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Total Synthesis as a Rich Source of Unexpected Projects

Monday, May 2, 2016, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Jason Chen, Ph.D., Assisant Professor, Department of Chemistry, Iowa State University

The complex structures and reactions found in natural products total synthesis makes this field not only an inspiration for methodical advances to chemistry, but also a rich source of unexpected projects. Synthesis of breitfussin B by late-stage brom more  »


Thesis Defense

Synthesis, characterization and applications of magnetic multi-metallic oxide nanocrystals

Thursday, April 28, 2016, 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Gabriela Escalera, Doctoral Candidate

Nanotechnology has had a great impact in several industries such as medical and electronics, and more recently in the oil and gas industry. In particular, magnetic nanoparticles are receiving great attention in the oil and gas industry because of th more  »


Studies of Natural and Artificial Photosynthesis

Wednesday, April 27, 2016, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Victor Batista, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry, Yale University

Mechanistic investigations of the water-splitting reaction of the oxygen-evolving complex (OEC) of photosystem II (PSII) are fundamentally informed by structural studies of oxomanganese complexes. Many physical techniques have provided important insi more  »


“The Structure and Mechanisms of State Dependent Neural Correlations”

Tuesday, April 26, 2016, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Krešimir Josi?, Professor, Department of Mathematics, University of Houston

Abstract: Simultaneous recordings from large neural populations are becoming increasingly common. Correlations in neural activity measured in such recordings can reveal important aspects of neural network organization and function. However, estimatin more  »


2nd Annual Rice Chemistry Undergraduate Research Symposium

Friday, April 22, 2016, 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Dr. Gary Gostecnik, Professor of Chemistry, Blinn College

Keynote Speaker in Duncan Hall 1064 at 3:00 pm

Poster Session begins at 4:00 pm

Refreshments will be served more  »


Single-Molecule Fluorescence Imaging of Reversible Kinetics at Liquid-Solid Interfaces

Wednesday, April 20, 2016, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Joel M Harris, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor, Analytical, Materials & Physical Chemistry, University of Utah

Quantitative imaging of individual fluorescently-labeled molecules is a sensitive method to characterize equilibria and kinetics of reversible reactions at liquid-solid interfaces. Total-internal-reflection excitation is combined with high-efficiency more  »

Thesis Defense

Single Molecule Studies of Dynamics at Polymeric Film Interfaces

Wednesday, April 20, 2016, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Lawrence Tauzin, Doctoral Candidate

Filtration and separations play large roles in many industries yet no complete mechanistic interpretation of these phenomena exists. The development of experimental methods capable of characterizing dynamics at the single molecule level has opened th more  »

Thesis Defense

Data Processing for Modern Microscopy: Faster, More Accurate, and More Reproducible

Tuesday, April 19, 2016, 3:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Bo Shuang, Doctoral Candidate

Modern medicine is currently facing the challenges of improving wellness for the general public, especially the quality of later life that is threatened by aging-associated chronic conditions and diseases. These improvements are heavily dependent on more  »


CANCELLED - “Jamming in Biological Tissues”

Tuesday, April 19, 2016, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Lisa Manning, Associate Professor, Department of Physics, Syracuse University

Abstract: Biological tissues involved in important processes such as embryonic development, lung function, wound healing, and cancer progression have recently been shown to be close to a liquid-to-solid or "jamming" transition, similar to the one tha more  »



Monday, April 18, 2016, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Janine Cossy, Ph.D., Professor, Laboratoire de Chimie Organique, ESPCI ParisTech

In general, the synthesis of complex biologically active molecules are problematic but the problems, encountered during the syntheses, can be a good source of inspiration to develop methods. One major challenge is the design of concise strategies as more  »

Thesis Defense

Plasmonic Nanostructures for Controlled Drug Delivery

Monday, April 18, 2016, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Amanda Goodman, Doctoral Candidate

Drug delivery and photothermal ablation based on resonant illumination of near-infrared-absorbing noble metal nanoparticles that have accumulated in tumors are highly promising cancer therapies. Crucial aspects of these therapies include the nanopart more  »


Atomistic Secrets of Solid-State Transformations

Wednesday, April 13, 2016, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Prashant Jain, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

In this talk, I will provide an atomistic view of how chemical and catalytic transformations occur in solid-state materials, which play a central role in our everyday world as heterogeneous catalysts, adsorbents, and batteries. As chemists, we know p more  »

Thesis Defense

Radiofrequency Electric Field Heating of Conductive Media: Understanding Aqueous and Nanoparticle Heating Mechanisms and a Method for Heating Optimization

Wednesday, April 13, 2016, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Nadia Lara, Doctoral Candidate

