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Thesis Defense

Conformational Dynamics of the Glutamate Receptors via Single Molecule Förster Resonance Energy Transfer

Thursday, April 16, 2015, 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
David Cooper, Doctoral Candidate

Glutamate receptors perform a critical role in the nervous system, mediating synaptic transmission through cellular membranes. These proteins have developed a quick response to agonist presence and, when activated, undergo a conformational shift that more  »


New approaches to simulating biological and molecular catalysts

Wednesday, April 15, 2015, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Thomas Miller III, PhD, Professor of Chemistry, California Institute of Technology

A primary focus of our research is the development of dynamics simulation methods that reveal the mechanistic details of quantum mechanical reactions that are central to biological and molecular catalysis. The nature of this effort is three-fold: fir more  »


Large N in Neural Data

Tuesday, April 14, 2015, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Ilya Nemenman, Associate Professor, Emory University, Departments of Physics and Biology

Abstract: It is now possible to directly measure simultaneous collective states of many biological components, such as neural activities, genetic sequences, or gene expression profiles. These data are revealing striking results, suggesting, for examp more  »

Thesis Defense

Single Molecule Studies of Ion-Exchange Chromatography

Tuesday, April 14, 2015, 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Lydia Kisley, Doctoral Candidate

As the pharmeceutical industry moves away from traditional small organic molecules towards biologically-based treatments, ion-exchange separation methods must be investigated to improve the cost and time required for protein purification. Several more  »

Thesis Defense

Ultrashort Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes: A Platform for Medical Imaging and Therapy

Monday, April 13, 2015, 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Justin Law, Doctoral Candidate

Ultra-short single-walled carbon nanotubes (US-tubes) have been used to encapsulate various metal ions and small molecules for both diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Of the US-tube derivatives, one of the best characterized is the gadonanotube more  »


New Advances Toward the Understanding and Manipulation of Metabolic Regulation

Monday, April 13, 2015, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Ricardo Marti-Arbona, PhD, Staff Scientist, Bioenergy and Biome Sciences Group, Los Alamos National Laboratory

Metabolism is organized into complex, highly regulated step-dependent reactions called metabolic pathways. Despite decades of advanced research, the precise mechanisms by which most metabolic pathways are regulated remain largely unknown. Bacterial m more  »


Regioselective Bis-Additions to Empty and Endohedral Clusterfullerenes: Tether or Cluster Control?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Luis Echegoyen, PhD, Professor of Chemistry, The University of Texas at El Paso

Several strategies have been utilized to control the regiochemistry of multiple additions on fullerene cages, most notable being the tether-directed-remote functionalization method, originally introduced by Diederich et al. In this method, two reacti more  »


Nanotechnology for Neural Interfaces

Tuesday, April 7, 2015, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Jacob T. Robinson, Assistant Professor, Rice University, Departments of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Bioengineering

Abstract: Nanofabricated electronic, magnetic, and photonic devices can help us understand the brain by precisely reading and writing activity in individual neurons. In this talk I will describe some of our latest work to develop next-generation neur more  »

Thesis Defense

Carbon Based Nanomaterials for Electrochemical Energy Storage Applications

Monday, April 6, 2015, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
LEI LI, Doctoral Candidate

Ever-growing energy needs, limited energy resources, and the need to decrease soaring greenhouse gas emissions have brought about an urgent demand on the pursuit of energy alternatives, includ¬ing both renewable energy sources and sustainable storage more  »


Understanding the pH-dependent reduction potential of the Rieske protein using site-directed mutagenesis and chemical modification

Monday, April 6, 2015, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Laura M. Hunsicker-Wang, PhD, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Trinity University

Rieske proteins are electron transport proteins involved in important biological processes including respiration and photosynthesis. They have a [2Fe-2S] cluster ligated by 2 cysteines and 2 histidines. In the common protein fold of the protein, th more  »



Anticipators and Procrastinators: Cellular Decision Making in Multivariate Environments

Tuesday, March 31, 2015, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Hana El-Samad, Associate Professor, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine

Abstract: Understanding how cellular programs process multiple simultaneous environmental inputs is a century old problem. A classical example is that of the Monod Model, in which microorganisms that are presented with two carbon sources first consum more  »


Harnessing the power of scientific computing to gain insight into chemical physics

Monday, March 30, 2015, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Frank Noé, Phd., Professor of Computational Molecular Biology, Freie Universität Berlin


Phosphines and Phosphinocatalysis

Wednesday, March 25, 2015, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Dr. Ohyun Kwon, Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California

Soft nucleophilic phosphinocatalysis has been known since the 1960s as a result of the pioneering work of Horner, Price, Rauhut?Currier, and Morita. In the 1990s, Trost and Lu made important discoveries, reporting isomerization, umpolung addition, an more  »


