu more  »


Tailoring polymer networks with floppy modes: from cells to new materials

Monday, October 6, 2014, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Fred MacKintosh, Department of Physics and Astronomy, VU University, Vrije University - Amsterdam

The material properties of the cell as a whole are largely governed by the cytoskeleton that consists of protein biopolymers. These biopolymers and their networks, however, differ strongly from most synthetic polymers. Both cellular networks as well more  »


From Mechanism to Drug Design: New Methods and Applications of Isotope Effects in Enzymology

Wednesday, October 1, 2014, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Andrew Murkin, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, SUNY Buffalo

Kinetic isotope effects (KIEs), which are a quantitative measure of the bond changes that occur during the formation of the transition state, are a powerful tool for probing chemical mechanisms. When KIEs are measured with precision at multiple posit more  »



A Hierachical View of DNA: It's Not the Stiffness - Shape Matters

Tuesday, September 30, 2014, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Juan J de Pablo, Professor, University of Chicago

In genetics, the flow and translocation of long DNA molecules are of considerable applied and fundamental interest. In that context, design of effective genomic devices requires control of molecular presentation and positioning at the level of micron more  »


Discovery of Vaniprevir (MK-7009) and MK-5172: Macrocyclic HCV NS3/4a Protease Inhibitors

Monday, September 29, 2014, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Michael Rudd, MERCK


Professor Phil Brooks' 50 Years Celebration Symposium

Friday, September 26, 2014, 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM
This symposium will celebrate Professor Phil Brooks and his 50 Years in Rice Chemistry. Three of his former students, now professors themselves, will give the following lectures: Greg Sitz, UT Austin: Quantum-State-Resolved Gas-Surface Interaction more  »

Special Event

Professor Phil Brooks' 50 Years Celebration Reception

Friday, September 26, 2014, 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
The Chemistry Department is very happy to announce that on Friday, September 26, 2014 we will be celebrating Professor Phil Brooks and his 50-years with the Rice Chemistry Department. At 4:00pm a reception will be held at the Brochstein Pavilion for more  »


A Taxonomy of the Magneto-Optical Responses of Cyclic Plasmon-Supporting Metal Oligomers

Wednesday, September 24, 2014, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
David Masiello, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, University of Washington

The optical-frequency magnetic and electric properties of cyclic plasmon-supporting metal nanoparticle oligomers are explored through a combination of scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM)/electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS) simulatio more  »


Mechanical Genomics: Genome-wide Identification of Regulators of Bacterial Cell Stiffness

Tuesday, September 23, 2014, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Douglas B. Weibel, Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin - Madison

The peptidoglycan (PG) consists of a single, cross-linked layer of polysaccharide that forms the primary load-bearing material of bacteria and resists the large osmotic pressure across the cell wall. As defects in PG assembly and remodeling are catas more  »


In Vivo Imaging and Targeted Drug Delivery With Porous Silicon Nanoparticles

Wednesday, September 17, 2014, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Michael Sailor, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California - San Diego

The electronic and optical properties that make the semiconductor silicon so useful for solid-state devices such as solar cells and microelectronics can also be harnessed for biological applications—in particular in vivo imaging and drug delivery. T more  »


Screening for Noise in Gene Expression Identifies Drug Synergies

Tuesday, September 16, 2014, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Leor Weinberger, Associate Professor, The University of California - San Francisco

Abstract: Over the past decade, a stubborn debate has persisted in biology regarding the role and importance of stochastic gene-expression processes (i.e. "noise"). This roughly parallels the Bohr-Einstein debates that occurred in Physics in the ear more  »


Long Time Dynamics of Biological Molecules

Wednesday, September 10, 2014, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Ron Elber, Professor W.A. ‘Tex’ Moncrief Chair in Computational Life Sciences, University of Texas at Austin

We will show how (many) short trajectory fragments of picosecond lengths can be used to exactly study long time dynamics of biomolecular systems. The short trajectories are used in an exact probabilistic equation that accounts for transitions between more  »


Molecular and Coarse-grained Views of Protein Dynamics in the Unfolded State

Tuesday, September 9, 2014, 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Dmitrii E Makarov, Professor, The University of Texas at Austin

Abstract: The nature of the unfolded state of proteins is essential for our understanding of how proteins fold or how intrinsically disordered proteins accomplish their biological function. Computational studies of the unfolded ensemble, however, fac more  »


Chemical Synthesis of Polyhalogenated Natural Products

Monday, September 8, 2014, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Chris Vanderwal, Associate Professor and Chancellor's Fellow, Chemistry School of Physical Sciences, University of California at Irvine

Thousands of halogenated natural products have been characterized. Singly halogenated compounds, whether they are aryl or alkyl halides, do not generally pose a significant challenge for synthesis. There are far fewer polyhalogenated secondary metabo more  »


Selective Functionalization of Alkyl and Aryl C-H Bonds

Wednesday, September 3, 2014, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
John Hartwig, Professor of Chemistry, The Henry Rapoport Chair in Organic Chemistry, University of California at Berkeley

Abstract: Our group has developed practical methods for the catalytic functionalization of C-H bonds with main group reagents. This lecture will present a combination of methodology and mechanistic studies that connect these functionalizations with t more  »


Integrating Signaling in Space and Time – Calmodulin as a Case Study

Tuesday, September 2, 2014, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Neal Waxham, Professor, The University of Texas Medical School

Abstract: Cell signaling involves an intricate series of protein-protein associations whose interactions are further complicated by the densely packed and heterogeneous cytoplasm. Protein association is dictated by concentration and diffusion and re more  »


Thesis Defense

Carbon-Based Nanoparticles: Synthesis, Characterization and Applications

Friday, August 29, 2014, 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Gabriel Ceriotti, Doctoral Candidate

The presentation will concern the chemistry, applications, and methods for the synthesis of graphene oxide (GO), GO derivatives, graphite derivatives, carbon black derivatives, and activated charcoal derivatives, with an emphasis on applications rele more  »

Thesis Defense

Radiofrequency-induced Cellular Hyperthermia: Water-soluble Fullerene as a New Cancer Therapeutic Agent

Wednesday, August 27, 2014, 2:15 PM - 4:15 PM
Matthew Cheney, Doctoral Candidate

Due to the susceptibility of cancer to hyperthermia, abundant biomedical research is being conducted for the development of therapies using nanotechnology for noninvasive cancer hyperthermia. In this work, the water-soluble and neutrally-charged C60 more  »


Crossing from the Molecular to the Cellular: How Polymers Dictate Cell Shape in Bacteria

Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Joshua W. Shaevitz, Associate Professor, Princeton University

How bacteria grow into specific, 3D shapes remains a central mystery in microbiology. My group has developed an imaging and analysis pipeline to simultaneously probe the shape of cells and the localization of proteins in 3D during growth. We find evi more  »