Use of radiofrequency (RF) electric fields coupled with nanoparticles to enhance non-invasive hyperthermia in cancer cells and tumors sparked debate over the RF heating mechanisms of nanoparticles and the role of salts in heating. Under RF field expo more  »


“The Cyanobacterial Circadian Clock, From Test Tube to Cell”

Tuesday, April 12, 2016, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
David K. Lubensky, Associate Professor, Department of Physics and Biophysics Graduate Programs, University of Michigan

Abstract: All plants and animals and many unicellular organisms possess circadian clocks--autonomous oscillators with a roughly 24 hour period that allow them to anticipate daily cycles of light and dark. I will discuss recent progress on understand more  »


Discovery of bioactive small molecules: Impact on basic- and clinical research

Monday, April 11, 2016, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Dr. Barbara Czako, Research Scientist, MD Anderson, Institute for Applied Cancer Science

Several topics on the discovery of bioactive small molecules will be discussed including the discovery of potent anti-angiongenic agents based on the structure of Cortistatin A as well as of kinase inhibitors for the treatment of cancer.

more  »

Thesis Defense

Gadolinium Oxide Nanocrystals: Synthesis, Characterization, and Applications

Friday, April 8, 2016, 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Nasim Taheri, Doctoral Candidate

In the line of the intense studies devoted to the development of medical imaging techniques, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has attracted the interest of the biomedical community in recent years. MRI is a powerful diagnostic tool that offers detail more  »

Thesis Defense

Exploring the Folding Energy Landscape: Designed, Simplified, and Alpha-helical Membrane Proteins

Wednesday, April 6, 2016, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Ha Truong, Doctoral Candidate

This thesis discusses our efforts in using the energy landscape theory and coarse-grained molecular dynamics protein folding models to explore the folding energy landscape of proteins. The Associative-memory, Water-mediated, Structure and Energy Mode more  »


“Synthetic Biology Platforms for Natural Product Biosynthesis and Discovery”

Tuesday, April 5, 2016, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Christina Smolke, Associate Chair of Education and Associate Professor, Department of Bioengineering, Stanford University

Abstract: Plants are a rich source of unique scaffolds, including 25% of natural-product-derived drugs. However, the discovery, synthesis, and overall material supply chains for sourcing plant natural products and their derivatives remain ad hoc, bia more  »


Organometallic Perspectives on the Hydrogenase Enzymes

Monday, April 4, 2016, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Tom B. Rauchfuss, Ph.D., Larry Faulkner Professor Professor of Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

In the hydrogenases, Nature employs organometallic reaction centers for the production and oxidation of H2. These systems rival or exceed platinum as catalysts for transformations relevant to new energy producing systems.

Synthetic models for more  »



A Radical Solution to an Old Problem. Some New Perspectives for Organic Synthesis

Thursday, March 31, 2016, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Samir Z. Zard, Director and Professor, École Polytechnique, Paris

Radical reactions offer many of the properties desired by synthetic organic chemists, in terms of variety, mildness of conditions, and a selectivity that is often complementary to that of ionic chemistry, making many protection steps superfluous. The more  »

Thesis Defense

Carbon Nanotubides: an Alternative for Dispersion, Functionalization and Composites Fabrication

Tuesday, March 29, 2016, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Chengmin Jiang, Doctoral Candidate

Negatively charged single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT), also called SWCNT polyelectrolytes, are formed by the reversible reduction of the SWCNT wall by alkali metals to form negative charged SWCNTs surrounded by counter ions. SWCNT polyelectrolytes more  »


“On the Interplay of Morphology and Mechanics in Living Systems”

Tuesday, March 29, 2016, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Jennifer Schwarz, Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, Syracuse University

Abstract: The vast array of morphologies in living systems has catalyzed numerous queries. This talk will focus on the role of mechanics in shaping morphology with three different examples by addressing the following questions: (1) How do mammalian more  »

Thesis Defense

Tailored Release of Bioactive Factors from Composite Multidomain Peptide Hydrogels

Thursday, March 24, 2016, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Navindee Charya Wickremasinghe, Doctoral Candidate

Multidomain peptides (MDP) self-assemble to form nanofibrous scaffolds well suited to tissue engineering and regeneration strategies. MDPs can present bioactive cues that promote vital biological responses. Orthogonal self-assembly of MDP and growth more  »


Are orbitals real? Correlated Dyson orbitals for wave function analysis and cross section calculations.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Anna Krylov, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry, University of Southern California

Molecular orbital framework is a cornerstone of the theory of chemical bonding. But are orbitals real? Can they be related to experimental observables? Do they make sense for strongly correlated systems? Dyson orbitals defined as an overlap between N more  »