On the Origin of Species by Means of Genetic Incompatibilities

Tuesday, March 24, 2015, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Ricardo Azevedo, Associate Professor, Biology and Biochemistry Department, University of Houston

Abstract: Most species are kept distinct by incompatibilities between the genes they carry. These genetic incompatibilities cause hybrids between the species to have low fitness. I consider the possibility that combinations of several incompatibilit more  »


CGSA Career Seminar: "Your Career in Chemistry: Impacting the World"

Thursday, March 19, 2015, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Dr. Scott Leigh, R&D Director - Americas, Huntsman Performance Products

Happy Hour to follow the lecture in the Dell Butcher Foyer 5:00pm - 6:30pm more  »


Solar-Driven Water Splitting

Wednesday, March 18, 2015, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Dr. Harry Gray, Arnold O. Beckman Professor of Chemistry; Founding Director, Beckman Institute, California Institute of Technology

Investigators in the NSF CCI Solar Fuels Program are working on syntheses of light absorbers and catalysts to be employed as components in devices for solar-driven water splitting. Catalysts both for water oxidation to dioxygen (OER) and proton reduc more  »


Short Stories in Membrane Biophysics of How Complex Behavior Arises from Minimal Components

Tuesday, March 17, 2015, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Sarah L. Keller, Professor, Departments of Chemistry and Physics University of Washington, Seattle

Abstract: This talk will briefly summarize research projects inspired by biological questions. Asking how molecules on the early Earth assemble into protocells of RNA surrounded by a membrane led to our discovery that the building blocks of RNA (nuc more  »

Lecture/Lecture Series

TURNER LECTURE: DNA-mediated Signaling

Friday, March 13, 2015, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Dr. Jacqueline K. Barton, Hanisch Memorial Professor of Chemistry and Chair, Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology

We think of the DNA double helix as the library of the cell, encoding all that we are. But the DNA helix can also serve as a conduit for the flow of electrons, a medium for signaling. Like a stack of copper pennies, the stack of DNA base pairs can b more  »

Lecture/Lecture Series

TURNER LECTURE: Transcription Factor Antagonists: From Discovery to Oncology

Thursday, March 12, 2015, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Dr. Peter B. Dervan, Bren Professor of Chemistry, Division of Chemistry & Chemical Engineering California Institute of Technology

Pyrrole-imidazole polyamides are synthetic molecules programmed to read the DNA double helix by a set of simple chemical principles. These small molecules achieve affinities comparable to DNA-binding proteins and are cell permeable. Research effort more  »


Clash of Populations: Host-Microbe Interactions in C. Elegans

Tuesday, March 10, 2015, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Erel Levine, Assistant Professor, Department of Physics and Center for Systems Biology, Harvard University

Abstract: Bacterial infection is characterized by a multi-scale noisy dynamics with unpredictable outcome. Quantitative understanding of these processes is limited in no small part due to the lack of clear experimental data. In my talk I introduce ba more  »

Thesis Defense

Self-Assembling MultiDomain Peptides as Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering

Monday, March 9, 2015, 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Marci Kang, Doctoral Candidate

Creating a new generation of biomaterials to support tissue engineering efforts is critical to the development of functional tissues. This thesis describes the initial phases of biomaterial development for MultiDomain Peptides (MDPs): from their desi more  »



Sequestered: The Assembly and Function of Protein Organelles

Tuesday, February 24, 2015, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Dave Savage, Assistant Professor, Departments of Molecular & Cell Biology and Chemistry, UC, Berkeley

Abstract: Cells use structure to catalyze and facilitate the chemical reactions of metabolism. This principle is embodied by bacterial microcompartments (BMCs), a class of protein-based organelles that are found in in vivo. Here, I will present recen more  »


Tailoring the Third-Dimension in Layered Materials: Direct Synthesis of Layered Intercalation Compounds and Single-Layer Nanosheets

Monday, February 23, 2015, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Dr. Luyi Sun, Associate Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Institute of Materials Science at the University of Connecticut

Layered materials have been well investigated and have found widespread application. Traditionally, one can only alter the lateral dimension (X and Y directions) of layered compounds. The layer thickness or composition in the Z direction is hard to b more  »


Small Quantum Dots for Nanometer Accuracy and Resolution on Living Synapses of Neurons

Wednesday, February 18, 2015, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Dr. Paul R. Selvin, Professor, Department of Physics and Biophysics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

We have recently made small quantum dots (< 10 nm in diameter) that are extremely bright and photostable, enabling single molecule detection on specifically labelling receptor proteins in living (cultured) neurons. We have studies two of the most com more  »


Getting Together: What Can Enzyme Clustering Do for Metabolism?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Ned Wingreen, Professor, Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University

Abstract: Metabolism is the set of enzymatic reactions that cells use to generate energy and biomass. Interestingly, recent studies suggest that many metabolic enzymes assemble into large clusters, often in response to environmental conditions. Theor more  »