“Fundamental Limits to Collective Sensing by Communicating Cells”

Tuesday, March 22, 2016, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Andrew J. Mugler, Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, Purdue University

Abstract: Single cells sense their environment with remarkable precision. At the same time, cells have evolved diverse mechanisms for communicating. How are sensing and communication related? I will describe recent theoretical and experimental result more  »


Strategies for the synthesis and detection of neuroactive species

Monday, March 21, 2016, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Jennifer L. Stockdill, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Wayne State University

Research in the Stockdill group is focused on the design of elegant and efficient strategies for the synthesis of neuroactive molecules ranging from complex alkaloids to disulfide-linked mini-proteins and for the detection of neurotransmitters. In th more  »

Thesis Defense

Engineered Metallic Nanostructures: Fabrication, Characterization, and Applications

Monday, March 21, 2016, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Arash Bohloul, Doctoral Candidate

Metallic nanostructures have garnered a great deal of attention due to their fascinating optical properties, which differ from the bulk metal. They have been proven to exceed expectations in wide variety of applications including chemical and biologi more  »


CANCELED: Cross-talk between lipid droplets, autophagy and mitochondria underlies cell survival under starvation

Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz, Ph.D., Distinguished NIH Investigator, NIH

This seminar has been canceled. more  »


“Non-Hermitian Localization in Biological Networks”

Tuesday, March 15, 2016, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
David Nelson, Lyman Laboratory, ? Harvard University

Abstract: We describe the spectra and localization properties of the N-site banded one-dimensional non-Hermitian random matrices that arise naturally in sparse neural networks. Approximately equal?numbers of random excitatory and inhibitory connect more  »


Development of new catalytic methods for the synthesis of natural products

Monday, March 14, 2016, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Pavel Nagorny, Ph.D., William R. Roush Assistant Professor of Chemistry, University of Michigan

This seminar will focus on our recent progress in developing new catalytic transformations for the synthesis of natural products. Our group has long-term interests in discovering and utilizing catalyst-controlled variants of the transformations that more  »

Thesis Defense

Stochastic Modeling of Dynamical Processes in Biological Signaling and Cellular Transport

Friday, March 11, 2016, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Hamid Teimouri, Doctoral Candidate

Successful cellular function and organ development relies on the effective transport of proteins and other biomolecules to specific positions. There are two basic mechanisms for biological transport: passive diffusion and motor-driven active transpor more  »


Biofunctional nanotechnology: from inspiration to applications

Thursday, March 10, 2016, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Elena Rozhkova, Ph.D., Scientist, Argonne National Laboratory

Nanotechnology offers efficient solutions for advancing virtually all areas of science and technology spanning from energy materials to medicine. Owing to rapid development of fabrication and synthesis methods it became possible to engineer new mater more  »


ECE Faculty Candidate Seminar: Hot Plasmonics: New materials and Devices at the Intersection of Light and Heat, Gururaj Naik (698/699)

Thursday, March 10, 2016, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Gururaj Naik, Postdoctoral Scholar, Stanford University, Department of Chemistry

Surface plasmons squeeze light to the nanoscale, significantly enhancing light-matter interactions. While the field of plasmonics promises to revolutionize many applications including imaging, information processing and energy conversion, new materia more  »


From ultrafast structure determination to controlling photochemistry – 2D-IR spectroscopy in chemistry and biophysics

Wednesday, March 9, 2016, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Jens Bredenbeck, Ph.D., Professor for Experimental Biophysics and Chemical Physics, University of Frankfurt, Biophysics Insitute

Keywords: catalysis, photochemistry, protein dynamics, electrochemistry, vibrational energy transfer, ultrafast infrared spectroscopy.

Resolving structure and dynamics of short lived molecular species is the key to molecular function and react more  »

Thesis Defense

Synthesis, Monitoring, and Molechanical Action of Light-Driven Motorized Nanomachines

Tuesday, March 8, 2016, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Victor Garcia-Lopez, Doctoral Candidate

This dissertation describes the design and synthesis of a series of unimolecular nanomachines bearing a fast light-driven rotary motor (3 MHz at 25 °C) as a power unit and fluorophores for their monitoring. A well-tailored structural design that unif more  »


“How Bacteria Maintain Size Homeostasis”

Tuesday, March 8, 2016, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Suckjoon Jun, Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, University of California, San Diego

Abstract: We discovered the ‘adder’ principle of size homeostasis in bacteria in 2012 and reported extensive supporting data last year. The adder principle states that cells add nearly constant size between birth and division irrespective of the size more  »